• Year A

    Third Sunday of Easter Homily 2020

    Though we live our life on them today – and especially now during this time of pandemic during which we are almost completely reliant on them and cannot imagine how we would operate without them – I will never forget the first time I accessed a computer and went online – which, amazingly, was only some thirty years ago. I remember the sense of awe as my laptop hooked into the computers of institutions around the world for the first time.  Suddenly, I was part of the communication revolution and with it the information revolution.  Whatever of our ambivalence about this revolution in the past, through this current period of social…

  • Year A

    Second Sunday of Easter Homily 2020

    The late English writer Daniel O’Leary related a striking moment of epiphany narrated by the Irish mystic John Moriarty.  Moriarty was walking through muddy patches in the meadow near his Kerry home, wondering how those ‘hints of heaven’ could emerge from such a drab place.  “How could something so yellow as a buttercup come up out of soggy brown earth?” he asked.  “How could something so purple as an orchid and so perfect as a cowslip come out of it?  Where does the colour and perfection come from?”[1] As were the first disciples, we are surprised by the power of life when it appears, and often in the most unlikely of places and experiences.  As…

  • Year A

    Easter Homily 2020

    On the evening of the Easter Vigil, the greatest moment in our Christian year, we light the Easter Candle and proclaim the Risen Christ. Its soft glow celebrates the victory of Christ’s life over death, the conquest of love over fear. This year we do so in a climate of national and international anxiety. It is a time of shadows – the shadow of irrational panic-buying, hoarding and public brawls; the shadow of unemployment and financial insecurity; the shadow of profiteering; the shadow of disconnection from our community of faith and its sacramental life; the shadow of concern about our health and the health of our families. We have come to live…

  • Year A

    Good Friday 2020

    “Take up your cross and follow me.”  These words are at the very heart of the Gospel. They are there so that these same words might be at the very heart of our discipleship.  Perhaps we have become so used to these words.  Yet, they are some of the most confronting words we will ever hear:  “Take up your cross and follow me.”   For the significance of the words to remain fresh we have to keep putting ourselves back into the time of Jesus and wonder at how the first disciples would have heard these words. The cross was a familiar sight in first century Palestine.  Crucifixion was the preferred method of the Romans of…

  • Year A

    Holy Thursday 2020

    Throughout the 20th century worked a famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead.  It is hard to imagine another anthropologist who has taught us as much about the nature of human community. Mead was once asked what sign we had about when civilisation began.  The expectation was that her reply would concern the discovery of some ancient artefact such as a tool, or a weapon, or a segment of art.  Instead, she simply replied, “a healed femur.” A healed femur bone is the sign we have of the beginnings of civilisation.   Why did this famous anthropologist claim this?  She claimed this because for the first time we had an indication that a community had cared for someone.  Previously, there would…

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