• Homilies,  Year B

    First Sunday of Advent – 2020

    The Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in Moscow some years ago, wrote in her book, Putin’s Russia, “There is a part of every society that wants nothing more than to be lulled into sleep.”[1]   It was a striking statement about how there is a part of us which does not want to know too much.  It is a sad, but true, observation that we cannot bear too much reality.  We seek to shield ourselves from reality, not to take too close an interest in things, or we simply overlay complex situations with our own prejudices and biases. The problems that swirl around us – especially in respect to all the ramifications of…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year A

    28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    We might be inclined to consider the key to the Gospel we have heard lies with the radical inclusivity demonstrated by the king.  Not put off by the disinterest of some, – a disinterest which could have easily resulted in a reclusive despondency – he opens wide the doors of the palace, with even more enthusiastic invitation and hospitality.  And certainly, the parable speaks of a wonderful largesse to demonstrate the hospitality of God which welcomes all.  However, I want to suggest that the real key to the parable lies in the very simple phrase hidden in the midst of the story:  “When the king came in to look at the guests”  Given…

  • Podcasts

    27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Podcast

    The kingdom of God comes clothed in ordinariness and dressed in vulnerability.  We are here, probably like the tenants, expecting it to come in grand schemes in a form before which we would tremble.  Instead it comes rather in a way that we can easily scoff and dismiss, so ludicrous can it first seem to us.  God has come to us as a baby, as one socially marginalised, as one hanging on a tree, as bread.  None of these ways has the elements of a grand army, a mighty battalion.  Like the landowner’s son in the parable all these ways are disarming in their simplicity.  688 total views,  5 views today https://media.blubrry.com/davidranson/p/content.blubrry.com/davidranson/27th_Sunday_in_Ordinary_Time.mp3Podcast:…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year A

    27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    I am sure that some of us have heard of the clergyman who lived in a town that was hit by a major flood. The water was a foot deep in his living room.  Some parishioners in a boat rowed up to his door, asking him to join them. “No, go ahead,” he said.  “I’ll be just fine.  God is taking care of me.”  So, they left. Then, the water rose to the second floor.  Back came the anxious parishioners in the boat. And they asked him to join them.  Again, he refused.  By the time the boat came back once more, the house had been completely engulfed and the clergyman was standing on his chimney.  “Father,” his parishioners…

  • Podcasts

    26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Podcast

    As disciples of Jesus, and as members of the Church, we are those who have been given the eyes and the ears to see and to hear when and how the Kingdom of God is showing itself.  We are those, therefore, who can perceive in the most unlikely and the most ordinary of places that something extraordinary is occurring. We are those who have been gifted by our faith to read in something that at first might seem a long way away from the Church and from what is religious, the presence, nonetheless, of a genuine spiritual reality.  486 total views https://media.blubrry.com/davidranson/p/content.blubrry.com/davidranson/Homily_for_26_Sunday_2020.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year A

    26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    On one of my very first visits to Sydney, I was taken by a friend who worked with homeless youth to some of the places in which such young people live and hang out.  I recall the time I was with them around a campfire near St. Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst.  They had got the campfire going from some curbside formwork and were preparing to shelter against a winter Sydney night.  Most of them were on drugs of some kind, many of them prostituting – all of them with background stories of enormous tragedy. And yet, as I left them that night I could not but be struck by the…

  • Podcasts

    25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Podcast

    Whatever good we strive for then must be out of a sense of celebration for what we know we have already received from God.  In the Kingdom of God economics and gratitude are integrally linked.  When our lives are a celebration of what we have received already from the sheer graciousness of God, they are marked by a simplicity which is essentially hospitable.  We no longer need to acquire feverishly at all costs  We do not look on others in terms of what they have done, or what they have achieved, of how well they perform, how much they have acquired.  614 total views,  2 views today https://media.blubrry.com/davidranson/p/content.blubrry.com/davidranson/25th_Sunday_of_Year_A.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android |…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year A

    25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    We often say religion and politics don’t mix. And it is true we must be careful to avoid the politicization of religious faith in such a way that religion becomes a vehicle to achieve political ends. However, at the same time, paradoxically we can never separate faith and politics as if we could behave one way in an internal world of spirituality, and another way in the external world of civic affairs. Politics is about choices, and the choices we make cannot but be informed by our discipleship of the Lord. To act otherwise is to develop a schizophrenia in our identity. Jesus calls us to live with an integrity…

  • Podcasts

    24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Podcast

    The mystery of forgiveness is central to the Christian perspective.  Forgiveness, though, is a challenge. It is a mystery. And it is a journey. It is an appointment that awaits each and every one of us.  Each and every one of us carries hurt, some of them very deep.  Each hurt presents with the challenge: to forgive or not to forgive.  The challenge is unavoidable.  The decision, however, is ours to make or otherwise.  It is our Christian discipleship that impels us each day to enter the journey of forgiveness.  It is here, perhaps more than anywhere else, that the depth of our Christian commitment becomes apparent or otherwise. It is in the challenge of forgiveness that…

  • Homilies,  Year A

    24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    The award-winning film, Of Gods and Men, tells the true story of seven French Catholic monks living in war torn Algeria in the 1990s. It is the story of a community of men living peacefully in the Atlas Mountains. Inevitably the civil war and the bloodshed that had gripped the country for many years also surrounded them.  Eventually they were kidnapped and were held hostage by Algerian extremists.  They disappear and sometime later their heads are discovered. What made their deaths remarkable is not so much that they, like so many through the 1990s, got caught up in the political strife of Algeria but that they had made the conscious decision to stay…

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