• Homilies,  Sunday,  Year B

    11th Sunday Ordinary Time 2021

    One of the things that fascinate children in a particular way is planting something and watching it grow.  Do you recall how mesmerised you were when you first planted something and watched it begin to grow?  I recall doing it with sees of wheat in moist cotton wool. The advantage of this particular process was, of course, that one didn’t need to wait very long to see the result of one’s planting! Planting and harvesting for a child is perhaps as fascinating as it is because it mirrors children’s own reality, their own potential and promise. Maybe this is why the child within us likes to plant a tree to mark the…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year B

    Trinity Sunday 2021

    Weddings are always something special in our life. I am not simply thinking of our own wedding, but our attendance at other weddings. Such occasions bring before us something for which we all long: the simplicity of falling in love, the promise of exchanging a commitment to each other, the hope of beginning a life together.  A wedding mirrors something fundamentally human to us.  We feel right in the world. In the midst of all the other troubles and uncertainties we experience something with all the promise of being good, true and beautiful. And the occasion fascinates us. Somehow it brings us home to ourselves. For some, their wedding is not the…

  • Homilies,  Year B

    Pentecost Sunday 2021

    There is a perspective in theology that regards the event of Pentecost as the birth of the Church.  On this day, the Spirit is poured out on the disciples.  They are released from their disillusionments and their fears; they are enSpirited and emboldened to go out and to preach the good news that the life of Christ is more powerful than death, that the self-sacrifice of his love has overpowered the forces of selfishness and suspicion, that the future stretches out beyond us a constant invitation full of possibility.  Our dead-ends have become new beginnings; our sunsets have been changed into dawns. Yes, on this day the Spirit overwhelms our timidity, our doubt,…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year B

    Ascension Sunday 2021

    Imagine for a little while a moment in your life which was full of possibility.  Maybe it was when you first started school, or started work, or left home.  Perhaps it was a moment of commitment such as when you got married, or at the birth of your children.  A moment rich in possibility, full of promise!  Can you remember how there was no certainty about the future at that time, but somehow there was a sense that this what life was about?  All of life up to this point somehow seemed to come together and open out into the future.  And the something new was full of promise. Our celebration of the Resurrection and Ascension…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year B

    6th Sunday of Easter 2021

    In Jeanette Winterson’s remarkable little novel, The Passion, the main character, Henri, who had been personal chef to Bonaparte, sits alone after an array of adventures, reflecting on what it means to be truly free.  “Bonaparte,” he muses, “taught us that freedom lay in our fighting arm, but in the legends of the Holy Grail no one won it by force . . . I think now that being free is not being powerful or rich or well regarded without obligations but being able to love.  To love someone else enough to forget about yourself even for a moment is to be free.” To love someone else enough to forget about yourself…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year B

    5th Sunday of Easter 2021

    On 16 March 1978, the Italian politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the Italian Red Brigade on his way to a session of the House of Representatives in Italy[1]  He was a close friend of Pope Paul VI.  Behind the scenes, the Pope was a main player seeking his release, even secretly offering a large ransom for his freedom.  In St. Peter’s Square, the pope voiced his anguish, “do not despair, we pray: Holy Virgin, Queen of the Heavens, Give strength to our intercession [and] to your prayers.”  But the reply was silence.  In May of that same year, Moro was killed. When he presided at his friend’s funeral Mass Paul VI’s anguish was so…

  • Homilies,  Sunday,  Year B

    4th Sunday of Easter – ANZAC 2021

    Throughout the Season of Easter, we reflect week by week on the ways in which the life of the Risen Christ is experienced by us. Over this last week in the liturgy the focus has been on the Eucharist as the means by which the life of the Risen Christ is given to us.  And on this the Fourth Sunday of Easter, we reflect on how the life of the Risen Christ comes to greet us through the quality of our shepherding of one another – i.e., the way we identify with one another, carry one another’s burdens, and gently lead one another along the path of our discipleship of Jesus.  …

  • Homilies,  Year B

    3rd Sunday of Easter 2021

    From time to time, we hear of the emergence of new cults.  Every new cult hinges on a promise – the promise of a better life, a new life.  As we know some cults can entertain some very bizarre notions.  I recall one in which all the members died, willingly, inspired by a retired music professor who promised his followers that they would rise to a higher level.  They died believing that somehow their deaths would connect them to a UFO which was travelling in a comet’s wake. It sounds tragically bizarre, and indeed it is.  But the story had a poignancy, breaking as it did on an Easter weekend.  These people had sacrificed their lives…

  • Homilies,  Year B

    2nd Sunday of Easter 2021

    Having not been married very long, some young friends of mine Karl and Cindy had been trying to have a family but without success.  After extensive testing, they discovered that they had issues with fertility, and that it was unlikely that they were going to be able to have children.  Naturally, they were bitterly disappointed.  The future for which they had longed suddenly seemed changed forever, and the future presented as an enormous unresolved question. Questions about themselves as individuals, questions about their relationship, questions about the meaning of their life together inevitably swamped them, and it has been a very difficult period for them both personally and in their partnership. However, the…

  • Homilies,  Year B

    Easter 2021

    As the ancient philosophers understood, there is an innate restlessness in the human spirit, an essential nomadic quality, that sets us on a journey into an infinite horizon. We are those who reach out beyond ourselves to something other, to something more. We search for love; we search for identity; we search for wholeness. Indeed, the very first question that Jesus puts to his disciples when they encounter him is, “What are you looking for?” (John 1:35).  However, just as the Gospel begins with a question, so, too, does the Gospel end with a question.  It is the question that is at the heart of the account of the Resurrection of…

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