Showing posts from March, 2012

The Fifth Sunday of Lent B

A friend of mine told me a story about his first experience of the sacrament of reconciliation. He was a newly ordained priest and had gone to a parish to supply. He was asked to hear confessions. So he went into the box and as he sat down the chair collapsed under him. As he finished getting out the chair he heard a little voice say from behind the grill “And for all these sins and those I can’t remember I ask forgiveness.”  Not hearing what she had said he said the words he gave a penance and absolution and she totted off happy.
Lent for many people is a chance to examine their life and for many they feel the need to go to the sacrament of reconciliation. They may like the priest and possibly the penitent have had a bad experience and so do not go anymore. Many others feel that they are ok because they have already been forgive through the penitential rite of the Mass. You know as much as I do that there is a value in going to a person to share your problems and have another person h…

4th Sunday of Lent

There is one word in the English language that has so many problems attached to it that we find it hard to define. We use it for almost everything that we like doing and yet it is one of the most powerful emotions that we as humans can do although very inadequately and that word is love. When we think how many times we use it and yet never really understand it for ourselves. We see this expression of love in the readings we have heard today. In Paul’s letter we are told that God loves all his creatures’ unconditionally and so therefore does not condemn us.  We as people are classed as God’s work of art. Imagine that now.  If you go round any art gallery you will see art that people have taken a lot of love and care into it. They have as it were loved it into being. God loves us into being. He sees our imperfections our sins and loves us.  He does not judge us. 
There is also another important theme here in the readings today and that is the theme of Hell. IT is something that we don’t…

Third Sunday of Lent

If you were to watch any programme about the last few days of Jesus you would usually find this story as the catalyst for what was about to happen to him at the end of his life. It is presented as a turning point in the relationship between Jesus and the authorities. Why then is it that in the Gospel of St John it appears in the first few chapters.I think that John is laying out for us who this person of Jesus was. He shows us that at the heart of Jesus is worship of his Father by going to the temple to pray. The Jewish Temple was the holiest place it was here that God himself resided. And so you can understand how angry Jesus was when rather than his house being one of prayer was a noisy market place selling animals for the sacrifice at marked up prices. It was not the pursuit of spiritual things that seemed the most important but material things. It highlights for me two things that we as Christians need to be very careful of: Money and Anger.

It seems to me that in modern society th…

Joint Letter on Marriage

A Letter on Marriage from the President and Vice-President of the
Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

This week the Coalition Government is expected to present its consultation paper on the proposed change in the legal definition of marriage so as to open the institution of marriage to same-sex partnerships.
Today we want to put before you the Catholic vision of marriage and the light it casts on the importance of marriage for our society.

The roots of the institution of marriage lie in our nature. Male and female we have been created, and written into our nature is this pattern of complementarity and fertility. This pattern is, of course, affirmed by many other religious traditions. Christian teaching fills out this pattern and reveals its deepest meaning, but neither the Church nor the State has the power to change this fundamental understanding of marriage itself. Nor is this simply a matter of public opinion. Understood as a lifelong …

1st Sunday of Lent B

How to look good Naked, Fit Club, Wii Fit, Zumba Weight watchers the list is endless of different ways to get fit and lose weight. It is after all the second national obsession apart from the weather. Whatever we try and do we try and better our lives so that we might be able to live a healthier life. This usually ends in some sort of disaster and we actually seem sometimes to put more weight on rather than to lose it. We can have the same ideas when each year we embark on the Holy season of Lent. But is it more than just trying to better ourselves? Let’s take some time today to explore this.

We hear in today’s Gospel that Jesus went into the desert to prepare himself for his mission ahead.  While there he was tempted by Satan. Marks presentation of this story comes across as very matter of fact. Simply put he went into the desert and prayed, fasted and through these acts came closer to his Father.
We too have to go through the wilderness of our own lives. This wilderness can be a to…