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Showing posts from February, 2013

Going up the mountain

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In the Bible there is many times that we get a glimpse of the person of God on a mountain. We can run off a few without really thinking too hard about it. We can think of the 10 Commandments coming to Moses. Also we can think of Elijah on the mountain where God showed himself in the gentle breeze. In today’s Gospel we get a glimpse of Jesus coming with the closest of his friends to pray. They were greeted with two other people Moses and Elijah. IT shows us that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Old Testament Law or the Torah and the Prophets shown through the person of Elijah. But it’s not this I want to focus on. I want to look at what they actually did on the mountain. They went up the mountain to pray.
They went to pray. We as Christians are made to pray. Prayer should be central to who we are. IT should be just as natural as brushing our teeth.  I suspect as for me you find that prayer actually is quite difficult.  We try and yet our minds are filled with so many distractions and ther…

Temptation

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Over the last 20 years we have had two popes of great exception first we had the great Pope blessed John Paul II who showed taught us all something about discipleship through the suffering he endured through the last years of his life. And now we have our present Pope Benedict who has made a brave and courageous decision to stand down as Pope due to failing energy and strength.  He says: “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” I suspect that for different reasons the temptation either to carry on or to step down was a very real to them both. In today’s Gospel we have the temptations of Jesus where if he gives into temptation he will gain earthly power. The devil showed him a kind of short cut for his mission. Through prayer and fasting he was able not to give into these kinds of Temptations.
Lent is a time when we are asked t…

Pope Resignation letter

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Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to steer the boat of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of th…

Unworthy in the sight of God

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Leave me Lord for I am a sinful man” is the words that we hear Peter say to the Lord in the gospel today: One thing that we have lost in recent years in the sense of sin. I think one of the reasons this is because we live in a society that thinks of self rather than others around them. 
The “I” culture is paramount which leads us  worryingly to a  trend that is the faceless culture. These are people who conduct all their interaction either by text or by cyber communities and  I use the word community very loosely. “Because I do not see the person” they may say, "I can do whatever I like or say whatever I like". It is a coward’s way out. I have even known marriages to have ended over a text message or a conversation on Facebook. Gradually we are losing our sense of real community and therefore losing our sense of sin.
When there is no more a sense of God in our society then there is an eradication of the sense of sin. When we are more worried about ourselves rather than others …

Rejection in love

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In last week’s Gospel we heard as you remember that Jesus went into the synagogue and spoke those beautiful words from the Prophet Isaiah. It all seemed to be going well as we heard that he won the approval of all. Jesus then says and accepts that a prophet is not accepted in his own country. They complain to him that Jesus performs no local wonders while at the same time they disbelieve him anyway. Jesus tells his own people that he his mission is not only for them but for all people the crowd turn on him and they are angry. They say “We have heard all that has happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”
 Jesus refuses to share in their small minded vision he is going to be different. They expect Jesus to share in the same exclusive outlook as themselves. Jesus is different he does not share their image of God. For God is more than their expectations. He makes his audience angry and because they are lost for words, they do what most groups do their solution is to…