Do not Judge: Notes on the Homily for the 7th Sunday

The Gospel message is really hard today. It's a real challenge. As I listen and pray with the Gospel it feels like an examination of Conscience. 
Let's take a real life Scenario. In the news this week we have heard about Shamima Begum and the fact that she wants to come back to England. I was talking about her and saying of course she should not be allowed back into the country. My first reaction was to agree with the news and other agencies. Then I read todays gospel love your enemies pray for them do not judge be compassionate. I then realised I had done everything in this case. I was happy to listen to the news and take it and be like the rest of the world. 
Praying the Gospel I began to feel uncomfortable. Here I am always ready and quick to judge, and make a judgement without the full facts. I act harshly towards those who I do not see eye to eye with and am ready to critizie. The Gospel teaches us not to think as People think but to always walk in the Spirit to see as Jesu…

God's perfect love. The wedding feast at Cana

There is nothing worse than running out of wine at a party. You have all your guests in front of you and there is no more wine.  It always used to be the job of one or two us to do a quick run to the off licence to get some more bottles. This is what happened to the family that Jesus was attending at the wedding feast today. They had run out of wine there was none left. So Mary came to Jesus. He orders the stewards to get the jars for the ablations. 6 of them that hold 20 to 30 gallons. When they taste what they think is water it is the best wine. 
There are many interesting aspects to this Gospel. The water was used to wash the dust of the feet of people coming for the feast. It would have been quite dirty water. In one sense it reminds us of ourselves. God makes looks at what is imperfect and loves it. 
John is also telling us in the Gospel story of the generosity of God to his people. 20 to 30 gallons is a lot of wine. He showers us with gifts. Nothing in John’s Gospel is there by ac…

Christmas Homily 2018

What has become of Christmas? Has the true meaning of Christmas been lost? I read somewhere that over the Christmas season in America 1 trillion dollars will be spent. I can’t imagine that. In pounds it's about 880 Billion. And all this pressure for many for just one day that goes very fast. The build up to Christmas, the present buying, the food and drink. And when you get to the shops you would think that the shops will never be open again. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we sometimes loose the try meaning. And yet with all this going on the shops are missing one special present. This present is not the latest gadget, not the trending must have this year. Not a chart song about Sausage rolls. But a present that came from God himself his Son. Jesus among us. His presence among us changes our lives it changes us it is not just for Christmas but His presence is with us in the many difficult times through the year and also all the good times those where we have laughed and…

Love yourself

Last week I went to see the film Bohemian Rhapsody.  It was a bit of a nostalgic trip back to the 80's and 90's although I enjoy he music of Queen this film look at the character to Freddie Mercury.  Although I enjoyed the film I felt sad when I left. Freddie had tried to fill his life with love by looking for it in sex drinking and drugs. He was a road to self destruction and in the end it got him.

In the Gospel today we hear the law of love. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your understanding and your neighbour as yourself. I am guessing that for most of us, by virtue of us being here today have a pretty good understanding of love for God. I am guessing that is why we are here. The other two parts for most of us are a little problematic.

Love of neighbour is fine until we actually have to love those that we find difficult those who we find diffuicult. As I often say those for whom you would not even share a taxi with. But…

So once we have got rid of the ego then what?

The  other day I was in Pound land. I was directed to the self service tills. As I paid for my items. A voice came from the tills of Elvis Presley. First of all it really shocked me to hear him tell me to have a nice day but the other thing was it was extremely annoying. I complained to the shop steward who said that they were to have that voice until the end of October. I suspect that the next voice will be Santa or something like that. We have got used to self service tills and there is even a store run by Amazon that has no one in there that the whole shop is run by sensors and cameras called Amazon go. Both of these things have a sense of lack of human contact. They denote to us the lack of service. 
The readings speak to us today of the possibility of being a servant. The old Testament from the book if Isiah shows us that Jesus was the suffering servant for us. He showed the depth of his love by suffering for humanity. Jesus gave his life because he loved us as the Gospel puts it …

Get rid of the ego

There is one word that strikes me about what the rich young man says. He uses quite a lot the word I. What can I do to inherit eternal life he asks. I have done all this. The Rich young man was so caught up in himself and what he had achieved he could not see beyond the I.  He comes with pride to Jesus. It almost feels arrogant the way he asks Jesus the question. 
The Ego is our biggest obstacle to God. When we are caught up with ourselves we find It so difficult to see beyond the ego. We come with our own sense of pride and our own sense of who we are we fail to see the world around us. We come with a sense of not realising that we do things with the help of God rather than on our own merits. This is why Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him. He saw beyond his ego, but the challenge of Jesus was deeper. He gave him something that for him was impossible to do. In one translation I read it did not say wealth but processions. This is an interesting point. For me it makes more sense.…

God at work today

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