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Showing posts from July, 2012

Sunday Scripture: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

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This is the second of my posts talking about the theology of the Sunday readings. This post relates to the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B). If you want to know how and why this came about, please read the first post here.

This Sunday is the feast of St. Martha of Bethany and also  the third anniversary of my daughter Ruth's death on 29th July 2009. It is a difficult day and we always go to Mass and listen carefully to what God is telling us through sacred Scripture.

The theme this Sunday could best be described as:


The Bread of Life The readings are:
First Reading: 2 Kings 4: 42-44Psalm: 144: 10-11, 15-18; Response: v. 16.Second Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-6Gospel: John 6: 1-15First, a little preliminary survey of each of the books.

I will post the same, or similar prelims week on week, for each book as we encounter them.

2 Kings is the second part of the Deuteronomist's chronicle of the rueful story of Israel's decline from the height of magnificence under …

She's Here!

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Today has been one of those days you never forget. Not only has it been the opening day of the games of the 30th Olympiad in London, our capital city, hosting the games for an unprecedented third time, it has also, and for us, much more importantly, been the day our long dreamed of and anticipated and hoped for daughter, Mary Therese, was born. At 08:51 this morning she arrived after a great deal of prayer and nervousness. She is perfect, weighing in at 8lb & 1oz, with a little blond hair and just the hint of a curl. She represents so much for us: without doubt the answer of a deeply spoken prayer, but also the missing piece of our family. Mary is not Ruth, but we have no doubt that she will bring great healing to our family, each of us miss Ruth so much in so many ways. Mary Therese is also a sign of great blessing, and for this we are grateful. The timing is also auspicious, she joins us just after John's birthday-so she has her own special day- and just before Ruth's an…

Sunday Scripture: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

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I absolutely love Scripture. I love books actually, but perhaps because I love books, and because I love to be challenged, I love Scripture. I think another reason for me particularly loving the Bible is that I didn't understand it for so long. I had to work hard at overcoming my misconceptions about what the Bible was, in order to really start to love it. In the end, when everyone else was writing dissertations on special moral theology, I wrote mine on Scripture. Obviously, spending five years studying theology will only serve to improve your understanding and love of Scripture, however I'm also aware that not everyone has that luxury. For this reason I have decided to try and help you all out a bit.

I get quite frustrated at Mass, that quite often the ministers of the Word; the 'lay readers', don't appear to have any sense of what it is they are actually doing. Nor do they appear to have any sense of the drama, the majesty, the importance or the interconnectedne…

Who is Jesus & What has He brought?

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One of the theological battles being fought currently is one that revolves around the historical study of the person of Jesus Christ. The trend over recent decades has been to separate the Jesus of faith from the Jesus of history. This approach perhaps reached its zenith with the theologian Rudolf Bultmann who proposed his final theory, which has become known as the Bultmanian dichotomy, in his work History of the Synoptic Tradition (New York: Harper & Row, 1963).  Renowned theologian Joseph Ratzinger: now Pope Benedict XVI, has tackled this dichotomy head on in his recent work Jesus of Nazareth in which he demonstrates clearly the powerful story of Jesus Christ's actions on earth, actions which drew on what had been foreshadowed in revelation to the Jewish people, and changed the world forever.     The Pope explains how Jesus uses parables in order to show us how something we have hitherto not perceived can be glimpsed via a reality that does fall within our range of experience…

Reconciliation

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If you want to get the most out of this journey with me, you'll need your Bible.

Go on, go and get it now. You'll be glad you did, because if you don't you'll just feel frustrated...No, no-- don't worry, I won't start until you come back.

OK, ready? Got your Bible? Then I'll begin.

As human beings, we exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people and to God. These links can be traced out. Some links are strong and easy to follow. Some links are twisted or broken. As Aristotle pointed out 'Man is a social animal' and as such, cannot be happy without human love and friendship.

However, it's not all a bed of roses. There are givers and takers in this life. People who, solely concerned with the happiness of those around them, give effortlessly and with great love, who radiate joy and enthusiasm and whose happiness is infectious. And people who consider that the world revolves around themselves and their experiences; all else being rela…

PCS Strike

I think this threatened strike action by Home Office staff, on the very eve of the Olympic games, is wrong, and I think it can be demonstrated to be immoral:

Some sins, however, by their very matter constitute a direct attack on one's neighbor and more exactly, in the language of the Gospel, against one's brother or sister. They are an offense against God because they are offenses against one's neighbor. These sins are usually called social sins, and this is the second meaning of the term. In this sense social sin is sin against love of neighbor, and in the law of Christ it is all the more serious in that it involves the Second Commandment, which is "like unto the first."(72) Likewise, the term social applies to every sin against justice in interpersonal relationships, committed either by the individual against the community or by the community against the individual. Also social is every sin against the rights of the human person, beginning with the right to nd …

What Makes a School Catholic?

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Contrary to the modern misconception that faith is somehow in adversity to knowledge and reason, historically, the truth has, in fact, demonstrated exactly the opposite. Schools are actually a Catholic legacy. The Church has always had a mission to educate, making it a duty to offer this, especially, to the poorest in society. Following Catholic emancipation in the 19th Century, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales prioritised the building of schools before the building of churches. The Church's commitment to education remains just as strong today.

There does appear to be a malaise at the heart of the contemporary Catholic educational system however. This was referred to by the head teacher of Ampleforth College in an address he gave to the Catholic Grant Maintained Schools Conference in 1996. He criticised, in particular, the reaction of some Catholic religious educators in the face of 'steeply rising rates of divorce, the abandonment of marriage, [and] the discovery of…

Cranky Old Man.....

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When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
One nurse took her copy to Melbourne .. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet. Cranky Old Man What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Wh…