Showing posts from September, 2011


Ezekiel 18:25-28;
Philippians 2:1-11;
Matthew 21:28-32

Do YOU regret staying with SOMEONE in our life?

St Paul is writing to the Christian community in Philippi, a community which he himself founded. In fact, this was this first Christian community in all of Europe.
St Paul is writing from prison in constant danger of death. His tone is fatherly and pleading, serious, concerned and inspiring. He is addressing the community about something much deeper than itself; he is speaking about communion, what he calls: our life in Christ.

We can easily imagine him sitting in his prison at a rough table writing on a sheet of parchment. He has already been writing for some time and little by little he begins to be absorbed in what he is writing. Once more, in his mind's eye, he stands among his beloved brothers and sisters in far away Philippi and opens his mind and his heart to them. He speaks to them of the life and love and Spirit they have in common: their life in Christ.

Hearing his letter to…

25th Sunday Of Ordinary Times: Year A

Isaiah 55:6-9;
Philippians 1:20-24.27;
Matthew 20:1-16

Last week the Gospel laid bare for us the roots of forgiveness. We discovered that it is difficult and, most often, impossible, for us to forgive others when we haven’t yet appreciated how much we ourselves have been forgiven. This week the Gospel is about goodness, about generosity. We discover that it is difficult to be generous to others when we haven’t yet appreciated how much we ourselves have been given.

Last week, the servant who was forgiven a huge debt could not find it in himself to forgive his brother servant a small debt. Somehow he had missed the experience of being forgiven which is where we learn to forgive others.

This week the servant who was given a full day’s work and a full wage is jealous of his brother because he has missed the experience of being generously treated himself. It is from the knowledge of generosity bestowed upon us that we learn to be generous with others.

We can be like those servants who worked ha…

24th Sunday of Ordinary time

Forgiveness is divine

Forgiving those who have hurt us is not easy. The bigger the hurt the more difficult it is to forgive and for many people also the longer it takes to forgive.
Peter, it seems from his question in the Gospel today, also found it difficult to forgive. (Matt 18:21) He asked Jesus, “Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?” It could give the impression that Peter was finding it difficult to forgive. (Could it have been his mother-in-law? Do you know why Peter denied Jesus three times? Because Jesus cured his mother-in-law!) Jesus said Peter is to forgive not seven times but seventy-seven times. (Matt 18:21) Jesus is saying we are not to hold any grudges. Holding grudges, being angry and resentful, storing up anger in our hearts, is very unhealthy. It can eat into a person. I read earlier this week that anger is one factor contributing to heart disease. We are to forgive seventy-seven times. We could look at it like this. Someb…


Our culture is a powerful narcotic, for good and for worse. But let’s begin with the good side. A narcotic soothes and protects against brute, raw pain. Our culture has got its very kind of thing, (from medicine to entertainment), to shield us from pain. That can be good, provided isn’t a false crutch.

But narcotic can be bad, especially when it becomes away of escaping from reality. Where our culture is dangerous, it can shield us from having to face deeper issues of life, faith, forgiveness, morality, and mortality. These constitute a virtual conspiracy against the interior life. How? By keeping us so entertained, so busy, so preoccupied, and so distracted that we lose all focus on the deeper things. We live in the world of instant and constant communication of mobile phones, and email, of iPods that contain whole libraries of music, of television packages that contain hundred of channels of malls and stores that open 24\7 , of restaurants and clubs that stay open all the time, of …


Ezekiel 33:7-9; Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 18:15-20

If your brother/sister does something wrong…

Jesus is speaking here to his disciples about correction within the community of believers. The manner of this correction is aimed at preserving communion even if, ultimately, the offender refuses correction and shows himself to be outside the communion of the Church.

It is important to note immediately that Jesus is not just giving advice. Jesus well understands that even in the Christian community there can be individuals or groups who threaten communion, and since communion is the hallmark of the Christian community it must be dealt with sensitively, justly and firmly. In any given society, group, community there are people whom we tend to brand as trouble causers, they are never settled, they hop and hop and jump here and there to “disturb the still waters”. You will meet them and they too need our attention so that they can be helped too, because we often forget them in our prayers and p…