His Face Shone like the Sun

Feast of the Transfiguration   The event of the Transfiguration of Jesus is clearly recorded in the New Testament in the Synoptic Gospels (Matt 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36), and in Second Epistle of St Peter (2 Pet 1:16-18).  The Gospel of John is likely to be alluding to it in the famous line about the Incarnation of Christ: “The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that He has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth”.  Presumably, the idea of the glory of God is
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You have Asked for Wisdom

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time In our first reading today Solomon was asked a question by the Lord – “what would you like me to give you”? No doubt many of us could think of a number of ways we could respond to this question, but note the first instinct of Solomon was to ask for the ability to be able to discern between good and evil. This surprising answer is essentially asking for the wisdom of God, or put another way, to be able to see the world how God sees the world. This is something for us all
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A Sower Went Out To Sow…

15th Sunday in Ordinary TIme   The writer of the letter to the Hebrews tells us  “At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets; but in our time, in the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made all things.” (Hebrews1:1-2)    God has spoken directly to us; revealing Himself in the Son – Jesus Christ.   Yet, in this Sunday’s Gospel (Matt: 13:1-23), Our Lord tells us; “Truly I say to you, many
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My yoke is easy and my burden light

As we journey through life in a world affected by sin, we are bound to face grief, suffering and turmoil. At times like this, we can be heavy of heart, and we can feel abandoned and alone.  Yet, the fundamental message of the cross is that God became one of us and join us in our struggles so that He could lead us to the joy of His peace. This Sunday’s Gospel (Matt 11:25-30), Our Lord reminds us again to turn to Him in our struggle.  His words are very comforting; “Come to me, all you who labour and are
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Anyone who finds his life will lose it….

In the Latin Rite, the ritual for baptism has been reduced to pouring water over the forehead with the baptismal formula.  Some Rites within the Catholic Church still maintain the old ways of total immersion (i.e. the whole body being immersed into water).  The ritual of total immersion brings to the fore, the idea of the convert dying to self and born into a new life in Christ: the immersion was the dying to the old self, and the emerging from the water, a birth into a new life in Christ.  Christ’s own death, burial and resurrection is reflected in
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Do not be afraid…

  Our Lord forewarned his apostles that the message (Matthew 10:26-33) they were to preach would not be acceptable to all. It would mean persecution, and even death, for them. He gave them reassurance through the words; “Do not be afraid……”, and , “….. anyone who declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven”. He asked them to preach the Gospel in season and out of season.   In New Zealand, it is unlikely that we will face martyrdom for our faith. Nevertheless, Our Lord’s
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The Mass and Holy Communion

The Mass and Holy Communion   The Feast of Corpus Christi is the name of this Sunday’s feast celebrating the Holy Eucharist. How appropriate it is that we have children making their first Holy Communion this Sunday. The Church sees the Eucharist as something so important in the life of the Church that she refers to it as “the source and summit of the Christian life” and she goes on to say: “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed
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God loved the World so much…..

God loved the World so much…..   Three weeks ago, on the 6th Sunday of Easter, I preached on the Holy Trinity. I did so because the Gospel passage for that Sunday spoke of the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. St Paul said in the Second Reading (2 Cor 13:11-13) tells us that the Trinity is the foundation of our community life as a Church. I think the Catechism of the Catholic Church is invaluable in coming to understand more about the Trinity and God’s revelation of Himself as the One God in
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Receive the Holy Spirit….

  This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, and it brings the fifty days of Easter to a conclusion. The English word “Pentecost” is a transliteration of the Greek word pentekostos, (πεντηκοστή, ῆς, ἡ) which means “fifty.” Fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus, there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. However, if we remember, the Easter season also started with the outpouring of the Spirit, but in a different way. On the first Easter Sunday evening, Jesus appeared to his disciples and breathed on them, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” St. Augustine of Hippo (4th century) explained
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Know that I am with you always…..

We have a few ‘big’ feast days coming up several Sundays in a row.  This Sunday is the Ascension of Our Lord, next Sunday is Pentecost, and then a fortnight from now, it will be the Holy Trinity (followed by Corpus Christi, when several children will make their First Holy Communion). There is a good connection between the first three feasts I listed, namely the Ascension, Pentecost and the Holy Trinity.  The Ascension is not simply about the Resurrected Christ leaving us, but it is about His continual presence with us in a new way.  In His incarnate body, and
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