homily

God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself
“I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness.”A few years ago, I walked into a Church and I found that there was a little service going on. So I sat down at the back and joined in. It was the reception into the Church of a young woman. It was a very nice ceremony and afterwards the people gathered for tea and biscuits in the presbytery. And I got to talk to her.Being – as you all know - the shy retiring sort, my first question was: “why did you want...
Winter Sun from Unsplash.com
Prepare a way for the Lord,make his paths straight.Every valley will be filled in,every mountain and hill be laid low,winding ways will be straightenedand rough roads made smooth. And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.There were four of us in our noviceship - Matthew, Chris, Tony and myself. And in the summer of 1999, just after we had all been ordained and were about to be sent our separate ways, we all decided to have a reunion. And it happened that this was the time of a total...
Branch in the Sunshine by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash.com
“Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.”One of the things I have to do from time to time in my work as a doctor is to tell someone they are going to die.Well, in one way, that is no great surprise. Sooner or later, we are all going to die. And we will all die of something. But it always comes as a shock to anyone to know that they now have the disease which will probably kill them.Telling someone that he is going...
Pegs hanging out on a clothes line
‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’The year I was ordained, they put me into a parish in North London. I was young, keen and enthusiastic, so they thought they had better put me somewhere safe, where I couldn’t do too much damage.And when I arrived, I unpacked and the first thing I did was to...
Where there's tea there's hope
'If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, they will most certainly not lose their reward.'As you may know, I come from Northern Ireland, which is – or at least used to be - a very divided community between two sorts of people who, for very long and complicated historical, political, social, economic and even religious reasons, find it very hard to share one country. One race is called the nationalists - to which I happen to belong...
Kindertransport bronze statue in Liverpool Street Station, London
“Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”If you go to Liverpool Street Station and you happen not to be in a terrible hurry to catch your train (or like me, know that you have already missed it), you may notice, tucked away in an unobtrusive little corner, a sculpture in bronze of two small sad looking children - a boy and a girl - and a large suitcase.And then you can look at it for quite a...
Suscipe
At the garden exit, where you are invited to go after this Mass to enjoy refreshments and typical Farm Street socialising, you will see a fine statue of St. Ignatius. He looks steadily ahead, serene, strong, trusting in the Lord. He holds an open book on which is printed AMDG- Ad maiorem Dei gloriam- to the greater glory of God. Many of you here learnt to write those initials on your school or college exercises. The book he is holding really represents two books: the Spiritual Exercises, a...
John Ogilvie SJ
On 9 March 2015 an ecumenical vespers was held at St Aloysius church in Glasgow, on the eve of the 400th anniversary of them martyrdom of St John Ogilvie SJ. Fr Dermot Preston gave the homily, that you can listen to below, but in which he read this letter:Dear Fr Preston,My name is Fr John Ogilvie. I understand that you will be preaching this evening as part of the celebrations of my 400 years. I’m sorry not to be there – well, I’m not actually... I’m in a far better place. And the weather is...
Where to start? I think Gerry would like us to begin with our own experience, right in the here and now, because at the centre of his life was his conviction that “God is in the facts, whatever my experience may be, so the facts must be kind.”And the facts of this moment of mourning are kind. We are each of here today because our lives have been touched by God through Gerry W Hughes. That much we have in common; but the particular ways in which our experience of God has been...
St Peter being given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven by Christ
"Whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18)Does anyone remember Jonestown?According to the journalists, Jonestown was the biggest newspaper story there has ever been - bigger than the assassination of President Kennedy; bigger than the fall of the Berlin wall; bigger than the first man on the moon.For several days the whole world was focused in horror on one small village in the...

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