Peter Gallagher SJ

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash
Some of our prayers are spoken aloud. We are not ashamed that our words are audible. However, mostly we do not think of ourselves as shouting to God.  The incident of the ten lepers is described in a Gospel passage full of shouting. The lepers have to shout to Jesus: Jesus, Master have pity on us.[i] He has to shout back to them: go and show yourselves to the priests.[ii] The one leper who expresses his gratitude does so at the top of his voice.[iii] This is indeed a shouting Gospel....
Photo by Deva Darshan on Unsplash
Could it be that God’s gratitude for our efforts comes to us in our delight and satisfaction in the goodness of the life we lead?   We have done no more than our duty.[i] The Gospel speaks of our doing all we have been told to do by God. We might think of the commandments. We might think of the teaching of Jesus. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself. [ii] Loving God...
Photo by danish ali via Unsplash
The apparition of Lazarus won’t convert the family of the rich man, while another Lazarus, the one raised from the dead by Jesus, provoked faith. How do both these new lives inspire amendments? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects.They will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead (Luke 16.30). The rich man suffering in Hades is concerned about his family. He hopes they might repent of their sins and amend their lives so as to avoid sharing his fate in eternity. If Lazarus were to...
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX via Unsplash
The parable of the dishonest steward contains an important lesson for us about forgiveness. Peter Gallagher SJ helps us to reflect deeper on the meaning of discipleship shown in this story.To the steward accused of extravagance, the rich man said: Draw up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any more (Luke 16.2). Suppose the stewardship in question were our spiritual life and it were to God that we were obliged to give an account. Are there equivalents in our...
Photo by Hian Oliveira via Unsplash
“God never allows the good to be permanently lost,” writes Peter Gallagher SJ, reflecting on the parable of the Prodigal Son. The well-known story of disobedience and restoration sends a powerful message of hope, a premise of the story of salvation through Jesus. We praise God for finding and restoring to us gifts which he gave to us but which we have lost. We are happy in the Lord’s company but sometimes we mislay the gift of his friendship. Through the work of Christ all such losses are...
Photo by David Becker via Unsplash
Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the gift of our frenzied mind and how we can approach God through simplification and refocusing.The body, that tent of clay weighs down the teeming mind (Wisdom 9.15). Does your mind ‘teem’? The image is one of abundance. A river might teem with fish. The nave of a great church might teem with families. What teems is plenteous. So has your mind that sort of abundance? With what does the mind teem? Thoughts? Hopes? Imaginings?At Mass, usually, we hope the mind will...
Photo by Lindsay Henwood via Unsplash
“We are invited to go deeper into the mystery, to try to understand more and to get closer to God,” says Peter Gallagher SJ. Read his reflection on the upwards journey of faith.My friend, move up higher (Luke 14.10) is addressed to us. Delightfully, the host invites us to sit nearer him at his celebration. The Lord wants us to hear what he has to say, to know him better and to rejoice with him at the feast. We are honoured guests. Embarrassment (Luke 14.9) and some rearranging of the seating...
Photo by Mário Rui André via Unsplash
Peter Gallagher SJ helps us to focus not just on the dark entrance, but also on the light and wide space we will be able to enjoy once gone through the narrow door of Jesus’s way of life.Some Norman churches were built with a dark porch so that when people entered the inner door into the main church it was like going from darkness into spaciousness and light. The Lord says Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because I tell you many will try to enter and will not succeed (Luke 13.24). The...
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash
The fire that Jesus brings can, if we let it, forge unity and new beginnings in the wake of division, writes Peter Gallagher SJ. Who would want to be an angry, combative person, always falling out with everyone else? We respect commitment to harmony, to keeping the peace, to being at one with other people. We are disappointed by those, perhaps ourselves, who are always at odds with others. Our religion surely supports this respect for harmony. Our saviour, after...
Photo by Thành Alex via Unsplash
The unknown elements of our pilgrimage are as important as the known ones, writes Peter Gallagher SJ. He helps us reflect on the equal parts played by faith and uncertainty in our journey towards the city of God.Abraham set out without knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11.8). The pilgrimage towards God is sure of its ultimate destination but has many uncertainties before that goal is reached. We are returning to God: this we know. How precisely he will draw us to himself, we do not know...

Pages