Peter Gallagher SJ

Man jumping at the end of a pier by the sea Credit Alesso Lin
            ‘A happy release’, ‘She is better off where she is now’,  ‘He is out of his trouble’:  with such comforting phrases we point a contrast between this life and the future one when someone who has been very ill has at last died. It is right that those who have been in terrible pain should be relieved of it. Now, at the very least, they will be able enjoy the absence of their sufferings.Happy are you who weep now...
Man looking at waves Credit Gianluca Zuccarelli
           Leave me Lord I am a sinful manSimon Peter often misses the point. Here he might seem to us to be lacking that self-esteem which is surely essential for achievement, including success in sharing with others the good news of God’s love for us all.  Love your neighbour, as yourself  we hear elsewhere in the Scriptures and are glad to know that love of self is not only permitted but is also a measure for our treatment and...
Credit Alexandra Marcu via Unsplash
Can we embrace everything that happens to us as the will of God?   Can we give wholehearted thanks for the good things which happen?   Can we accept and endure what is difficult, grateful even for our troubles?   God is watching over us but also teaching us.  The divine plan is coming to fruition and in the meantime some are suffering for the sake of a great good which God can see but we, for the moment, may not. This lack of present understanding is part of...
Is Jesus’ mission to fulfil the Word of God so different from our highest hopes of justice in the world and of happiness for ourselves and those dear to us? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects. Fulfilment. Among our holy purposes in worshipping God is the seeking of fulfilment. We seek to be fulfilled by our participation in what happens in our prayer and sacrifice. There is fulfilment in the presence of Christ in Holy Communion. There is fulfilment in the Word of God. There is fulfilment in the...
Mosaic by Fr Marko Rupnik SJ from the National Shrine of St John Paul II
He let his glory be seen.  The miracle at Cana is an epiphany of Christ. Jesus lets his glory be seen. We taste his divinity, and it delights us. In Psalm 100  we hear the phrase The Lord is sweet and elsewhere in Scripture the invitation comes Taste and see that the Lord is sweet.  Holy Communion, sweet sacrament divine, also teaches us that the Lord gives himself to us in a way that is nourishing and cheering.  ‘The Lord is sweet’.  Too sweet?  The connoisseurs...
C10th icon of the Baptism of the Lord by Lawrence OP via Flickr
Console my people, console them, says your God.  This line, Isaiah chapter 40, verse 1 captures something very central about our faith.  Comfort ye my people is the King James’ version. That translation of the verse appears at the very beginning of Handel’s Messiah. The coming of Christ is a consolation to us.  Our Saviour’s work among us is a comfort. Console my people, comfort them, says your God.  On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord we understand this comfort and...
Credit Lawrence OP
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. On the Sunday before Christmas we are all of us hoping to be filled with the Holy Spirit. What is the Spirit saying to us as we enter the last week of Advent in the year of Our Lord 2018?  The Spirit is urging us, moving us, to recognise our Saviour who is about to be born.  With the help of the Holy Ghost we are to know the One who has been so long promised, so long looked forward to, yet who can somehow, even by his friends, be missed,...
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Homer in the Iliad and Odyssey often describes the dawn as ‘rosy-fingered’. The poet is identifying with that epithet a moment just before the dawn.  There is, in those few minutes, as yet, not even a little light.  The darkness is still impenetrable.  But away on the horizon there is a line of redness.  There is still no daylight: just a thin sliver of glowing.  It is this rose-coloured glow which is celebrated in the vestments of today, Gaudete Sunday. On the rosy-...
Man looking out Credit JD Mason
At the beginning of Advent we understand our preparations for the coming of Christ as, above all, our making ready for the second coming of the Lord at the end of time. Praying with Jesus at this Mass we look forward to his second coming and offer…in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. The loving judge will return to bring us into the presence of God. We resolve to run forth to meet Him with righteous deeds at his coming, so that gathered at his right hand we may be worthy to possess...
The Sacred Heart of Jesus by Stephen B Whatley
Jesus Christ...the ruler of the kings of the earth, loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father. That Jesus has authority over all earthly rulers, whether they acknowledge it or not, is important to us, His disciples.  We have accepted the kingship of Christ over our life.  In one way that acceptance is a matter signed, sealed and delivered some time ago when we were baptised.  For most of us, however...

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