Godtalk

John in his prison had heard what Christ was doing [1].  The advent of the Lord makes itself known in the deepest dungeon. That the saviour is so near delights all who have been hoping for him including those who are suffering. Advent joy takes hold of us although life may be very hard.  The invitation to prepare joyfully for the arrival of Jesus addresses itself to people in all sorts of difficulties.  Like John the Baptist, they may be awaiting death in some dark, cold place...
Photo by Batang Latagaw on Unsplash
Into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand [1]. The prophet Isaiah pictures a friendly child, not appreciating the danger, rummaging in the nest of a deadly snake.  In Advent the incarnation is a focus for our prayer.  God comes towards us.  How do we receive him?  Is the friendly child born in the stable at Bethlehem putting himself in great danger?  His passion and death, after all, await him.  The Son of God reaches out to us in friendship. Are we...
Fr Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the first week of AdventThe night is almost over, it will be daylight soon [1].  Advent draws us towards the light.  Let us arm ourselves and appear in the light [2].  What is this light?  It is the light of Christ.  Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ [3].In the holy season of Advent we allow ourselves to be equipped not only to see the light but to live in it.  Let us walk in the light of the Lord [4]. The light of Christ...
Photo by Thuong Do on Unsplash
Remember me when you come into your kingdom [1].  In response to this request, Jesus promises a place in his kingdom. This day you will be with me in paradise [2].   Like one of the criminals [3] put to death with the Lord on Calvary we can find ourselves under Christ’s kingship this very day.  Jesus is beside us, in complete solidarity, whatever is happening to us. He is our king but not from a palace. He undergoes terrible suffering.  Yet he is far from being...
Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash
Your endurance will win you your lives [1]. Go on quietly working [2].  Stay awake, praying at all times [3].The scripture encourages us in endurance and perseverance. We pray therefore for the constant gladness of being devoted to God [4].   Jesus calls us to constancy in our prayerful service and in our joy. If we can live in this way, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays [5].  The warmth of God’s love will strengthen us against the troubles...
Two hands one old one young reach out
We experience many painful goodbyes in life. There are  times when someone we love has to go away,  or we have to go away. There are  times when someone has to move on and irrevocably change a relationship. This can be painful.. But usually this isn't the end of the story. Most of the time,  after the ache of a painful goodbye has worn off, we may experience the opposite, a certain joy in sensing our loved one’s presence in a different way now.When Jesus was...
The Heavens
The variety of personality and experience makes awareness of God's presence unique to each of us. God is already dwelling within us, and it is this presence that many may unconsciously be aware of in their wonder and awe of the world around them. It is within this understanding that as adults we are invited to 'become as little children.’ (Mark 10.15)One way of deepening our connection with God, is to practice being truly present. We cannot see beauty, or have a better...
St George
Defining oneself as a Christian has become problematical in our society. As Tony Blair remarked, he did not mention his personal faith when in office because people would have thought him “a nutter”.Three reasons for this new situation seem likely. First, as a result of globalisation and its associated factor immigration, religion has become an important marker of identity. One effect of this is that whereas people in this country once defined themselves as Church of England or...
peace and love
In the Book of Wisdom we find a most encouraging sentence: 'Lord, you love all that exists, you detest nothing you have made, for had you hated anything, you would not have made it.’ Wisdom 11.22fGod made us, and God doesn't make junk.  God created the world in love and holds everything in existence through love.  God has loved you and me into existence because he wants us individually, personally, eternally.  As he has made us all different, we have the privilege...
Claudius from wikimedia commons
That we should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s is one of the best known and yet perhaps one of the least understood of Jesus’ sayings. The gospel setting (Mk 12:13-17) shows Jesus’ opponents trying to manoeuvre him into a corner by asking him the controversial question of whether the Jews were allowed, by their law, to pay taxes to the Roman power that occupied their country: their aim was to trap him. If Jesus replied that they should pay the...

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