Fr Peter Gallagher SJ

Jesus Christ has strength for his mission.  He comes among us with power and authority.  On the cross, he reigned: risen from the dead, he is Lord forever.   Even when he was being interrogated during his passion it was clear that he was much greater than his torturers. Yes, I am a king.  I was born for this, I came into the world for this [1].  Now, after the resurrection, continuing his mission, Jesus puts his strength at the service of those who seek his help....
Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them. He had said. ‘The one I kiss, he is the man. Take him in charge, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away [1]. Judas identifies Jesus for those who come to arrest him.  His persecutors do not know him.  They need the help of a renegade apostle to pick him out from everyone else. Not long before he has entered Jerusalem triumphantly. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, others greenery which they had cut in the...
The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him[1].   In the middle of Lent, on Laetare Sunday, we look forward with joyful confidence to what awaits us in Holy Week and at Easter.  On the horizon we see Jesus lifted up.  The Son of Man is raised up at the resurrection.  Before that, however, he is lifted up on the cross.  High above and ahead of us we gaze at our saviour....
Can we imagine Jesus ushering us out of the temple? What would he say to us as we left? Thank you for your presence?  Thank you for your sincere prayers? Thank you for the love of God you have expressed here, and for the good life which it prompts and enables?  Would he make any allusion to our faults?  We have a mission to share our faith.  We go out from our prayers to the service of others and to witness to the Gospel.  The Lord sends us out.  He accompanies us...
God did not spare his own Son but gave him up to benefit us all [1].  To save the world, the Father allows the Son to suffer and to die. The passion, death and resurrection of Christ bring about our salvation.  In Lent we prepare to remember and to celebrate the paschal mystery.  Already we look forward to the rising from the dead: after he had told the disciples of his coming Death, on the holy mountain he manifested to them his glory, to show, even by the testimony of the law...
He was with the wild beasts. For forty days in the desert Jesus was in the company of the animals. He came to no harm.   Long before, God made an agreement with Noah: I establish my covenant with you and your descendants, also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you; everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth [1].  A harmony is established after earlier upheaval.  Peace comes after long turmoil...
The former leper rushed to inform all the world about Jesus and his astonishing powers.  He had been told not to: sternly [1].   The result of this indiscretion was that the Lord was mobbed everywhere. He ended up having to lurk on the edge of where most people lived.  Curiously enough this was the very place where, before his cure, the leper had been obliged to loiter. It had been prescribed that lepers should live apart, outside the camp [2].  They were obliged to...
Everybody is looking for you[1].   In our different ways, we are all seeking Christ.  The search for beauty, goodness and truth takes people to Jesus.  He is the fulfilment of our best desires.  We who are his friends know that to find him is to have satisfied an insistent longing.   When he reveals himself to us, we are prompted to seek more understanding.  He always gives us his whole self.  However, there is work to be done in receiving and...
What do you want with us Jesus of Nazareth?  Have you come to destroy us? [1]  The unclean spirit put these questions, but they might come from any of us.  Sometimes we wonder resentfully what Jesus wants with us.  Our joy and gratitude that he has come to save us can transform themselves into an indignation at his demands. ‘Life is hard enough,’ we find ourselves thinking, ‘without the additional burden placed on us by the Lord.’  ‘His commands are too hard to obey.’ ‘...
Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men [1].   To follow Christ is to be changed.  He transforms his followers so as to enable them to be what God has always wanted them to be.  That fishermen will be turned into fishers of men suggests that the new person has something in common with the old.   Our re-committing ourselves to Jesus will alter us, but not beyond all recognition.   We do not follow Christ to escape from our responsibilities....

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