Posts filed under 'Homilies'
Readings: Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 112:1-8; Luke 1:26-38
Today’s memorial might focus on Mary’s place in the cosmos — and by extension the cosmic identity and destiny of all sons of Adam and daughters of Eve — but the readings chosen to help us probe that identity and destiny are relentlessly focused on God, all about who God is and what God wants and how God brings all that about.
You could preach for days on either of our readings but — don’t worry — I don’t think you can get a better summary than a few lines from our psalm.
August 22nd, 2008
Edel McClean offers these reflections:
Readings: Amos 2; Matthew 8: 18-22
I’m perplexed by today’s gospel reading. I don’t want this to be my Jesus speaking. I want to catch a softness in his eye. I want him to smile. I want him to be a wee bit easier on people. But Jesus isn’t going to do my bidding. I have to grapple with my confusion instead.
Let’s picture the scene. Jesus, a strangely attractive young rabbi, emerges out of the back end of nowhere. He wanders the hills and valleys of Palestine. He walks among a disenfranchised people, in an occupied state. He walks through their towns and their villages, over their farmland, and on the shores of their lake, and he cries out a new message. A message of a new world order, where the mourning are comforted, the meek inherit the earth, those hungry and thirsty for what’s right feast until satisfied. He doesn’t just talk. He puts it into action. He lays hands on people and they are healed. He looks, smiling, into the eyes of a leper and says ‘Of course I want to cure you, be cured’. With a word from this man’s lips, the sick are made well. The air that surrounds him is so packed full of promise of a better life and a better world, that it seems to be exploding in bursts of golden fireworks over his head.
June 30th, 2008
Edel McClean offers these reflections:
Readings: James 1:1-11, Psalm 118, Mark 8:11-13
The liturgical title for today is Monday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time. A quick look at ordinary in the dictionary tells us ‘unexceptional, plain, uninteresting’. It seems a little like what the Pharisees are accusing Jesus of in our gospel today. They seem to think he’s a little too ordinary and they come demanding a sign. Prove to us that you’re exceptional. Give us something remarkable. Do something out of the ordinary. And then we’ll believe you.
Of course, what the Pharisees were getting was anything but ordinary. They were getting a sign. They had Jesus. Standing slap bang in front of them. Not just any old preacher, but, if we follow Mark’s gospel, a man who had just healed a young child, made a deaf man hear, and fed four thousand people. And still the Pharisees say, we want more. They’re unable to see the sign right there in front of them.
May 12th, 2008
Though I’m not up to preaching these days I thought I might enlist the Loyola Hall Team to give their reflections occasionally. Today’s offering is from Edel McClean.
Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6,10; Psalm 145:6-10; James 5:7-10; Matt 11:2-11
December 16th, 2007
Readings: 1 Sam 26:2-23; 1 Cor 15:45-49; Luke 6:27-38
Today’s readings are a charter for stupidity and a counsel for failure.
Economics is founded on the belief that value grows by self-interest. Politics is built on the conviction that power must be contained by power and violence met with violence. And the biological science has shown that you just can’t beat tit-for-tat as an evolutionary strategy and way of life. Any population of Jesus-type, turn-the-other-cheek do-gooders will always be overrun by those who get their own back.
February 18th, 2007
Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5; I Cor 12:4-11; John 2:1-11
Here’s a quiz for you… How many times does Mary appear in John’s gospel? … Trick question: the answer is none. The ‘mother of Jesus’, however, appears twice. Isn’t that a strange way to tell the story? It’s not that John didn’t know her name – so something else must be going on here.
In fact, the way John tells the story today, the mother of Jesus is quite an ambiguous character. She has her eye on the dwindling wine supply and she has faith in her son to be able to put it right. And though Jesus seems quite rude to her with his ‘Woman, what is that to you or to me’, he still goes ahead and works a wonder with water and wine. But then John doesn’t mention her again until she stands with the other women at the foot of the cross.
January 14th, 2007
Readings: Isaiah 40:25-31; Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus confuses me. I love this gospel but my first reaction hearing Jesus words ‘I am gentle and humble in heart’ is to say ‘who are you kidding?’
We used to have a big red poster downstairs, done by Cafod I think, with a face of Jesus, Ché Guevara-style, and the words ‘Meek. Mild. As if!’ Someone nicked it—or maybe it was taken down in protest. Either way they were wise.
December 13th, 2006
Homily for a Study Day on the Spiritual Exercises dealing with the Contemplatio ad Amorem
Readings: Dan 12:1-13; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mark 13:24-32
November 19th, 2006
Readings: Philippians 4:10-19; Luke 16:9-15
Money continues to be in the spotlight today and it’s interesting how Jesus both praises and condemns it in the same breath.
He calls it tainted, little, even loathsome and yet, precisely because it is so unimportant it assumes importance. How we handle the small stuff reveals our hearts better than our big-banner projects or the public values we claim. Money, because it means so little says so much: it speaks of what we worship truly rather than who we say we do.
November 11th, 2006
Readings: Deut 6:2-6; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 12:28-34
‘And after that no one dared question him any more’… Interesting. What do you think shuts them up so thoroughly? Are they scared? Confused? Are they silenced by his cleverness? Are they moved in some more obscure and unknown way?
And what of us? What happens in your heart on hearing that great prayer echoing tonight? ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the one God and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength’. What stirs in you? Anything? Fear? Devotion? Joy? … What?
November 6th, 2006