Scripture reflection – Saints Peter and Paul – 28th June

These two saints, considered the foremost of the apostles, have a joint celebration, which may acknowledge their deaths during the same period of persecution in Rome. In an early division of ministry, Paul was especially chosen to preach to the Gentiles (see Acts 22:21). Peter began as head of the community in Jerusalem but after the events told in our first reading, went ‘to another place’, and later to Rome, which has since then been the See of Peter’s successors. The book of Acts begins with a focus on Peter; then from chapter 13, Paul takes centre stage. Continue reading Scripture reflection – Saints Peter and Paul – 28th June

Scripture reflection – 12th Sunday of the year – Year B – 21st June

Pope Francis is issuing an encyclical on environmental concerns, especially global warming. While rightly emphasizing that what humans as a ‘race’ do to the planet, there is still a sense in which an individual cannot control the weather – cannot tell the ‘winds and the waves’ what to do. So in the 2000 years since our readings, one whom ‘the winds and sea’ obey would still raise the question posed in our gospel. Continue reading Scripture reflection – 12th Sunday of the year – Year B – 21st June

Scripture reflection – 11th Sunday of the year – Year B – 14th June

We return to ‘Ordinary Time’ after a long period of special seasons, with the numbering picking up from the time before Lent. With the big feasts behind us, a quieter mood in the liturgy allows us to follow events of Jesus’ ministry. Mark’s Gospel will be the primary focus again. Continue reading Scripture reflection – 11th Sunday of the year – Year B – 14th June

Scripture reflection – The most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Year B – 7th June

corpusThe theologian Karl Rahner commented that it may seem strange to make a special feast out of something that happens everyday on altars around the world. There is a good reason for this, however, for often it is the very everyday ‘ordinary’ that we tend to take for granted or overlook. So it is good to have one time when we focus on how extraordinary it was for Christ to leave us his presence in bread and wine. Continue reading Scripture reflection – The most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Year B – 7th June

Scripture reflection – The most Holy Trinity – Year B – 31st May

trinityThis week begins a transition between Easter Time to ‘Ordinary’ time, with a focus on the essence of ‘God in three’. The New Testament does not give us a theological definition of what ‘Trinity’ means, rather it gives us glimpses of how the early Christians experienced Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is an emphasis on relationship between ourselves and our God, and also a pointer to the deep truth that relationship is at the heart of God, the love between the three persons which pours out into humanity. Continue reading Scripture reflection – The most Holy Trinity – Year B – 31st May

Scripture reflection – Pentecost – Year B – 24th May

pentecostThe first reading today from Luke’s two volume work of Gospel and Acts marks a shift in his emphasis. Jesus in his life on earth was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 4:1) and had prepared his disciples for their calling. Now filled with the Holy Spirit themselves, they will be ready to continue his ministry. The Gospel promise of baptism in ‘Holy Spirit and fire’ by John the Baptist (Luke 3:16) is now seen to be fulfilled on the church’s first Pentecost. Continue reading Scripture reflection – Pentecost – Year B – 24th May

Scripture reflection – The Ascension of the Lord – Year B – 17th May 2015

ascension-of-jesus-clip-artWe have heard in the Sundays of Easter time, how Jesus in his new resurrected body appeared unexpectedly to various disciples. That time came to an end with Jesus ‘ascending’ to the fullness of life with the Father. The reality of Heaven is beyond human imagination, as the Bible tells us (‘eye has not seen, ear has not heard…’). The best we can do is to rely on metaphors, like the idea of ‘going up’ which fits the world as it appeared before modern astronomy as ‘above’ the earth. This ascent of Jesus is mentioned in various ways in the New Testament, but it is only Luke who dramatises the scene – and he does it twice, at the end of his Gospel and the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. Continue reading Scripture reflection – The Ascension of the Lord – Year B – 17th May 2015