31st March. Tuesday in Holy Week

Contrasting responses to Jesus

Today’s gospel portrays very different responses to Jesus on the part of his disciples as he enters into the final days of his earthly life. The disciple Jesus loved is described as “reclining next to Jesus’, literally, “close to the heart of Jesus.” In the very first chapter of his gospel, the evangelist described Jesus as “close to the heart of the Father”..

30th March. Monday in Holy Week

In memory of her

The impulsive, loving gesture done for Jesus by his close friend Mary of Bethany, is so inspirational that it’s a wonder the Church has not made more of it in our liturgy. Mary may not yet have seen Jesus in the full light of prophecy, as “a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners who sit in darkness” (1st Reading), or indeed as the world’s only Saviour, but she knew and loved him as a man of God, a fearless preacher…

29th March. Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Today the church invites us to identify with those who saw Jesus with the eyes of faith and love, who recognized the light of God in the darkness of Jesus’ passion and death. When we look upon the passion and death of Jesus with such eyes, we see a divine love that is stronger than sin, a divine light that shines in all our darknesses, a divine power that brings new life out of all our deaths, a divine poverty that enriches us at the deepest level of our being.

28th March. Saturday in 5th Week of Lent

Cynical but pragmatic

Pragmatism is a quality that is often admired in political leaders. Today’s gospel has an example of a rather deadly form of political pragmatism, when the high priest Caiaphas declares to his colleagues, “it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” Jesus was threatening the status quo, therefore he should be eliminated. ..

25th March. The Annunciation of the Lord

Representing us all

There are some specific details in today’s gospel: Galilee, Nazareth, Joseph of the house of David, Mary. It happens a very particular place, Nazareth in Galilee, and to a very particular couple in that place, Joseph who was betrothed to Mary. It was that particular couple in that particular place at a particular moment in time whom God chose in a special way for the sake of all of humanity…

24th March. Tuesday in 5th Week of Lent

The Serpent and the Cross

The symbol of Israel’s sin, the saraph serpent (the Hebrew word saraph means burning), which threatened them with its poisonous bite, is transformed into an instrument of salvation. Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, so that all who look upon it with an honest admission of guilt and sincere sorrow for their offenses, will be forgiven..

22nd March. 5th Sunday of Lent

Into the Valley of Death
One focus during Lent is to to reflect on our own death and to see our way through it. Whoever enters the valley of death does not walk alone. Jesus is with us because he’s been there before and knows what it is like. Moreover he promises us that just as he rose from the dead so will we. We will live again — in a new way, like a plant springing from the sown seed!

20th March. Friday in 4th Week of Lent

Knowing who Jesus really is:

By the term “Jews” St John nearly always means the Jewish religious leaders. His gospel tends to distinguish between the Jewish religious leaders and the people as a whole. It is not said that the Jewish people were out to kill him. That was what the leaders wanted; but the people also disparage Jesus when they say, “we all know where he comes from….

19th March (Thursday). Feast of Saint Joseph

In a homily on this feast (1969) pope Paul VI noted how he lived an unknown life, the life of a simple artisan, with no sign of personal greatness. But that humble figure is revealed as being full of significance if we look at him attentively. He has those qualities which made him a great saint. The pope suggested that if we look carefully we find that Joseph’s life was greater than our first estimate of him. “The Gospel describes him as a Just Man (Mt. 1:19). No greater praise of virtue and no higher tribute to merit could be applied…