I will NOT throw eggs at Tina Beattie. REPEAT: I will NOT throw eggs at Tina Beattie.

Professor Tina Beattie

Professor Tina Beattie

“Those of us who tried to answer the questionnaire honestly and in a way that might be helpful to the synod on the family are misrepresented by Edmund Adamus’s ‘reflection’.

Like most other Catholics I know, I respect the Church’s teaching on marriage and parenthood. I also know from experience that marriage and family life can induce agonies of guilt over our inevitable failures and shortcomings. However, I do not experience guilt over deciding in good conscience to use contraception to limit the number of children we had. I do not feel ashamed of my adult children for cohabiting with partners who have enriched our lives by their friendship. I do not feel compelled to pass negative judgement on the loving relationships of my gay friends. I am glad that some of my divorced Catholic friends have found joy in second marriages, and I want to share the sacraments with them. In other words, I’m like the vast majority of Catholics whose answers to the questionnaire have been made public.

I seek from the Church the formation I know I need most – formation that has to do with love and generosity of spirit, with faithfulness and integrity, with wisdom and discretion, with prayer and discernment. The list is long, but it does not include learning to regard contraception, premarital sex and homosexuality as intrinsically evil, nor does it include regarding divorced and remarried Catholics as people uniquely barred from the forgiveness offered by Christ in the sacraments.” – Tina Beattie

Her lunatic theology also includes:

  • In an examination of the morality of abortion Prof. Beattie justifies  the argument that the embryo is not a person by using the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • Prof Beattie uses the doctrine of the marriage between Christ and His Church to support gay marriage.
  • Prof Beattie condemns as ‘perverted’ a CTS booklet defending the Church’s doctrine on divorce and contraception.
  • Prof. Beattie describes the Mass as an ‘an act of (homo) sexual intercourse…’. ‘God’s Mother, Eve’s Advocate’, p.80.
  • Prof. Beattie supports same-sex marriage.
  • Prof. Tina Beattie imagines the apostles and women disciples having sex in her meditation The Last Supper According to Martha and Mary(2001) which the publishers describe as ‘part fiction, part Biblical reflection’.

She has been banned previously banned by Archbishop Leo Cushley of St. Andrews and Edinburgh from addressing the Edinburgh Circle of the Newman Association. In a letter quoted by ‘The Tablet’ the Archbishop criticised both Beattie and Joe Fitzpatrick, a theologian the Newman Association previously hosted, saying:

“Professor Beattie is known to have frequently called into question the Church’s teaching. I would therefore ask you to cancel this event, as it may not proceed or be publicised on any Church property in this archdiocese.“

The Archbishop’s intervention has been attributed to the Vatican’s official position on banning Beattie from Church events, as ordered by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican’s watchdog on orthodoxy. She has also been banned from speaking in Clifton diocese for the same reason by Bishop Declan Lang.

The CDF ordered her banned from Church properties after she signed a letter, in 2012, to the Times, in favour of same-sex marriage, along with a number of other Christian theologians who wrote “it is perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples.”

So you can imagine my surprise to hear that the Wimbledon branch of the Newman circle had invited her to come and give a talk at Sacred Heart Parish next week entitled ‘From Synod to Synod: Families in focus in the church of Pope Francis.’

egg

My initial reaction to hearing the news that Tina Beattie was coming to speak at my beloved childhood parish was to lie in wait, and then at the appointed time ambush her with a meteor shower of raw eggs. “Well! That sort of raucous behaviour is not very becoming of a good catholic!” I would ask you to remember that St Nicholas delt with Arius by punching him the right in the face at the Council of Nicea (Arius, of course was using his intellect and position of authority to destroy the true Faith from within the church and implement his own lunatic theology.) And of course there was last Sunday’s Gospel where we are reminded that as Catholics, flipping tables and whipping people is not entirely out of the question!

Anyway, knowing it was most probably sinful to blissfully enjoy the thought of egging a heretic, and to laugh hysterically at the fact that my spell-checker auto corrects the words ‘Tina Beattie’ to ‘Tuna buttie’ I decided to take it all to confession.

Tuna-Bread-Pack

A Tuna buttie.

Holy Mackerel! My poor priest. He took a quite a while to consider exactly what he should say to me.

“You should aim for meekness.” He said.

MEEKNESS!!! ME???!!!

It was lucky he couldn’t see my face at the time. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the expression on my face at that precise moment, but my mouth was wide open and there were no words coming out – which is, unusual.

He went on to draw possible parallels between Tina Beattie and St Paul:

“St. Paul was so sure of his own political convictions in regards to the Christians. He would kill them quickly from the outside, with the sword. Tina Beattie is similar in this regard, although she kills people slowly from the inside with her ideas and theories. But there is one important thing to remember – before his conversion, St Paul had Christians praying for him – praying for his heart to change.”

Then he said to me:

“Anything you say or do should lead to her conversion of heart.”

Wow. Now there’s a challenge. It is all too easy for me to look at Tina Beattie and hate her. But to hate her would be to de-humaniser her, to objectify her to something less than she is.

My Lord Jesus still looks on Tina Beattie as His beautiful little child, just as he looks at me, and Kim jong un and Lady Gaga and all the members of ISIS, the paedophile priest, the gay prostitute, the Queen of England and the Pope. We are all just human beings. Sinful, broken human beings who need to turn away from sin and back to God.

St. John Paul II teaches us about this topic of de-humanisation and objectification in his masterpiece ‘Theology of the Body’. Funnily enough, Tina Beattie despises Theology of the Body:

“Having spent years researching and writing about ‘theology of the body’, I think it functions more as a vehicle of resistance to feminism and homosexuality than as a genuinely viable account of human sexuality…” – Tina Beattie

How ironic that Theology of the Body is helping me to see her not as a de-humanised object of hate that I would like to throw eggs at, but as a child made in the image and likeness of God.

beattie_285

I am doing the 33 day consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the moment and yesterday we learned through the writings of Mother Teresa that our Lord Jesus doesn’t just love souls, He thirsts for them:

“Just put yourself in front of the tabernacle. Don’t let anything disturb you. Hear your own name and “I Thirst.” I thirst for purity, I thirst for poverty, I thirst for obedience, I thirst for that wholehearted love, I thirst for that total surrender. Are we living a deeply contemplative life? He thirsts for that total surrender.”

So if my lord Jesus thirsts for Tina Beattie, then it is my job to quench His thirst by bringing her back to Him – to bring her to total surrender. How am I going to do this? I have no idea, but I’m guessing meekness is going to play a pretty pivotal role here. After all – isn’t meekness the thing that feminists misunderstand the most?

I guess it’s a bit like David and Goliath. She is a professor. I got chucked out of school age 17. I am no challenge to her intellectually, but that doesn’t really matter. I am not fighting an intellectual battle I am fighting a spiritual battle. And I am not even fighting her as such, but the powers and principalities that are whispering in her ears day and night, seducing her with her own pride and hardening her heart.

From her writings and theories it is plain to see that Mrs Beattie (bless her heart) is spiritually weak and sickly. She is utterly consumed with the idea of a comfortable ‘man centred’ faith (or should I say ‘person centred’?!). But as Pope Benedict XVI reminds us: “…you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness!” All her theories revolve around the idea that we can side-step the cross. And she has warped the faith and moulded it into a pale comparison of itself: she has divorced love from suffering.

Where does this idea come from? Does suffering frighten her? It frightens me. Perhaps there is something in her life, something in her past that is just too painful to face? I don’t know. It all sounds a bit fishy to me. All I do know is that Jesus tell us that “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me…” You can’t have Jesus without the cross. Love demands sacrifice. It’s not easy.

I will begin by offering my prayers and fasting for her. As part of my 33 day consecration I am letting go of everything I am to Mother Mary so I can become an instrument in her immaculate hands. I am allowing her to use me in any way she sees fit to ‘crush the serpents head’. And even though it would give me indescribable pleasure and satisfaction to throw eggs at Mrs Beattie (or custard pies, or fish sandwiches) I will not be doing so because after all – what I want is not really that important is it? It’s what God wants that is important. THY will be done, not My will be done. Says it all really.

Blessed Mother Teresa pray for us.

Blessed John Henry Newman pray for us.

Mother Mary, Queen of heaven, pray for us.

Sources:

http://tina-beattie.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/the-family-reflecting-on-view-from.html

http://www.cuf.org/2014/01/thirst-mother-teresas-devotion-thirst-jesus/

http://protectthepope.com/?p=10153

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2012/09/11/bishop-cancels-lecture-by-liberal-theologian-who-argued-for-same-sex-marriage/

Lent – Confession…

Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.

– Jesus to Sr. Faustina from the ‘Divine Mercy’.

What is Confession?

Confession or the Sacrament of Reconciliation is really a sacrament of healing. All of us are sinners and we carry around so much ‘baggage’ from our past. Confession is about letting go of this ‘baggage’. It doesn’t matter how big or bad our sin is – Jesus can and wants to forgive our sin if we come to Him truly sorry for what we have done.   

 His mercy is ALWAYS greater than our sin.

Perhaps your marriage has broken down? Perhaps you have an addiction? Perhaps you had an abortion? Or maybe you have just drifted away from and ignored God for many years? It doesn’t matter – whatever it is, Jesus is waiting for you to come back to Him. He wants to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start, and draw you closer to His love.

Think of it like clearing out your cupboards: once you have got rid of all the junk, you have space to receive all of the good things (graces) that God so wants to give you. But you can only receive the grace, once you have the space!

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Fr. Sam Explains Confession…

Most confessionals have the option of kneeling behind a screen, or sitting face to face with the priest (at his discretion). It totally up to you – choose which option you are both most comfortable with.

1. Once you come in you say “Forgive me, Father, I have sinned. It has been (however long) since I have been to confession.” Don’t be embarrassed. If it’s been 12 years then fantastic! You are here now–that’s the important part.

2. Now you tell the priest your sins. Remember, say ALL your sins – you are not going to be told off or laughed at. The priest is there representing Jesus. Jesus wants to take all your sins away and wipe the slate clean.

3. Then you will be asked to say an Act of Contrition: “Dear God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, and by the help of your grace I will not sin again.”

4. The priest then may say some words, give you guidance and finally, the best part, the words of absolution: “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

5. The priest will then give you some sort of penance. This may be a prayer like the Our Father or Hail Mary or perhaps to read a line of scripture.

There you are done!!! There is nothing like a clean slate.

Real life testimonials…

“…I had lived and worked in a secular environment for about 25 years and had picked up the habit of rationalizing my every sin.  I often noticed sin in others, but had a really hard time recognising it in myself. I had never been called to examine my conscience as an adult.  Modern society has lost its sense of sin, and I was one of those people.  It was much easier to make excuses for myself than to look at myself honestly. It just got to the point where I felt the secular world was not offering me anything anymore – like something was missing. I felt it was the right time in my life to come back to God – like coming home. I went to see my priest who helped me make an examination of conscience. After this I felt confident and ready to make my first confession in over 25 years…”

Dan, age 46.

“…There was something that happened in my early 20’s that I had been carrying with me my whole adult life. At the time I felt too ashamed to tell anyone and I just tried to put it out of my mind. But it got to the point in my life where I began to understand more about Jesus’ love for me and His message of mercy and forgiveness. I wanted to go to confession for a long time but was too scared. When I stepped into the confessional, I asked the priest if he would help me as I had completely forgotten what to do! He was really patient and kind and took me through it step by step. When he absolved me it was like a weight being lifted off me – I felt my pain finally starting to go away…”

Amy, age 33.

 

Thought for the Week: WHY CARRY THIS BAGGAGE ANY LONGER?…

 

Dear Jesus…

Have mercy on me – a sinner. Help me find the courage to make a good confession this week.

Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.

 

Download this newsletter to use in your school or parish: Confession.doc   Confession.pdf

 

 

Ash Wednesday and Lent

“Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return”.

What is Lent and Ash Wednesday?

Lent is the Holy season in which we prepare for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It lasts for approximately 40 days. We prepare with prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is also a time to remember our Baptismal promises and for repentance. Basically, Lent is a time for “spring cleaning” our lives while giving thanks to God and strengthening our relationship with Him.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Although not a Holy Day of Obligation, Catholics go to church to receive a sign of the cross on their foreheads from ashes (ashes from the blessed palms used on Palm Sunday the previous year). This mark is a reminder of our mortality and a call for repentance. The priest blesses the ashes and says, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return”.

Fr. Sam Explains…

If there is ever a day throughout the year where you can spot Catholics at a glance, Ash Wednesday is it. It is the only time of the year whereby Catholics literally wear their faith on their foreheads. The ashes themselves are made from burnt palms which were used in the previous years ‘Palm Sunday’ services. This instantly reminds us, that all earthly glory, even that given to Christ himself on earth, fades away. It reminds us of the fragility and mortality of our earthly life and our need to be redeemed by our heavenly Father. Our bodies then must fall temporarily into dust, like all things. But this should serve to challenge us in our everlasting accomplishments: Am I focusing all my time and energy on earthly things that are passing away? Or on heavenly things that will remain forever? The ashes we receive then shouldn’t be a gloomy reminder of death, but the glorious promise of eternal life’. 

A Family Perspective…

‘Giving something up’ for lent is a pretty useless exercise if you don’t know why you are doing it. Fasting is not a body detox, a way of losing weight or an opportunity to see how far we can push ourselves. It’s not even really worth anything as a discipline exercise. In fact fasting is ONLY worth anything at all if used in conjunction with prayer. Then it becomes an incredibly powerful spiritual tool.  

When we pray we begin to understand that our fasting sacrifice is actually all about love. It helps us understand that love and sacrifice are actually inseparable. We can then relate this to the sacrifice Jesus made for each one of us on the cross.  When we feel the pinch of our little sacrifices during Lent, we also begin to experience something else – gratitude. Thank you Jesus, for sacrificing everything, for me.

Lent is a time when family prayer is essential.  We are truly preparing as a family for Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. With children it is best to keep prayer time short and to the point and above all – regular. Meal times are a good time to pray with kids: ‘Dear Jesus, thank you for giving your life for us on the cross. Amen.’ Short and sweet and to the point. Along with this prayer you could also invite your children to give up something small at the dinner table ie. ketchup, dessert, or water instead of juice (it is much better for kids to fast like this as a daily exercise rather than try to give one thing up for 6 weeks and then fail!) Then the money saved can be given to the poor.

Thought for the week…

FASTING IS USELESS WITHOUT PRAYER.

Dear Jesus…

Help me learn that love and sacrifice are inseparable. Help me understand your sacrifice on the cross and help me understand how much you love me.

Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.

Download this newsletter to use in your school or parish: Ash Wednesday and Lent.doc Ash Wednesday and Lent.pdf

Holy Trinity Sunday – Year C

“… When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth …”

Gospel: John 16: 12-15

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Gospel Summary

While the term “Trinity” is more the result of early Christian communities than it is scripture, today’s Gospel helps us see the interconnectedness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This Gospel reveals Jesus’ words at the Last Supper. The disciples could not understand the meaning of Jesus’ words because they had not yet witnessed the resurrection. But Jesus explained that everything he had taught them and the witness he bore was from the Father. He assured them that He and the Spirit were one and that the Spirit spoke only what had been told by the Father through Jesus. The Spirit would remain with the community until Jesus returned in glory.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

The Holy Trinity is the supreme model for marriage and family. When couples begin to look upon themselves and their relationship in Trinitarian light, upon their bond of love which is sealed in the sacrament of matrimony, the depth and meaning of the lifetime commitment they have made to one another takes on a profound significance. This is so because marriage is to be modelled after the three divine Persons of the Trinity whose gift of themselves is one of totality, unity, and fidelity.

The Most Holy Trinity: Origin of Family Life

As we reflect on the Holy Trinity one of the first things we notice is the inseparable relationship between the three distinct Persons who are the one God. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. This profound bond of unity among the three divine Persons makes them inseparable in what they are, and inseparable in what they do. This inseparable unity also occurs in matrimony: that Christian marital bond between man and wife which is established and sealed by God himself.

Let us too reflect on the life-giving aspect of the Holy Trinity. In the Nicene Creed Catholics affirm that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” The Holy Spirit is often understood as the Spirit of Love who proceeds from the infinite ocean of love between Father and Son. We might therefore say that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the love of Father and Son but as a result of that love as well. The infinite love of Father and Son is of such intensity that the Third Person of the Holy Trinity flows forth, if you will.

This aspect of Love giving life to yet more Love is clearly what occurs in marriage when children are conceived. The man and wife, in an act of complete self-giving, produce, as a result of their own love for one another, a new life: a child whose eyes reflect the Most Holy Trinity, and whose love for the parents is so completely bound up in his or her life as to be inseparable from it. At birth, this child will look into his father’s and mother’s eyes; yet he is not meeting his parents for the first time; for he has already known and loved them. The family began existing at the moment of the child’s conception, bound together in unity and love.

  • The Holy Trinity is the supreme model for marriage and family.
  • In a Christian marriage there are 3 persons – Man, Woman and God.
  • We are made in the image and likeness of God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Happy 1st Birthday Faith in our Families!

fiof birthday

Pentecost – Year C

“… Receive the Holy Spirit…”

Gospel: John 20: 19-23

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Gospel Summary

The disciples were once again gathered together, and they were afraid. They had locked the doors. The risen Jesus comes in among them. He shows them the wounds on His hands and His side. They are filled with Joy. Jesus tells them “Receive the Holy Spirit…” and breathes the Spirit onto them.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

How do we allow the Holy Spirit to interact with us every day in our family relationships? Outside of prayer time, are we aware of his loving, gentle presence? We forget that he is with us every day of our ordinary day-to-day lives – even in the most mundane of activities. The sacred, vocational life-giving love of spouses and parents is a sacramental sign of God’s presence and creative action. When two or more are gathered together in Jesus’ name, he is in their midst. Is this not true when spouses, parents and children are gathered together in Jesus’ name?

The Family that Prays together, Stays together!

Think of the normal daily event of meal time. Where is God in this ordinary family activity?  Every family meal has creative, loving, caring, comforting, joyful, patient, kind, generous, emotional and financial supportive elements to it.

Take a few moments before eating this evening to say Grace, and simply thank God for each other: “Dear God, Thank you for Mum and Dad, and… (Name each family member). Please bless our family, Amen”.

  • I recognize the Holy Spirit in our family life when…
  • Our family needs the grace/help of the Holy Spirit because…
  • The Holy Spirit is always present – even in the most mundane of activities!

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. 

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.

And You shall renew the face of the earth.

The Ascension – Year C

“… He withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven….”

Gospel: Luke 24: 46-53

46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

Gospel Summary

Reminding the disciples of previous prophetic predictions, Jesus quotes the scriptures saying that the Christ will suffer and then rise from the dead. Letting them know that he is about to leave them, Jesus instructs the Apostles to continue the ministry which he began. They are to remain in Jerusalem until they are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. After delivering these instructions, Jesus raises his hands as in victory and ascends to Heaven. The disciples are filled with joy as they return from Bethany to Jerusalem.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

Jesus was finally leaving the disciples for the last time. And so dawns the final era of mankind – the era of the Church. Christ is of course the head and we (the Church) are His body. The present time is a time of the Spirit and of witness. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are to witness to the redemptive death and glorious resurrection of Christ to those around us, until He comes again in Glory.

It is strange to think that we are living in the final era of Mankind. The era of the Church has been put in place by Christ Himself. He is with us at all times through the Holy Spirit and of course He is with us physically through the Eucharist. He wants to work in us and through us to reach others. To think that Christ wants to use me is a humbling thought. It is easy to think that we are too small to be of any importance whatsoever – but this is not true. Most of us are not asked to change the whole world like Blessed Pope John-Paul II or Francis of Assisi, but instead we are to concentrate on those closest to us and carry out the Lords final commandment – “Love one another as I have loved you.” He does not expect us to do this alone or even on our own merits. No, He has given us a helper – the Holy Spirit. And He has given us a community – the Church. It is through the Church that we are able to draw the strength and wisdom to proclaim the Good News until the end of this era when Christ will return for the last time.

  • We are living in the final era of mankind – the era of the Church.
  • The present time is a time of the Spirit and of witness.
  • At the end of this era, Christ will return for the last time.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to understand the importance of your Church here on earth. Help me to cherish and pray for the Priests who represent you. May I always call on the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide me.

Thank You Jesus, I Love You, Amen.

Easter Sunday – Year C

Gospel: John 20: 1-19

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Gospel Summary:

On Friday afternoon when Jesus died, the women had not been able to finish the customary preparation for burial. The Sabbath began at sundown on Friday, so Mary of Magdala hurried to the tomb Sunday morning to complete her task. She found the tomb empty. Certain that Jesus’ body had been stolen, she ran back to get the other disciples. Peter and the other disciple also found an empty tomb but with Jesus’ clothing rolled neatly and placed where his body had been. The disciples still didn’t understand about the resurrection and Mary wept. As she cried, two angels appeared asking why she was crying. She then saw a gardener and asked him where the body might be. When he called her by name, Mary immediately recognized Jesus.

Applying the Gospel to our lives today:

HAPPY EASTER! This is the most important feast of the Christian calendar – and the one on which the whole Christian faith rests. St. Paul puts this perfectly when he tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:

“…And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…”

The resurrection IS Christianity. Other religions have some great moral values and inspired teachings, but none of them have a claim anywhere near to the resurrection. Science has given us awesome advances and wonderful cures, but it has yet to raise anyone from the dead. In fact I struggle to think of a single claim throughout history more radical and more outrageous than that of the resurrection! Even some Christians seem to forget the radical outrageousness of the resurrection, preferring to focus on easier things like youth club pool tables and cake sales for Africa. But here it is – there is no escaping it – we have a God who lowered Himself to take on human form and then DIED FOR US to take away our sin, and then ROSE FROM THE DEAD so that we may be ASSURED of our future destiny –  eternal life with Him. Our God has gone to a lot of trouble to let us know how much He values and loves each one of us!

When we have our dark moments, our lack of faith, our moments of weakness, let us meditate on the resurrection for a few moments and apply it to our situation:

“C’mon! if He rose from the dead He can surely fix my marriage!”

“If He rose from the dead He will lead me out of my impossible debt.”

“If He can beat death, He can show me how to beat my addiction.”

“His resurrection has assured us of life after death. Now I can rest easy knowing that one day I WILL see my deceased loved ones again.”

The resurrection IS Christianity. Lets spend a few moments to meditate on how joyful that is! – and then reflect that joy to those around us!

The strife is over, the battle done,
The victory of life is won,
The sung of triumph has begun: Alleluia! Alleluia!

HAPPY EASTER!

Passion Sunday – Year C

“Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Gospel: Luke 22: 14–71, 23: 1-56,

1 Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” 3 Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” 5 But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.” 6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9 He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12 That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

13 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 I will therefore have him flogged and release him.” 17 18 Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” 19 (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.”

23 But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

26 As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28 But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us’; and to the hills, “Cover us.’ 31 For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35 And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.

47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49 But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Gospel Summary

The chief priests and the scribes, unable to sentence Jesus to death them-selves, handed Him over to the Romans. Pilate could not find Jesus guilty of any crime and so to appease the angry crowd, he had Him flogged. But the worked-up crowd continued to shout for Jesus to be crucified. Eventually Pilate gave in – even though he knew he was condemning an innocent man to death.

Jesus was led away and given His cross to carry. When it became too much, the soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross. Then they crucified Him. He was stripped, mocked and brutally murdered. And all the time He continued to beg His Father to forgive the people doing it to Him. He was recognised as innocent by the criminal hanging next to Him and by the Roman Soldier at the foot of the cross.

Then the sky grew dark, and at 3 o’clock Jesus shouted “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Then Jesus died on the cross.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

If you have not yet had the chance to visit your church and walk around the Stations of the Cross, please try to do so. I would also very much recommend watching ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – but be advised, it is the most moving, realistic depiction of the crucifixion I have ever seen and certainly not for kids. I saw it first in my early twenties and it had a major impact on me. It is available on You Tube.

Holy Week is such a mixture of emotions – from the high of Jesus’ entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to the washing of the disciple’s feet and the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, to the agony in the garden and finally Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, and then the excitement and joy of the Resurrection. Quite frankly it is emotionally exhausting!

But don’t be afraid of this emotion. We have Mother Mary to guide us through this next week and show us what it truly means to love Jesus.

It is when we view the events of Holy Week through the eyes of His Mother that we can begin to understand that it is all about love. We have a God that loves us so much that He would rather send His only Son to die for our sins, rather than risk spending eternity without any one of us. Through Jesus’ crucifixion we are saved. Through His glorious Resurrection we are assured of eternal life! Thank You Jesus! Thank You for doing for me what I could not do for myself! Thank You for loving me so much!

  • Jesus died on the cross for me.
  • He has taken away my sins.
  • Through His resurrection, I am assured of eternal life.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for dying on the cross for me. Thank You for taking away my sins. Thank You for doing the work I am not able to do for myself. Thank You for assuring me of eternal life through your Resurrection. You are the Son of God, You are the Light of the world, You are the Way the Truth and the Life.

I Love You Jesus, Amen.

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C

“Let anyone among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Gospel: John 8:1-11

1 While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Gospel Summary

The Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman before Jesus who was guilty of adultery. The asked Him what should be done with her? They were in fact trying to trick Jesus into going against the law of Moses by not having the woman stoned or going against the Roman law that did not allow the Jewish people to impose the death sentence. Jesus took His time to answer, and then instructed anyone who was without sin to cast the first stone. Of course no-one could do this, and the crowd slowly drifted away. Jesus then tells the woman that He does not condemn her – and that she should go, and not sin again.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

How would you feel if you were the adulterous woman’s husband? Or the wife of the man she committed adultery with? Pretty angry right?! There are plenty of words we can use to describe this woman – home wrecker, whore, dirty, cheap, the list goes on. And quite right – adultery destroys marriages and families. So why did Jesus seemingly let her get away with it? There are three reasons here: firstly, Jesus was making the point that as human beings, we do not have the moral authority to condemn one another. We are all sinners, and all in need of God’s forgiveness. Secondly, he was revealing the very essence of Good News – that Gods love and mercy are greater than our sins. And thirdly, He was drawing attention to the fact that this woman was not just a sinner but a person.

In some ways, my own judgemental reaction to this woman reminds me of the elder brother’s reaction in the prodigal son – “How can God love this sinner as much as He loves me?” At the end of the day we have to face our own reaction for what it is: jealous, self-righteous moral snobbery (ouch!). This story is a true lesson in humility for us!

How do we react to our fellow sinners? The drug addict, the prostitute, the divorced and re-married, the homosexual, the atheist, the young woman who had an abortion? Do we see the person, or just the sin? Do we take into account that there are circumstances and a complex history for this person that has led them to where they are? Or do we stand there holding our stone, ready to throw it?

Judgment day will come, and justice will be served – but that is God’s job, not ours.

  • Each one of us is created in the image and likeness of God.
  • Do I realise my own dignity?
  • Do I realise the dignity of others?

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord. And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek, So much to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. In giving to all men that we receive. And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

 – St. Francis of Assisi

* GOD BLESS OUR NEW POPE FRANCIS! *

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POPE FRANCIS  TRUE DISCIPLE OF JESUS Pope Francis I In 2008, on the Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Pope Francis) washed the feet of 12 recovering drug addicts at a rehabilitation centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina(in this Pic). As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he showed compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS and in 2001, visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients. True disciple of Christ!!! To be more precise True Vicar of Christ!!!