Even one person can work wonders

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 29 (Genesis 18:20-21, 23-32; Psalm 138; Colossians 2:6-14; Luke 11:1-13)

Fifty – 40 – 30 – 20 – do I hear 10? The image of Abraham and God haggling and bargaining for the fate of a city and its inhabitants is rather disconcerting. It is one of many all-too-human images of God in the Bible, and reflects the mentality and understanding of people at the time it was written.

There is no ‘cheap grace’ from God

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 22 (Genesis 18:1-10; Psalm 15; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42)

In the ancient near east, especially among the nomadic people, hospitality to strangers and travellers was a sacred duty. The host was responsible for the physical well-being of his guest: food, water, lodging and protection.

Live and labour on the side of light

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 8 (Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20)

Some places are best visited only in the realm of the imagination. After longing to see a cherished city in person, the initial visit leaves some disappointed or disillusioned. Jerusalem is a prime example.

Doing the right thing

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 15 (Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Psalm 69; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37)

The holiest and most precious things are usually close at hand. Sometimes we think that a spiritual quest involves trips to deserts, monasteries or mountaintops. Many want to consult gurus and teachers, or practise ascetic regimes. All of this to answer a few basic questions: Who is God? Who am I? How should I live? What is right and wrong?

Doing the right thing

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), July 15 (Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Psalm 69; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37)

The holiest and most precious things are usually close at hand. Sometimes we think that a spiritual quest involves trips to deserts, monasteries or mountaintops. Many want to consult gurus and teachers, or practise ascetic regimes. All of this to answer a few basic questions: Who is God? Who am I? How should I live? What is right and wrong?

God’s compassionate, non-violent reign

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 1 (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62)

Freedom is very precious, but it is often taken for granted and is not fully appreciated until it is lost.

John the Baptist was singled out for greatness

The Birth of John the Baptist (Year C) June 24 (Isaiah 49:1-6/Acts 13:22-26/Luke 1:57-66, 80)

What will this child become? That question probably crosses the minds of many as they gaze into the faces of infants.

Who are we to question God’s ways?

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 17 (2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13, Galatians 2:16, 19-21, Luke 7:36-8:3 or 7:36-50)

Moral outrage and indignation can be very satisfying, but can also be a cover for our own darkness. David discovered this to his immense chagrin.

The Body and Blood are never just for us

The Body and Blood of Christ (Year C) — June 10 (Genesis 14:18-20/1 Corinthians 11:23-26/Luke 9:11b-17)

How often we wish that certain passages in the Scriptures would say a bit (a lot!) more than they do. Who was Melchizedek? Obviously he was someone very important in spiritual terms, for he gives his name to an eternal priesthood fulfilled by Jesus. But in comparison to Abraham, Moses, David and others, he does not get much press. And he uses a different title for God — “El Elyon” — the Most High God rather than the usual Elohim or Yahweh.

The Spirit makes us aware of the truth

Trinity Sunday (Year C) June 3, (Proverbs 8:22-31/Romans 5:1-5/John 16:12-15)

Explaining the Trinity is a delicate undertaking. Utmost care and precision in wording must be taken to stay on the right track. The slightest fuzziness or carelessness can result in a statement that is not completely orthodox.

There’s nothing ordinary about the Trinity

“I would die without the Trinity,” my friend Fr. Peter said once. How many of us would echo Fr. Peter? Does the Trinity make much difference to our lives or our faith?  Yet it’s one of our key doctrines, distinguishing Christianity from all world religions.