Sunday reflections

Prevailing hope, not despair

Over the centuries there have been terrible disasters that to the people of the time would have seemed like signs of the apocalypse. There was the Black Death in the 14th century that killed 50 million people in Europe or some 60 percent of the population; the First World War followed by the influenza epidemic; and the destruction wrought by the Second World War.

The kingdom is the truth

The first reading today is from the Book of Daniel (2nd century BC). It foretells the coming of a mysterious “one like a son of man.” This was a title that Jesus used of himself. The Church reads this text as prophesying the universal Kingship of Christ.

Always a faithful God

A man thrown into a den of hungry lions; three youths cast into a massive furnace; dreams and visions; kings gone mad; angelic beings appearing and disappearing: the Book of Daniel is wild stuff. It certainly captivated Jesus, who identified himself as the visionary’s ‘Son of Man’ riding on the clouds as Lord and Judge of the world.

The gift of the heart

Carmel has been a widow for five years. Christmas and New Year are anxious and depressing times for her, especially now that she’s on her own. In need of help and a listening ear, Carmel reached out to Sr Joan, who’s been a great support to Carmel since her husband’s death.

God’s law is about love

As part of a structured community or society, we need regulations, ‘norms’ or laws to provide the conditions for a productive, well-ordered and peaceful community. To achieve its mission and to continue to support people in their lives and with their faith, the Church also needs structures.

The road that leads us to God

The kingdom of God is the heart and essence of Jesus’ teaching. References to the kingdom appear 114 times in the four gospels. According to our earliest gospel, Mark (1:15: cf. 3:24; 4:11, 26, 30), Jesus initiated his message with the proclamation, “The present era of history is at an end, the reign of God has come near; convert your mind and believe in the good news.”

The ‘playground’ of life

Have you ever experienced something that becomes more absorbing the more you spend time with it? Maybe it’s a piece of music, a novel, a spot in the park. You could watch that movie a million times. The bible is similar. It was written to be pondered; it is ‘meditation literature’.

Being open to others

We might think that, as a general rule, belonging to a group would be a good thing. However, today’s Scriptures teach us that belonging to a group might not be all positive. As members of a group, we might advance the group’s interests to the detriment of others outside the group. We might be so protective of the group’s achievements that we do not want anyone else to do the same things – simply because that person is “not one of us”.

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