29 May 2010

Trinity and wisdom

Trinity Sunday C
- The heart of our faith; everything flows from it and to it; the distinctive message of Christianity.
- The first reading from Proverbs personifies Wisdom (she in the Hebrew) comes forth from God, yet not a creature, since she exists before all creation (before the springs and the mountains)
- She is with God – by his side – as with an artisan / crafts(wo)men. We recite this in the creed each week – ‘begotten not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.’
- Book of Genesis begins with the declaration of the community of God: In the beginning God created; and God spoke; and the spirit of God was over the waters… ‘let us make humanity in our image’
- Psychological analogy (St Augustine) – I can project myself as another. When we say something even as simple as 'I love myself' we recognise a subject (i), an object (myself) and a shared object (the love) - yet we maintain an essential unity.
- St Augustine - Mind. Self-knowledge. Self-love.
- “I was by his side, a master craftsman, delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere in his world, delighting to be with the sons of men.” Importance of play.

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Recorded at St Michael's, 6pm Vigil (8'46")

23 May 2010

Pentecost and Mount Sinai

In the first reading from Acts 2 we hear a whole series of quite bizarre events - most of which we probably have no idea what they mean. To get a better sense of what we celebrate, we need to revisit the Jewish festivals of Pesach and Shavuot in the book of Exodus and remember the day that the Lord appeared in fire and thunder to all the people (including the erev rov - the mixed nations) to make covenant with his people on Mount Sinai.

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Recorded at St Michael's 9.30am (11'03")

16 May 2010

The same power

Ascension Sunday (Year C) | Eph 1:15-23; Luke 24:46-53; Acts 1:1-11

I had my washed car yesterday - at one of those automatic car washes. When the weather is a bit warmer, I like taking it through the do-it-yourself section, so that I can play with the power hoses! It is amazing the difference that you get from the normal water pressure that comes out of the hoses, and the cleaning power when you pull the lever and let the compressor do its work. I remember as a kid when dad, who was a builder, brought home the huge new compressor that was mounted permanently on the back of his work truck. Just about every job - from cleaning down to nailing timber together was made so much easier with the power of the compressor. (You'll also hear the story of the day my brothers and I were shooting at a target with an air-rifle and we got a much bigger blast than we expected!)

All the readings today talk about the power of the Holy Spirit being unleashed upon the disciples. Since Jesus had just spent the past few years teaching and preparing these boofheads, he knew they needed it! St Paul, when he writes to the community at Ephesus (from his prison cell in Rome) today is aware of the amazing power that was unleashed when Jesus was raised to new life on Resurrection Day and new creation began. But he also knew that the church there, like the church today, would need extra help - wisdom and understanding - just to know that the power was really available and real.

How would we be different if we knew the power that lay within us - the same power that conquered the grave lives in me and lives in you? Let us pray the prayer of St Paul today and expect the power of the Spirit to be unleashed within our lives...

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Recorded at Sacred Heart 9.30am (8'20")

09 May 2010

It seems good to the Holy Spirit

Sixth Sunday in Easter (Year C). In Acts 15 we have a quite extraordinary moment in church history. At issue is how a Jewish community, gathered in worship at a Jewish synagogue around a Jewish Messiah, in the midst of a Jewish nation, keeping Jewish festivals and rituals - how does it welcome non Jews into this worship? What do these Gentiles have to do? Do men have to have that 'little operation' to be a part of this community? As they gather in Jerusalem for the Council, we read the decree that the disciples issue, which declares that "it seems good to the Holy Spirit and ourselves not to lay any unnecessary burdens on you" - which is an amazing thing in itself.

What might the teaching of this Council of Jerusalem (AD 50) mean for us today?

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Recorded at Sacred Heart, 9.30am (9'38")

02 May 2010

Everything is spiritual in the city of God

Fifth Sunday in Easter (Year C).

Sometimes we get caught in the idea that there are spiritual moments in our lives (when we are in Church; praying; reading Scripture; listening to music or whenever) and all the rest is just secular and to some extent doesn't count. But that's not the story of the Scriptures. We are familiar with how the story begins - with the creation of everything from nothing - and it is all declared 'good'. But we are less familiar with the end of the story. This is precisely what we have in the second reading - from the penultimate chapter of the bible (Rev 21).

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Recorded at St Michael's, 9.30 (10'22")