27 February 2011

Worry, money and insurance

The fact that Jesus repeats a phrase seven times in our Gospel reading today perhaps suggests that there is something he wants us to learn. In a world that values money, security and wealth much more highly than the glories of God's creation, the words of Jesus invite us to embrace a different way of being. One imagines that when Jesus preaches the sermon on the mount, he was surrounded by the lilies of the field in the Galilee spring and as he gestures upwards to the birds of the air there were many wheeling and flying free - just the same as Jesus lived and calls his disciples to live in the same freedom - embracing the amazing gifts of creation and the bounty and generosity of God.

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Recorded at SJV, 8.30am (8'45")
Sunday 08A. Matthew 6:24-34

24 February 2011

Renovations at SJV

The parish Church at Fairy Meadow is soon to undergo a range of renovations - improvements to the sanctuary, the main body of the church and to the entrances and landscaping. Some of the work will require that the church is closed (during which time all Masses will be transferred to the parish church in Balgownie). The architects who are preparing the work have prepared a 3D fly-though of the church - so I thought it may be of some interest!

You can find out more information at the Parish website: www.lumenchristi.org.au

20 February 2011

Offer the left cheek

A story told by Eugene Peterson (the author of The Message Bible - a translation in very contemporary English) of the day when the tables were turned on Garrison Johns - the school yard bully who had beaten up on Eugene every day after school for seven months - highlights the way that we have often read this teaching of Jesus. Perhaps if we reconstruct what this teaching would have meant to the first hearers, we can discover a richer source for reflection.

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Recorded at St John Vianney, 8.30am (9'35")
Sunday 07 in the Year (A)
Matthew 5:38-48

13 February 2011

But I say to you

Often we imagine - to tell you the truth - that the teaching of Jesus was much softer that the hard edges of the laws of Moses. Yet - to be honest with you - what we discover in today's Gospel (Matthew 5:17-37) is the very opposite of this. In the face of an ages' long understanding that the role of a Rabbi was to simply repeat what they had been taught by their master Rabbi, Jesus dares to teach something new. And when he declares that 'you have heard it said' and then he goes on to say 'but I say to you...' the new teaching that he gives does not soften the laws - they sharpen them into instruments that are capable to reaching deep inside each of our hearts with frightening effect.

Recorded at St John Vianney, 8.30am (7'48")
Sunday 06 A

06 February 2011

Salt and Light already

As we continue to journey through the sermon on the mount, lest we imagine that the kingdom of heaven is only something that will happen in the distant future, today we are given two promises that serve as concrete declarations of the kingdom breaking into our present reality. Jesus tells the crowd of disciples (who lets face it are rather daft at times - not like us?) that 'You are the salt of the earth' and 'You are light of the world.' It is interesting that he says 'you', not 'them'; he says 'are' not 'should be' or 'will be' and he says 'of' not 'from' - so what does this mean?

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Recorded at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, 5'45" on a 44 degree day!
Sunday 5 in the season of the year (A)