April 25, 2015

The Good Shepherd Models Sacrificial Love (Easter 4)

Jesus is teaching his followers the cost of being a serious Christian. Just as His life, witness and ministry modeled self-sacrificial love; so we as His followers are to model the self-sacrificial love of the ancient shepherds. This is not easy in our time:
·         Self-sacrifice is foreign to our a self-centred narcissistic culture
·         We live in a culture which has a very confused and opposing understanding of what love is – being nice, avoiding conflict and not offending others
·         Do we go along to get along – even if the result is people not gaining – or loosing eternal spiritual life – OR do we risk unpopularity by offending - to help people
·         Sometimes Jesus ministry was offensive and challenging
·         We need to understand that if we really love people we may need to sacrifice our comfort zone and challenge them
1. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep

April 18, 2015

“You Are Witnesses Of These Things” (Luke 24.48) (Easter 3)

The Disciples are witnesses to an extra ordinary event. They physically touch the Risen Jesus and see Him eat food. They are witnesses to the “resurrection of the body” - as we say in the Apostles Creed. You do not choose to be a witness. You are a witness because you were there and saw or experienced something. Witnesses have a moral responsibility to witness - to share the truth in a world confused by lies. Witnesses who report accurately what they have seen or experienced are essential to law and order and the survival of civil society

1. You are my witnesses of these things (Luke 24.48)
In these Readings all Christians are called to be witnesses. This is what we all promise to do in our Baptism and Confirmation. It is not the job of the clergy.

April 10, 2015

Christians are Naturally Supernatural (Response to Cursillo talk April 9)

We have all heard of things happening in peoples lives which can not be explained by nature - what happens naturally, or at least most of the time. Miracles and statistically unlikely events lead to questions about God.
  • Some people dismiss miracles as luck
  • Others assume God may have acted but are confused about their faith
  • Serious Christians are drawn deeper into their faith

1. Personal experience deepens our faith

April 4, 2015

The Resurrection Means I Will Not Die But Live! (`Easter)

Easter is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from physical death. This gives us the hope that when we die, our soul and spirit will live on in a different dimension and in a new Resurrection or spiritual body. The Readings assigned for Easter remind us of the Isaiah (25.7) Prophecy and Psalm 118.17 that God promised to intervene in His Story and create a way to save us from the fear and shame of physical death. The Gospel Reading describes the first human encounter with the Risen Jesus and the Acts Reading reminds us that those who believe in Jesus Christ will also experience this new form of life.

1. “He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all people (Is. 25.7)
This is a profound Prophecy about the human condition. We all die. This raises the question of what happens when we die? We all fear death, particularly as we get older and experience the loss of people we love.