A Reflection for Christmas Day

This year in my home parish we are having an exhibition of cribs, Cribs from all around the world. Along with many other people, I am looking forward to it. The build-up to this experience is a reminder that cribs are integral to the family Christmas experience. The variety of Christmas cribs offers various understandings of Jesus’ family at the time of His birth.

A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Now, on the fourth Sunday of Advent, we finally come to the Christmas story. But to understand today’s gospel it is worth taking a moment to think about the gospel that was read earlier this week (on December 17th). Last Tuesday we heard the verses that lead up to the story of how Jesus came to be born and they make for interesting reading as they present to us the genealogy of Jesus.

A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

We call it Gaudete Sunday – Rejoice Sunday – and in the darkness of an Irish December you can see the wisdom of taking time to enumerate reasons to be happy! However, John the Baptist in today’s Gospel certainly isn’t leading by example. He is in prison, alone and having doubts about what God is doing. He appears to be wondering, have I got it wrong?

A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent

What are we to make today of dreamers? What do we think of people who genuinely believe that the world doesn’t have to be the way it is and who assert that change is possible. The use of the word “dreamer” gives it away – we are tempted to dismiss them. They simply aren’t living in the real world. What if we change the word to “prophets” – what are we to make of them? Two key advent figures, both prophets (or dreamers!) share their wisdom with us today.

A Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

A new start, a new gospel and – liturgically speaking – a new year! This may not where most of us are at as we think about the first Sunday of Advent. The commercial world began the mad rush of preparation for Christmas many weeks ago but today, as we gather, our Church invites us into an altogether different waiting space. We await the God who comes, and it seems that the Scriptures tell us that, to do that well, first and foremost we need to wake up! That may be easier said than done. It is winter after all and we are in hibernation-mode.

A Reflection for The Feast of Christ the King

Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus responded: ‘You say so’! The Feast of Christ the King is a relatively recent addition to the liturgical calendar, having only been instituted by Pius XI in 1925. What was it in 1925 that motivated the pope to do so? Political and-social events called his attention.