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Religion

  • Pentecost: The liberating Spirit

    Today’s readings: Acts 2, 1-11; 1 Corinthians 12, 3-7.12-13; John 20, 19-23. The context of what actually happened on the first Pentecost as recorded in Acts and in St John’s gospel is the context of an institution in desolation, already showing...

  • To read and change the world

    To read and change the world

    Every year, in these months, many parents hope to get their child into a Church school, putting their child’s name into a ballot. The day of the ballot dashes the hopes of many, especially those who are wholeheartedly dedicated to pastoral work...

  • Quotes and news

    Commenting on the news that suicide bombers had attacked Santa Maria Catholic church, Diponegoro Indonesian Christian church and Surabaya Centre Pentecostal church in Indonesia, Pope Francis said: “I am particularly close to the dear people of...

  • The Ascension of the Lord: Reading God’s signs

    Acts 1, 1-11; Ephesians 1, 17-23; Mark 16, 15-20. In today’s feast of the Ascension, the occurrence of Jesus being taken from the disciples and lifted up to sit with the Father in heaven creates that intermediate state of uncertainty between our...

  • When the saints go marching in...

    When the saints go marching in...

    Last Wednesday, we celebrated the feast of St George Preca. While some people still cherish a personal memory of this priest, most of us never met him since he died in 1962. Maybe we have heard stories about him, came across excerpts of his...

  • Quotes and news

    Cardinal Jozef De Kesel of Malines-Brussels, Belgium, Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, says he is open to reflecting on a ‘prayer ceremony’ to seal relationships between gay couples A spokesman for the Cardinal said that in his effort to answer...

  • Sixth Sunday of Easter: Loving, not judging

    Today’s readings: Acts 10, 25-26.34-35.44-48; 1 John 4, 7-10; John 15, 9-17. The language running through today’s Scripture readings is not the language we learn and speak in the way we are educated in religion. Religion is very often understood...

  • A persistent misunderstanding

    A persistent misunderstanding

    Every now and then, something crops up that brings the relationship between the Labour Party and the Church to the fore. This relationship has not been very good at least since the 1960s. Not many people remember what the quarrel between the...

  • Quotes and news

    The Catholic bishops of Nigeria are asking the President of the country to resign. They said Christians are feeling “abandoned and betrayed” after 19 people, including two priests, were killed in a church. The bishops said: “If the President...

  • Fifth Sunday of Easter: Living boldly

    Acts 9, 26-31; 1 John 3, 18-24; John 15, 1-8. There was a time when the fabric of society and of the communities to which we belonged was likened to a living organism rather than to an  organisation where we are  unknown identities or numbers. In...

  • Towards an engaged faith community

    Towards an engaged faith community

    I strongly believe that growth can only be achieved once we distance ourselves from the greatest adversary to creativity – our comfort zone. Moving beyond it often calls for a process of intuition or spiritual discernment through which new...

  • Quotes and news

    In his homily last Sunday Pope Francis said: “Jesus doesn’t speak of an intellective knowledge, no, but of a personal relationship, of predilection, of mutual tenderness, a reflection of the same intimate relationship of love between him and the...

  • Fourth Sunday of Easter: Our God is different

    Today’s readings: Acts 4, 8-12; 1 John 3, 1-2; John 10, 11-18. St John’s gospel uses the imagery of the good shepherd, of a caring that is truly pastoral, to depict the universality of God’s will to save mankind and possibly to restore each and...

  • The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network

    The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network

    The ‘Apostleship of Prayer’ ori­ginated in France in 1844. Two Jesuits played a key role in the development of the movement. François Xavier Gautrelet, spiritual director at the Jesuit house of studies in Vals, helped the young men there realise...

  • Quotes and news

    The Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem II, Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X and Melkite Catholic Patriarch Joseph Absi of Antioch have united in condemnation of the US air strikes on their country. They described the air strike as “brutal...

  • Third Sunday of Easter: God’s real presence

    Acts 3, 13-15.17-19; 1 John 2, 1-5; Luke 24, 35-48. Faith in God who raised Jesus from the dead is faith in God the creator. The resurrection is part and parcel of the ongoing process of creation, which is still work-in-progress. What God did in...

  • Indifference as human emptiness

    Indifference as human emptiness

    We easily find ourselves as spectators at this theatre of the world we are living in today. We resign ourselves in our comfortable seat, feeling numb and helpless as social injustice, corruption and human suffering pass by on this global stage...

  • Quotes and news

    The following are extracts from Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Happy) issued last Monday: Middle class holiness “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in parents who...

  • Second Sunday of Easter: The true risen body

    Acts 4, 32-35; 1 John 5, 1-6; John 20, 19-31. We live in an age and culture that, where belief is concerned, carries multiple contradictions. A few weeks ago, the faith and church attendance survey report published last January gave a snapshot of...

  • ‘I give you a new heart, a new Spirit’

    ‘I give you a new heart, a new Spirit’

    Recently I heard a true story about a lovely girl called Julia. She lived all her life in fear of instant death as she was born with a heart problem and spent her life waiting for a heart transplant. Doctors could not find a heart that matched hers.