Palm Sunday – 25th March 2018

Motives in Evangelism
There need to be powerful motives if we are to pluck up courage to start this daunting task, where embarrassment has to be overcome, openings made and time sacrificed. There need to be powerful motives if we are not to give up in discouragement when we see little if any fruit from our efforts. As a matter of fact there are powerful motives, and the early Christians knew them and were moved by them. Here they are.

They bothered because of God’s love
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. He had only one Son, and that Son was a missionary. What is more, God’s own love became implanted in the hearts of believers (Rom. 5:5) and so, not surprisingly, they began to share the heavenly Father’s attitude to the lost.

They bothered because of Christ’s command
In Matthew 28:18-20 we see the farewell words of Jesus to his disciples. He assures them that he has all the power in heaven and earth. He promises that he will be with them until the end of the age. And then he gives them his parting instructions. They are to go into all the world and make disciples. They could claim his promises of power and presence only if they were obedient to that last command. We treat the last wishes of those we love very seriously. So did the early Christians: and this was Christ’s last behest. Perhaps that is why they gave themselves so unremittingly to evangelism.

Evangelism – now and then.
Michael Green

Fifth Sunday in Lent – 18th March 2018

Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts.
Then I will be their God and they shall be my people….
They will all know me, the least no less than the greatest….
Since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sins to mind.
First Reading

Jesus clearly identified himself with the ‘least’ rather than with the ‘greatest’. To the truly poor of his time he took the good news that God’s presence was with them in a special way. He encouraged them to believe in that presence and to allow it to give new meaning and new hope to their lives.

Deep within our hearts we ‘know’ God in the way Jesus wanted people to discover God. The Gospel today speaks of a ‘dying’ to be endured if the seed planted is to come to life. The questions the readings pose for us, then, are: How can I nurture this ‘knowing’ which is deep within my own heart? What do I need to weed out if this knowing is to grow within me?

Reflections for Sundays
“God is With Us”
Michael Morwood MSC

Fourth Sunday in Lent – 11th March 2018

God loved us with so much love that God was generous with mercy; when we were dead through our sins, God brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved and raid up with him and given a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.

This was to show for all ages… infinitely rich God is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved; through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.

Second Reading

If Christians were more familiar with this passage of scripture it might balance the all too common belief that we have to win our ways to heaven by what we do. It is a reading that should spring to our minds, one we should be familiar with, whenever we think about ‘getting to heaven’.

One way of praying the passage and helping it to sink into our hearts and minds is to imagine God speaking the words to us. For example, ‘Marie, I have loved you with so much love…I have brought you to life, I have found you a place in heaven…’

Work through the passage that way, giving God thanks for the gift being offered you, a gift you have no intention of refusing!

Reflections for Sundays
“God is With Us”
Michael Morwood MSC

Third Sunday in Lent – 4th March 2018

Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple – Gospel

Is it unchristian to get angry? Jesus is clearly angry. The situation demanded it and he acted accordingly. Showing his anger was honest and courageous. A weaker person would have walked away without any action.

There are times when showing anger can be a challenge to act like Jesus. We need to discern these times carefully for we know we can use anger recklessly and thoughtlessly on others. But when situations demand an angry and outraged reaction, we should know it is Christ–like to give expression to it. To show anger is at times a courageous action. There may be consequences we would rather not have to live with.

At such times there can come a temptation that the true Christian spirit is to forgive or excuse or not to disrupt harmony or hurt others’ feelings. So we do nothing…..we  allow unjust, unhealthy, unchristian attitudes and actions to prevail in our midst.