Second Sunday after Pentecost – 3rd June 2018

Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God.       Second Reading

In today’s first reading we have the call of Samuel, with the well-known ‘Here I am Lord.’ Response. The Gospel gives us the call of Andrew and Peter with their response. There is a mentality, common among Christians, that is fearful of getting too close to God. The fear is that God might ask something extraordinarily difficult of them, as if God were some kind of hard taskmaster.

The words from the second reading should give us hope and new heart, and put that fear to rest. God is not to be thought of as an absent, stern deity wanting to put burdens on us. Our God is a God of presence, the Spirit of love in our midst. The call this God makes to most of us is not a call to do extraordinary feats. It is a call to believe and to witness that God is present in our Families and in our world through our loving and in our living. It is a call to believe that since the spirit of God truly is with us. Then there is sacredness about us, and we should act accordingly.

Reflections for Sundays
God Is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC

Trinity Sunday – 27th May 2018

There are three distinct ways we can understand ‘God’ and appreciate the activity of God in our world.

We understand and appreciate God as Creator, the source of all that exists, the Almighty. We use the symbol of ‘Father’ to express God’s concern, care and compassion, and to evoke trust and reverence from us. We could just as well use ‘Mother’ for God is neither ‘He’ or ‘She’, and the word we use of God can never be used to define what God is. God is ultimately beyond our words and our images.

God reveals God’s self to us. We believe in a God who is loving and who has created us in love and so has formed an eternal bond with us. We are created in God’s image.

Jesus is the Revealer. He reveals God to us in his human life, in what he believed and the way he loved. Through Jesus who is risen Lord for us we know we can ‘walk without fear in God’s presence’. Jesus is the ‘Son’ and we are ‘brothers and sisters’, ‘children’ of God.

God is universal Spirit, recognised as bringing beauty from chaos, peace from turmoil, hope from despair, and union from fragmentation. Through the Spirit we know the power of love and forgiveness and eh sure presence of God deep in our own hearts. We are, as St Paul says, ‘temples of God’s Holy Spirit’. (cf Second reading for Second Sunday of the year) God is Love. We who bless ourselves in the name of this God are truly blessed.

Reflections for Sundays
God Is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC

Day of Pentecost – 20th May 2018

The Pentecost Sequence, found in the Missal before the Gospel, is a beautiful prayer. Try praying it with the firm convictions that the Spirit of God is in you, that you are, as St Paul says of all Christians, ‘a Temple of God’s Holy Spirit.’ (1 Cot. 3:16) As the Sequence says, we are praying to and with:

of all consolers best,
thou, the soul’s delightful guest.

Ponder these words, and be with the truth that God’s Spirit is a power at work in you. Make the prayer gentle and personal with this ‘guest’ of yours.

Heal my wounds, my strength renew,
On my dryness pour they dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Acknowledge the need for conversion of mind and heart, and pray wholeheartedly,

Bend my stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm, the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.

In all this, pray with the Spirit within you.

Reflections for Sundays
God Is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC

Seventh Sunday of Easter – 13th May 2018

Happy Mother’s Day
all our mothers
those who have a mothering role

The Ascension highlights some of the challenges facing us in our understanding of Scripture. Are we to understand the ‘ascension’ literally? Did Jesus stand there on a hill and then start going up, up and away into the clouds? The difficulty some people have is that if you allow the ascension to be understood in a symbolic way, where do you draw the line with other stories in the New Testaments, e.g. did Jesus actually walk on water during his lifetime? What miracles can we accept as actual events, which are to be understood in a symbolic way? There is a huge gap in our Church between the learning of scripture scholars and that of most people at church on Sundays. People who try to bridge the gap often find themselves under attack from others whose faith is being disturbed.

There is an enormous challenge facing us here if we are to bridge that gap, and the challenge is requiring most of us to be open to new ways of understanding and appreciating Scripture. These new ways are not to be dismissed as suspicious, trendy, liberal or dangerous. We are deadline here with truth, with new learning and understanding and scholarship in the name of the Church. Resisting the challenge facing us with ignorance and a refusal to be open to new insight and learning is doing our Church a lot of damage.

Reflections for Sundays
God Is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC

Sixth Sunday of Easter – 6th May 2018

This is my commandment:

Love one another as I have loved you. Gospel

The community we call ‘Church’ exists to carry on and to give witness to the mind and heart of Jesus in our world. We who are the ‘community of believers’ are to be people who will love as Jesus loved. This would include also the need to be as compassionate as he was, to think as broadly as he thought, to act as generously as he acted. This is the heart of the matter. All the ceremony, all the ritual all he organization, all the laws, all that exists as Church’s has this one aim: that we be people who will love as Jesus loved. There is only one commandment he gives us.

The Church needs constantly to return to his truth in order to review itself, to prioritise its works and to renew itself.

On the parish level we could ask the question: Does what we do and celebrate
make obvious that we ae people who love others the way Jesus loved?

Reflections for Sundays
God Is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC