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To be a servant

There is a certain kind of Religion that can be really quite off putting. They are the people of thes. They go around telling others how they should pray and how they should act. They are their own definition better than anyone else. They are hard to negotiate with and never listen to another persons views for they are right. Laying heavy burdens on others they do not do the same themselves. In the annuals of history they are instantly forgotten. 
Real authentic religion is when people are authentic when we can see that what they preach they practice these people are attractive and remember them by the example that they give. There was a beautiful moment a few days after Francis was elected Pope. He asked to go and visit the place where he stayed before the Conclave. A small Hostel with simple rooms on the Via della Scoffa. A place where I have stayed myself when I have been to Rome. You can imagine the surprise on the peoples faces as he came in to pay his bill. Also in a departure to…

Love: What does it all mean?

West Ham beating Spurs, Haribo, strictly come dancing, Chocolate cake, going for a walk on the sea front, a good game of rugby, reading a book, listening to music, going to the theatre, My Friends, my family and God. These are the things that I love or love to do. We use the word love for so many different things. 
But to unlock  this Gospel we need to look more closely at the word love first. For as I have demonstrated the word love is one of the most overused word in the English language and when we use it is has so many different meanings. We can all list the things that we love and the way that we place a different meaning on each different item. My love for example for Chocolate cake is different to the love of my parents or a partner but yet we use the same word. When we look at the Greek word it surprisingly has 6 different meanings. So you can see how complicated it can become. Don’t worry I am not going to go through them now thats for you to have a look at yourselves. 
And yet…

The Wedding Feast of the Lamb

I want to tell you about a friend of mine called Fred. Fred loves parties. For the first half of his life he lived in institutions and hardly ever said a word. He was rejected by society. Then he found his way by a chance encounter to Laurche community down in Bognor Regis. Now you cannot stop him talking. Now remember that I said that he liked parities. Every birthday he would spend the day getting ready for his birthday party making sure that every thing was just right. He would get dressed up in his finest gear and have a great time. One day Fred came into the scarcity as his usually did on the Sunday and tell me the weeks news. This week he was particularly excited because he had been invited to the Queens Garden party. So on the morning of this special party he got up early, made sure he had his special clothes and arrived early with his career for the party. On his return in his weekly update to me he was able to tell me everything what the queen was wearing and what as he descr…

Vineyard (unedited)

The Gospel today in the parable of the wicked tenants directly challenges the Jewish leaders thats why they were so angry. When we break down the Parable to different parts we can see why they were so angry. The landowner is God the Vineyard Israel the Wicked Tenants the people of Israel The servants the Prophets and the Son Jesus. Jesus was directly challenging the Jewish authorities in their treatment of the prophets those who were going to tell them God’s ways. By using the quote from Psalm 118 Jesus then turns this parable and focuses on himself. For Jesus is the corner stone rejected by the Jewish leaders the Builders But the keystone is the new people of God which includes the Gentles. 
It is also a story about good over coming evil. We know the end of the story. Jesus puts himself in the heart of salvation history of the story of the Old Testament prophets and shows that even he will be rejected and not listened too. 
Parables also say something to us. They are stories for us tod…

Change

This week we celebrated the Feast day of St Vincent de Paul. We all know him as a man who cared for the poor of society and helped them a lot. He is also a man who had to do a lot of changing in his life when he realised that the path he was following was wrong. Listening and discerning the will of God he became a champion of the poor. He had to change and he realised that change can be hard. It is a constant re evaluating of the heart.. It is a time when we need prayer and a listening ear to the voice of God. Over the next few months there is going to be a lot of changes, in the parish. It is a time not for lamenting about the past and what there was but looking in faith and hope to the future embracing the challenges and learning with each other how we can bring the Kingdom of God to all those whom we have been sent. It means that we will sometimes need a change of heart to embrace new ideas and also be challenged about where God is leading us. It is not a time to be scared but a ti…

Beautiful words from the Holy Father to Priests

Returning to the theme of “Dwelling in Christ,” the Pope gave three ways this must be accomplished. First, Dwelling by touching Christ’s humanity: “With the gaze and attitude of Jesus, who contemplates reality not as a judge, but rather as a good Samaritan; who recognizes the value of the people who walk with him, as well as their wounds and sins; who discovers their silent suffering and who is moved by peoples’ needs, above all when they are overwhelmed by injustice, inhumane poverty, indifference or by the perverse actions of corruption and violence.” Second, Dwelling by contemplating his divinity: “Awakening and sustaining an admiration for the study which increases knowledge of Christ because, as Saint Augustine reminds us, we cannot love someone we do not know.” Third, dwelling in Christ in order to live joyfully: “If we remain in him, his joy will be in us. We will not be sad disciples and bitter apostles. On the contrary, we will reflect and be heralds of true happiness, a comple…

The Cost of Discipleship

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“ Unless you take up your cross and follow me you cannot be my disciple” I remember a few years ago I was in hospital and the chaplain came to see me. While we were talking about this and that he said to me well this pacemaker that you are about to have is your cross that Jesus has decided to give you. I could have metaphorically swung at him. This I thought after the chaplain had gone was a complete mis interpretation of the passage we have just heard in the Gospel. It is not a bad knee a bad back a stomach ache or anything to do with that the clue to the whole sentence is in the last word. “ Disciple” We are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to follow him to give up worldly processions and attractions and follow him. To follow Jesus means that we may have to suffer that we may have to deny things in order to follow him.
In a homily some years ago Pope Francis warned that Christians run the risk of becoming "lukewarm" where we become "Christians in ap…