Gospel

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Seeing with the eye of the heart Michael Whelan sm
23 October 2021
On the evening of 28 October 1958, Angelo Roncalli stepped onto the balcony at St Peter’s as the newly elected Pope John XXIII. Three hundred thousand people in St Peter’s Square greeted him. Later he reflected in his diary: “I remembered Jesus’ warning: ‘Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart’. Dazzled by the television lights, I could see nothing but an amorphous swaying mass. I blessed Rome and the world as though I were a blind man. As I came away I thought of all the cameras and lights that from now on, at every moment, would be directed on me. And I said to myself: if you don’t remain a disciple of the gentle and humble Master, you’ll understand nothing even of temporal realities. Then you will be really blind” (Cited in Peter Hebblethwaite, John XXIII – Pope of the Council, London: HarperCollins, 1984/1994, 287-288).
 
What is a servant? Michael Whelan sm
16 October 2021
Service is a constant theme in the Bible. It takes on a particular significance in the Christian Scriptures. Sometimes the theme is explicit, mostly it is implicit. Thus, Matthew tells us: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (20:28). Life in the kingdom is characterized by service: “You also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14) and “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
 
Questing allows us to live life Michael Whelan sm
10 October 2021
We easily forget that, at the heart of the word “question” is the word “quest”. This forgetfulness gives rise to a certain way of questioning that is merely functional. For example, I might ask one of the attendants in the supermarket, “Where is the washing powder?” or I might ask my doctor, “What is the best diet for me?”. It is probably fair to say that, for many, this merely functional questioning is the only kind of questioning.
 
Marriage is fragile Michael Whelan sm
03 October 2021
They are both on a journey. That over time, the two will become one flesh. But seldom, do we live out that image. Marriage is fragile and vulnerable journey.The laying downof one’s life.In sacrifice.It is the union with Jesus, that the couple findthe epitome,of their union.
 
Book - My cry for that all that lives Mary Burke
03 October 2021
The stories in this work date back to the first century in the Christian era. They are the foundation stories of Western cultures and have held profound and world-shaping meanings for its audiences - for better or otherwise. As readers of this literature, we would like to pay attention to where these stories hit a chord or a dischord with us in che 21' century. How do we, reading through an eco-feminisc lens, encounter these stories and what liberating meaning might we find in chem? We may wonder, in face, are chey really 'good news' for women, for marginalised peoples, for the Earth in our world today? And if so, how?
 
What is missing? Michael Whelan sm
26 September 2021
What is missing? What is it that gets in the way of the good news? Of being transformed by the good news? The paradox is that we gain control by letting go. Blessed are those who can let go.
 
Falling in Love Michael Whelan sm
19 September 2021
Falling in love is a metaphor for being a disciple .
 
Wake up Michael Whelan sm
12 September 2021
Waking up is the work of a lifetime. Most of us will have particular moments of insight and new awareness from time to time. These are a normal part of an inner journey by which we become who and what we are – God’s creation. Today’s Gospel – Mark 8:25-37 – describes a moment of awakening for the disciples. It comes after many missed opportunities, it must be said. It is rare for human beings to grasp the first opportunity that life offers to wake up.
 
Reflection on Solitude - Mark 7:31 Michael Whelan sm
05 September 2021
We can recognize here the place of solitude in Jesus’ life. The English word “solitude” has its roots in the Latin word, solus, meaning “alone”. It is, however, quite different from simply “being alone”. Solitude is about being present to yourself – really present. That can indeed be aided by being alone. However, we can also experience solitude in a crowd. And we can resist solitude when we are alone. Solitude is a choice. It is facing the truth within. Solitude is an essential part of becoming
 
What does it mean to be church? Michael Whelan sm
29 August 2021
The kingdom – the Person – slowly emerges as a reality for us individually and communally in the context of human society. We must have rules and rituals for society to function. But those rules and rituals are not to be regarded as the instruments of our moral triumphs, but enablers of grace – the graced emergence of the kingdom.
 
A Hard Teaching - John 6 Michael Whelan sm
22 August 2021
If we have grown up within a Eucharistic faith, we may glide over “this teaching” that so affronted the disciples. Here is a little exercise. Imagine you are there with the disciples. Take a little time to construct the scene in your imagination. Catch Jesus’ eye. He holds your gaze and tells you: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you will not have life in you”. Hold his gaze. After a moment he says to you: “Do you also wish to go away?”
 
Jesus heals Simons mother-in-law The Chosen online TV Series
20 August 2021
Simon or Peters Mother in-law is sick to the point of death. Jesus comes to Simons house and heals her of her sickness.
 
Everything is more than it seems Michael Whelan sm
15 August 2021
What we generally refer to as the “real world”, is largely constructed by human beings. It is a necessary fiction. Imagine trying to live without (at least some) shared meaning and values, agreed rules, regulations, and so on. Chaos and anarchy would ensue – at least until someone or some group takes charge and constructs an alternative “real world”. Dystopian movies such as the Mad Max series make much of this horrible possibility. 
 
Who can not worry? Michael Whelan sm
08 August 2021
Today’s Gospel – Matthew 6:25-34 – seems like a call to mobilize our willpower and strive not to worry. That would be a formula for worry! Add Jesus’ authority and the worry will be intensified by false guilt. This text needs careful interpretation.
 
Our hearts are wrestless Michael Whelan sm
31 July 2021
In today’s Gospel – John 6:24-35 – we are told that the people are “looking for Jesus”. What do they want? What do they expect? Jesus says to them: “You are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves”. Still, they do not understand what he is pointing out to them. So they ask for a program, a sort of moral schedule that will ensure that they will be able to please God: “What must we do to perform the works of God?”
 
At the heart of it is how we deal with Vulnerability Michael Whelan sm
24 July 2021
In today’s Gospel – John 6:1-15 – we see Jesus with his disciples in an awkward situation. A large crowd had followed Jesus in the wilderness. Why? Because they believed in him as the Son of God? No! It was “because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick”. They were not reading the miracles as “signs” but as power. Vulnerable people seeking invulnerability? They wanted some of that power channeled in their direction! This led to a potentially embarrassing outcome: “Jesus said to Philip: ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little’.”
 
Being sent out Michael Whelan sm
11 July 2021
In today’s Gospel – Mark 6:7-13 – the fishermen are introduced to the mission: “Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits”. We are told little more than that “they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them”. Notice, Jesus has not yet entrusted them with the ultimate task of proclaiming the reign of God, the Kingdom.
 
TV scene - Calling the disciples The Chosen online TV Series
11 July 2021
From the TV series 'The Chosen'. Watch the miracle of the fish and the calling of the first disciples.
 
We are but travellers here Michael Whelan sm
04 July 2021
A reflection on the Gospel Mark 6:1-6. A very wise old psychotherapist once told me that the work of the psychotherapist is to help people feel at home in the world, while the work of the spiritual director is to help people not feel at home in the world. If you are in anyway reflective, you will be aware of the “more than”. The presence of the “more than” can have varying and sometimes quite challenging effects on us.
 
Jairus and the lady - Gospel Reflection Michael Whelan sm
27 June 2021
Unlike the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Mark’s Gospel has no account of Jesus’ birth or early life. Mark plunges straight into the story of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus. A brief reference is made to the temptations in the desert then Jesus begins his public ministry. There is a sense of urgency. The first disciples are called, the sick are healed, demons are cast out, parables are told, Jesus sails back and forth across the Sea of Galilee, from the Jewish side to the Gentile side . . . he is on a mission!
 
Lost in the Storm Michael Whelan sm
20 June 2021
All three synoptic Gospels give accounts of the calming of the storm – see Matthew 8:23–27; Luke 8:22–25 and Mark 4:35-41 which is today’s Gospel. Each of the accounts is remarkably similar. There is one extraordinary detail, however, that sets Mark’s account apart. At the height of their fear, Mark tells us that “they” – the disciples – said to Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Don’t you care! What a thing to say to Jesus!
 
Planting Seed Michael Whelan sm
12 June 2021
“The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.” So begins today’s Gospel – see Mark 4:26-34. What a peculiar way to speak of “the Kingdom of God”! But parables are like that. They present the imagination with a series of triggers that can awaken us to new and deeper truths. Consider the last phrase as such a trigger – “he does not know how”. It challenges our taken for granted understanding of what it means to know. It invites us to open ourselves to a much deeper knowing – one that might, in fact, look more like “unknowing”.
 
Source and Summit of the Christian Life Michael Whelan sm
06 June 2021
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Our Gospel – Mark 14:12-16 & 22-26 – gives us an intriguing description of the final meal Jesus has with his disciples. Is this a formal, Passover ritual or a more informal meal?
 
Feast of the Holy Trinity - Matthew 28:16-20 Michael Whelan sm
29 May 2021
Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It is a celebration of the Loving Community that we call God. Our Gospel text is a brief and simple one – Matthew 28:16-20: “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
 
Explore Pentecost in the Gospels - John 15:26 Michael Whelan sm
23 May 2021
Today’s Gospel – John 15:26-27 & 16:12-15 – reminds us of another Johannine theme: “Truth” – “when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth”. “Truth”, as used by John, can only be understood in the context of the other themes, especially, menō.
 
Feast of Pentecost Marist Laity Australia
23 May 2021
In ancient times in Judaism, The Jewish feast of Pentecost (Shavuot) was primarily a thanksgiving for the first fruits of the wheat harvest (from Wikipedia). Pentecost celebrated the many fruits and gifts which God would provide.
 
Mark 16:15-20 Michael Whelan sm
16 May 2021
Endings are part and parcel of everyday life. Endings change things. Endings may be predictable or unpredictable, remarkable or unremarkable. The day ends, a night’s sleep ends, a meal ends, a conversation ends, a journey ends, a relationship ends, a career ends, a life ends. Day to day living simply would not go on without endings.
 
Jesus evangelisation Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim . Archbishop of Seoul, Korea
09 May 2021
His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim. In order to help us understand our mission of evangelizing the poor, I wish to reflect with all of you about the kind of evangelization that Jesus did. I thought of calling this talk: 'Jesus' Evangelization of the Poor', since, in His heart, the poor were the prime target of His Good News. But the thought occurred to me that Jesus' evangelization was not limited to the poor. Rather, his bias for the poor, His evangelization of the poor, His identification with the poor was itself His message of evangelization to the rich as well, showing them in a most graphic way the path of their salvation.
 
John 15:9-17 Michael Whelan sm
09 May 2021
Our Gospel today – John 15:9-17 – contains nine explicit references to love. Together they emphasize a profound and practical truth: Being a disciple of Jesus is being in love. The first of these references sets the context for the others: The Father’s love for Jesus. In his First Letter John spells this out: “God is love . . . all love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God . . . God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us” – see 1 John 4:8-10.
 
Luke 24:35-48 Michael Whelan sm
18 April 2021
One of the truly striking features of the Gospels is that they are focused on Jesus himself. Jesus is the Good News! That is nowhere more so than in today’s Gospel – Luke 24:35-48. When describing the reactions of the disciples, Luke uses words like, “startled” and “terrified” and “frightened”. However, perhaps the most interesting of his descriptions is, “in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering”.
 
Nicodemus talking to Jesus The Chosen
14 April 2021
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,so that everyone who believes in him might not perishbut might have eternal life.
 
John 20:19-31 Michael Whelan sm
10 April 2021
In John’s Gospel, Thomas seems to be a man of drive and energy, ready to take on a challenge, a man of high ideals. But he also likes to be convinced that what he is doing is worth it. We meet him in John 11:16, when Jesus announces his intention of returning to Judea to visit Lazarus: “Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him’”. Thomas does not really know what he is saying!
 
Bishop Dons Easter Message 2021 Archbishop Donald Bolen Archbishop of Regina Canada
06 April 2021
From Canadian Archbishop of Regina. Over the years, I have had a recurring dream. Until a few days ago, I had not thought of this dream as being connected to Easter. Whenever I have had this dream, I have been deeply stirred by it. It comes in two forms....
 
Bishop Vincent Longs Easter Message 2021 Bishop Vincent Long
05 April 2021
At the heart of the Easter message is the summons to a new future, framed with hope and possibility, in the midst of entrenched hopelessness. As with Mary and the disciples, who were emboldened to move from the shadows of crucifixion into the light and life of the Risen Christ, the Church must live this message.
 
Mark 16:1-9 Michael Whelan sm
04 April 2021
Listen to the hopelessness in those opening lines of today’s Gospel – Mark 16:1-8: “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’” It is not difficult to imagine the women walking with their heads down. The harsh truth of what they had personally witnessed was weighing heavily on them. From the arrest of Jesus, through his “trial”, torture and eventual brutal crucifixion, they had every last ounce of hope wrung out of them. That Friday was not a beginning but an unimaginably horrid ending.
 
Easter Reflection from the Superior General Marist Father John Larsen
04 April 2021
For many people Easter weekend is celebrated with friends and family, with sports events and taking “a bit of a break”. This year the Covid virus puts a dark cloud over some of these celebrations, but people do the best they can. There may be the hope that in the midst of all these celebrations people remember the joy of the Resurrection. Well, perhaps!
 
Movie - Mary Magdalene Garth Davis
04 April 2021
Judea, 33 AD. Mary is a faithful young girl from the village of Magdala (close to Galilea Lake) unsure to follow the traditions and destiny reserved to the women, living only as wife and mother, in her wish to be free. After to reject a marriage proposal of Ephraim, a family friend, her brother Daniel and her father Elisha make her an exorcism in the belief that she is possessed by a demon. Trying to find a solution Elisha asks help Jesus, a healer who is earning fame between the Jews of the zone with his speeches about a kingdom of peace and love free of hate, tyranny, oppression and prosecution, to heal Mary and that finally she obeys and submits to their will. Astonished by the charisma, personality and words of Jesus, Mary decides to follow him despite the strong opposition of her family.
 
Movie - The Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson
02 April 2021
Documentary and Trailer of the Passion of the Christ
 
Mark 14:1-15:47 Michael Whelan sm
28 March 2021
Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001, published a book entitled, Fascism: A Warning (London: William Collins, 2018). She was eleven when she escaped from Czechoslovakia with her parents and two siblings. She lost “three grandparents, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins … among the millions of Jews who had died in the ultimate act of Fascism – the Holocaust”
 
John 12:20-33 Michael Whelan sm
21 March 2021
It is easy to forget – and we must not forget! – the huge transformation that the disciples have to go through in their thinking of the Christ. The standard assumptions would have been strongly influenced by the legends of David passed down through the ages. At the very least, the Christ would meet some acceptable criteria of human success. Little if anything in current thinking prepared them for a Christ who would be vulnerable, apparently defeated by the powers that be, left to die an ignominious death like a criminal on a Roman cross for the passing world to mock.
 
Download Family Prayer Marist Laity Australia
14 March 2021
You are invited to download and PRINT the following prayer. Print a copy for each person. Include the colouring exercise - mindful activity either during the prayer or after.
 
John 3:14-21 Michael Whelan sm
14 March 2021
In today’s brief Gospel text – John 3:14-21 – John has Jesus make a summary statement of human moral possibilities: “The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light”.
 
The woman at the well The Chosen TV Series
04 March 2021
John 4:5-42. A scene from the series The Chosen.
 
Mark 9:2-10 Michael Whelan sm
28 February 2021
The second affirmation occurs at the transfiguration of Jesus. The transfiguration begins the testing period leading to Jerusalem and the Cross – the second half of Mark’s Gospel.
 
Mark 1:12-15 Father Michael Whelan SM
21 February 2021
We are in the presence of someone who has experienced an event that has turned his world on its head – he has been driven into the wilderness by the Spirit of God! By any measure – if it is true what we say about the Incarnation – it should also turn my world on its head.
 
Mark 1:29 Father Michael Whelan SM
07 February 2021
A short reflection on Jesus calling of his disciples and mission of Jesus Christ.
 
The Magnificat John Thornhill sm
04 February 2021
By John Thornhill sm The Magnificat is probably the most revealing text about Mary. It comes from Saint Luke. Saint Luke really loved Mary and was very interested in Mary. There is a rich number of text in Luke’s infancy Gospel and the other parts of the Gospel.
 
Mark 1:21 Father Michael Whelan SM
31 January 2021
A short reflection on authority both in Jesus in his day, but also today.
 
Mark 1:14 Michael Whelan sm
24 January 2021
A short reflection on the calling of Peter in the Gospels.
 
A New Year’s Resolution Andrew Dumas
31 December 2020
Watch this 5-minute video from Marist Laity Australia. Download the Prayer sheet. Pray the prayer individually or share with your family or community.
 
A Christmas Reflection for 2020 Andrew Dumas
18 December 2020
As we conclude 2020, this year will be forever marked as the Covid year. Where many parts of the world have struggled and continue to struggle to contain the Covid virus. As Marists, we feel called to go out into the community. To care for the poor, the outcast and to the edges of our society. There is a certain level of guilt not to have done some of the things we could do to work to care for others. The question, “Where would Christ and Mary be amongst this”? Who are the good angels?
 





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