28th September 2015 - Church as God’s household Pt2 (Ephesians 2:19-22)
There’s a lot to this household that we are part of in the Church. We have solid foundations - the ‘greats’ of the Apostles and the Prophets.

We are connected closely to them in our wonderful Church. They are not just some great people who taught us amazing things about God by word and more importantly by their deeds. We are united with them, one with them as we are with our families and our ancestors.

Jesus of course is the keystone - the main cornerstone. Jesus is the one who makes the building secure - holds us all together and keeps us strong and sound.

While the image of the Church as a building is not a living image, it tells us some special truths. There are many more stones resting on that sure foundation - all those wonderful people we also are part of.

We are stones too, built on and resting on all of them. Who we are now depends on them. We in the present day Church rest on the shoulders of Jesus and all those who form our wonderful Church.

There are many things to imagine, think and pray about and thank God for.

21st September 2015 - The Church as God’s Household
There are various references to the Church as being the house or household of God. It is another way of describing the Church which is the family or the People of God.

The classic quote is from Ephesians 2:19-22 ‘So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God’.

None of us are foreigners or wandering around as refugees. We are citizens - we belong. We are part of this special family.

Pope Francis echoes these beautiful words with the assurance that “the Church is not a private chapel for a select few, but a big hall where all are welcome”.

In speaking with his Apostles at the Last Supper Jesus told them that there were many rooms in his Father’s house and that he was going to prepare a place for them. Jn 14:1-3

These words are for you and me too. Jesus will make us ‘at home’ with him in heaven.

Jesus wants us to ‘at home’ with him now - and in his Church - no matter who we are, what we have done or what our situation is.

Think and pray about this great gift - how we all ‘part of God’s household’ and what it means.

14th September 2015 - Belonging to the Church

Recently I went to South Hedland to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of St John the Baptist Parish. 

Apart from recalling in various ways the history, the Priests, Religious and people over that time - celebrating the milestone and giving God thanks - it gave me the opportunity to speak about the value of the Church and our Parishes in particular where we link into, belong and participate in that Church.

I drew on three images from the Gospel and New Testament which speak volumes about the Church. Over the next few weeks I just want to highlight them, make a few comments on them and invite our reflection and prayer with a view to appreciating even more the great Gift of Jesus and what he calls us to in the Church.

The three images are - the household of God, the Body of Christ, and the Grapevine.

Here I just want to make the point that we cannot be a true Christian and full Disciple of Jesus on our own.

I am sure we have heard people say, “I don’t need to go to church to be a good Christian”.  We can be good people, do good things, believe in Jesus and get to heaven. However each of these New Testament images says that not only are we connected to Jesus, but also at the same time we are linked to each other.

As well as being individuals we are social beings and God has provided beautifully for us by giving us the great Gift of the family of the Church.

In this Church Jesus offers so much to us, as well as asking, in imitation of him, so much of us.

The full ‘Christian deal’ can only be in and through Jesus’ Church. 

7th September 2015 - Let God Work in Me

I wonder if in times of quiet and prayer you have ever thought like this?

Why is it that after all these years:-

I feel I know Jesus very little?

I don’t feel caught up in God - in wonder at our majestic, infinitely powerful, awesome, beautiful God Creator - whose love and compassion is without measure?

Why am I not filled with awe at how God lives within me moment by moment through the Holy Spirit?

Why don’t I feel joy in praising God?

I am sure there are many reasons or questions like these, even for good Faith filled people who love God.

One reason for feeling like this at times is that God is infinite - without limits and in comparison I (although made in God’s image) am the tiniest of creatures and very, very limited. There is no comparison. Not only am I not on the same level, but as beings there is an infinite gap between us.

Recently I read a few beautiful words by St Augustine on the Eucharist which I believe throws much light on all the above.

“You will not change me into you like bodily food: but you will be changed into me”.

I don’t have to worry about any comparison or how big the gap is. God, in Jesus, has bridged that enormous gap.

All I need do now is to go confidently to God in prayer daily so that I may be changed into Him.

And every time I receive Holy Communion I know Jesus is changing me more into himself.