Saturday, 26 January 2013


A reflection on Luke 4:14-21

as political as they come;
as challenging as they come; as life changing as they come.
Such was Jesus’ manifesto
written long ago,
brought to life in the Son of God, harnessing the power of the Spirit.
Not popular in some quarters, radicals never are,
but when they saw
all those grand old words being lived out,
after centuries of gathering dust, folk couldn’t help but get upset as they were confronted
with a way of living
that they could easily embrace
if they could shake off their apathy, built up over the years
and tamped down
into a solid seemingly unmovable mass.
Not rocket science.
Not even political science.
But simple undiluted love:
the kind that is buried deep within, waiting to be kindled and coaxed into flame,
so that
the poor hear good news,
captives are released,
the blind can see
and the oppressed go free.
That’s some Manifesto!

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Faith, hope and love

With our faith we will hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope
Martin Luther King in his speech at the march on Washington.

I watched the POTUS' inauguration today remembering the excitement and enthusiasm of his first inauguration (isn't inauguration just a one-off?), the sense of history being made.
Although much of that novelty and sense of anticipation is lacking this time around, I am still filled with hope and perhaps a more realistic hope than I had 4 years ago. Then, I had the sense that anything might happen. Now I know that the impossible takes a little longer.
Obama's speech on this, the birthday of MLK, was full of challenging sound bytes. Whatever else he is, he is a skilled orator. But also a man of passion, who dreams of inclusivity.
Yes, there is so far to go, many mountains to climb, but there is still reason to hope that he can bring to bear the kind of manifesto that is the Lectionary for this Sunday:
Luke 4:18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

With the prayers of the faithful behind him,perhaps despair can give way to hope and we will be witnesses of this gospel being fulfilled in our lifetime.

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Saturday, 19 January 2013

That's my boy

A reflection on tomorrow's gospel - when Jesus turned the water into wine, it was his mother Mary who recognised that it was time.

That’s my boy.
That’s my boy
for whom I was ostracised before he was born.
That’s my boy
who caused a stir
when he arrived at census time.
That’s my boy
who was visited by the great and the good when he arrived.
That’s my boy
who was recognised
by the old folks in the temple.
That’s my boy
whom I’m told will bring me grief.
That’s my boy
and, though he doesn’t yet know it, his time has come.
That’s my boy,
do whatever he tells you.
A mother knows these things. That’s my boy.

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Sunday, 6 January 2013

God is dog spelled backwards

We were so glad to welcome him on Christmas Day
It was like having a new member of the family
He looked so tiny and helpless
It made you just want to pick him up and cuddle him
We made promises of course
Said we'd make room for him in our home
Said we'd alter our routines to fit him in
Said we'd take a walk with him each day
But the novelty soon began to wear off
By New Year we were mentioning him less often
Daily chores were less of a thrill
More of a reluctant duty
By February he was unwanted
By March we had abandoned him completely
We should have read the warnings
We should have counted the cost
A God is for life
Not just for Christmas

Gerard Kelly

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Saturday, 5 January 2013


Flight to Egypt
As the Holy Family fled
from the backlash
of a power hungry ruler,
did they have time to reflect
on how the Son of God
was worshipped by lowly shepherds
who journeyed to the stable
just as they were
responding to good news
as only they could.
Abandoning for a moment
their mundane hillside task
to pay homage with all that they had
recognising instinctively
something wondrous
unfolding in their midst.
And yet the star gazers
with all their power and privilege
brought a whole caravan of trouble
stopping off en route
to alert an insecure king
to the possibility of threat,
lured by their heritage
to a royal courtyard
rather than a stable floor.
And if they did
were their reflections harsh
and resentful
blaming their predicament
on the crassness of those
unfamiliar with poverty
and with life at the margins?
Or did they recognise
that to worship the Messiah
was a gift extended to all?
Were their hearts open enough
to welcome the homage
that each brought
from all that they knew best?
To know that each and all
are invited and welcomed
and valued.
To know that each and all
are offered the opportunity
to worship
the Son of God.
In such knowledge is Epiphany.

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