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Redemptorist Mission in Samoa

To preach the Gospel ever anew

Cappuccino Confidential (27th Sunday, Year C)

Josie and I like to meet every so often for coffee and a chat. Usually we yarn about what’s happening with the kids, or sort out the world’s problems. One day recently we surprised ourselves when we got to talking about faith, of all things. Really, it wasn’t so surprising I suppose, because if we’re honest, faith’s an everyday struggle. Non-believers are all around us, and people of faith often come in for a hard time. Continue reading “Cappuccino Confidential (27th Sunday, Year C)”

The Invisible Man (26th Sunday, Year C)

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Why did the rich man end up in hell?  He did not send his servants out to beat Lazarus up.  He did not turn his guard dogs loose on the poor man. He did  . . . nothing. And that precisely was the reason he went to hell.  Lazarus died of malnutrition and sundry illnesses at the gate of a man who used to “feast magnificently every day”. Lazarus was not asking to join the owner of the mansion. He would have been quite content with the scraps that fell on the floor and were eaten by the house dogs, but he was totally ignored, treated as a non-person. Continue reading “The Invisible Man (26th Sunday, Year C)”

A new way of being human (25th Sunday, Year C)

Life-ChangeNovember 27, 2002 is a date etched into the awareness of Daryn and Mia. From that day, their lives will never be the same.

On that afternoon Mia had gone for a walk along the beach with her girlfriends. Daryn meanwhile continued surfing with his mates. There was an accident and Daryn was knocked-out after colliding with another surfer’s board. When Mia returned to the spot, he was lying on the wet sand bleeding from the head and not responding. The ambulance officers finally brought him around before racing him to the hospital emergency. He was lucky to be alive. Continue reading “A new way of being human (25th Sunday, Year C)”

Shame or forgiveness? (24th Sunday, Year C)

prodigalsonWe know the story of the prodigal son so well. We know about the son leaving home with his share of the inheritance, how he wastes it all on loose living, how comes to his senses, how he comes home, asks to be forgiven, and is accepted back by his father.

We can imagine how his father hoped and waited for him to come back. When we think of the father, we might think of someone like our own fathers, and how they would wait and hope. Maybe we picture such a father out on the front verandah every night, looking down the street, hoping to see his son coming back home. Continue reading “Shame or forgiveness? (24th Sunday, Year C)”

Are you up for it? (23rd Sunday, Year C)

let it goIn today’s Gospel, Jesus acquaints us with his requirements for a true disciple. They seem overly severe. We wonder why anyone would wish to enter on the path of discipleship.

Discipleship, Jesus teaches, requires us to renounce some of the things we most cherish: our family, our possessions and even life itself. Becoming one of his followers, he says, requires a full-hearted response to his teaching and way of life. A true disciple is required to give his or her all. If not, the venture of discipleship falls apart and ends in defeat (like a Jerry-builder’s unfinished tower; like the inadequately equipped warlord in today’s gospel.) The idea that we must be prepared to ‘hate’ anyone – least of all our family – is distasteful. But Jesus is not encouraging hatred. Rather, he asks each of his disciples to put aside those dependencies, attachments and possessions that might prevent us from following him and implementing his teachings with complete dedication and conviction. Continue reading “Are you up for it? (23rd Sunday, Year C)”

Eucharist at heart of it (22nd Sunday, Year C)

Table2Those of us who are parents or teachers in Catholic schools often hear the complaint, “Why do I have to go to Church? I get nothing out of going to Mass every Sunday! I can pray to God in my own bedroom! What makes going to Sunday Mass so special?”

The complainants have a point. If we truly believe that Jesus is the incarnation of God, then we must accept that no church, denomination or religion has a monopoly on God! Continue reading “Eucharist at heart of it (22nd Sunday, Year C)”

The universal kingdom (21th Sunday, Year C)

my_god_loves_everybody_christian_saying_coaster-r44ca68221c0246baa8ab918358b5fb27_x7jy0_8byvr_324The image of foreigners descending our shores from the north and the west is one which all Australians can relate to. In Isaiah’s time it is also likely that many foreigners arrived in Israel by boat – others across land (e.g. Tarshish in Spain; Put and Lud in Africa; Tubal near Russia). This must have been a disconcerting experience for the Israelites: now their God was everybody’s God; their land to be shared with foreigners, refugees and strangers. In time, these Gentile pagans would even become priests and authorities of the temple. Continue reading “The universal kingdom (21th Sunday, Year C)”

Every opportunity (20th Sunday , Year C)

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The story of God’s faithful love comes to us in the Scripture readings today in a way that is hard and unsettling. We read of Jesus’ longing for the purifying fire he has come to bring upon the earth.It comes from that critical time that would lead to his death and resurrection. But his words have a bearing on our present situation. Continue reading “Every opportunity (20th Sunday , Year C)”

Who do you think you are? (19th Sunday, Year C)

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As human beings we have a natural desire to know who we are and where we come from. Continue reading “Who do you think you are? (19th Sunday, Year C)”

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