desiring desire

The Our Father is the best known Christian prayer and is the prayer that all Christians can pray together. Contained in the prayer is the heart of today’s gospel: forgive us as we forgive others. “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, […]

hometown stories

Two thousand years ago Nazareth, the home-town of Jesus, was very small with a population of only about 400 people. This means that everyone would have known everyone else. Yesterday was my last Sunday in the Hurunui and the morning Mass at Amberley was my final Hurunui Sunday Mass. After six years at home among […]


We don’t often consider the psalm of each day’s Mass when reflecting on the scriptures of the liturgy, but the psalm can provides a helpful key to understanding the rest of the readings of the day. In the psalm response today we pray together from Psalm 18: “Lord you have the words of everlasting life.” […]

get up

Today’s gospel is one of Jesus’ best known parables. The account, usually named the Prodigal Son, is really about the loving father. That change of name is an important shift if we want to appreciate what Jesus is teaching us: it’s really about God, not about us. The problem with this parable being so well […]

crooked lines

For these daily reflections I always double-check that I am posting the right reflection based on the right gospel on the right day. On Wednesday night I triple-checked Thursday morning’s reflection and confident that all was in order I uploaded it ready for the early morning auto-email to readers. At Mass yesterday morning when the […]

dust shaking

Take a moment to read today’s brief gospel: Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick –no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a […]


What is that you hope for your children? In today’s gospel reading we meet the “mother of the sons of Zebedee.” She was ambitious for her boys, but in the conversation with Jesus she comes to see that something more is offered than an earthly understanding of human success.

highway of hope

Take a moment to read the opening verses of today’s gospel reading : Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but […]

in every age

Something a bit different today from the life of a country priest. Yesterday morning we celebrated the Sunday 10.00am Amberley Mass in the meeting room behind the church. It was a bit cramped but all for a good cause since the historic Amberley Church of the Holy Passion of the Lord is being tidied up […]

earth & heaven

Mountain tops are significant places in the Bible. In the Old Testament God was thought to dwell in the distant heavens therefore if you wanted to get close to God you might climb a mountain. Think of Abraham and Isaac, up a mountain in today’s first reading, or Moses coming down the mountain with the […]

gift of the law

Most of us are not too keen on rules. Something in us fears that laws will limit our liberty and therefore we will be less happy. The underlying thought is that we will be more likely to be happy when we can do whatever we want whenever we want. So when today’s scriptures focus on […]

from the pit

Catholicism is a communal faith and Catholicism is also about personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In different eras of Christian history one has sometimes been emphasised at the expense of the other. At these times we have forgotten that both personal relationship with Jesus and communal faith are essential for every Christian. Without a daily […]

seven years on

Today, February 22, marks seven years since the devastating 2011 earthquake which brought tragic loss of life to our city of Christchurch where we continue the long and difficult process of rebuilding lives and livelihoods. There are many signs of great hope as people work together to build a city that is not only stronger in […]

jumper leads

The daily scriptures from the Liturgy of the Church give me plenty of material for reflection. But when I am open and expectant the people of the events of every day also speak to me with the power of the scriptures with vivid reminders of the presence and action of Jesus alive and active in […]

love forgives

Over the two thousand years of Christian history the life-giving teachings of Jesus have too often been misrepresented and misunderstood. Some zealous Christians have routinely shifted the emphasis from what Jesus explicitly taught, to other teachings that may have more to do with the fears and agendas of preachers and teachers. Sadly Catholics have time […]