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 […]

the threshold

Grief is the price we pay for love, and this week the many family and friends who love and are loved by Fr. Graeme Blackburn have been gripped by grief at his tragic road accident death on Monday. We were united in speechless shock at the news. Memories began to be shared. Tears flowed and […]

in God’s time

If you are following the daily liturgy gospel readings this week you will notice a bit of a potentially depressing theme. It’s the last week of the Church year before the new beginning of Advent on Sunday, so in these days the liturgy leads us to focus on the fact that all that surrounds us […]

ministers of hope

I am grateful to the Christchurch Press for taking the initiative to present a feature this morning on the recent Christchurch ordinations. A brief interview can do little more than convey an idea or two slanted with a personal, populist and often negative bias. However a personal participation in the gathering itself has the power […]

hope emerging

Yesterday I had the privilege of taking part in the Funeral Mass and burial rites of a much-loved Christchurch woman. Wendy died early last week decades too young at 47. For her husband and seven children this past week since their wife and mother’s sudden death has been an eternity of pain as they, and […]

facing reality

Today I’m at one of the many very beautiful cemeteries of the Hurunui. We the family and friends of one who has died, have gathered here in Waikari to bury him. When we gather for a funeral, we are confronted with the reality of death. The one we have known and loved in life, now […]

the CROSS road

This evening I plan to be at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament choir and orchestra performance of Bach’s St. John’s Passion. Details below. But before then, at 3.00pm in Hawarden, I will unite with Christians around the world for the solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. This liturgy seems to focus on death, a […]

dealing with grief

Every week I spend time with people who are carrying the burden of grief. I know that there is little I can do or say to ease the pain. While I learnt some grief theory and pastoral practice in seminary, and for thirty years as a priest have accompanied people who are coming to terms […]

quakes & butterflies

Here in Canterbury New Zealand these past few years we rarely share our stories without telling of earthquakes. Our stability has been rocked in every way. We had thought that our turn on shaky ground had passed and recovery was underway. But then just after midnight on the morning of November 14 the entire region north through Marlborough to […]

facing fear

The liturgy of Good Friday gives us an opportunity to face our greatest fear, the fear of death.

Christ the King

the king, with the crown…of thorns. It’s the last Sunday of the Church year today. In recent weeks the readings of the liturgy have been preparing us for the end times (eschaton) with reminders that there will come a time when all that we can see and touch on earth is no more. Even secular […]

how to respond

It has been a week when violence and sadness has saturated media headlines. The Paris attacks have shaken us all deeply. It is significant that as the majority of commentators promote revenge, the comment that goes viral on social media is a voice that speaks with a radically different tone:

sign of hope

There is something about the rainbow that gives a boost of hope in the midst of a day’s demands. The Bible account of Noah’s ark is well known – and this is where the rainbow comes in as a sign of covenant hope: “And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am […]

extinct religion ?

In recent months I have had the opportunity to be with many people of faith in several different countries: New Zealand, Australia, Asia, United States and Europe. Earlier today in St. Peter’s Square I was with tens of thousands of people from every part of the world. My experience is that something new is happening: […]

funerals, and hope

Last month I celebrated Mass on the anniversary of the death of my mother (9 February 2009) and father (10 February 2010). My father would often comment that we could only hope for the threescore and ten  years spoken of in Psalm 90, and both my parents reached that milestone albeit with with only five […]

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