so near

Aug 29, 2021


“What great nation has its gods as near
as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him”.
Deut 4:6

This week’s launch of the weekly FFF Homily Studio is a response to an often expressed need. For a variety of good reasons many preachers say that they struggle to prepare and deliver a good homily. The parishioners also struggle often commenting that they find it difficult to relate the preacher’s reflections to the complex realities of their lives.

While the mission of preaching is entrusted to the ordained minister within most Christian communities we know that every person who reads and reflects with the scriptures will experience God speaking directly to them.

This was evident in the Studio in a twenty minute conversation between five people who had taken time to pray with today’s readings and ponder them as they went about their tasks as disciples, parishioners, parents, grandparents – people who every day find themselves in a variety of unexpected situations and encounters.

One reader sent a message immediately after listening to the podcast: “Just finished listening and found the conversation really interesting and thought provoking. It always amazes me how one scripture passage can produce so many different thoughts and ideas. Truly God speaks to us individually and then collectively and we are able to share how Great is Our God!” Other listeners have shared similar comments.

I was moved by the reflections from Kath, Merv, Catherine and Jason. Each sharing from a different perspective and experience, hearing what they needed to hear, and sharing their reflections with us.

A good amount of our conversation was about the law which featured in several of the scriptures. You can read for yourselves at this link.

And as I write now I come back to the line that i most need to hear where God reminds us of his presence, his closeness to us. We are indeed the most fortunate of people, but note, only “whenever we call to Him.”

Make a point of calling on Jesus today.


Click here to listen to the Homily Studio for Sunday 29 August.
VIsit the sign-up page to choose to receive the Homily podcast when it is published mid-week.


if you know of someone who usually receives the daily emails
during these lockdown days
but who didn’t get an email today,
this is because they need to go to the sign-up page at this link
and choose their email preferences
from the new expanded list.


  1. I havent listened yet was waiting untill today as I want my traditional experiecing of having the word broken for my on Sunday .I am looking forward to this and to taking part in an online Mass also to have the scriptures open for meThen tonight I will zoom in with my scripture group who have been meeting every Sunday for well over fifteen years.I feel spoilt and am reflecting on the food scripture is in my life and the comfort and hope it brings in time of concern and woryy .As much as dare I say the recieving of Jesus in Eucharist.

  2. Thanks so much for the Homily Studio reflection.
    What varied and interesting responses and a thought provoking discussion.
    The pre & post reading of the scriptures around this discussion, definitely shifted my focus & experience of the word today.
    My walk along the beach now will allow me to ruminate further on some of the messages, thoughts & words:
    …Hebrew definition of folly, hypocrite =actor, add nothing & take nothing, justice=mercy & forgiveness, integrity, just call on Jesus…
    Please do continue to have these conversations

  3. Thank you Father for the opportunity to listen to the scripture comments in your studio podcast. What a great idea! It brings the scriptures very much alive. I hope you will be able to continue these sessions. I am looking forward to hearing more.

  4. I am responding to a podcast by Fr John O’Connor


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts



A couple of thousand years ago, a young Jewish woman was going about her normal morning routines, perhaps with a mixture of house and garden work, chatting with parents and neighbours, aware of the local drought, the sickness of a neighbour and annoyed by the neighbourhood’s lack of sleep caused by the Romans’ noisy party the night before, when God broke into her routine and entered her life in a new and powerful way.

the real centre

the real centre

Over the last month I have had the opportunity to work with many people across Aotearoa and further afield. In every retreat and seminar I have been with committed and faith-filled people who often feel as though they are on the periphery of the Church

the adventure

the adventure

It’s easy to make the mistake of seeing life as a treadmill, day after day ups and downs, a movement through time from youth to old age, then death and beyond.
Too often if feels as if we are helplessly captive carried along by the momentum of all that is expected of us and demanded from us, and we risk falling into an existence mode, a daily rhythm of survival, enduring, coping and so the treadmill rolls on.

the bigger picture

the bigger picture

Over the years, and even in recent months, weeks and days, I’ve prayed many prayers which have not been answered as I had hoped.
You’ve probably had the same experience: praying and wondering if and when or how your prayer will be answered.

moving waters

moving waters

Bible questions still pop up regularly in quiz shows and they often cost otherwise sharp players much needed points.
I’m ready for a question asking for the two names for the last book of the Bible. The book often known as Apocalypse is perhaps more often referred to as the Book of Revelation.
It’s common (thanks to movies) to think of an apocalypse as a devastating and unwelcome time of destruction.