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Scots Catholic Blog

March 2016

Beggars targeted as Nottingham City Council discourages public generosity

The posters erected around Nottingham City Centre urging people not to give to beggars is quite concerning.  Is poverty so abhorrent that it is to be brushed out altogether from our streets?  Is it really appropriate to punish the poor and homeless even more by encouraging the public to refrain from giving them a few pounds that we are able to spare?  One of the posters features a man smoking and urges people not to "watch your money go up in smoke".


It would be fair to say that there may be some beggars who are not necessarily homeless or financially unsound.

Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion….was it really worth it?

As we journey with Christ through his Passion and Crucifixion it is worth bearing in mind some of the little things we as human beings are drawn to but that are contrary to God’s desire for our lives.


The intolerable pain and suffering taken on by Jesus as he was abused, spat upon, mocked, and beaten is something we must all think about over these next few days.  Having large nails driven into your hands and feet and being attached to a cross is something we simply can’t imagine. 


Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion was not some kind of crazy act designed to impress.

Will you wash the feet of those closest to you tonight?

In today’s Gospel we hear about the washing of the apostles’ feet by Jesus.  Peter was very resistant to this as it seemed completely absurd to have Jesus do such a thing.  This was, after all, God made man, the Saviour of the world!  It should surely be the other way round would have been Peter’s thinking.


Yet Jesus makes it clear that this is something he must do.  Firstly, he makes it clear that “unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”  This is a clear link to our Baptism and its fundamental importance in our salvation.

Finding hope in Peter's weakness


From today’s Gospel:

‘Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.’ Peter said to him, ‘Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ ‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘I tell you most solemnly, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’’



This small passage from today’s Gospel follows on nicely from our reflection on yesterday’s Gospel when we compared the simple love Mary had for Jesus in needing to be close to him with Martha’s need to be on the go.

How to Love Jesus: Be More Mary


Today’s Gospel: (John 12: 1-11)

‘Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there; Martha waited on them and Lazarus was among those at table. Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot – one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him – said, ‘Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor?

Holy Week 2016: Keep it Simple


As we embark on another Holy Week we cast our hearts and minds back to Christ's persecution at the hands of his executioners.  Jesus' Passion was a horrific and exhausting episode filled with hate, violence, abuse, blood and gore.  All directed at one person.


The culmination of this hatred and violence was death on a cross.  Left to hang in shame, to be gawped at by the very people he loved and was sent to save.


But thankfully, this death on a cross was not the end.

Comic/Sport Relief and Abortion


Comic Relief and its spin off Sport Relief certainly do get the nation’s charitable juices flowing at this time of year.  It also causes much debate among Catholics as to whether or not we should be contributing to such a charity and allowing our schools and children to participate in the fund raising frenzy.  It seems that every year we face the same dilemma, yet the goalposts haven’t moved for years.  Comic Relief (and Sport Relief) is a charity that gives great cause for concern when it comes to Catholic morality.

Go away, and do not sin any more


Sunday’s Gospel (John 8:1-11):

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?

The Entertainer leads the way as government plans to relax Sunday trading are thwarted


It was refreshing to see the House of Commons reject further relaxation of Sunday trading laws in England and Wales.  The government had hoped to allow councils to extend opening hours on a Sunday, but it was defeated by 317 votes to 286.  As a result, Sunday trading laws will remain as they are.


While the main thrust of the vote against relaxing the laws was undoubtedly down to protecting employees’ rights to time off on a Sunday rather than observance of the Lord’s Day, there is clearly an inclination among many of our politicians to give special credence to a Sunday.

Christianity in Latin America: declining Catholicism, growing Protestantism


A Pew Research study into Christianity in Latin America has revealed some worrying differences between Catholics and Protestants in the way that they practice and live out their Christian faith.  Latin America is a significantly Christian region with 69% of the population identifying as Catholic, 19% as Protestant, and 9% as unaffiliated.  The region has, however, witnessed a fairly large number of conversions from Catholicism to Protestantism in recent years.


A link to the study can be found at the bottom of this page.
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