After Jesus had been
born at Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Heron, some wise men came
to Jerusalem from the east. “Where is the infant king of the Jews?” they asked.
“We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.”
Today's Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12):
'After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.
From Sunday's Gospel:
“But before all this
happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the
synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors
because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep
this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself
shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be
able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and
brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death.
We must aim for the narrow door
‘Through towns and
villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him
“Sir, will there be only a few saved?” He said to them, “Try your best to enter
by the narrow door, because, I tell you, may will try to enter and will not succeed”’
This year the pass rate for Higher Grades in Scotland was
77.2%. The chances of winning the UK National Lottery is 1 in 45 million. As
humans, we love statistics and take comfort in them. They help us feel like we
know where we stand, what the likelihood is that we will succeed and fail.
The Ten Commandments were written on two tablets of stone
Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 10:25-37):
was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what
must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the
Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with
all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your
mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus
‘do this and life is yours.
Sunday’s Second Reading (Galatians 3:26-29):
‘You are, all of you, sons of God
through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed
yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek,
slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Merely
by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was
This Sunday’s second reading reveals a teaching that is
fundamental to the Christian life, that of unity.
Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 7:1-17):
‘Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by
his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the
town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son
of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the
townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not
cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers
stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.
shine in the world like bright stars
are offering it the word of life.’ (Ph2:15-16)
Today’s Gospel acclamation is a beautiful
summary of our mission as Christians. At
a time when Christianity - despite being on the rise worldwide - is gradually being
eroded across the western world, this little piece of scripture is a timely
reminder of our call to evangelise.
By evangelising and spreading the Gospel, as
instructed to by Christ himself, we aren’t simply passing on a simple
historical message in order to preserve it and keep it going for as long as possible.
Sunday’s First Reading (Acts 7: 55-60)
‘Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and
saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven
thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At
this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with
their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned
him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called
Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If anyone loves me, he will
keep my word.’
This very short excerpt from Sunday’s Gospel is so simple, yet
it is jam packed with significance.
Read over Jesus’ quote ten times.
Do you love Jesus?
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.