Jesus was compassionate but firm in the Truth
Pope Francis, during his Sunday Angelus, has spoken about the
importance of Baptism and the role it plays in our lives. Having earlier baptised 26 baby girls and boys at
morning Mass, the pope was keen to impress upon the gathered faithful the
critical nature of this sacrament.
pope said that in Baptism the Holy Spirit "burns and destroys original sin, returning
to baptism the beauty of divine grace.”
pope then stressed the importance of following Jesus and being obedient to the
Truth whilst remaining true to Christ’s qualities of tenderness and humility.
These people need our love and prayers too
It’s not often you hear people standing up for politicians but that is precisely what I am about to do! As the dust settles on last week’s UK General Election the usual lampooning of political figures and parties has started up once again as we embark on another five year cycle of ridicule and abuse in the direction of those elected to lead our country.
As Christians our call is simple: to love one another and to keep God’s Commandments.
Only this man has the power to save us
Sunday’s First Reading (Acts 4:8-12):
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said: ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today.
From Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19-31):
‘The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’’
There is a lot to take on board from this week’s Gospel story. There are perhaps two important strands; the first is Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples, the second is Thomas’unbelief.
Sunday’s Gospel (John 3:14-21):
'Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘The Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
Jesus Christ: truly heroic
Sunday’s First Reading (Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18):
‘God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’
When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood.
Pope Francis has condemned gossip on numerous occasions
“I tell you, on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned”
Matthew 12: 36
More than any other Pope in the past, Pope Francis warns us frequently to guard against gossip. He has talked of how gossip is a powerful tool of the devil and has even admitted to being tempted to gossip himself. He states: "It begins this way, discreetly, like a trickle of water.
Pope Francis hears a young man's confession
Pope Francis has invited parishes around the world to dedicate a full 24 hours to the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. The initiative, which started in 2014 and takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent, has already been enthusiastically received by dioceses and parishes around the world. It is hoped that it will encourage people to come to Confession and to meet the Lord. It is also hoped that parishes will ensure the initiative coincides with Eucharistic Adoration.
Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 1:14-20):
‘After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Sunday's Gospel (Mark 1:7-11):
'In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him.