Homilies

Today’s Gospel is a most challenging text indeed.  The versions in Matthew and Luke’s gospels differ significantly.  In Luke’s Gospel, it is “when Jesus was praying alone” that he turns and asks the disciples these questions about his identity.  I wondered – if Jesus was supposed to be alone, wha

A faithful priest, an inspired teacher, a wise mentor, and a true gentleman

Dear friends – chers amis – cari amici di P. Bertoli:

We come together for Mass in order to be nourished – at the twin tables of God’s Word in Scripture, and the table of the Bread of Life which is the Eucharist. Because it appears in all four Gospels, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes – and the Bread of Life discourse that follows it in the Gospel of John – is a frequent homily topic in these summer months.  

Blessed are your eyes that see, and your ears that hear!

“Listen!  A sower went out to sow.”  Thus begins the wonderful series of parables told by the great teacher, Jesus of Nazareth – stories which, two thousand years later, are still being told as we gather to be formed by Jesus, who is the Greatest Story ever told!  As we gather in the midst of thi

Do not fear

As Jesus sends his disciples off on their first apostolic mission in the Gospel today, three times he says to them: do not be afraid.  Again and again (365 times in all, if you count the Old and New Testaments), these words are spoken to us by God: do not fear.  You would think that hearing this once should be enough – but in our world still caught up by so many forms of fear and terror, we obviously need to keep being reminded.

Receive what you are; become what you receive

We celebrate today the Feast of Corpus Christi: the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.  In the Eucharist, bread and wine – simple gifts of God's providence and human labour – are transformed into the real and living presence of Jesus among us.  We do this every Sunday - every day, in fact

God so loved the world he gave his only Son

Winston Churchill once referred to the Soviet Union as “a mystery wrapped in an enigma.”  For many Catholics, when you ask them about the Trinity, you get a similar response.

Jesus breathes forth his Spirit

Today, the Church celebrates its “birthday” with the feast of Pentecost.  It is a scene of great drama – rushing wind, tongues of fire, the uttering of many languages.  It is also a scene of inner transformation: timid disciples empowered to speak boldly, in a way that no matter what the religiou

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, promises abundant life

There’s an old story about a Welsh pastor who was celebrating his 50th Anniversary of Ordination.  For this occasion he had invited his personal friend, Richard Burton, to come and recite his favorite Psalm - Psalm 23.  Richard Burt

Easter has come and gone: we have rung the bells, sung the alleluias, eaten the chocolates – apparently, the Easter Bunny is still considered an essential worker -  but have we really experienced the Resurrection?   In this time of pandemic, where do we meet the Risen Lord?  Have we heard him call us by name, like Mary Magdalene?  Have we touched his wounds, felt his risen presence, like Thomas?   Maybe we have – but for many of us, especially this year, it may well still all very theoretical, not quite real.  Our sadness has not yet been converted into joy

Pages