Independent Catholic News logo Welcome Visitor
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 387
Prev - Next
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons:  Feast of Christ the King
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: Feast of Christ the King

... For me the Lord Jesus is not a ‘ruler’ of mind and heart, he does not possess me as a chattel or subject, rather Christ is the one I seek to love and follow. He is the prototype, we are the icon of him, reflecting his love and presence through our lives. It’s wise to remember that Jesus pointed out his kingdom was not of this world, in those hours where he was mocked and reviled before his death on the cross. This type of ‘King’ is a servant and friend, one whose role is to be totally with others in all situations, who will welcome us as friends in his Kingdom.

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons:  16 November 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: 16 November 2014

Do you get annoyed by certain passages of scripture? Take the ‘perfect wife’ image from Proverbs, no doubt suitable in its historical context, but how many of us agree with that passive , dependent image? Try this, substitute perfect ‘husband’, ‘partner’ or ‘friend’ for wife, change the occupation a bit and then see how it feels to you! It doesn’t rest easy does it? Never mind, it does its job, shakes us up to actually think about several things, firstly of partnership between people, is there ever a ‘perfect person’? Well no, because its a work in progress!

Read More ...
Fr Robin Gibbons: Chasing the Silence
Fr Robin Gibbons: Chasing the Silence

How did you keep the two minute silence both on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day today? The practice of keeping the two minutes silence at 11 o’clock on November 11th seems to have returned from a period where it had fallen into disquietude, in fact we owe it to the British Legion who petitioned for it to be restored in 1995. Perhaps I am just growing old, but as the years move onwards this simple act of stopping what we are doing and being still grows ever more powerful in my emotional memory. I think this is partly because we are an age of ‘wordage’, noise, 

Read More ...
J&P Reflection: The Sack of Plenty
J&P Reflection: The Sack of Plenty

Before the workshops began at Westminster Justice and Peace Study Day, on Saturday afternoon, Fr Joe Ryan told the following story,  entitled:  'The Sack of Plenty'...... One night, a sack of grain appeared in a poor part of town... Early in the morning some birds came and helped themselves to breakfast... Later a mouse came and had his meal... Then a family came, took a bowl of food, enough for the day... The mid-morning, the Mayor of the town came by,

Read More ...
Remembrance Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons 9 November 2014
Remembrance Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons 9 November 2014

I haven’t yet been to see the 888,246 ceramic red poppies filling the moat of the Tower of London, but I shall go! It is estimated that four million people will have queued to visit what is now a well loved and respected monument to the fallen of WWI by November 11th. Because of popular demand, part of the exhibition will remain until the end of November before parts of it will travel round the country. Those who have visited, found it a very moving experience. The poppy is of course an ambivalent symbol, the flower itself is a weed 

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 9 November 2014 (i)  Dedication of  Lateran Basilica
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 9 November 2014 (i) Dedication of Lateran Basilica

Why on earth does the Roman Church celebrate the Dedication of the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Rome, the Lateran Basilica? The fact it replaces the Sunday cycle hints that it is not just a feast concerning a building. It must have another meaning which links it to a celebration of Christ! The readings for the feast hint at this image of a building that is a place of holiness because it connects people with God, moving us away from seeing the building as important in itself no matter how beautiful or ancient it might be!

Read More ...
Reflection: Are poor sermons leaving  you hungry?
Reflection: Are poor sermons leaving you hungry?

For well over a year now, on two continents, I have found myself sitting in the pews and a recipient of the Sunday homily. It’s been an interesting experience; I have heard some well-prepared, gifted and insightful preachers. Unfortunately, I have also heard some homilies that are ill-prepared, badly thought through, poorly delivered, boring, offer little inspiration and make virtually no connection between daily life and God’s Word. The Liturgy documents teach that we are fed at the Table of the Word, which then leads us to being fed at the Table of the Eucharist. All too often 

Read More ...
All Saints Day Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
All Saints Day Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

I was very privileged to be at the farewell Eucharist of the Bishop of Oxford on the 30th October. A moving occasion with Christ Church filled to capacity, there were many significant moments to show how much the Anglican and wider Christian Church has benefited by, and appreciated, Bishop John’s careful shepherding. In his sermon he made a number of points but one struck me as particularly apt, that as Christians we belong to a family which tries to make a difference, the expression of it found in communities throughout the world,

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 26  October 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 26 October 2014

Have you ever had that feeling of being a complete stranger in a foreign place? I don’t simply mean being on holiday, when we are visiting somewhere abroad for the first time and therefore find it all a real adventure of new discoveries, what I’m thinking of is that sense of really being in an alien, ‘other’, cultural setting where we have nothing to hold on to, everything being unfamiliar? If you say no, then think again. I suspect all of us have had this sense of dispossession, feeling really lost and alone, perhaps the innocent victim of somebodies nastiness at some point or another.

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19 October 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19 October 2014

When I am in a reflective mood, there are times when I wonder if I am a hypocrite like those Jesus mentions in Matthew's Gospel today. In various ways a hypocrite seeks to deceive others by showing a different external side of themselves from the truthful inner reality. Being a priest, and because people expect quite a lot from me, I am aware that my words and actions as somebody with a particular pastoral role, does not always match up with what I really think or believe or do. That’s always a problem with those in public life, we have to 

Read More ...
Saint Frideswide of Oxford  - Feast October 19th
Saint Frideswide of Oxford - Feast October 19th

For those of us who live in a faith community where saints form part of the cycle of our liturgical calendar, it is a delight when we find that one of them captures not just the imagination but one’s soul. In spiritual terms we connect with them at a deep level, difficult to describe but very real in practice, and for us and others like us, across time and eternity a glimmer of friendship sparks, hinting not only at the transitory and pilgrimage road of earthly life but also a sense of companionship on our way with those who have already travelled the route.

Read More ...
Reflection: Combating with Love - The Case of Ebola
Reflection: Combating with Love - The Case of Ebola

The chaos related to the Ebola virus has led to the stigmatization of those infected with the disease, their families and on a global level, the affected countries and Africa as a whole. Now with some cases being recorded in other parts of the world, fear of an uncontrollable disease with a potential to eliminate humanity looms. While every possible precaution is required to combat its spread, the stigma of the victims, the affected countries and Africa deepens. However, it is the media’s obligation to help those involved in the fight to inform 

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 13 October 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 13 October 2014

I find the last section of Matthew’s parable about the King and the Wedding Banquet (Mt 22:1-14) very disquieting and violent, it’s very unlike Luke’s version (Lk 14:7-14) which has a more balanced ending, admonishing us to be inclusive and welcoming at the Banquet of the Lord. What is different about Matthews story? Not only is it the violence and killing that accompanies the search for guests and then the command of the King for the servants to compel good and bad alike to attend, it’s also his fierce behaviour towards the guest who came to the feast 

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  5 October 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 5 October 2014

How often do you see something without really recognising what it is? I do that all the time, in fact sometimes when I am very distracted by things on my mind, I can completely ignore people I know well, pass them by in my own ’cloud of unknowing’, usually to have them stop me and say :’ You’ve got your head in the clouds, didn’t you see me calling to you?’ I’ve seen people but my self-absorption means I haven’t really perceived my friends! There’s a hint of that in Matthew’s parable of the Vineyard and the tenants who kill the landowner's son.

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  28 September 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 28 September 2014

I like the parable of the two sons in Matthews Gospel, who, after being asked by their father to work in the vineyard respond in contrary ways: one says no and then decides to help, whilst the other having said yes does nothing. I like it because it touches several raw nerves with me. Like a lot of people trained in the Church (I was a Benedictine for a long time) ‘obedience’ is a word I know well. The whole thrust of discipleship and vocation is about saying ‘yes’ to God and putting others needs first, ‘your neighbour as yourself’.

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  21 September 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 21 September 2014

I’ve often puzzled over Matthew's parable of the workers in the vineyard (Mt 20.1-16). Taken as a straight orward story it seems odd. However much the landowner might seem just and generous there is no economic sense in the way the wages are distributed to the various workers. Those who have borne the heat of the day and the major burden of work are being treated in equitably, or so their trade union might think! Even as a parable of the Kingdom it might seem an odd story. I could see myself being very resentful towards

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  14 September 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 14 September 2014

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross  - The historical context of this feast is the anniversary of the dedication in 326, of the Basilica the Anastasis (or as the West calls it, the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem). This was built over the sites of Golgotha and the garden tomb by Constantine, following his mother St Helena’s pilgrimage and discovery of ‘the life giving cross’ and inscription above it in this place. It also commemorates a later recovery from the Persians of the relic of the Cross!

Read More ...
Mother Mary – her new Magnificat in a changing Myanmar
Mother Mary – her new Magnificat in a changing Myanmar

This Sermon was preached by Archbishop Charles Bo on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Velanganni in St Anthony’s Church, Yangon, Myanmar on September 8. The feast with nine-day Novena draws huge crowds from all over Myanmar and from all religions. "We have gathered in hundreds today to honour a simple Jewish woman whose birthday changed history. We have gathered to honour a woman who was praised by the Protestant Poet William Wordsworth: 'our tainted nature’s solitary boast'."

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  7 September 2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 7 September 2014

That insistent phrase from Romans 13.10 - ‘love does no evil to the neighbour; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law’ - should act as a conscience call for any right minded person who cares about justice and truth. For those of us who claim to be Christian it should be also be a warning - why? Well as one example, take a look at the persecution and horror taking place each day for Christians in the Middle East. God’s holy name is used to justify these atrocities, but this is nonsense, violence inflicted by anyone on innocent ones can never be the law of Gods love or justified in God’s name.

Read More ...
Fr Robin Gibbons reflects on historic meeting of Middle Eastern Church leaders at Lambeth Palace
Fr Robin Gibbons reflects on historic meeting of Middle Eastern Church leaders at Lambeth Palace

Today's meeting of leaders and representatives of Middle Eastern Churches held at Lambeth Palace with Archbishop Justin has been described as an unprecedented event. Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church has been instrumental in convening the gathering. United as members of the ‘One Body of Christ’, sharing our thoughts and prayers, were members of the various Eastern Churches. To show you how unique this was perhaps it would be good to list the Churches represented  there. 

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  31 August  2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 31 August 2014

There are plenty of crosses in life without going out to look for them, at least that’s my experience as I’m sure it is yours! Discipleship of Jesus isn’t about creating a scenario for ourselves in which we can practice the Gospel way of life, finding specific people and causes so we can exercise the virtue of love according to our desires. It’s about following Christ and throwing in our lot with his ways! We cannot create an ideal Christian way of life. What we are called to do is love our neighbour in whatever situation we happen to find ourselves and to make that a constant practice!

Read More ...
Reflection: Suffering Christians in the Middle East; Where is God in all this?
Reflection: Suffering Christians in the Middle East; Where is God in all this?

A few weeks ago while desperately trying to get some news about Mosul and my aunt Sister Utuur, there I stood feeling bombshelled as I read the news I feared most, ‘two nuns, two orphan young girls and a little boy held by ISIS’. Immediately my mind was assaulted by many questions ‘why were they risking their lives, for goodness sake?’, ‘How can God allow this?’ But the biggest and most pertinent question of all was ‘Where is God?’ It was exactly this very question that haunted me for a few months after visiting the House of Terror in Budapest last February.

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  24 August  2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 24 August 2014

I’ve just finished a whole series of Oxford Summer Schools, the last being the Theology Summer School which finished on Friday. It’s been an exhausting but fulfilling time and this last week, different Christians from all over the world have come together to study with tutors in the beautiful setting of Christ Church. We always end with a corporate act of worship. This time in the simple space of St Columba’s United Reformed Church we celebrated a short service of word, presided over by the Icon of Christ Pantocrator, the Messiah we worship as Lord and God.

Read More ...
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  17 August  2014
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 17 August 2014

Everyone of us who works with people at a fairly close level, in other words those whose vocation or profession brings them to come into contact with numbers of people each day, will know the problem of burnout. It is inevitable. Anyone who ministers to others, be they social worker, teacher, doctor, minister or quite simply somebody who has a sympathetic manner and a ready ear, will feel exhausted with the constant demand and constant giving.  I often just want the persistent demands of others to stop for a while so that I can recuperate, rest, and take stock of my own inner needs, 

Read More ...
Fr Robin Gibbons on Feast of the Assumption
Fr Robin Gibbons on Feast of the Assumption

The Dormition of the Theotokos - Devotion to Mary the mother of Jesus runs deep in the Christian tradition particularly in the East and amongst Catholics. The feast of her Dormition or as the West calls it the Assumption, is a celebration of her sleep in death and her resurrection with Christ Jesus in the life of heaven. This festival originated in the eastern tradition and was universally celebrated, first in the Christian East from the late 5th century and a bit later in the West. But what precisely does it celebrate?

Read More ...
Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 387
Prev - Next

Powered by Bondware
Newspaper Software | Website Builder