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Sunday, August 2, 2015
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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 2nd August 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 2nd August 2015

One of the great hallmarks of early Christianity, was the way people lived their faith, it certainly made them distinctive. If you read the list of things an early writer, Hippolytus of Rome, tells us the Catechumens must give up before baptism its easy to see that great sacrifices were made and a radical change to their patterns of life took place. Paul reminds the Ephesians that they must not live like the pagans but 'put on the new self', who has been reborn in Christ through the sacraments of Initiation. It wasn't all about giving up, they also discovered new ways of doing things as

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 25 July 2015

Pictures of hungry starving people are always disturbing. Those of us who live in an affluent society cannot begin to comprehend what it must be like to have little hope of food or water. It is to their credit that so many people act according to conscience and with compassion to support charities and aid agencies that help alleviate situations of extreme deprivation. Some of us will help in an active way by becoming involved in these situations.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 18 July 2015

We haven't had a true shepherd in my Oxfordshire village for many years, but some people remember the last one and tell tales of what he did and how he really understood the sheep. These are good country tales, laced with realism and humour a reminder that we need to spend a bit more time learning about our countryside...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12 July 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12 July 2015

Where are the prophets of today? I was asked that question by an international group of students this week when we were studying the great Anglo-Saxon Saints of England, and comparing their missionary expansion with our own situation. I recommend that period for anybody interested in different models of the Church, it had a flexibility about it, different forms of ministry, some great women ruled double communities and (despite not being ordained) acted as religious leaders, some we can call the founders of local churches like my own Frideswide of Oxford, these people were the prophets, bringing Christ to

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 5 July 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 5 July 2015

Something that has been very helpful in my own faith life has been the gradual realization that it is in our weakness we find our true strength, discovering how humility is not an empty virtue but something we learn, work at, and put into practice. It took me a very long time, with quite a few knocks, to understand that this 'weakness' is simply what Jesus did in 'emptying' himself out for us, it is part of his call to 'follow him'! But humility gets a bad press and isn't fashionable in our present society, often because we really get it so wrong, seeing it in negative terms rather than a positive way of being.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: Feast of SS Peter and Paul
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: Feast of SS Peter and Paul

We don't know when Peter or Paul came to Rome, but deep rooted Christian family tradition places their imprisonment and deaths there. Archeological evidence suggests that a cult of both saints was early established, and certainly by the second century they were both venerated in the city of Rome. The fact that these two Apostles are together commemorated at a pre-eminent liturgical feast, observed in both East and West, reminds us that the liturgical life of the Church honours them as part of the foundations of the Church of Christ. This feast (as is that of St Andrew) is also truly ecumenical especially

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 21st June 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 21st June 2015

The sights and sounds of boats in harbours is something that fills my imagination and has been a life-long interest. I love Cornwall and its coastline so many of my images come from there, but any harbour is a magical place. The sea is obviously in my blood, but I know that beautiful as it might be, like all water places it has to be respected and feared as well. Jesus loves the waters too, some of the greatest images of him are settings by the sea and of course, many of his first followers were fisher-folk.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 14th  June 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 14th June 2015

Jesus was somebody totally tuned in to the world about him, his perception of nature is acute and he often uses his insights in parables like the comparison of the Kingdom with the mustard seed that grows from a small plant to a tree hosting birds that rest and nest. It is obvious that he loves the natural world and has a care for it, something that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has been urging us to do for a very long time, that is take care of the environment, of living things and world. Pope Francis is just about to issue his encyclical 'Laudato si' that will commit us to

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: Corpus Christi  -  7th June 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: Corpus Christi - 7th June 2015

I find it fascinating that this feast is one that has no direct link with the Eastern Church at all and is a reflection of developing medieval piety in the Roman tradition at one period of history. The ancient Church in both East and West has always had high theology of the Eucharistic elements, both traditions regard them as the Body and Blood of the Lord present in the form of bread and wine and both acknowledge that the primary purpose of the Holy Eucharist is for the fulfillment of the Lord's command to 'take this and eat', 'take this and drink' and 'do this in memory of me!'

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Trinity Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Trinity Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

'Mend your ways, encourage one another' says Paul to the Corinthians. It's a nice exhortation because it balances the deep understanding of our imperfect nature, always in need of mending, with a command of the best kind, to share the route of life with all that it contains together rather than alone. Perhaps that is what the Trinity means, that the Triune God of Creator, Redeemer and the blowing, powerful hidden and unseen Spirit is all about mending the fabric of life, now in ways that draw people together rather than isolate, and in the future when we finally come together and experience

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Thirteen day journey of prayer to feast of St Anthony
Thirteen day journey of prayer to feast of St Anthony

The feast of Saint Anthony of Padua takes place on Saturday, 13 June. To prepare for this day, Friar Mario, OFMConv, editor of The Messenger of Saint Anthony, based in Padua, will be presenting a series of 13 short video meditations about the person and spirituality of this great saint. Starting on Sunday 31 May to 12 June, the reflections will be filmed at some of the most inspiring locations in the Basilica.

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Pope Francis: The world needs men and women filled with the Holy Spirit
Pope Francis: The world needs men and women filled with the Holy Spirit

The world needs men and women who are not closed in on themselves, but filled with the Holy Spirit. Closing oneself off from the Holy Spirit means not only a lack of freedom; it is a sin. There are many ways one can close oneself off to the Holy Spirit: by selfishness for one's own gain; by rigid legalism - seen in the attitude of the doctors of the law to whom Jesus referred as 'hypocrites'; by neglect of what Jesus taught; by living the Christian life not as service to others but in the pursuit of personal interests; and in so many other ways. The world needs the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ's followers.

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Sunday Reflection with Father Robin Gibbons - Pentecost
Sunday Reflection with Father Robin Gibbons - Pentecost

As one who serves an Eastern Catholic community that was born in the Church of Antioch, older perhaps than the Church of Rome, the first served by Peter, and where Paul received Christ, the feast of Pentecost brings a deep and abiding sense that whatever happens, whatever tragedies are playing out in the world around us, the Spirit is still actively at work amongst us. The signs are there to see even in the great suffering of faithful in the Middle East and elsewhere.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 17th  May  2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 17th May 2015

The Ascension of the Lord - The Byzantine Icon for the Feast of the Ascension shows the Lord Jesus robed in bright colours ascending to heaven seated within a mandorla, a round or almond shaped aureole of light representing divine life and cosmic energy. This is held up by the angelic beings. Below him are gathered the Theotokos (Mary) and the disciples who also include some like St Paul who would not have been present at the event but represent the early Church sent out in the power of the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel 'to the ends of the earth'

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 10 May 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 10 May 2015

What a week we have had in the UK, the run up to election day on Thursday 7th may seemed endless and the electorate strangely quiescent in parts of England (not so in Scotland) but what a result, it looks as though politics over here is going to be a very different ball game from now on. However politics isn't everything and we know how such systems can corrupt people, being close to great power gives to people a heady mix of things and can blind them to the realities of daily life. As if to keep us on track, whether we are in the UK or elsewhere, other events bring a sense of balance.

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Pope Francis,  Pope Benedict on prayers for politicians
Pope Francis, Pope Benedict on prayers for politicians

On 16 September 2013, during his morning homily, Pope Francis said: Prayer is the best that we can offer to those who govern. "That's what Paul says: 'Pray for all people, and for the king and for all in authority.'" Prayers can be simple, the Pope explained. Pray that the leader, man or woman, can govern well, love their people, serve their people, and remain humble. Pray even if the leader is wicked or has problems--then one's prayer can be that the leader would change his ways. "A Christian who does not pray for those who govern is not a good Christian," he said.

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Pope Francis' Prayer for Jubilee Year of Mercy
Pope Francis' Prayer for Jubilee Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has composed a special prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy which will run from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016. In the prayer, the Holy Father entreats the Lord to make the Jubilee of Mercy a year of grace so that the Church, "with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind." The text of Pope Francis' prayer follows below:

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 3 May 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 3 May 2015

5th Sunday of Easter - I can't quite remember where I got this phrase but it certainly works for me, "Christianity is not a private matter but a personal one", meaning of course that we are not individual Christians, but belong to a community, what we familiarly call God's family. This is important because we need to keep in the forefront of our faith the images Jesus gives us, such as the vine in John's Gospel today which is all about connectivity, whatever we do, whoever we are we belong together, ultimately grounded and rooted by the Spirit in Christ!

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  -  26th April 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 26th April 2015

Where I live, ten miles outside Oxford, the fields are full of lambs and sheep, you can hear the bleating of the little ones seeking out their mothers and the reassuring answers. It's always been part of my conscious life and goes with bluebells and apple blossom, yellow rape seed and the greening of hedgerow and tree. There are still deer, rabbits and hares to be seen in the Blenheim Estate fields, red kites hovering over carrion and the cawing of the full rookeries. The Cycle of our spring time new life is well on its way. We used to have proper ancient style shepherds, but because of the way our sheep are

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 19  April 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19 April 2015

Do you sometimes wonder if we don't make faith a bit too difficult for ourselves? I do! It's amazing how often I seem to get caught up in making detailed explanations of the scriptures or some slightly complicated aspect of church teaching. I know that doctrine is important, don't get me wrong, As a theologian I am very aware of the many years I have spent studying and learning the things of God in order to help both students and my parishioners get a grip on their faith. What we need are theologians of deep practical faith who can talk about these things as Jesus did, in simple ways that carry the weight of great knowledge.

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Pope Francis: We must speak openly, frankly, about our faith
Pope Francis: We must speak openly, frankly, about our faith

At morning Mass today in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said the Church is a place of "openness" where people should be able to speak frankly. Only the Holy Spirit is able to change our attitude, the story of our lives, and to give us courage - just as the Apostles were inspired by Christ's Resurrection, he said. "We cannot keep silent over] what we have seen and heard," Pope Francis said in his homily, reflecting on the day's First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles The Pontiff recalled that Peter and John, having performed a miracle, had been jailed and threatened by

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 Pope Francis: homily for Divine Mercy Vespers
Pope Francis: homily for Divine Mercy Vespers

Pope Francis presided over First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday on Saturday evening, during which he also delivered the homily. Below, please find the official English translation of the Holy Father's prepared remarks. Dear Brothers and Sisters, The greeting of the Risen Christ to his disciples on the evening of Easter, "Peace be with you!" (Jn 20:19), continues to resound in us all. Peace, especially during this Easter season, remains the desire of so many people who suffer unprecedented violence of discrimination and death simply because they bear the name "Christian".

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 12 April 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12 April 2015

As one of the unfortunates struck down by this present bout of 'flu, I've had an interesting time during this week of Easter joy, for a start I've been so out of it joy hasn't been on the horizon, I've felt too rotten to even care. I'm not alone there are plenty of others suffering as well, but I've also had the kindnesses of neighbours and relatives who brought me soup, checked up that I was ok and in bed and generally looked after my basic needs when I couldn't, much like those early Christians in Acts 4 where the community had a common heart and mind, looking out for each other!

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Divine Mercy Sunday
Divine Mercy Sunday

This coming Sunday, 12 April, the first Sunday after Easter, was designated by Saint John Paul II as Divine Mercy Sunday, on 30 April 2000, the day St Faustina was canonised. Many prayer events will be taking place around the world. In London, Divine Mercy devotions will be celebrated at St Dominic's Priory, Haverstock Hill from 2-4pm with Mass at 3.30pm. For more information about the Divine Mercy devotion, the story of its founder St Faustina, films and audio

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Text: Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil

Tonight is a night of vigil. The Lord is not sleeping; the Watchman is watching over his people (cf. Ps 121:4), to bring them out of slavery and to open before them the way to freedom. The Lord is keeping watch and, by the power of his love, he is bringing his people through the Red Sea. He is also bringing Jesus through the abyss of death and the netherworld. This was a night of vigil for the disciples of Jesus, a night of sadness and fear. The men remained locked in the Upper Room. Yet, the women went to the tomb at dawn on Sunday to anoint Jesus' body.

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 467
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