Reflections & Homilies

Reflections, sermons and homilies.

Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 8 December 2019

Second Sunday in Advent

There is a real fascination with ancestry at the moment, people look into the history of their forebears for all kinds of reasons, but it all adds up to a keen search for our meaning and place in a very 'busy' world! If you ever get given one of those DNA ancestry kits, take the test, whilst it cannot give you exact names and dates, it does give s...

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Text: Fr Cantalamessa first 2019 Advent Reflection

The Preacher of the Papal Household, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Ofm Cap, gave his first Advent reflection to the Roman Curia and Pope Francis, at the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace on Friday, 6 December. Below is the full text of his sermon.

BLESSED IS SHE WHO BELIEVED! - Mary in the Annunciation

Every year the liturgy leads us to Christmas with three guides: Isaiah,...

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The Pope Video: December 2019 - The future of the very young

Children are the first to suffer from wars, corruption, poverty, and environmental imbalances and disasters. This means that their rights, from the right to play or study to the right to be heard, should be especially protected.

The Holy Father says in this video:

'Every child who is marginalised, abused, abandoned, without schooling, or without medical care, is a cry that rises up...

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Pope: The Spirit can only germinate in a humble heart

In his homily at the daily Mass in Casa Santa Marta yesterday, Pope Francis said the day's liturgy "speaks about little things; we could say that today is the day of littleness." The first Reading, taken from the book of the Prophet Isaiah begins with the announcement, "On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the Lord sha...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 1 December 2019

First Sunday of Advent

Many of you will know the magnificent anthem by Hubert Parry, I was Glad, his setting of our responsorial psalm (Ps 122) on this first Sunday of Advent . It has an ancient liturgical role as an introit psalm at the Coronation of English monarchs, but Parry's setting was famously sung at the Coronation of our Queen Elizabeth II with its rousing Latin insertion, Vivat...

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'Wake Up' - Advent Pastoral Letter from Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

Bishop Richard Moth

First Sunday of Advent -

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today marks the beginning of the Church's Year. The Season of Advent is a time of joyful anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ. We reflect not only on His Birth and on His coming at the end of time; but we must take time also to reflect on the way He comes to us each and every day and the life He calls us to live.<...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 24 November 2019

Feast of Christ the King

Down the years, I've thought long and hard about this feast and as I get older my sense of awe about majesty and power diminishes. Somehow the images of kingship and the trappings of courtly glory sit uneasily with Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls! I know many people love the romance of royalty and power, heaven knows we still have enough trappings of ancien...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 17 November 2019

'But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays'.

(Mal 3:20a)

There is a tendency amongst certain types of religious people to dabble in apocalyptic utterance and thought, not quite prophesying the end of things, but taking a perverse delight in the annunciation of a destruction of things they see as inimical to lif...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 10 November 2019

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am beginning to find it very difficult to look at the many images we see of people and animals maimed, tortured, killed by other humans, and of the earth despoiled by greed and war. But I make myself look, hard at it is, because I have to confront the reality of what exactly is going on-and I have to say it is distressing!

Sometimes i...

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Irish Chaplaincy Blog on Remembrance: 'You are the result of the love of thousands'

Feast of All the Saints of Ireland  with Bishop Paul McAleenan at Westminster Cathedral

I attended at the start of November two very different cathedral remembrance services, one by accident, the other planned.

The first was in Canterbury Cathedral, where I'd gone expecting the Saturday afternoon Evensong. Instead there was a 'Eucharist of the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed', with the girls' and men's choirs. I glanced down at the programme and was thrilled to see th...

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Pope Francis: Always build bridges

During his weekly General Audience with pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis invited the faithful to ask the Holy Spirit, "for the capacity to gently inculturate the message of faith, placing a contemplative gaze on those who are ignorant of Christ." The Holy Father advised people to "always build bridges, always reach out" - to never be aggressive towards those who do not be...

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The Pope Video: November 2019 - Dialogue and reconciliation in the Middle East

In the Middle East, as in the entire world, people need to speak the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue. Although sometimes it's not easy, it's very worthwhile. This is why Pope Francis encourages us all to become men and women of reconciliation. The Holy Father says in this video:

"In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religio...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 3 November 2019

Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Some read Luke's story of Zacchaeus as one of conversion, much like other encounter stories where Jesus elicits faith from someone who discovers who he really is, and then turns from their old life, forgiven and redeemed, into new pathways. But I don't think I shall follow this road at all, there is something other in the Zacc...

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Pope Francis: Christian hope is like the air we breathe

Hope is like throwing an anchor to the other shore. Pope Francis uses this image at Mass at Casa Santa Marta this morning, to urge people to live "in tension" towards an encounter with the Lord. Otherwise they will end up corrupted and Christian life will risk becoming a "philosophical doctrine".

His reflection begins with the First Reading of today's Liturgy, taken from St Paul's letter...

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