Reflections & Homilies

Reflections, sermons and homilies.

Pope Francis homily for Palm Sunday - full text & video link

Pope Francis opened Holy Week today, celebrating the Palm Sunday liturgy in St Peter's Basilica without a congregation.

The full text of his homily in English, follows.

Jesus "emptied himself, taking the form of a servant" (Phil 2:7). Let us allow these words of the Apostle Paul to lead us into these holy days, when the word of God, like a refrain, presents Jesus as servant: on Holy...

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The Passion in Seven Objects: 1 - Blindfold

Leading up to Easter we try to enter more deeply into what Jesus is doing as he walks the way to the cross. I offer these brief meditations in that spirit, each day using one of the objects that appears in the gospels.

Sunday 5th April


The men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him. They also blindfolde...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - Palm Sunday 2020

We aren't going anywhere in procession with our palms this year, lockdown all over the UK means no organized services except through the medium of remote camera, Face time, Zoom and other worthy methods.

The Church seems to have been very proactive in this, but try as I may, I cannot find that the remote participation helps me over much, I was moved by the Pope's Urbi et Orbi, and I am on...

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Reflection: Palm Sunday has particular relevance this year

Ecumenical procession  north London 2015

On a normal Palm Sunday, Christian communities hold Palm Sunday processions, waving palm crosses and listening to the year's longest Gospel! Internationally, families in Jerusalem's Christian quarter parade down the Mount of Olives carrying palm branches, Nigerian priests ride a real donkey into church, and communities in the Dominican Republic dress up as characters in the passion narrative, w...

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Plymouth: Bishop speaks of 'a long Good Friday'

Lourdes - Stations of the Cross

Bishop Mark O'Toole, the Bishop of Plymouth, has described the period we are living through as "a long Good Friday". Recognising the loss of normal services, as well as the ordinary pastoral activity of the Church, during the pandemic, he encouraged people to recognise the "real heroes of this time" in those who are selflessly serving others.

He noted, that this Holy Week, the most signif...

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The Pope Video April 2020: Addictions during pandemic times

The problem of what are called "new addictions" has a solution, but we must find the way. We need prophetic words and human ingenuity, and we need to do many things. It's time to liberate ourselves from the addictions that seduce us.

Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Mt 6:21). If we are attached only to earthly things, sooner or later we will become thei...

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Pope prays for so many who suffer out of sight

Homeless bed down for the night in  Las Vegas carpark - near empty offices and hotels

During Mass this morning, Pope Francis prayed for those who are living this time of sorrow and fear, hidden in the cracks of society.

"These days of sorrow and sadness highlight so many hidden problems," he began.

Mentioning a photograph featured in many newspapers around the world, (it depicted a carpark in Las Vegas where officials had allowed homeless people to sleep on the t...

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Pope prays for those working in the media

During morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Wednesday, Pope Francis prayed "for all who work in the media, who work to communicate.. They are working, so that people are not so isolated; for the education of children, to help us to bear this time of isolation."

In his homily, the Holy Father focused on the day's Gospel which recounted the struggle between Jesus and the Doctors of the Law o...

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A virtual priest's reflection on an ordination anniversary

Locked down in my home, the rhythm of my days has gone back to the training I received as Benedictine, a monastic type existence of quiet, prayer, lectio divina, work and recreation. There is an Athonite streak in this, as my icons glitter in the light of the lamps at times of prayer, and loving the eastern tradition of the Jesus Prayer, it becomes a friend when my eyes are tired from reading a...

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Pope dedicates Mass to the homeless

Pope Francis dedicated his Mass at Casa Santa Marta this morning, to all those who are homeless.

He said: "At this moment in which everyone is supposed to be at home, may society, men and women, realise this reality and help them, and that the Church might welcome them."

During his homily, he reflected on the symbol of the serpent presented in both readings of the Fifth Tuesday of L...

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 29 March 2020

Fifth Sunday in Lent

What a difference a week makes, the whole world touched by a virus that threatens the lives of so many. I'm making no apologies for beginning on a somber note, this passage about the story of Lazarus in John's Gospel is one which at some time in the coming weeks and months every single one of us will feel, the weeping and loss are going to hit us as colleagues, friend...

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Pope's special Urbi et Orbi blessing: full text + video link

Pope delivers special Urbi et Orbi message in a deserted rainy St Peter's Square

Millions of people around the world joined Pope Francis online, on television and radio, as he led prayers for an end of the COVID-19 virus on a rainy Friday evening, from the steps of St Peter's Basilica.

The ancient crucifix usually kept in the church of San Marcello and the icon of Mary Salus Populi Romani from the Basilica of St Mary Major, were brought to St Peter's for the prayers.<...

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Pope Francis: 'May the Lord help us conquer our fear'


Pope Francis expresses his concern for everyone, coping with various fears and prayed for them during Mass at Casa Santa Marta this morning (Thursday 26 March).

He said: "In these days there's so much suffering. There's a lot of fear... The fear of the elderly who are alone in nursing homes, or hospitals, or in their own homes, and don't know what will happen. The fear of those who don't ...

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Pope Francis: We are called to live the fullness of life

Image - Vatican Media

Pope Francis marked the 25th anniversary of Saint John Paul II's Encyclical, Evangelium vitae, confirming that the fight to preserve human life and dignity is more important than ever.

March 25 was both the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and the 25th anniversary of Evangelium vitae. Pope Saint John Paul II's Encyclical, also known as the 'Gospel of Life', dedicated to the value...

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