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18th March 2018 - 5th Sunday of Lent

posted 16 Mar 2018, 07:39 by Veronica Yarwood

18th March 2018 – 5th Sunday of Lent


The Lord says, "Deep within them I will plant

my Law, writing it on their hearts." The Lord

says, "Then I will be their God and they shall be

my people." (Jer.31.31-34.)


And when the Lord says these things God holds

nothing back. This is the Almighty's infinite

gift of the divine self to each one of us. And the

infinite gift makes for infinite possibilities, our

sin written off, for example, mercy, kindness,

compassion and cleansing, pure heart, steadfast

spirit, joy and fervour. All ours for the

receiving. The facets of God's self gift to us are



If we want to see all this for real and in the flesh,

like the Greeks of our gospel reading, "...we

should like to see Jesus." (Jn. 12.20.) And the -

same Jesus says, "Come.. ..come and see."

Come and see what a God-filled man looks like,

thinks like, speaks like, acts like. Gloriously,

that is how he looks, thinks, speaks and acts,



So what on earth does that mean? It means, like

the seed, falling to earth and dying and yielding

a rich harvest. Therein lies the glory. As the

letter to the Hebrews expresses it, "Although he

was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering: but

having been made perfect, he became for all

who obey him the source of eternal salvation."

(Hebrews 5.9.)


What a way of going on! What a way to run the

universe! Its enough to make one stop the

world and get off. '--...to the Jews an obstacle

that they cannot get over, to the pagans

madness. . . .but to those who have been

called. . . .(this dying and rising dynamic is) the

power and wisdom of God.


This is how our glorification works, how we

come to be men and women fully alive.

Forever dying and rising, we grow, mature and

change. We change our priorities, we


reorientate our relationships, letting go and

finally even yielding up our spirit.


Well, it is the constant theme of Lent. And it is

Christian spirituality to take the risk of letting

go. This way we all keep our date with Jesus in

Gethsemane. This way we walk with Jesus as

he says we should and we are drawn into the

Paschal experience and the glory of God.


11th March 2018 - 4th Sunday of Lent B

posted 9 Mar 2018, 06:13 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B. & 11w.

"Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his

only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not

be lost but may have eternal life." (John 3.16) This is

the most quoted text in the Bible. Why? Because it

says it all. It gives us our 'now'. We are loved so much

by God that we have eternal life now. Salvation is a

'now' condition. It is not an awaited condition,

forthcoming, impending and intended. It is 'now'.

So salvation and life is how it is. And here we are

living a half life, a twilight life, trying to pull ourselves

up by our own bootstraps, like the good Pelagians we

are. Pelagius, we remember, taught that people can

perform good deeds and so merit heaven, without the

aid of God's grace. Whereas, it is grace, all grace. No

one is saved except by grace; saints, scholars, punters

and pontiffs. So what is all the pushing, pulling,

fasting, abstaining, self-denial and indulgence about?

Such are the manifestations of the God-life and

salvation in us. These spiritual exercises and

expressions issue from the grace and God-life in us.


"Fear not, I am with you", the Lord says. Whenever we

are about to opt out, find excuse or settle for less, the

Lord says, "Fear not, I am with you". Nothing changes.

We remember well the divine refrain echoing back to

Moses even, "I shall be with you". (Exodus.' 3.12)

That's all. Simply, I'll be with you! Moses' power is

the presence of the Lord. In every religious experience

in the Bible, a person comes to an experience of God

and God says, simply, I shall be with you. I will do it.

Trust me. (Richard Rohr) And that is all we need. That

is all we need to know. That is all we need to believe.

God, very God, Father, Son & Spirit, God is with us.

Just pause and attend to your breathing and know the

life force within who is God. Be still and know that

stillness is the divine tranquillity. We await the

spiritual experience and it is all about us. The silence

which we may bring to consciousness is the sound of

the Triune God. The light that dawns is the one only

universal light, God's illumination, "that enlightens all


We are being transformed in every moment we live in

conscious loving union with God. "Because it is by

grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by


anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by

anything you have done, so that nobody can claim the

credit. We are God's work of art; created in Christ

Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had

meant us to live it." (Eph: 2.10)


4th March 2018 - 3rd Sunday of Lent

posted 2 Mar 2018, 05:36 by Veronica Yarwood

No Homily to hand as yet.

25th Feb. 2018 - Second Sunday of Lent B

posted 24 Feb 2018, 08:53 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B.& Hw.


(Scripture in Church, Nos: 153 & 165)

The word is concerned with people living on the edge. Is

there anywhere else to live, I ask myself? The word is

concerned with people living on the edge and supported by

faith. And faith makes all the difference. Abraham does

not waver despite his hopeless-seeming situation. Paul has

 a passionate faith in the support of Jesus Christ. Peter,

James and John glimpse the mystery of Christ. That

glimpse supports them through their darkest days. People

living on the edge and supported by faith!


So high on the mountain, Jesus' ordinariness is swallowed

up. The mystery and the wonder that is Jesus Christ shines

forth, is revealed and evident. In a flash, Jesus escapes the

limitations and constraints of body and flesh. The disciples

are completely mind blown, felled and amazed. They see

that the ordinary is extraordinary. Behind a body and

personality, undoubtedly gifted and special, but still -

ordinary and familiar, is something exceptional,

phenomenal in fact and deeply, deeply mysterious.


We are invited to pause. The Transfiguration invites us to

look, fix our gaze and discover the extraordinary in our

everyday lives. The poet, Patrick Kavanagh, puts it: to

rescue "the world beneath our noses." "Solidly based

phenomena are transformed by a shimmer of inner reality'

writes Seamus Heaney. And John Montague describes "the

landscape (as) a manuscript waiting to be read". The poet

help us to cope with the religious vision we experience in

receiving the inspired word. We look, reflect and pray

about this Lenten word which is full of gift, wonder and

mystery. That mystery which is the Christ is breaking out

all around us. In faith we see, hear, touch and feel a new

dimension in all our living. The feverish thinking about our

future and oh, so many things, gives way to vision. A

vision of the really real, of gift and value, the Christ.


So we let the Transfiguration event teach us to see behind

and beyond. Success, failure, sadness, life, death, behind

and beyond all human experience is a new risen life. The

Transfiguration invites us to experience that risen life even

now, in this our world with all its crooked lines. There will

be definitive transformation; but even now our lives are

transfigured by a living faith in Jesus Christ.


Let's learn to meditate, to access the 'behind' and the

'beyond'. Learn for example, to meditate on paper.

Drawing and writing are ways of meditating. As Thomas

Merton writes, "Learn how to contemplate works of art.

Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country. Know

how to meditate not only when you have a book in your

hand but when you are waiting for a bus or riding in a train

Above all, enter into the Church's liturgy and make the

liturgical cycle part of your life - let its rhythm work its way into

your body, and soul." (New Seeds of Contemplation)

Then we can live fully, even on the edge, supported by our

Christian faith and vision.



18th Feb. 2018 - 1st Sunday of Lent B

posted 17 Feb 2018, 01:19 by Veronica Yarwood




Talk about the roaring forte There is flooding

for forty days. There is temptation for forty

days. And there is Lent for forty days. Flood

and temptation issue wonderfully. Evil is

obliterated and undying goodness dawns with an

eternal rainbow to remind us that all is not lost

and never can be. We are talking on a scale of

infinite and universal wellbeing "All will be


Hence the Pet-fine assurance about our baptism.

Baptism does not make us divine offspring. We

are already sons and daughters of God anyway.

But baptism reminds us of our status and the

infinite possibilities of our status if only we let

go and get mystical

We live on bread when we can live ever more

fully on every word that comes from the mouth

of God. We crash around our world blindly

trying to find our way and make sense of it all,

when we can be walking hand in hand with the


Lord. And that's mysticism, living in the divine

presence, consciously. We do it anyway; live in

God's presence that is, but we are invited to do it

consciously all day, every day. This is

mysticism and we are mini-mystics.

We really do need time to reflect upon our

relationship with the Lord. Is it for real? Hence

the Lenten priority of prayer. Give it time now

or we never will. The homework needs to be

done while we have the Aime. The last minute

stuff is for the birds. The judgement is now.

We are folk of the eternal now.

And as for the fasting and alms deeds? Well, we

need to get our priorities right and the Lenten

exercises push our brothers and sisters into and

upon our practical, loving attention. It's all a

matter of listening. We listen and what do we

hear? Jesus, here and now and his word is, "It's

time!" "The time has come.. the kingdom of -

God is close at hand Repent and believe the

Good News." Now! Consciously.


11th Feb. 2018 - Sixth Sunday of the Year B

posted 9 Feb 2018, 08:12 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B.& Hw.


"The leper must live apart; he must live outside the camp."

(Leviticus 13) Disconnection, disconnection, disconnection.

The disease and its consequences in Hebrew Law mimics the

sin situation in our world.


Adam and Eve are the classic case of disconnection from

God, man, earth and sea, animals and plants, the whole

creation. They are 'out of the garden' to express it in the

imagery of the Book of Genesis.


Hence the Roman Catholic tradition of the First Communion

at the age of reason. That is when we tend to leave the

garden and disconnect. It is all unquestioned union and

connectedness up to this point. So we receive the Body of

Christ to reconnect. Body of Christ, Body of Christ, Body of

Christ day in and day out.


And our prayer is, "You are my refuge, 0 Lord; you fill me

with the joy of salvation." We know ever deeper joy with the

experience of forgiveness and reconnection with God and

man and the whole creation. We acknowledge our sin. We

do not hide our guilt. We confess out of a healthy sense of

sin. No wishy-washy psycho babbling excuses in the

Catholic tradition! "I confess: pride, covetousness, lust,

anger, gluttony, envy and sloth." "No messing!" Then it is

rejoicing, exalting, joy and health through the reconnection

that we call forgiveness.


We know we are not good enough. We are not that bad

either. We are 'A' O.K. We do some nice things from time

to time. But this is not the issue, whether we are good,

whether we are good enough. Of course, we are not good

enough. Never will be. Grace is the issue. Free, gratis, for

nothing, saving grace is the issue.


To repeat, we will never be good enough, worthy enough.

No one has ever been worthy enough. What about Mary?

Her undoubted and total worthiness is of grace. "Hail Mary,

full of grace." Again, grace is the issue.


And so we come to know the touch of the outstretched hand

of Jesus, all of us. We hear Jesus' word in our hearts and

minds, "Of course, I want to! Be cured." Be forgiven. It is

enough to make us cry. It is enough to make us fall in love

with God.

Paul is in no doubt whatsoever, "Whatever you eat, whatever

you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God."

Live in conscious loving union with God and then comes the

Pauline prayer, that we get the message and digest the

message about God's grace. "May the Father of Our Lord,

Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can

see what hope his call holds for us." (Eph. 1:17.18)


Let us not forget that Christian hope is certainty. We are

certain of the power of grace in our lives. This is what we

live by. Not systems of belief, rewards and punishments and

getting to be good enough, but grace, the free gift of divine

life; given to each and every one through Jesus. Grace!


4th Feb. 2018 - Fifth Sunday of the Year B

posted 2 Feb 2018, 07:37 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B. & Hw.


We identify with Job's description of life as

'pressed service' and 'hired drudgery', especially

in these times of global problems. Family,

employment, health; we struggle to get through the

day given the mountainous waves of problem and

difficulty. My friend has given up the news media

for its continuing misery. Bully for him but many

of us cannot avoid what's in our own backyard. So

we try harder and do more and more, forgetting we

are human beings, not human doings.


The Lord knows all about 'pressed service' and

'hired drudgery'. Once the word is out that God's

healing power works through Jesus, he is swamped.

They come in their droves in the brokenness of

poverty, sickness and breakdown. The whole town

comes crowding round Simon Peter's door looking

for the healing touch. And that's only in

Capemaum. Jesus could have worked night and

day in all the other towns of Galilee, healing,

releasing and teaching.


And what does he do? Jesus stands back. Jesus

withdraws. Jesus goes off to a lonely place to be

with God, to pray, to let go and let God. "But

everyone in Capernaum is looking for you," the

disciples complain. Come on, there's work to be

done, for heaven's sake! They miss a whole

dimension. Don't we all? We simply must learn to

prioritise, whatever the 'pressed service' and 'hired

drudgery'. And the priority is prayer, being totally

raised up into the divine dimension. Like Jesus, to

do the work of the Father we need to be with the

Father.  Being with the Father is the release of

saving  power, to serve, bring Good News and heal

and to answer our brother's and sister's every need.


To be with the Father after all is to be served by the

Father.  To be with the Father is to be renewed and

strengthened  by God's presence. And if Jesus

needs  to be alone before God and to be served by

the divine presence, so do we, obviously! We need

to be before God, in our utter dependence and to be

renewed totally by God's presence.

We can all learn to be with God in silence and

stillness. This ensures that our service is what God

wants for his people, the people we serve. The

Lord Jesus himself is our inspiration. And the Lord

Jesus inspires us to be with God regardless of life's

demands, regardless of the 'pressed service' and

'hired drudgery'. Let's do it. Let's do it day in and

day out and never give up. Let us pray without



28th Jan. 2018 - 4th Sunday of the Year B

posted 26 Jan 2018, 09:05 by Veronica Yarwood



"After Commentary by John Udris, Pastoral Review, Jan/Feb,


Great teachers are in the business of setting people free.

Great teachers are in the business of emancipation. And

Jesus is the greatest. Jesus Christ sets us free from our

narcissistic ego. He sets us free to be our true selves, the

'who' we are meant to be, made in the image and likeness

of God, body and spirit. Jesus, after all, reveals in his

person, "the 'Thou' before whom our utmost 'I' springs

into awareness. Jesus shows us the 'I Am' before whom

we echo "I am".

(New. Seeds of Contemplation, p 13— Thomas Merton)


So if our religion gives us an inferiority complex, a guilt

complex or any other kind of negative mentality, outlook

or philosophy, we must know we have it wrong by virtue

of misunderstanding or wrong-headed teaching. We need

to sit at the feet of the Master and listen carefully to what

he is saying. When we really hear the Lord, a new mind

dawns, new horizons open up and new possibilities are

put within our reach. All positive.    


Under the influence of the Lord we begin to form a new

mind and we feel anew confidence. So if our religion

makes us feel second rate, inadequate and always

catching up, we are getting or being given the wrong

message. It's nothing to do with the Gospel. It has

nothing to do with Jesus' Good News. No; Jesus' word

makes us come alive. And Jesus teaches with authority.

Jesus always, always, always sets us free, with the

freedom of the children of God.


St. Paul follows his Master. He says to us, for example,

"I would like to see you free from all worry." And Paul

says to us, "I say this only to help you, not to put a halter

round your necks." (1 Cor. 7.32-35) His teaching is

helping us to reach the freedom of the now "to the

measure of the full stature of Christ." (Eph. 4.13).


Paul's priority in all this is unity. Hardly surprising, unity

is God's first priority too. There is only one God! One

being. One 'who'. Our God-given gifts serve that unity

which alone makes for health and vigour, life and

freedom. . . . .reality is to be sought, not in division but in

unity for we are "members one of another".

Communion and community throughout the universe is

the divine intention. Division and disunity is death and

destruction of every person, place and thing, from the

split personality to the split atom, and world war.

Communion is our calling whatever our vocation. This

teaching liberates our minds. This teaching sets our -

hearts on fire. This teaching sets us free.


"Greatness lies in making others feel great", says G.K.

Chesterton. So Jesus is the greatest and Paul and Moses

are great teachers, Paul after the Lord and Moses in

preparation for the Lord. Their teaching is christened.

All about Christ. Jesus' disciple, Paul, and Moses his

forefather in faith, set people free. "Let my people go,"

Moses says to Pharaoh. That refrain echoes throughout

Jesus' ministry.  To the evil spirit dogging our humanity,

Jesus says, "Get out!" "Come out of him". And "Don't

be childish in your thinking, "Paul says to us all. Be

mature with the wisdom of the Lord. The Lord's wisdom

not ours.


So Moses, under God, frees from physical bondage,

Christ frees from possession by evil and Paul from made‑

up minds. Great teachers are in the business of

emancipation and Jesus is certainly the greatest; truth to

tell, Jesus is the only teacher. In him, through him, with

him we truly are free spirits, free to be all we are meant to

be, Happy and glorious!



21st Jan. 2018 - 3rd Sun. of Yr. B

posted 19 Jan 2018, 11:00 by Veronica Yarwood

 HB & Hw

John the Baptist goes to prison. Religious

renewal enters its end-game. And Andrew,

Peter, James and John go back to work.

Business as usual! And into their business as

usual which, of course, is fishing, steps John's

cousin Jesus.


Jesus, we must know, operates out of a

conscious loving relationship with God.

Intuitively, he calls Simon, Andrew, James and

John. "Follow me." "The time has come."


The progress of the truth, in other words, is

registered in the human terms of life,

relationships, things to do, people to see and

places to go. And this progress has the

capacity to transform great cities, our Ninevehs

and the world's way of life.


The progress word is 'repent'. "Repent and

believe the Good News." Be transformed.

"The time has come," Jesus says, "And the

Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand." The

present moment is sacramental. The present

moment is sacrament of real presence, the real

presence of the divine. In our Roman Catholic

spirituality we have always honoured the

sacrament of the present moment.


So, is there joy, ease and lightness in what we

are doing? If there isn't then time is covering

the present moment and life is perceived as a

burden or a struggle. As soon as we honour the

sacrament of the present moment, all

unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life

begins to flow with joy and ease. When we act

out of a present- moment awareness, when we

honour the sacrament of the present moment,

whatever we do becomes imbued with a sense of

quality, care and love- even the most simple

action. It is sacred.


"The world as we know it is passing away."

Under grace we have reached the third phase of

our evolution. The human animal is no longer

simply the rational animal. We are into the

mystical. Like Jesus we live in conscious


loving union with God. The contemplative

mind, lost for so long, is being restored. We let

go and let God. We create a vacuum of the self

and like nature, God cannot stand a vacuum.

He fills our vacuum with his own glory. So far

from saying prayers, not that there is anything

wrong with saying prayers, we do it all the time,

we are becoming prayer. It does not feel holy,

or pious or holier than thou. We just are what

we are.


As Church we constantly undergo persecution,

defeat, martyrdom and death. We repeat the

process by which Christ achieves his victory.

We are constantly incorporated into that victory.

We are sharing the life of Christ, willing as we

are to share his death. This is the Kingdom of

God. This is the final union with God for which

we long. And our world is transported into the

very centre of heaven. It is a present reality.

It is a reality which lies in the present, not the

future. We do not deal in futures!


"Brothers (and sisters): our time is growing

short." "The Kingdom of God is close at

hand; believe the Good News." Mk. 1vs.15.


14th Jan. 2018 - Second Sunday of the Year B

posted 12 Jan 2018, 11:48 by Veronica Yarwood   [ updated 12 Jan 2018, 11:49 ]


H.B. & 11w.


Us. This is us. This is our life with a capital L. Where do

we live? Let's fill in our particular address by all means, but

what we have in common is, it is the sanctuary of the Lord,

whatever the address. We all live in the sanctuary of the Lord.


The instinct and intuition for homemaking is sacred.

Certainly, if we get it right our guests notice warmth,

welcome and peace. It is after all, the sanctuary of the Lord

revealing and articulating the sounds and sights of his

universe. The tastes and touch of the divine. Templum

Domini, Templum Domini, Templum Domini. It is all the

temple of the Lord.


And then we hear it. Having lived with the sound of

silence all our lives we come to recognise the voice of the

Lord. It is the Lord's silence, resounding and echoing and

communicating, speaking to us, calling us by name. Being

country folk we are twice blessed with this silence and the

larger silence of divinity.


It is all invitation. We are invited to life and the larger life.

We are invited to know that we are one with the Father

through Jesus in his spirit. We are divine. The Lord would

have us see where he is and how he is and would have us

remain with him. Identified. It is every disciples' question,

"Lord, where are you? Lord, where do you live?" And the

answer is always the same. "Come. Come and see."


The coming is the seeing and the seeing is the coming,

always coming to the Lord. We come to awareness. We

come to consciousness. This is the evolution that puts us in

tune with our true self. It is only our true self that can

recognise unity with the one being who is God in Christ.

The unconscious self, the ego, is locked into past and

future, which of course, do not exist. There is only the now

of being who we are and staying with the one who is



It is the Messiah who tells us who we really are and what

we really. are. "You are Simon, son of John; you are to be

called Cephas." (meaning 'Rock-) We listen for the Lord's

naming and teaching. We are members making up the

body of Christ, called to live what we are, now. This is

life. This is our life. This is life as it is meant to be, the

larger life, and life is sweet. Through Christ we are a new

creation shaped in his likeness. Our human nature now

lives with the Father, through Christ, in the Spirit.

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