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15th July 2018 - 15th Sunday of the Year B

posted 14 Jul 2018, 12:08 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B. & Hw.


Word and Kingdom do not permeate our world by

magic. God sends Jesus in the flesh, word made flesh

and Kingdom in person to reveal divine love. It is

always a hands-on mission. We are called to witness to

our brothers and sisters, whoever they may be. We may

have a mission to the powerful, the prestigious. We

may have a commitment to the sick or to those out of

control of their/lives, to show them, whatever their need

that there is another way. That there is infinitely more

to life. Our God calls us to be his\her co-worker(s).

We have to discern the word and what it takes to bring

in the Kingdom in our by now, very different world.

Our mission is a team mission. The team way is the

way to consistency and truth in our witness. Our unity

does after all, witness to a fragmented world. We are

not "lone rangers" and certainly not "loose cannons".

The team keeps us on track, in tune, especially in our

times of great difficulties and uncertainty. Consultation

is the strength of the mission team.


We should be known by our poverty and simplicity.

Our poverty is a register of our total dependence on the

Lord in our mission. Our simplicity goes for the

obvious. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty,

welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick

and the imprisoned. Keep it simple!

Our only equipment for our mission is the Jesus-given

authority. It is an authority over evil and a power to

serve. We do not need any other authority. Our

poverty is more powerful than possessions. "Poor to be

free is the message". Nor must we distance ourselves

from folk by ostentation of any kind. We simply insert

ourselves discreetly into each melieu. Thus we assume

our responsibility for word and Kingdom.

So we take the point. Our Christian authority is from

the Lord. We have authority over evil from Jesus. This

authority speaks to people as guest. This authority does

not impose its message. This authority leaves our

listeners free to respond. We temper our way of living

to avoid erecting barriers with our brothers and sisters.

Our ministry is a respectful ministry. And our ministry

is an unlimited ministry.


Evil must be challenged wherever it emerges. Be it

hunger, thirst, alienation, nakedness, sickness or

imprisonment, in whatever shape or form. Our mission

is to offer the word of salvation. Our mission is to offer

the fullness of life and the larger life of the Kingdom in

Jesus' name. So we take St. Paul at his word, "Before

the world was made, God chose us." (Eph. 1.4) "Go

prophesy to my people," (Amos. 7.15) the Lord says.

And what began with the Twelve continues with us.

We are people of the word. We are Kingdom people.

And we are such for our world.



1st July 2018 - 13th Sunday of the Year B

posted 29 Jun 2018, 06:35 by Veronica Yarwood


"Death was not God's doing,

He takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living."


God creates us to live and to live to the full. The

creation is good. It is of God. It must be good. There

is no room for negativity and disapproval of God's

handiwork. That's blasphemy. Hades, hell and evil,

call it what you will, is not in control. Despite all

appearances. The God-force, the life force is in charge.

Irreversibly so. And we are made to live as long as

God. Made in his image and likeness. That's us.

That's why we are precious. All of us, no matter what

the creed, colour or complexion. No wonder old Nick

is livid! Envy personified. And all those who walk

with him.


And if we want all this restated in practical terms?

Jesus is the statement in person. Moving out

immediately to a sick child. And even on the way,

curing a lifelong illness. To touch Jesus is enough to

release life-giving power. Never withheld where there

is faith in his Lordship. He is our wellbeing, our peace

and our freedom. Hence the absolute necessity for us to

present ourselves as we rly are. No kid stakes! So

that even when death itself, in whatever shape or form,

seems to have had its wicked way with us, Jesus can

take us by the hand and bid us rise from our failure, our

disappointment, our disillusionment and our sin And

we can walk tall. Our future restored to us by the Lord

of life. We really must forgo any hesitations about our

Lord. No superstitious piety, no hesitations on the

grounds of so called practicality, no supercilious

smirking at the notion of the marvels the Lord can do

for us. He is alive, active and totally on our side.


The least then we can do is to be alive, active and

totally on the side of our brothers and sisters. This is

the only way they will come to know and experience

the generosity of the Lord. He has proclaimed life...

He has proclaimed life through the Good News. We

too proclaim life. We are pro-life because Jesus, our

Lord, is life. His words are spirit and they are life.

Jesus has and is the message of eternal life. Let's not

keep this to ourselves. Let's spread the great Good

News, the message of eternal life who is Jesus. Totally

available to faith.

17th June 2018 - 11th Sunday of Year B

posted 14 Jun 2018, 12:18 by Veronica Yarwood



So ultimately Ezekiel refers to Jesus. Ezekiel

refers to Jesus and the Kingdom. It is to Jesus

and his Kingdom that we look for perspective

and encouragement so that we can keep on

keeping on. Not just doggedly but hopefully,

certain of the final outcome of eternal wellbeing

in God's Kingdom.


Growth, secret and gradual is the dynamic of the

coming of the Kingdom. We have to be ready

for the long haul, neither expecting spectacular

growth nor discouraged by peoples' slow



Men and women respond to the coming of the

Kingdom in many, many ways. Don't knock

their uniqueness. It is of God. The whole

initiative in the evolution of the Kingdom is.

divine. Kingdom communication has a power

of its own. It grows effortlessly in the hearts of

believers, no stress, no strain, no sweat.


Our Kingdom building and our observation of

the development of the Kingdom can only be

optimistic, even when all seems to be falling

apart. Remember the mustard seed and lets

remember too who teaches the parable of the

mustard seed. It's Jesus. He speaks of secret

growth. He speaks of small beginnings. It is

Jesus who indicates the great future that grows

from small beginnings.


So we are involved in a scenario of small is

great. We need the sharpness of observation

and the sensitivity of heart to appreciate what is

happening all around us. Our future can and

will be great because it is God's work not ours,

though doubtless God will always use us if we

allow it.

We can but pray with the Psalmist,

"It is good to give you thanks, 0 Lord." We

praise and thank God for his plan for each one of

us and for the whole of humanity. Unless our

prayer embraces these two dimensions, the

personal and the universal, we remain



And really it is a great big universe out there.

Let's give our God credit for being a great big

God with great big ideas for

"a Kingdom of truth and life,

a Kingdom of holiness and grace,

a Kingdom of justice, love and peace"

for the whole of humankind, albeit from tiny

beginnings like ourselves, working through,

with and in Jesus Christ, Our Lord.



10th June 2018 - 10th Sunday of the Year

posted 8 Jun 2018, 06:38 by Veronica Yarwood


The first reading this morning is yet another mirror. We look into it and see our reflection. We see how we hide from God and how He constantly calls us. It is He who takes the initiative all the time. And even when we finally face Him we try to excuse ourselves for being what we are. We pass the buck and say “it was the woman you put with me”, “I never had a chance with my background”; “they never told me”.

We even blame God perhaps, by our emphasis on the “woman YOU put me with. Or perhaps like Eve we blame the serpent.


But as ever and whatever the excuses, God has the last word as He had the first.

The woman’s offspring will crush evil; will beat lovelessness. So that “He who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn and put us by His side.


And this is salvation. Not running away from God, or pretending He is not there. No, salvation is in coming clean, admitting our sinfulness, accepting ourselves for what we are. This way God can get at us and the reflection in the mirror changes. We see another Adam, a new Eve given to the service of our fellow men to the point of apparent madness.

We see the “unclean spirit” replaced by the Holy Spirit and this new man seeking only the will of the Father.

We see ourselves identified as Christ’s ‘brother and sister and mother’.

3rd June 2018 - Corpus Christi

posted 1 Jun 2018, 08:59 by Veronica Yarwood

(after Richard Rohr "Radical Grace" (Page 211)
H.B. & Hw.


It is the Mass that matters. The Eucharist is,

after all, the centre of our Catholic

Christianity. The central symbolism, the

essential expression of our Catholicism is the

Eucharist. We keep on keeping on giving the

bread of Jesus. We keep on keeping on saying

"The Body of Christ". This is who we are.

We become what we eat. We become and are

becoming Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ.

As Jesus says of the bread, "This is me", so we

say of the bread, "This is us".


We are more one, the one body of Christ than

we are many. Our oneness prevails over our

'many-ness'. We are one but we are broken.

This is the mystery we Catholics celebrate

constantly and ceaselessly and try to



So despite all the things we have shared over

the past few months we do not become

Catholics to become mystics, seeking unity

with the deity through contemplation. We do

not become Catholics to get metaphysical,

dealing with the nature of existence, truth and

knowledge. We do not become Catholics to

become transcendent, excelling and surpassing

human experience. We do not become

Catholics to enter some kind of nirvana like

the Buddhists or the Hindus in their pursuit of

holiness. This is not our Catholic way.


Our understanding of our Christianity does not

emphasise how to get us in the skies. Our

understanding of our Christianity emphasises

how to get our feet on the ground. Our

understanding of our Christianity emphasises

how to get in touch with the real, with reality.

Our Catholic Christianity tells us how to get

into society, into history, tied to the common

good. Orthopraxis precedes orthodoxy every



Our Catholic Christianity tells us how to be

part of the muddiness and fleshiness of it all.

We eat the Body of Christ. We drink his

Blood. We do not just reflect on his ideas.


This is fundamental energy. This is original

energy. This energy has the power to

transform us and we are certainly into

transformation. Hence St. John's acclamation,

"Anyone who eats this bread will live (and

will live) forever." And we Catholic

Christians eat this bread and we will live fully

and forever. We are Corpus Christi and Body

of Christ. It is the Mass that matters.


27th May 2018 - The Most Holy Trinity

posted 25 May 2018, 06:42 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.


Affirmation! We need to affirm one another.

We need to be affirmed by one another.

Affirmation underpins personality.

Unaffirmed we can disintegrate as persons.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity is a feast -of



The principle of personal affirmation is as

ancient as the Godhead. The principle of

personal affirmation is as new as the most

recent human birth. Our God is after all,

persons in relationship. The Lord of the

universe is after all, revealed in personhood.


We are no strangers to this profound secret of

life. We are part of it, a most intimate part of

this mystery of life and living. "Happy

(indeed), the people the Lord has chosen as his

own." (Ps. 32 v 12) We are his very image.

We are divine lookalikes. We look like the

Lord. We feel like the Lord. We are with,

through and in the Lord.


Hence the non-sense of an epoch of the

privatised, the individual, the anonymous and

the isolated. It is not natural. It is certainly

not supernatural. It is the denial of everything

we are and are meant to be. We are meant to

be persons in relationship, a relationship of

love, like Father and Son and Spirit; identical.


"You received the spirit of Sons (and

Daughters) and it makes us cry out, ', Abba,

Father,". (Rom: 8.15). We can't help

ourselves! "Children of God, heirs and co‑

heirs with (the very) Christ." (Rom: 8.17). Our

nerve endings tingle with the sensation of our

God given personhood.


Hence the popularity of the "Glory be to the

Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as

it was in the beginning is now and ever shall

be world without end". We proclaim that this

is how it is now, always has been and will be

forever for all of us.


And the best service we can offer is to go to

our brothers and sisters and make them

disciples, educate them in the mystery of life

and reality, and tell them that they are persons

in a relationship we call love, in the image and

likeness of Father, Son and Spirit.


In this is the joy of living. In this is eternal

happiness. So let us get our act together,

recognise who we are, what we are for and

how to live life to the full. Let's be conscious,

consciously aware of our loving relationship

with God and each other and the whole

creation. We know it makes sense.


20th May 2018 - Pentecost Sunday

posted 17 May 2018, 06:23 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B. & Hw.


Today is a festival of grace and gratitude. Today is a celebration

of abundance. We celebrate abundance of life in the Spirit. We

celebrate this abundance of life in the Spirit in I our Mass and



In the Spirit our faith becomes an affair of the heart. Not just the

head. In the Spirit we no longer follow an overly patriarchal

religion. A men only religion! We freely admit the feminine

enrichment of our thinking, speaking and acting.


With life in the Spirit our asceticism and mortification takes on

positive quality. No self-hatred and mutilation but rather

development of physical sensibility. Our disciplines are directed

creativity. Like the musician who practices to produce great

music. Like the athlete who trains to win. In the Spirit we even

rejoice in our God-given passions, directing them blessedly.


Our Spirit-filled God is Father, Mother and child. All things to all.

Our sufferings are but the birth pangs of the universe. Never

divine retribution. Death even, in the Spirit, is but the prelude to

rebirth. Informed by the Spirit, our holiness is openness and

hospitality to life and persons, places and things. Never negative.

Never withdrawal, introversion and individualist, save—my—soul

spirituality. Our quest together is for ever greater perfection an

innocence. Hence our thirst. Our thirst for the Holy Spirit. That

we may grow, expand and be ever young at heart. Ever more

nearly all we are meant to be.


 Our story begins and ends with the Spirit. Our history opens with

God's creative energy and original blessing whom we call the Holy

Spirit. Hence our extrovert spirituality which looks in wonder

upon the cosmos, God's creation and universe. Our prayer feed

on this vast inspiration. So far from seeking signs we live with the

miracle of existence. "It is good (wonder-ful) for us to be here.”


Ecologically sensitive, cosmically aware, so far from fearing the

sciences we recognise our debt to the scientist who teaches us

about our creator. We are not "either/or people". We are

"both/and people", welcoming body and soul. So far from

despising ourselves, we befriend ourselves. Not tightly controlled

selves but yielding to the Spirit of breakthrough, ecstasy and



We are hopeful, not pessimistic. Dancing to the rhythm of creati

we are not elitist but one for all and all for one. Our Spirit-filled

Christ, after all, is the cosmic Christ. The Universalist, our Lord

Jesus Christ, is through, with and in all. And with his gift of the

Holy Spirit, this Pentecost he calls us to our divinity, to fulfil our

potential. We can but repeat in joy and trust, "Come Holy Spirit

fill the hearts of your faithful."

13th May 2018 - 7th Sunday of Easter B

posted 12 May 2018, 13:29 by Veronica Yarwood

HB & Hw.


"We must choose one of these to be a witness to

his resurrection with us" The replacement of

Judas is a matter of urgency. The replacement

must have the knowledge, the knowledge of

Jesus from public ministry to resurrection And

indeed, Matthias the chosen replacement can

witness to Jesus' teaching, his life of love, his

service to those in need and his presence in the

faith community. Matthias was there!


So with the choice of Matthias the tradition is

safe. And we know for certain that not only is

God love, but as Christians we become one with

God when we love one another. The circle of

love is unbroken, God, Jesus, us, others.


The visible reality of God in our world is the

love we have for one another. Jesus is our

model. We have his life as a paradigm,

example and pattern for our loving service of

others. And his love in action is faithful,

generous, forgiving., compassionate, healing,

tender and merciful. To love in this way is to

live in God. This is the knowledge. This is

the tradition, the Apostolic Tradition, vital to

humankind's very salvation. And Matthias

completes the founding twelve, protectors of the

revelation, its formulation and communication.


So God is love. The foundation of our

Christian life is mutual love. Living in love

means that rules and laws are not enough.

Regression, oppression and restrictive mandates

have no place among us, the faith community

guided by love. Openness, listening, dialogue,

trust and respect are the necessary qualities that

should define our life in the Church of the

Apostolic Tradition, all less secure seemingly,

than obeying rules and regulations, but it ensures

our growth and human maturity. As the

mystics remind us, and St. John of the Cross in

so many words, we will be judged on love.


And that all leaves. us squarely in our world of

today. We witness to and communicate our

faith, the Apostolic Tradition in the everyday

moments of our lives, in family, work, school, or

ministry. We search a deeper understanding of

God's will for us in Christ in our different

situations. A contemplative approach to life,

the knowledge of Scripture and Tradition and

our commitment to an appreciation of the full

range of human experience are essential for our

witness to God's love. Speaking the truth in

love, communicating the truth in love, if you

like, provides us with a definition for the

dialogue that must continue in our Church and in

our world.


Pope Benedict links dialogue with solidarity and

peace and goes on to say, "I am confident that

serious efforts to promote, these three steps will

assist the media to develop soundly as a network

of communication, communion and cooperation,

helping men, women and children, to become

more aware of the dignity of the human person,

more responsible, and more open to others

especially the neediest and the weakest members

of society."


6th May 2018 - 6th Sunday of Easter B

posted 6 May 2018, 10:31 by Veronica Yarwood

 HB & Hw.


The Cornelius story teaches us that our

relationship with God is not about nationality.

Its not about culture. God is bigger than all the

cultures and nationalities put together. The only

race that makes sense with God is the human

race. God is the common root of all human



So the unique and single condition of our

relationship with God is believing in God and

doing what is right by our fellow humans. Note

we do say "unique and single condition". Not

two conditions but one We believe in God by

doing right by others. One condition!


We worship God by good human behaviour.

And we take the point. All human beings are

made in God's image and likeness. All human

beings are infused with God's Spirit. As it says

in Genesis 2.v.7., "The Lord fashioned man of

the dust of the soil. Then he breathed into his

nostrils a breath of life and thus man became a

living being." So even before we have heard

the Good News we are already acceptable to

God. And when we behave according to God's

will for us we are accepted.


So our love for one another should model and

actualise the Father's love for us when he gives

us his Son and when Jesus gives himself for us.

This means that there can be no limit to our love.

There can be no limit to our practical will for the

happiness of one another.


This "one another" refers to the local Church

and the universal Church, but our love cannot be

exclusive or sectarian. What we are talking

about is God's own love for the whole world.

Its directed to all human beings.


So this love beginning as the Father's free gift of

Himself in his Son and reciprocated by the Son,

is finally reciprocated by true believers and

thereby we become friends of Jesus, friends of

the Father and friends of one another.


Friends of God we are at the high point of

Christianity and into the essence of Christian

life. This is the life willed for us by the Father

and the Son, fellowship with them and

membership of their family. If we do not

regard and act towards all others as our "friends"

our Christian life is imperfect. We can never

divorce our relationship with the Father and the

Son from action.


Even our prayer and contemplation is active and

directed to the service of others. Nor is our love

for our fellows limited to their material need. It

includes their total destiny. Created in God's

image and likeness they too are drawn to enjoy

God's life fully.


So we are not talking utopia, mirage or

unattainable ideal. We are talking true

brotherhood, true sisterhood. It is the reality to

which we are all invited. It is the reality to

which God destines and calls the whole of



15th April 2018 - Third Sunday of Easter B

posted 14 Apr 2018, 07:47 by Veronica Yarwood


Messy and ugly. No other words for it. Jesus dies a

messy, ugly death in a messy ugly place. There is

nothing glamorous about Golgotha. There is no

glamour on Golgotha. Imagine the stench There

must be a stench about the place. The stench of

violent death. The stench of triumphalism. The

stench of despair. An aw-ful, bloody place!

And Peter? Peter blames ignorance. "Neither you

nor your leaders had any idea what you were really

doing." The same goes for us. Blame our

ignorance. We had no idea what we were really


And Jesus rises. Jesus rises in triumph. Out of the

mess and the ugliness, the death, stench and violence.

Out of the corruption and despair Jesus rises, in

triumph, in glory, victorious. Note his post‑

resurrection body. It still bears the scars. And

Jesus says to US, "See my hands and my feet."

So our Risen Lord is no phantom. Our Risen Lord

is no ghost. The Jesus who rises is the Jesus who


has died on the cross on the cross. So we note and

note well, because it is crucial: our Christian faith is

founded on historical fact. Christianity is an

historical religion. It happened, is happening and

will continue. Our religion is no dream ticket. Our

religion is historical and it is for real.

A necessary part of God's plan the cross was no

emergency measure when all else had failed. The

cross is the reality, the really real reality of God's

eternal love for us. On the cross we see the reality,

of God's eternal love for us and everyone and every


In a messy, ugly place God's love shines through. It

was the scars on Jesus' body which helped the

disciples recognise him. They must be the

identifying marks of Our Lord for us. Because

sometimes our world can be a very messy, ugly

place. There is, after all, very little glamour in

broken relationships, addiction, poverty, abuse,

suicide and despair. These Golgothas leave scars but

these very scars can become badges of victory.

These scars can become signs of encouragement and

hope, signs of resurrection.


The disciples leave the upper room enthused,

confident and full of hope. So may our trials keep us

strong, our sorrows keep us human and our failures

keep us humble. May our hope keep us happy and

our enthusiasm keep us looking forward. May our

faith banish depression, our wealth meet our needs

and our friends give us comfort. And may we have,

in the Risen Lord, determination to make each day a

little better than yesterday.



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