This blog is for the use of the whole parish; please let me know if you'd like to contribute.


Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

Faith and Forgiveness

Permalink


Isaiah 35:1-10  Psalm 84(85):9–14  Luke 5:17–26


The paralysed man is healed, not because of his own faith, but through the faith of his friends. This fascinating incident highlights that a sure knowledge and experience of forgiveness is a fundamental human need which strikes at the very core of who we are. And who are we? We are persons created in the image and likeness of God, but fallen and wounded and in need of the bitter grace of sorrow and repentance, which leads to the sweet blessing of forgiveness.


The Pharisees have to be given credit for getting to the heart of the matter very quickly indeed. They figured that no mere human being could forgive sins and that this power and grace belonged to God alone (v. 21). Many centuries later William Blake captured this idea in the way that only a great man of letters can: “There is not one moral virtue that Jesus inculcated but Plato and Cicero did inculcate before him. What then did Christ inculcate? Forgiveness of sins. This alone is the Gospel, and this is the life and immortality brought to life by Jesus.”


There is a very real way in which forgiveness is our greatest need, and when we receive God’s forgiveness our greatest response is in turn to forgive those who sin against us. At the heart of receiving God’s forgiveness is taking hold of how great is God’s mercy towards us. God delights to forgive sins and rejoices when we turn to him in sorrow and repentance. Perhaps it is because in receiving God’s forgiveness we grasp reality and come in contact with the truth that it was because of our sin, our rebellion and our waywardness that God sent his only Son.

The cost of the grace of our forgiveness and reconciliation was brought about by nothing less than the cross of Jesus. Without the cross there would be no forgiveness. In forgiving us God sets us free, and we are invited to forgive others as we have been forgiven. This is why the cross is truly a sign of forgiveness and freedom. “When Christ’s hands were naıled to the cross, he also nailed your sins to the cross” (St Bernard of Clairvaux).

On this his feast-day, we leave the last word to the wise pastor St Ambrose: 


As often as the Lord’s blood is shed it is poured out for the forgiveness of sins; so I ought to receive it always, that my sins may always be forgiven.

Chris


from Bible Alive

Comments

Jesus and the Pharisees

Permalink
Luke 13:10–17


Today’s Scripture packs two strikingly different ideas into one reading: healing and hypocrisy. The healing is of a woman who had been crippled for eighieen years, and the hypocrisy is on the part of a synagogue official who cannot see what is happening right before his eyes – a woman being miraculously freed from her terrible pain and suffering. The synagogue ruler had been too crippled by the letter of the law to recognize the true spirit of the law.


The Pharisees allowed animals to be taken care of on the Sabbath (see Luke 14:5), so why should they begrudge a sick woman this extraordinary and wonderful gift of God? Such harsh, legalistic and quite frankly mean behaviour from so-called religious people is staggering, isn’t it? What had happened to their understanding of God and their understanding of the dignity of the human person to make them think like this?


Yet it is perhaps too easy to be judgemental and harsh towards the Pharisees. We can find ourselves saying to God, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like these Pharisees because I would not let myself become so confused and legalistic that I applied the letter and not the spirit of the law.’ To think like this is, of course, to have fallen into the same trap! Make no mistake, Jesus loved the Pharisees – it is obvious from his eagerness to correct their thinking.


To live in the Spirit we need to be very clear about two things: the first is that God loves everybody, and the second is that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and God wants the best for everybody. The Pharisees made the error of assuming they knew how God thought, but they could not have been more wrong. Jesus came to set us all free because we all need to be set free. The Pharisees’ religion had made them narrow-minded and mean-spirited, whereas the Spirit makes us big-hearted and generous. The Pharisees’ religion had made them hypocrites (a very real tension for all religious people), but the Spirit convicts us of our sin and makes us grateful and forgiven sinners in continual need of God’s healing and mercy.


The all-sufficient Physician of humanity, the Saviour, heals both body and soul.  (St Clement of Alexandria)


Chris


From Bible Alive


Ephesians 4:32-56 • Psalm 1:1–6 • Luke 13:10–17


Comments
Acts
Adult Education
Advent
alms
angel
anger
annunciation
answer
Apocalypse
apostles
apostolic
archbishops
ascension
ask
banquet
beatitudes
bishop
bishops
Blessed
blessings
blind
brokenness
burden
CAFOD
chances
change
charity
Children
Christ
Christian
Christian Aid
Christ the King
church
Churches Together in Biggleswade
cleanse
comfort
coming
commitment
compassion
Conference
contemplation
conversion
coordinator
Coronavirus
courage
covenant
COVID-19
cross
cure
daily bread
Damascus
death
death to self
delight
desert
diocese
disciples
divine
Divine Office
divine work
divinity
Dominicans
doubt
Downside
Easter
eat
effort
encouragement
end-time
equality
eternal
evangelise
evil
fairness
faith
faithfulness
fasting
Father
faults
fear
feed
fever
fiat
find God
food
foretold
forgive
forgiveness
foundations
Francis
free
fruit
fruitfulness
Fund-raising
future
Gabriel
gentle
gift
giving
glory
God
God's
God's Plan
God's will
God-man
Golden Rule
good
gospel
grace
gratitude
greatness
heal
healing
health
heaven
Holy Spirit
Holy Week
Holy_Spirit
homeless
hope
Hosea
humble
humility
hypocrisy
I AM
incarnation
In Jesus's Name
innocence
insight
Internet
jealousy
Jesus
joy
justice
Justice and Peace
kindness
King
King David
kingdom
knowing
knowledge
law
Lent
leprosy
life
light
live streaming
living
Lord
Lord's Prayer
lost
love
Magi
maranatha
martyr
Mass
Matthew
meditation
mercy
Messiah
mindfulness
Ministries
miracle
miracles
mountains
mystery
name
narrow path
Nazereth
neighbour
new creation
new life
New Testament
New Year
Nineveh
None
obedience
Old Testament
OneWorld
online
Organisation
Our Lady
outcast
outcasts
Palm Sunday
parable
Parish
Parish Youth
Passion
Paul
peace
penance
perfection
Peter
Pilgrimage
pity
poor
Pope
power
praise
prayer
Prayers
preparation
proclamation
promise
prophesy
prophet
recovery
reflection
refugee
rejects
renewal
repentance
rest
resurrection
revelation
righteiousness
righteousness
risen
Rock
Rolheiser
Sabbath
Sacraments
sacrifice
Sadducees
Safety
salvation
Satan
save
Saviour
sayittogod
second
Second Coming
seed
self-sacrifice
sent
sermon
serve
service
sheep
shepherd
signs
silence
sin
Social
Solomon
soul
sower
spirit
Spiritual
St Benedict
steadfast
Stephen
stoning
storm
storms
strength
struggle
suffering
SVP
talents
teaching
temptation
The Cross
time for God
today
transgressions
Trinity
trust
truth
unity
unworthy
vine
vinedresser
vineyard
virgin
Visits
walk
water
Website
will
Witness
women
work
World
worship
Year of Faith
yoke
You
RSS Feed 
February 2021 (7)
January 2021 (7)
December 2020 (7)
November 2020 (8)
October 2020 (4)
September 2020 (7)
August 2020 (6)
July 2020 (8)
June 2020 (8)
May 2020 (9)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (17)
February 2020 (9)
January 2020 (7)
December 2019 (8)
November 2019 (7)
October 2019 (6)
September 2019 (6)
August 2019 (3)
July 2019 (5)
June 2019 (4)
May 2019 (3)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (5)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (5)
November 2018 (1)
October 2018 (3)
September 2018 (2)
August 2018 (2)
June 2018 (3)
May 2018 (3)
April 2018 (3)
March 2018 (5)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (5)
December 2017 (7)
November 2017 (4)
October 2017 (3)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (3)
June 2017 (6)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
March 2017 (6)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (5)
December 2016 (4)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (3)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (5)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (8)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (4)
March 2016 (6)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (3)
December 2015 (5)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (2)
September 2015 (2)
August 2015 (1)
July 2015 (3)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (6)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (5)
January 2015 (2)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (7)
September 2014 (5)
August 2014 (3)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (5)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (5)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (9)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (5)
November 2013 (6)
October 2013 (5)
September 2013 (7)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (5)
June 2013 (5)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (3)
February 2013 (1)
January 2013 (5)
December 2012 (10)
November 2012 (7)
October 2012 (6)
September 2012 (6)
August 2012 (4)
July 2012 (2)
June 2012 (6)
May 2012 (10)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (3)
February 2012 (2)
January 2012 (8)
November 2011 (1)
October 2011 (1)
September 2011 (1)
August 2011 (1)
May 2011 (1)
April 2011 (1)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (2)
January 2011 (2)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (1)
October 2010 (3)
September 2010 (1)
August 2010 (1)
May 2010 (1)
March 2010 (2)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (3)
November 2009 (2)
October 2009 (1)
July 2009 (1)
May 2009 (1)
April 2009 (2)
March 2009 (1)
February 2009 (3)
January 2009 (1)
November 2008 (1)
October 2008 (1)
September 2008 (4)
August 2008 (2)

This site uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the site to operate and have already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but parts of the site may not work. To find out more about cookies on this website, see our Privacy Policy.