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The Holy Trinity

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The greatest mystery of Christian truth is that in the Godhead there are three Persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  Faith allows us to accept this revelation; faith allows us to rejoice in it and enter into it.
 
A famous icon by Rublev depicts the Trinity as three angels around a table with space reserved for another guest.  We are that guest, because by the grace of baptism we are invited to immerse ourselves in the mystery and glory of the triune life of God.

"O Eternal Trinity, God, you are an abyss, a deep sea; you have given yourself to me – what greater good could you give?  By your light you enlighten our minds, as by your light you have brought me to know you."  Saint Catherine of Siena

Chris

(from Bible Alive)

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Christ the High Priest

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John 17:1-2, 9, 14-26
 
Jesus’s high-priestly prayer brings us into the very heart of the Trinity.  The Blessed Trinity is a unity of the union of three divine Persons in one divine God, a divine unity joined for eternity in a communion of profound love.
 
Our Lord and Master focused not on himself but on pleasing his Father and protecting us by his prayer.  He united himself to his Father’s will: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me” (John 4:34).  He submitted entirely to it: “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
 
As we keep Jesus’s word, we shall experience the love of the Father and the Son: “he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him” (John 4:21).
 
The Father and the Son dwell in the hearts of all those who believe and obey Jesus’s word and they dwell in the Father and the Son.  This divine indwelling is given to us by the Spirit at our Baptism.
 

Chris

(from Bible Alive)

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Meditation on Ascension

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I rather liked this meditation by Dr Luigi Gioia OSB; I found it on sayittogod.com:
 
<https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VM5FLg7v3tq5N7JH7l1Fu3oh8bNRVZwtdLSdDkidtdc/edit#heading=h.3be0nja0quwa>
 
God bless
 
Chris
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Jesus and Self-will

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The new creation is established through Jesus’s resurrection.  Jesus himself is the first-born of God’s new creation.  When Jesus died, he took with him to the cross the sin and fallen nature of all of humanity.  
 
Humanity’s fallen nature is that nature in which the self-life has been allowed to rule and control us.  It is a nature that, in the end, cannot have union with God, because the self-life refuses to let God take central place – it is my will that I do, rather than God’s will.  Jesus, throughout his life, revealed a true human life which was completely surrendered to the will of the Father.  
 
However, the cross was necessary because the power of the self-life, and of self-will, needed to be put to death.  It was brought to an end on Calvary.
 
The resurrected Jesus is now the source of a life that is entirely one with the will of God.  For that same life to be manifested in us today, it is essential that we have union with both the death and the resurrection of Jesus.
 
The key element is our willingness to let go of the self-life and the self-will that can so dominate our lives.
 

Chris

(from Bible Alive)

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The Deep End – we will come to them

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In a verse preceeding today’s Gospel the disciples ask Jesus why he will not show the whole world who he is. It’s an excellent question. Surely this whole faith – journey experience and relationship with God, would be far easier if there were fireworks and clear instructions.
 
Jesus’s response to the disciples is ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’
 
These are the opening words of today's Gospel, It reminds us that what is required first is an inner relationship with God, so that God can come and make a home with us: ‘ we will come to them and make our home with them.’ It is there that we discover who Jesus is.

The peace (shalom) that Jesus gives to the discipls has a much richer meaning than we might first think. This ‘shalom’ is not simply a good wish for a nice evening, it is rather a peace which this world cannot offer. It is a peace that comes from a loving relationship with God, a peace of body, of mind and of spirit.
 
Jesus is asking the disciples to be an unending witness to God’s love.

They (and we) must be for others what Jesus has been for them. In this way we and the world will come to see who Jesus really is.
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The Deep End – Love One Another

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‘Love one another’ is the basic principle of Christianity, as Jesus loved. It is simple, yet we can make it so complicated.

Jesus’s love was controversial for some people, because it was love without exclusion. To love as Jesus loved is to love those it is hard to love. This love ultimately leads to Jesus’ death. Jesus loved sinners, tax-collectors, prostitutes, people of other religions, the poor, the unwanted, the sick, the beggar and the leper.

This is is also too much for some Christians today. It is hard to love sinners or fanily members or friends who have hurt us. Yet this is the love we are called to. Once we begin to accept that we are infinitely loved by God, it is like a domino effect where that love is poured outwards in our lives.

We are part of this outpouring of God’s creative love and are called to bring it into places where there is none. In this way we are helping to heal, sustain and nourish ths world.

Let us hear those words of the Gospel more clearly today. ’Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this everone will know that you are one of my disciples.’

Let us dream of, and work towards, a world where this is a reality.

Jane Mellett.

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The Good Shepherd

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Gospel: John 10:27-30

Jesus said: ‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me. The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father. The Father and I are one.’

How do we hear the voicer of the Shepherd?  In our prayer, through the Scriptures, through the teaching of the Church and through the light of our conscience.  We all err and fall and walk in darkness, but the Lord's voice is constantly calling us to life eternal.  Jesus wants not one of his sheep to be lost.  Our lives are a pilgrimage to the safe pasture of heaven and the gift of eternal life.

Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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Doubt

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Faith in God and acceptance of Jesus is often reached through a process which involves questions, struggles and difficulties.  Indeed, there can be a way in which, as St Augustine said, doubt and unbelief are really no more than fear dressed up: "For I keep my heart from assenting anything, fearing to fall headlong; but hanging in suspense I was worse killed."

Doubt can be the gateway to faith.  In his poem Bishop Blougram's Apology Robert Browning wrote, "The more of doubt, the stronger faith, I say, if faith o'ercomes doubt".

Lord Jesus, when like Thomas I am tempted to doubt, help me to repent and turn away from the darkness and to embrace the light of your truth, saying in my heart, "My Lord and my God".

Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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Maundy Thursday

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Today's Gospel reading: John 13:1-15

Jesus washes the feet of his disciples; he humbles himself to them to show them how they must serve each other.

'Jesus, come, my feet are dirty.  You have become a servant for my sake, so fill your basin with water; come wash my feet.  I know that I am bold in saying this, bur your own words have made me fearful: "If I do not wash your feet you will have no companionship with me."  Wash my feet, then, so the I may be your companion.  But what am I saying, "Wash my feet"?  Peter could say these words, for all that he needed washing were his feet.  For the rest, he was completely clean.  I must be made clean with that other washing, of which you said, "I have a baptism with which you must be baptised."'  (Origen)

Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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Plotting against Jesus

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Today's Gospel reading: John 11:45-56

As we stand on the eve of Holy Week, we are invited to enter into the mystery of the cross.  It is not possible to escape the difficult reality that God's beloved Son was delivered up to the most brutal, cruel and torturous method of capital punishment known to mankind.  The only way the human race could be saved was by Jesus embracing the cross.  Flesh and blood alone cannot penetrate this mystery – we need a revelation of the Holy Spirit.

"The world is full of mysteries: heaven is all mystery to us earthly creatures.  But whoever embraces the cross with open heart finds there the explanation of a thousand mysteries." (Archbishop William Ullathorne).

Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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