Saturday, 21 November 2020

When did we see you?

 Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe Year A - 22nd November 2020


Gospel Matthew 25:31–46 (shortened)


Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory ... he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats ...

‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these of mine, you did it to me.”

‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you ... and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” ‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’



Reflection from St Beuno's Outreach


I begin by asking the Holy Spirit to help me reach the heart of this challenging gospel. I read it slowly and gently, remembering that the Son of Man (and King) is the one and same true shepherd.

I can trust his call, guidance, teaching and his judgements.

What is stirring within as I read? If I am feeling any fear or unease, I could ponder where this might be coming from. Or maybe, I am remembering times when I have received help, or been of help? I stay with these memories.

In the First Reading, Jesus, the true shepherd, has kept me within his gaze. Here, Christ the King desires to invite me to the feast.

How can I respond to this invitation in the here and now?

I ask to see, ever more keenly, Christ present to me in all circumstances. Perhaps I feel drawn to stay with Christ for a few moments, who appears to me both in glory and power ... but also, as one who is vulnerable and in need. When ready, I end with the sign of the cross.


NB - See the new page, "Going to Mass Online" above.

 Click here to read or listen to a one-minute homily on this Sunday's readings!


Saturday, 14 November 2020

Well done, good and faithful servant!

 Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 15th November 2020


Gospel Matthew 25: 14–21 (abridged)

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third, one; each in proportion to their ability. Then he set out.

‘The one who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The one who had received two made two more in the same way. But the servant who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more, saying. “Sir, you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.” The master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”’



Gospel Reflection from St Beuno's Outreach


After coming to some inner quiet in the way that works best for me, I read the shortened version of this well known parable several times. I may want to read the full version in my missal or bible at a later time.

What strikes me as I read the text? Perhaps there’s a phrase I haven’t ‘heard’ before? I stay with it for a few moments ...

I may want to consider my own ‘talents’. I notice that everyone has been given at least one talent. Can I name mine?

What have I done with my talents? ... What do I do with them? ... What will I do?

In what ways have others been affected as I use them? I ponder, and tell the Lord how I feel.
I listen to the Lord calling me his good and faithful servant, giving me his trust, and inviting me to share in his happiness.

How do I want to respond? With gratitude, disbelief, yearning ...?
In time, I slowly conclude my prayer: Glory be to the Father ...



Saturday, 7 November 2020

Stay awake!

 Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 8th November 2020


Gospel Matthew 25: 1–13


Jesus told this parable to his disciples: “The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible; the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘The bridegroom is here!

Go out and meet him.’ At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.’ But they replied, ‘There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and get some for yourselves.’ They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us.’ But he replied. ‘I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.’ So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.”



Reflection from St Beuno's Outreach


This week, I ponder this parable. It may take several days to explore the richness of Jesus’s words. In whatever way I am drawn to pray, I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.

I may like to picture myself as one of the bridesmaids, or perhaps as someone waiting with them. Noticing what happens as the story unfolds, allowing myself to be drawn into the events, I share my thoughts and feelings with the Lord as I am moved.

What does it mean for me to wait?

Am I patient and prepared for whatever may happen?

Or am I anxious, tending to give up, or to try to sort everything out in my own way? I talk with the Lord about these moments in my life.

What has the Lord to say to me?

What happens when I hear the cry, ‘The bridegroom is here!’?

I may visualise the joy, the agitation, the different reactions of the girls.

Am I ready to meet the Lord as he comes to me in my life?

Again, I speak with the Lord from my heart and listen to what he says to me.

I end my time of prayer asking the Lord for whatever grace I need. I thank him. Glory be ...


Click here to read or listen to a one-minute homily on this Sunday's readings!


Saturday, 31 October 2020

Happy are you

Feast of All Saints Year A - 1st November 2020


Gospel Matthew 5: 1–12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy the gentle: they shall inherit the earth for their heritage. Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God. Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

All Saints


Reflection from St Beuno's Outreach


After stilling myself and allowing the busyness of my mind to settle, I consciously place myself before the Lord.

I ask for the grace to open my heart, body and mind to his presence.

I lovingly read this familiar Gospel scene with a curious mind, hoping that I may be open to the possibility of hearing a truth for the first  me.

It may deepen my prayer to use my imagination to enter more fully into the Gospel scene. I see, hear and feel the crowds ... perhaps I am one of them?

What do I notice when Jesus starts to speak and teach?

How do people react to him ...? How do I react? What do I feel?

Is there a Beatitude that speaks to my own lived experience?

I imagine the crowd leaving, until only Jesus and myself remain sitting on the hillside.

I share with Jesus my deepest desires ...

I sit .... I listen ...

When I am ready, I leave the hillside too, and close my prayer with my own words of gratitude.


Click here to read or listen to a one-minute homily on this Sunday's readings!

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Which is the greatest commandment?

 Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 25th October 2020


Gospel Matthew 22: 34–40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: you must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’

With all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind


Reflection from St Beuno's Outreach


I settle into a quiet space, one where I will hopefully not be interrupted.

I entrust myself to the Lord. I ask the Holy Spirit to open my mind, body and soul to God, who is Divine Love. I sit in humble, receptive silence.

When ready, I read this familiar passage a number of times, slowly and with openness. I absorb the profound life-invitation and challenge contained in Jesus’s words. I savour the thoughts, feelings, and memories they evoke.

As I read the text again and then put it down, perhaps I can allow the Lord to speak to me afresh through my imagination.

I ask God to help me enter the story as if I am actually right there in the scene ... to hear Jesus speaking directly to me now, to experience him, to be in his presence as he teaches with authority and courage.

I let myself come close to Jesus. As I look at how he is engaging with others, do I speak to him myself? Does he speak to me?

Does he touch me? Do I touch him? I trust God to lead me ...

I ponder on these three aspects of love: love of God, love of neighbour, love of self. How does Jesus want to deepen his love in my life?

How can I take his love into the world even more?

How does my life of prayer and work serve this sacred love?

I speak to the Lord.

When words cease, I sit in silence in the presence of love.

Through the week ahead, I may like to form a ‘prayer-pattern’ of love.

I consciously breathe in God’s love for me ...  then as I exhale, I consciously breathe out my love of God and neighbour.

I end my prayer by asking the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to bless me.


Click here to read or listen to a one-minute homily on this Sunday's readings!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Give to God what belongs to God

 Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 18th October 2020


Gospel Matthew 22: 15–21


The Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap Jesus in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in an honest way, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because a person’s rank means nothing to you. Tell us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, ‘You hypocrites! Why do you set this trap for me? Let me see the money you pay the tax with.’ They handed him a denarius, and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. He then said to them, ‘Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God’.



Reflection from St Beuno's Outreach


As I prepare for this part of my prayer, I may find it helpful to become aware of my breathing. As I breathe in, I take in God’s love, and as I breathe out, I surrender any concerns or fears I may have to God.

When ready, I read the Gospel passage slowly and carefully, letting the words soak in.

Perhaps I ponder the phrase ‘give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God’.

I think of the gifts I have been given, and how I am using them.

As I read it through a second time, I may find it helpful to imagine myself in the scene: perhaps as a Herodian ... or as a disciple of the Pharisees or of Jesus ... or just as myself.

What do I see and hear? What do I notice about Jesus? How he holds the coin ... the tone of his voice ... the expression on his face ...

Do his eyes catch mine? How do I feel about that?

Is he saying something to me? How am I responding?

Perhaps I want to tell Jesus of any worries, fears or pressures ... anything that might be holding me back from ‘giving to God what belongs to God’.

He is listening, though he already knows and understands.

I can tell him my deepest longings too, just as I would a dear friend.

I ask Jesus to give me the grace he feels I need at this time, so that I can follow better the life that he desires for me.

As I slowly make the sign of the cross, I thank the Lord for the time I have just spent with him, as well as the gifts I have received.


Click here to read or listen to a one-minute homily on this Sunday's readings!

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Come to the wedding

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year - A 11th October 2020


Gospel Matthew 22: 1–14 (shorter version)


Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants, ‘Tell those who have been invited,’ he said, ‘that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.’ But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.’ So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.” 




Reflection from St Beuno's Outreach


As I settle to prayer, I take the time to relax my body and gently breathe in the goodness and love of God.

When I am ready, I ask the Lord to reveal his word for me in this parable. I read it slowly a couple of  times.

Jesus is in Jerusalem, frustrated by the attitude of the leaders of the people. But he is still calling them into relationship with him, to a joyful feast united with so many others.

How does this speak to me in my life?

I pause so that I can hear Jesus speaking to me.

If I feel challenged and hesitate to respond, what reasons do I give myself? Perhaps resenting the messenger ... or not wanting to be involved with others ...?

I give thanks to the Lord for calling me continuously, for the grace of belonging to a community, for the gift of the Eucharist ...

I may pray for greater acceptance, unity and harmony in various parts of the world.

I end my prayer in gratitude with a ‘Glory be...’


Click here to read or listen to a one-minute homily!


When did we see you?

 Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe Year A - 22nd November 2020 Gospel Matthew 25:31–46 (shortened) Jesus said to his disciples: ‘W...