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Saint Bride's RC Church, 21 Greenlees Road, Cambuslang, Glasgow G72 8JB

Recent Homilies

  • 4th Sunday of Easter 2018 (Year B)

    Most of you will be familiar with the comedy programme Father Ted. It features the life of 3 priests living on Craggy Island, an imaginary parish in Ireland. Each of the priests have been exiled to th...
  • 3rd Sunday of Easter 2018 (Year B)

    One of things that people very often ask you as a priest, if you have done an exorcism or if you have any experience of evil spirits. Over the course of my own priestly life I have been asked on a num...
  • 2nd Sunday in Easter 2018 (Year B)

    I don’t remember too much about High School, but one of the things I do remember is that the English Department in our school managed to invite some of the major Scottish poets of the 20thcentury to v...
  • Easter Vigil 2018 (Year B)

    The name Tony Clarke is a common enough name. But it is the name also of a man who has gone down in the annals of the art world as a great hero. Tony Clarke was a British artillery officer who disobey...
  • Good Friday 2018 (Year B)

    In the 1990’s a Jesuit priest, Fr Noel Barber, superior at their house in Dublin, decided to have some of their paintings in Lesson St (Dublin) restored. He asked that one of the officials from the Na...
  • Holy Thursday - Year B (2018)

    I think everyone knows of the great painting by Leonardo Da Vinci of the Last Supper. In many ways it is the image that all of us hold in our head about the Last Supper: a long table with a white cove...

The bible is an explosive and dangerous book in the wrong hands. People can use it, and have used it, to justify all sorts of things. It should have a warning on its inside page: handle with care, be careful with the contents! Such a warning exists in the Gospel reading of today’s mass.

 

2 things have obviously hit the streets and are the talk of the wash house. An ancient tower has fallen down and killed 18 people and Pilate has put to death Jewish people while they were at prayer. Now the people of the Old Testament believed that bad things happened to bad people. That these misfortunes that happened to people were because of their wickedness, or their Father or Mother wickedness, or some member of their family - and that was why wickedness had befallen them, it wasn’t just a random event it was God paying them back. Their religious belief  led them to something far off the mark. Jesus is in a different camp bad things happen to good people…..do you think they were any more sinful than anyone else I tell you they were not. Whatever happened to them certainly wasn’t anything to do with what they had done or not done.

 

You have to be careful when making human or religious judgements based on the bible. We know that taking it literally and reading it fundamentally is just as dangerous as not taking its message seriously. It has to pass through filters be distilled to be understood.

 

Religious authority derived from the bible can be used to say all sorts of things. Pope Pius V in 16 century stopped women looking at the sculpture collection in the Vatican, men having women servants, nuns having male dogs. Gregory XIV in 12th century wrote a document condemning black cats. Mores seriously religious authorities called people to war using the scriptures or isolated groups because of what was regarded as unorthodox views or not sharing the same religious views. People who have religious authority based on the bible have to be careful. It is easy to misread it and easy to use it for the wrong purposes. Its easy to twist it to your own purposes.

 

Even those who wrote the bible or set it down are influenced in certain directions. They hear the word of Christ or the events in which God is acting in different ways. The Gospels are shaped fot he audiences in which they were written, sometimes to Jewish communities, sometimes to pagan communities or  mixed. Sometimes to communities  which expected Christ to come that very hour, that very day, that very week.

 

And that is what we see in the gospel of today’s mass. That warning is in that spirit, just as a disaster suddenly, very suddenly came to the people on whom the tower fell and who were at prayer and were killed by Pilate's soldiers, unless you repent the same thing, the same disaster  is going to happen to you. Throughout the Gospel is the expectation that Christ will come again and before that event comes you should change your ways.

 

What can we take away from this reading certainly not that bad things happen to bad people. People bombed in a market place while shopping don’t deserve that, nor are they paying back a debt for some previous misdeeds. Bad things happen to good people. What we might take away is the urgency of now. The present moment is important to make necessary changes. Now to stop ourselves saying that damaging word. Now to stop ourselves thinking that evil thought. Now to stop that jealousy destroying us. Now to stop that anger eating us up. Now to rekindle the light of faith. Now to find a stronger faith. Now to pray harder. Now while there is still time given to us.

 

 

Prayers of Intercession 3rd Week in Lent

 

Priest

 

We pray to the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of mercy and compassion.

 

Priest

 

That the Church may bear the message of Good News to the world – a message of liberation and freedom to all who are downtrodden.

Lord hear us

 

That we may use all the opportunities now in our life to do good on earth 

 

Lord hear us

 

For those who struggle for daily bread, for sustenance to live and survive. That many people throughout the world this day will not go hungry.

 

Lord hear us

 

For ourselves during the season of  Lent for a renewal in our desire to live good and true religious lives.

 

Lord hear us

 

For those who despair and are afraid because there seems no answer to their prayers. For the strength to wait for God to reveal his purpose and ways.

 

Lord hear us

 

For all who have died, especially James Hennon and all that we are asked to remember in prayer.

 

Lord hear us

 

Priest

 

Help us to take on, by your grace, a spirit of repentance and renewal in our lives. Gove us courage to make the necessary changes in our life that reflect the new mind and the new heart that you have placed in us through baptism.