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

Recent Homilies

  • 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018 (Year B)

    I remember in the year 2014 speaking to you about the sadness that many people felt at the fire which had taken place at the Glasgow School of Art. You will know again that another fire has severely d...
  • Body and Blood of Christ 2018 - Year B

    Many of you will be enthralled by the recent TV adaptation (version) of Sherlock Holmes by the author Arthur Conan Doyle starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Each of the episodes has you...
  • Trinity 2018 - Year B

    You cannot but be angry when you hear of the recent shootings of the Israeli army at the border of Gaza and Israel. Many thousands of people were injured and over 60 people died. The incident happened...
  • Pentecost 2018 - Year B

    I wonder if you noticed that there is a problem in today’s readings. If you are looking for an answer to when the Holy Spirit first descends then there appears to be 2 differing stories flagged up in...
  • 7th Sunday of Easter 2018 - Year B

    A curious thing happens in the first reading of today mass. In order to find out who takes the place of Judas amongst the 12 apostles, they simply say a quick prayer and draw lots for it between 2 can...
  • 5th Sunday of Easter 2018 (Year B)

    Its every football fan’s dream to play for the team that you support, especially when you are young. They dream of getting the phone call from the manager asking them if they are free to play on Satur...

The Italian producer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini made a famous film called the Gospel of St Matthew. It is shot in black and white and the locations take place in lonely desolate place and blasted landscapes . The film is inhabited not by beautiful stars but by common people who were not themselves actors, even Mary is played by Pasolini's own mother. He captures mirth, intensity, controversy, the wonder of miracles and the telling of the story of Jesus’ life as few others have managed to do.

 

Today we hear of  Luke’s version of the Passion of Christ. Like Pasolini and, like any director or producer worth his salt, he assembles his cast. He arranges his setting. He decides to tell the story in the best way that he can.

 

Here are some  things he chooses to miss out: he misses out the trial before Caiaphas. He doesn’t tell us of Christ’s anguish and his cry from the cross. Here are some of things he includes: he is the only one of the evangelists who tells us about his sweating with blood, the trial before Herod, the meeting of the women on the road and the words of forgiveness from the cross.

 

The way he chooses to cast his scenes are certainly in  sadness…. but not tragedy. Jesus is the victim of injustice and is innocent. Nevertheless he is painted as totally in control of his fate, he can choose to run away, to let the cup pass, to get Pilate to let him go, but he is in control of events accepting and triumphing over them. Luke emphasises Jesus innocence: Pilate declares him innocent 3 times, the thief on the cross declares him innocent and even the centurion standing beside the cross does the same. Jesus prays for his executioners, for the penitent thief. He refuses to rebuke his tormentors. 

 

Luke throughout his Gospel emphasises that all this takes place. Jerusalem -  a special place not just a town or a city. It is there that he is brought as a baby it is there he is brought as a child and ultimately it is there that there that he will be tested. It is there he will die and rise again. It is there that he will send the Pentecost of the Sprit. 

 

Throughout Luke’s Gospel the evangelist paints Jesus as moving to his fate, moving towards Jerusalem, as if moving towards a final scene, a climax, and moment when all the loose ends will be tied together. He seems to control events, knowing that the trial will come whereby he will lay down his life, knowing that he will be tortured, knowing that he will taken, knowing that he will  die a a terrible death but knowing also he will rise again ….. that failure will turn to triumph, that good will overcome evil, that the definitive moment of human history will be realised.

 

Luke assemble his players, sets the scene, gives the tone in a certain way. Jesus is the main player, all others revolve around him, shuffle on stage and offstage; they speak their piece in the spotlight and fade away.  And in the end there is only Jesus, only Jesus standing there.  He doesn’t lose his dignity, never forgets to show compassion, never forgets what this moment is about.

 

Luke’s account of the passion remains in the mind. His words stay with us. The scenes that he depicts are burned in our memory. They set once again the scene for this week that we enter into.