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

Recent Homilies

  • 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...
  • 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...

Today we hear of a man called Zacheus, it is the only time we will ever hear of him. After this he disappears from the pages of the new testament and from history. We don’t hear if he goes back to his old ways, whether he makes good on his promise to return the money he has stolen and his promise to return more besides. We don’t know if the people like him any better. We don’t know if he ever meets Jesus again or becomes part of a large crowd of people who follow him.


These are questions that the new testament doesn’t answer. 


The passage does tell us some things. This is a man who is weighed down and troubled by what he had done in the past. This is a man who is ill at ease with himself because of his failures, money taken, bribes received, dishonest deals done. It all weighs heavily on him.


It tells us that he is facing a hostile and skeptical group of people. Their view is once a rotten apple always a rotten apple. Once a thief always a thief. Once a liar always a liar. They are skeptical of his desire to change, his ability to change and the reason for his change. “don’t go to his house, such people like that don’t change, don’t waste your time” is their advice to jesus. 


But that is clearly not Jesus’s view. He takes time to speak to him. He goes to his house. HE eats with him.  He tells the crowd he is not giving up on him, nothing lost that cannot be saved. Not for him to wash his hands of Zacheus.


Many people in life hold the same view as the people in the crowd. There are those who have crossed lines of no return. There are those who have made mistakes that cannot be undone. There are those who have said things and done things that cannot be forgiven. There are people who have committed crimes that cannot be forgiven. Why bother wth drunks or alcoholics or criminals, or people who have been a burden to their families.


Not so for Jesus nothing, there is nothing that cannot be forgiven, nothing that cannot be pardoned, nothing that cannot be saved. 


How different a view that is from the world.  Our world which has prisons in which people are locked up all their lives for crimes and offences that cannot be forgiven. 


Our ability to forgive seems so limited, so small, in such short supply.


By contrast Jesus ability seems limitless, to have no restrictions. What a ministry that is to come to save that which is lost. That nobody else cares about, that nobody else is prepared to forgive or to show mercy. What a ministry that is!


There are many people waiting to hear his word of forgiveness, people in human prisons of great guilt for things done which cannot be undone. There are many who wish to be set free from chains that they have carried for years. 



Jesus tells us that he comes to save that which was lost. In his book there is no sin that cannot be forgiven. Nothing so bad which cannot be pardoned. That’s got to be good news.