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

Recent Homilies

  • 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B

    At the beginning of last week I found myself with a group of others, blessing and dedicating a memorial plaque positioned on the wall of Aldi’s here in the town. Before Aldi’s stood there, there was a...
  • 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018 - Year B

    This year marks the centenary of votes being given to women, so there has been much discussion about the role of women in society. Progress is continuing to be made as women free themselves to take on...
  • Sunday 24th June 2018 - Year B

    Like most of you and, maybe also a considerable number of people on the planet, I have been watching the Football World Cup taking place in Russia and for the most part enjoying it. I have to confess...
  • 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...

I met a woman a number of years ago, a Catholic woman who said she didn’t like to come into Church. The reason she said she didn’t like coming to church she said was because she didn’t like to see the crucifix, that often you see when entering a church. All she saw, she claimed, when she looked at it was a sight of horror, it frightened her. A man nailed to a cross, horrifically treated and dying in agony. It is a sight, she said, to avert your eyes, you would never think of looking at something like this in real life, you would shield your eyes from looking on something so terrible and awful.


I remember thinking at the time it seemed an odd thing for someone to say, especially someone who had been brought up in faith. But the more I reflected on it, she was absolutely correct that is what we are seeing. A figure on an instrument of torture cruelly treated and put to death. We really should avert our eyes, it should be something that we don’t really want to look at. If such a thing were to happen today, no self respecting TV station or newspaper would show such a thing. They would tell us that they couldn’t show it because it was a scene of graphic violence.


But what she didn’t grasp perhaps there was another way of looking at this. With eyes of faith what was happening to this figure what had happened on the cross could be viewed differently. There was something in this man’s sufferings that touched all the sufferings of human beings. There was something in this broken figure of the cross that gave sense to everything. There is something that draws your eye to it rather than wanting to divert your eye from it. There is something in the nature of a sign given to humanity that carries a cross, that God knows we carry a cross and sends his own son to carry this cross which contains and absorbs all the suffering of the world.


In this person on the cross, Jesus, it is as if he is saying to all humanity what we hear in the Gospel “come to me all you who labour and overburdened and I will give you rest, for I am gentle and humble in heart”. In this figure on the cross, broken, beaten, tortured,  badly treated and put to death is the peace that the human heart searches for . To all those who carry heavy burdens he will give rest. To those who struggle to go on he lifts them up. To those who have lost their way, he carries the cross. To those flattened by the miseries of life he carries the cross for them.


Instead of solely being an instrument of torture it becomes a redeeming, liberating sign from God above. That he has come to bear the burden, carry the weight, shoulder the yoke for us. 


The girl I mentioned at the beginning was absolutely right, it is a pitiful sight to look on this figure on the cross. Its exactly as she observed, something horrific and terrifying. But what she didn’t see, somehow couldn’t see was what lay behind it. She couldn’t see it, couldn’t grasp it, couldn’t understand it, it was somehow hidden from her eyes, what this figure was really about.



To the one who looks on Jesus ion the cross there is no terror or fear. There is no need to shield your eyes from  what you are seeing. In the figure on the cross there is peace that has come on earth, in the figure on the cross there are words for us all - come all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.