scripture

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The parable of the dishonest steward contains an important lesson for us about forgiveness. Peter Gallagher SJ helps us to reflect deeper on the meaning of discipleship shown in this story.To the steward accused of extravagance, the rich man said: Draw up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any more (Luke 16.2). Suppose the stewardship in question were our spiritual life and it were to God that we were obliged to give an account. Are there equivalents in our...
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“God never allows the good to be permanently lost,” writes Peter Gallagher SJ, reflecting on the parable of the Prodigal Son. The well-known story of disobedience and restoration sends a powerful message of hope, a premise of the story of salvation through Jesus. We praise God for finding and restoring to us gifts which he gave to us but which we have lost. We are happy in the Lord’s company but sometimes we mislay the gift of his friendship. Through the work of Christ all such losses are...
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Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the gift of our frenzied mind and how we can approach God through simplification and refocusing.The body, that tent of clay weighs down the teeming mind (Wisdom 9.15). Does your mind ‘teem’? The image is one of abundance. A river might teem with fish. The nave of a great church might teem with families. What teems is plenteous. So has your mind that sort of abundance? With what does the mind teem? Thoughts? Hopes? Imaginings?At Mass, usually, we hope the mind will...
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“We are invited to go deeper into the mystery, to try to understand more and to get closer to God,” says Peter Gallagher SJ. Read his reflection on the upwards journey of faith.My friend, move up higher (Luke 14.10) is addressed to us. Delightfully, the host invites us to sit nearer him at his celebration. The Lord wants us to hear what he has to say, to know him better and to rejoice with him at the feast. We are honoured guests. Embarrassment (Luke 14.9) and some rearranging of the seating...
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Peter Gallagher SJ helps us to focus not just on the dark entrance, but also on the light and wide space we will be able to enjoy once gone through the narrow door of Jesus’s way of life.Some Norman churches were built with a dark porch so that when people entered the inner door into the main church it was like going from darkness into spaciousness and light. The Lord says Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because I tell you many will try to enter and will not succeed (Luke 13.24). The...
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Eternal life, the rich fool, and vanity: Peter Gallagher SJ guides us through the Scripture readings of this first Sunday of August. The life you have is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3.3). Jesus is preparing us for eternal life. He is shaping everything we do and everything that happens to us to make us fit for heaven. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3.2). The hidden work of the Lord in us bears fruit in the lives we lead, in...
Is Jesus’ mission to fulfil the Word of God so different from our highest hopes of justice in the world and of happiness for ourselves and those dear to us? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects. Fulfilment. Among our holy purposes in worshipping God is the seeking of fulfilment. We seek to be fulfilled by our participation in what happens in our prayer and sacrifice. There is fulfilment in the presence of Christ in Holy Communion. There is fulfilment in the Word of God. There is fulfilment in the...
Rosary beads a traditional form of prayer
Just about this time fifteen years ago, my old French teacher died – “Monsieur Sam”, of Wimbledon College.When we were boys of 13, religion really didn’t mean very much to us. We had not yet experienced in our own lives any real need for God. But Monsieur Sam, our new French teacher, insisted on starting our French course by teaching us the Rosary in French. We found out that it was the first thing he taught every class he took.And he explained to us very simply why he did that – it was because...
In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius gives us the idea of meeting sacred scripture with one's own life, mediated through Imaginative Contemplation. The aim of these reflections is to do this in tandem with pieces of art. Each month therefore, we will offer a painting in the hope that it will enable you to reflect more deeply on a particular passage of scripture. The idea is that you can return to the painting and scripture and discover more depth throughout the month.
Young girl with tear running down her face
“I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.”I have a friend – a good and holy Jesuit who is also a world-renowned Biblical expert. I’ll call him Fr John Smith. And his particular expertise is in Biblical languages – he is supposed to know many of the languages which existed in Palestine in Old Testament times, which is not bad at his current age of 92!But, to tell you the truth, he is also an...

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