Fr Peter Gallagher SJ

The truth I have now come to realise is that God does not have favourites [1].  The life’s work of each of us is to allow ourselves to be prepared for eternal happiness with God.  We are to be glad forever in his company.  The preparation for everlasting contentment takes place in many different ways.  We have been called to be disciples of Christ. God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him [2].  As friends [3] of Jesus, we are helped by...
Some fires are burning brightly in a vineyard.  These blazes are protecting new growth from frost.  We know that the Lord who looks forward to the grape-harvest does not want there to be unnecessary losses. The fires amid the vines are a reminder of his protective care.  Some branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt [1].  The destruction by fire of withered branches is an important image of what it is like to be cut off from Christ. He tells us of...
Jesus, the good shepherd, knows that people need him and will be receptive to his teaching if they are allowed to hear it properly. The other sheep also will listen to my voice [1].  The Lord speaks clearly but we often have to learn how to listen to him.  We are sometimes slow to do so. Those who know Jesus well can grow dull in their comprehension. Those who have never previously heard him can miss the import of his commands.  These last can be presented too peremptorily or too...
All through the weeks of celebration of Easter, thanksgiving is made over and over again for the most recent baptisms and conversions.  There is an emphasis at this time on new beginnings and fresh starts for everyone.  Renewal is central to our faith.  We are always starting again.  Continually, we rediscover ourselves as beginners.   The return to first fervour humbles us but also gives us energy.   We go back joyfully to the dynamism of youth. ...
Jesus Christ has strength for his mission.  He comes among us with power and authority.  On the cross, he reigned: risen from the dead, he is Lord forever.   Even when he was being interrogated during his passion it was clear that he was much greater than his torturers. Yes, I am a king.  I was born for this, I came into the world for this [1].  Now, after the resurrection, continuing his mission, Jesus puts his strength at the service of those who seek his help....
Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them. He had said. ‘The one I kiss, he is the man. Take him in charge, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away [1]. Judas identifies Jesus for those who come to arrest him.  His persecutors do not know him.  They need the help of a renegade apostle to pick him out from everyone else. Not long before he has entered Jerusalem triumphantly. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, others greenery which they had cut in the...
The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him[1].   In the middle of Lent, on Laetare Sunday, we look forward with joyful confidence to what awaits us in Holy Week and at Easter.  On the horizon we see Jesus lifted up.  The Son of Man is raised up at the resurrection.  Before that, however, he is lifted up on the cross.  High above and ahead of us we gaze at our saviour....
Can we imagine Jesus ushering us out of the temple? What would he say to us as we left? Thank you for your presence?  Thank you for your sincere prayers? Thank you for the love of God you have expressed here, and for the good life which it prompts and enables?  Would he make any allusion to our faults?  We have a mission to share our faith.  We go out from our prayers to the service of others and to witness to the Gospel.  The Lord sends us out.  He accompanies us...
God did not spare his own Son but gave him up to benefit us all [1].  To save the world, the Father allows the Son to suffer and to die. The passion, death and resurrection of Christ bring about our salvation.  In Lent we prepare to remember and to celebrate the paschal mystery.  Already we look forward to the rising from the dead: after he had told the disciples of his coming Death, on the holy mountain he manifested to them his glory, to show, even by the testimony of the law...
He was with the wild beasts. For forty days in the desert Jesus was in the company of the animals. He came to no harm.   Long before, God made an agreement with Noah: I establish my covenant with you and your descendants, also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you; everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth [1].  A harmony is established after earlier upheaval.  Peace comes after long turmoil...

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