Fr Peter Gallagher SJ

Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men [1].   To follow Christ is to be changed.  He transforms his followers so as to enable them to be what God has always wanted them to be.  That fishermen will be turned into fishers of men suggests that the new person has something in common with the old.   Our re-committing ourselves to Jesus will alter us, but not beyond all recognition.   We do not follow Christ to escape from our responsibilities....
Samuel grew up and the Lord was with him and let no word of his fall to the ground [1].  Living in the sanctuary at Shiloh, guarding the Ark of the Covenant, completely dedicated to God’s service, nothing that Samuel did was without spiritual value.  Just as God’s own word always achieves what it intends [2] so the words and deeds of his servants are purposeful and productive.  When Hannah gives thanks for the birth of Samuel she says that the Lord is the God of knowledge and by...
The angel went in and said to her, “Rejoice so highly favoured”[1].  The prayer called the Angelus[2] recalls Gabriel’s visit to Our Lady.  The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit.  The Angelus is a prayer of thanksgiving for the incarnation. In the morning, at midday and in the evening, that the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us [3] can be gratefully remembered.  To repeat the Angelus at various times during the day is an effort...
He not only declared but he declared quite openly [1]. John the Baptist responds candidly to those who ask him: who are you? [2]   He knows who he is and he understands the work that he is doing. He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him [3].   John became a disciple while still in his mother’s womb [4].  As an adult, he thought of himself as a voice that cries in the wilderness: make a straight way for...
‘Even now as we walk amid passing things, you teach us by them to love the things of heaven.’[1]  How do we learn to love the things of heaven?  We do so by practicing faith, hope and charity.  Our faith is in God.  We hope to be with him forever. His help sustains us.  I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received [2]. At his command, we love him and our brothers and sisters.   He sent his Son to us.  The Son has promised to return....
And that one talent which is death to hide/Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent/ To serve therewith my Maker, and present/ My true account, lest He returning chide [1]. What is the one talent?  The blind poet Milton understands ‘the one talent which is death to hide’ to be his ability to look at the wonders God has made and to give due appreciation and glory for them.   Seeing, the thing he cannot do, is, he judges, indispensable for his salvation.  He...
We shall stay with the Lord forever [1].All through our life of discipleship doors open for us [2].  We go willingly in to where Christ is. His door is open all the time. The light of the world, shining, for us, the lamp of his truth, Jesus opens us to faith, draws us into hope and makes space for us to love charitably.  We go confidently where our saviour opens the way. He ushers us through to where we most desire to be.  His welcome as we begin each new phase of our service of...
The heavenly Jerusalem is our mother, where the great array of our brothers and sisters already gives you eternal praise [1]. All the saints are in the presence of God.  They see him, they praise him, they pray to him for us. They are so many intercessors [2].  I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne [3].  Close to throne of grace, the throng of saints contemplate the vision of...
Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise [1].  We ask for grace to love what you command.   With God’s help we can love him with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind [2]. To enable us to love him with our whole being, God commands us to do so.  His invitation to found our life on him is very insistent.  It is an order.  He gives us plenty of other support,...
Give back to God what belongs to him [1].  Let the taxes owed to the Roman emperor be paid to him.  Return to God what belongs to him.  Which of God’s possessions should be given back to him?  Do we not belong to God and should we not go back to him?  He has made us.  We seek him. We are on a path which will bring us into his presence. One day we will return to him definitively.  There are already many opportunities to give back to God what belongs to him....

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