Charity

Photo by Jia Ye via Unsplash
How can the Samaritan teach us about being true to our own nature? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on charity, our potential, and the abounding grace of God.On my way back I will make good any extra expenses you may incur (Luke 10.35). The good Samaritan’s generous and trusting farewell to the innkeeper mirrors God’s goodness and his confidence in us. God, who has already been very generous to us, acknowledges the difficulties we have in doing what he asks of us. He assures us of his help. His...
School children from Zimbabwe
If you were asked to name the five biggest UNESCO World Heritage Sites from pre-colonial times the first four might be quite easy (answers at the end!). However, the fifth doesn’t have the same profile and might evade even the keenest of World Heritage Site tourists!  It is the former site of the Kings of the Gokomere people, who are the ancestors of the Shona people. Located in the south of the county that takes its modern day name from the site, ‘Great Zimbabwe’ means ‘Big House of...
Elanor Hammerton steps down
Eleanor Hammerton has recently stepped down as the Chair of Manchester Central Foodbank.As a undergraduate in Archaeology she started volunteering there, and then joined the Board of Trustees as treasurer,  and spent the last two years as Chair of Trustees during which time she was completing a Masters degree and so was possibly the first student in the country to have such a role.We caught up with her to ask for her reflections on this time.For the last two years you have been the Chair...
Image by Peter Oswald used from unsplash.com
I remember very clearly the day when I realised that I was just not cut out to be the medical director of a Christian hospital. It was the entire day that I spent trying to allocate fairly four prime car-parking spaces between six senior doctors. It was a huge issue involving wounded pride, insulted egos and bitter recriminations that never – even after the expenditure of vastly disproportionate time and all the charm I was capable of - reached any satisfactory conclusion. And the one thing in...
Credit Enver Rahmanov via Creative Commons
Christ is the giver of Good News, pointing the way to live life to the full.  ‘I came’, said Jesus,’ that you might have the fullness of life.’ John 10.10   But the Good News, the Gospel,  includes some ‘hard sayings’ Matt 5. 17-48   Jesus' teaching shows up our human frailties. Right living starts with right attitudes.  We need to control our thoughts and emotions before they result in outward actions.Hearing this, some people are going to feel uncomfortable...
Image of Christ in Glory with flames. Photograph by Lawrence Lew OP at flickr.com
I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already blazing. ...  Do you think that I have come to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three. (Luke 12:49, 51-52) This saying of Jesus is often misunderstood. We may claim that our lack of charity, lack of respect, and the divisions we cause are the divisions to which Jesus is referring when he said he is bringing fire to...
Last Judgement
"Have you ever done something simply on principle, because it was the right thing to do, knowing that you couldn't explain it to anyone, without there even being a good feeling attached to your act.  If you have done this, you have experienced God, perhaps without knowing it” (Karl Rahner SJ). Jesus would agree.  He made the point in his parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matt 25.31f ).  At the end of time we will all be judged according to our helping or failing to help others.  These are the...
Man praying
Christ invites us to love each other as he loves us.   He doesn't say, love each other according to the spontaneous movements of our heart; nor, love each other as society defines love, but rather; ‘Love each other as I have loved you’ (John 15.12).  How well have we done that over the centuries?  How well do we do it today? Loving like Christ means loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, reaching out to embrace those who hate us, praying for those who oppose us.   Have we forgiven those...