Peter Gallagher SJ

Starting from a text by Chesterton, Peter Gallagher SJ explains us how Our Lady's love, although not comforting, strengthen us in our daily battles.         At the end of the first book of Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse, Our Lady appears to King Alfred to encourage him in his seemingly hopeless struggle against the invaders of Wessex. She says:I tell you naught for your comfort,Yea, naught for your desire,Save that the sky grows darker...
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On Good Shepherd Sunday Peter Gallagher SJ describes how it is impossible to trick our loving Father.           No one can steal from the Father: The Father and I are one.  Good Shepherd Sunday reminds us that Jesus Christ protects us from predators.  Jesus, the good shepherd, guards the flock against livestock-thieves.  No one can steal from the Father: The Father and I are one.  Who are the enemies who might steal the...
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Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on renewal, the one-hundred and fifty-three fishes, and the community.      May your people exult forever in renewed youthfulness of spirit. This prayer from the collect of the Mass for the third Sunday of Easter echoes a phrase in the psalms: I will go in to the altar of God: to God who gives joy to my youth. What a good attitude with which to approach our worship. We serve God joyfully, drawing on strength which he gives us. What do we...
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For Divine Mercy Sunday, Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on what was once called the Mass ‘in which the white robes are hung up.’    A protection against forgetfulnessIn the early Church, on the Sunday after Easter, those who had been baptised the previous week returned to normal clothes, having worn for a week the white garments in which they had been christened. The celebration on this day was called the Mass ‘in which the white robes are hung up.’  The theme for the...
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Peter Gallagher SJ shares the Easter joy behind the emptiness of the tomb.          At first Mary of Magdala is annoyed at what has happened. They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have put him. We can share her irritation.  Our friend Jesus has been taken from us and there is no proper explanation. Uneasily we acknowledge our own part in what has happened. For the Son of God’s suffering and death we feel...
Bird being handled
A Homily from Peter Gallagher for the Solemn Commem- oration of the Lord’s Passion.          All depart in silence. This is the rubric in the missal, for the end of the solemn commemoration of the Lord’s Passion.  All depart in silence. There is nothing more to say. We are surrounded by the silence of death. We wait, hoping for the Resurrection, but, very quietly, subdued, considering carefully what has happened.  There is no...
Altar of repose
Homily from Peter Gallagher SJ for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.         At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession to the altar of repose. Guarded overnight on that altar are the consecrated hosts which will be consumed on Good Friday at the solemn commemoration of the Lord’s passion. Is ‘repose’, however, a misnomer?  The vigil recalls the garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus...
Heart stone
Peter Gallagher SJ looks at the tension between noise and silence, joy and grief as we approach the Passion.       And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him: Teacher, rebuke your disciples. He answered, I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.We are not indifferent to the significance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  A warm welcome to Christ our Saviour springs to our lips. Our hearts leap up. The critics think we...
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Peter Gallagher SJ considers how Jesus's oblique speaking and silent writing in the sand effectively communicate with us.      The effective ‘if’Jesus wrote in the sand while the scribes talked to him. We would treasure anything he wrote. They, however, must have sensed that he was ignoring them. We long for our Saviour’s communications: we want thoroughly to understand his teaching. The scribes approached Jesus hoping to trap him. We come near the Lord with love...
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Peter Gallagher SJ discusses gratitude and forgiveness as we reach Laetare Sunday in the middle of Lent, which this year falls on Mothering Sunday.    Our mother stands beside usTwo images of Our Lady are part of our shared memory of the death of her son, Jesus Christ.  The first is of her standing beside the cross. Stabat Mater. When almost everyone else had abandoned the Lord, Mary stood beside him as he suffered. Her own sufferings in those hours must have been very...

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