Peter Gallagher SJ

Photo by Hian Oliveira via Unsplash
“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...
Photo by David Becker via Unsplash
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...
Photo by Lindsay Henwood via Unsplash
“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...
Photo by Mário Rui André via Unsplash
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...
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash
The fire that Jesus brings can, if we let it, forge unity and new beginnings in the wake of division, writes Peter Gallagher SJ. Who would want to be an angry, combative person, always falling out with everyone else? We respect commitment to harmony, to keeping the peace, to being at one with other people. We are disappointed by those, perhaps ourselves, who are always at odds with others. Our religion surely supports this respect for harmony. Our saviour, after...
Photo by Thành Alex via Unsplash
The unknown elements of our pilgrimage are as important as the known ones, writes Peter Gallagher SJ. He helps us reflect on the equal parts played by faith and uncertainty in our journey towards the city of God.Abraham set out without knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11.8). The pilgrimage towards God is sure of its ultimate destination but has many uncertainties before that goal is reached. We are returning to God: this we know. How precisely he will draw us to himself, we do not know...
Photo by Paul Skorupskas via Unsplash
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...
Photo by Paulo Vizeu via Unsplash
Peter Gallagher SJ invites us to reflect on life’s tests. Prayer can be full of scrutiny and challenge, but God's mercy is our survival resource.Do not put us to the test. Humbly we ask God not to test us. We are not strong enough to bear much testing. Yet tests come and, with God’s help, we endure them successfully. Sometimes we survive what tests us by a mixture of God’s mercy and the strength of others.The goodness of some can save us allAbraham negotiating about the fate of the cities of...
Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim via Unsplash
When we open the door to the other, we find fulfilment of our longing to know more of God. Peter Gallagher SJ helps us reflect on the different welcomes of Martha and Mary.We welcome strangers to where we live as hospitably as we can. We treat the visitor as a representative of God. Old stories of humble-looking travellers who turn out to be kings and queens encourage us in such warm welcoming. The truth about the identity of the one who knocks at the gate comes to light eventually. Despite...
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...

Pages