Peter Gallagher SJ

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Solidarity, joy, love: there are different ways the marks of Jesus on our lives become visible. Peter Gallagher SJ invites us to reflect on the effect of the divine ink in our relationships.     In our tattooing age we might miss the force of the words in Galatians: the marks on my body are those of Jesus (Galatians 6.17). Decorative inscriptions on bodies are common, but the marks (stigmata is the Greek here) which are ‘of Jesus’ are rarer. The stigmata are the wounds...
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Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the powerful yet humble faith which we celebrate on the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.      Look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church (The Order of Mass, 126). This heartfelt prayer is expressed at Mass just before the sign of peace. Look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church. These words capture not only our vivid sense of unworthiness in the presence of our Lord and his sacred mysteries but also our...
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“Miraculously we play a part in the self-offering by the One who made us,” says Fr Peter Gallagher SJ. Read his reflection for the feast of Corpus Christi.   Give them something to eat yourselves (Luke 9.1). Before the miracle of the loaves and fishes and the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus gives this order. Give them something to eat yourselves. Disciples are always re-discovering that without the Lord we are nothing. We cannot give people what will nourish them unless Jesus...
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In the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the community is inspired and strengthened by knowledge and love. Peter Gallagher SJ reflects.     When the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you into the complete truth (John 16.13). Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will give us the knowledge we need to share the life of God. That divine knowledge has sustained the community of the disciples of Christ since the very beginning. We have been enabled to come to...
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For Pentecost Sunday, Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the power of language and how the Holy Spirit assists our communications.Learning a new language is laborious for most of us. In a world in which people move around a great deal and have to function well in cultures strange to them, there is plenty of such labour. Acquiring competence in a language may be no mere decorative accomplishment but necessary for survival.The account in the Acts of the Apostles of the first Christian Pentecost makes...
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As we walk towards Pentecost, we are longing to see into heaven, like Stephen. Peter Gallagher SJ invites us to be contemplatives gazing into heaven, but remember also we are active disciples of Christ. Of all the times of waiting and preparation in the Church, the novena of the Holy Spirit, between the Ascension and the day of Pentecost, is surely the gentlest. Lent can be hard work.  Even Advent, during which we sometimes anticipate Christmas too precipitately, can seem wintry and...
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On the Feast of the Ascension, Peter Gallagher reflects on the feeling of separation of the discipleship and on the mission Jesus leaves us as He rises to the Father.   Now as Jesus blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. Blushingly, we own up to having often distanced ourselves from Jesus. As sinners, we frequently separate ourselves from him. In an unsatisfactory way, it seems almost normal that we sometimes glide away from our Saviour. However, that...
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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