Peter Gallagher SJ

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...
Pieta at Basilica Marseilles via Max Pixel
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...
Man in front of fire Credit Mohamed Nohassi
          It was blazing but it was not being burnt. God spoke to Moses from the intensity of a fire which burns brightly but does not consume. God made himself present in a conflagration which was not a destruction.On the Third Sunday of Lent we meditate on God’s presence in our life, on what he is saying to us. We pray to the Lord who purifies us without destroying us. God loves us all intensely. He speaks to us sometimes amid what we might...
Transfiguration of Jesus Credit Armando Alemdar Ara
Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on how the glory of God can give energy to our Lenten journey.         Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep.  We know this feeling.  We are sometimes very tired.  Our weariness affects our view of Lent.  We would like to live the best possible Lent but energy can be lacking. At the same time, we are not so torpid or so short of spiritual ambition that we would not like Lent to go well. Weary...
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           My father was a wandering Aramaean said Moses, taking stock.  He was grateful to have arrived in a land of milk and honey and now looked back to see how the goodness and generosity of God had placed him in this excellent situation, conscious of how far he had come. My father went down into Egypt, to take refuge there, insignificant, but there became great, mighty and strong, despite harsh treatment. We all have...
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             Keep on working at the Lord’s work always, knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be labouring in vain. 1 Corinthians 15 encourages us as we turn our thoughts to Lent which begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the Lord’s workOur plans concern what we might do, what we might renounce and how we might open ourselves to the grace of God this Lent. We are looking forward to a time of fruitful cooperation with...
‘Count to ten before replying.’  This is an old recipe for putting a brake on anger.  The picture is of an emotion which is very hard to control but which can just about be kept in check by extraordinary measures.  To the problem of how to cope with anger the Gospel suggests a very surprising solution: to the person who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too.From the practical point of view, this peaceful response to something which could readily have provoked...
Man jumping at the end of a pier by the sea Credit Alesso Lin
            ‘A happy release’, ‘She is better off where she is now’,  ‘He is out of his trouble’:  with such comforting phrases we point a contrast between this life and the future one when someone who has been very ill has at last died. It is right that those who have been in terrible pain should be relieved of it. Now, at the very least, they will be able enjoy the absence of their sufferings.Happy are you who weep now...
Man looking at waves Credit Gianluca Zuccarelli
           Leave me Lord I am a sinful manSimon Peter often misses the point. Here he might seem to us to be lacking that self-esteem which is surely essential for achievement, including success in sharing with others the good news of God’s love for us all.  Love your neighbour, as yourself  we hear elsewhere in the Scriptures and are glad to know that love of self is not only permitted but is also a measure for our treatment and...

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