Peter Gallagher SJ

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash
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...
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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