11th July 2020

15th Sunday: The Sower

This parable and its explanation are part of the 13th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, the so-called ‘discourse of parables’. This is the third of the five discourses Jesus gives in this Gospel. The first time Jesus was sitting on a mountain and preached to his disciples (5:1-2). The second discourse was directed to twelve people to explain how they should behave when they were sent … Read more

Sunday Reflection: The Costly Grace of Interruption

There is another, more costly type of grace that comes with interruption: it forces us to look at things we would often rather not look at, to allow our gaze to linger on what lurks in the shadows. I like the phrase: ‘what the eyes does not see, the heart cannot grieve over’. There is so much we do not see. There is so much … Read more

Trust. A Poem

(TRUST    A light-hearted take on Pope Francis’ important  Urbi et Orbi meditation on 27 March 2020).     TRUST                                        (Mk 4,38) Off we go. All aboard ! All agreed, of one accord. See how the fishermen have scored; All big and little fish still stored, Some to eat and some to hoard – Hard work’s happy just reward. Don’t leave the Lord! With him around, our hopes … Read more

June 29: Peter and Paul

29 June is the day set apart in the Catholic world for the celebration of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Apart from Mary, the mother of Jesus, St Joseph and St John the Baptist, these are the only human figures commemorated in the calendar of the universal Church with a day given the rank of ‘Solemnity’. Like all saints, Peter and Paul did … Read more

The Post-Covid-19 World – A Penetrating analysis

From the outset, too, long-term questions were emerging about the ‘post-Covid’ world. Such questions risk wishful thinking. Will the world indeed ‘emerge from crisis’, or are we now compelled to recognise that the concept of a ‘crisis-free existence’ is mere complacency? A public health specialist estimates that, even given a promising new treatment for those with severe symptoms, we must learn ‘to live with this … Read more

Laudato Si’ Special Anniversary Year: A Call to Decolonise Botanical Collections

We like to think that things get better over time. But as the Black Lives Matter movement has rightly shown, change happens too slowly, or is superficial, or doesn’t happen at all. In my own field of research, you can see an imperialist view prevail. Scientists continue to report how new species are “discovered” every year, species that are often already known and used by people in … Read more

Poetic Vision: The Knee

THE KNEE We need a reflection On genuflexion. I was brought up to bend the knee In church, to reverence the Present Lord: “Nearer my God to Thee” Close, but to be adored. From afar, I also saw the respect, At the dubbing of a knight, For the Sovereign as one might expect, A gesture considered proper and right. Then there’s the engagement ring Presented … Read more

‘We Cannot Be Silent about Racism’ – Bishops of Southwark

We are committed to making sure that our parishes, schools, and communities are places where everyone is welcomed, where everyone is affirmed, where everyone is encouraged; where everyone is respected for the person God has created them to be and for the person God is calling them to become. We have, in our Church, some inspiring examples of people who spoke out against slavery and … Read more

Women Deacons: An Exploration

In 786 Pope Adrian I had sent a sacramentary to Charlemagne to be used in all dioceses of his vast Frankish-Saxon kingdom. Five copies of this Hadrianum as it is known have been preserved to this day. They were originally used in Paris, Cambray, Tours (all in France), Baden-Württemberg (Germany) and Exeter (England). They contain the ‘prayer to make a woman deacon’ (diacona). Imposing his hands on … Read more

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