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The Law of Love

Matthew 22,34-40 Jesus was asked to name the greatest of the commandments and he responded by naming two, both found in the Old Testament. Jesus brought them together and made them of equal importance: love of God and love of neighbour. However often we hear the words of these two commandments, we are struck by …

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Paying Caesar, paying God

Matthew 22,15-22 Previously, Jesus criticised the Pharisees in the parables of the tenants and the wedding feast. Today’s Gospel reading is the first of four disputes between Jesus and the religious leaders of the day. The Pharisees conspired to trap Jesus through cunning argument and so posed the perfect question, “is it against our Law …

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A Gracious Invitation

Matthew 22,1-14 The king sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come (Matthew 22,1). “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.” So runs the line in a dozen gangster movies – refuse at your peril is the subtext. …

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The Church is One and Holy

Meditations on the Images and Marks of the Church – Part 4 This is the fourth of five web meditations launched by Fathers Geoffrey Neal and Edward Bryant on the Church, the images and marks that have underpinned an orthodox vision. An overview of the meditations is available on this site here, on the European …

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Make me a pure heart, O God

Matthew 21,33-43 The parable of the tenant farmers has a crystal clear message and the religious leaders to whom Jesus directed this parable had no problem seeing that he was aiming at them. Much of Matthew’s Gospel is critical of religious leaders because these are the people who will resort to deceit to put Jesus …

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The Two Sons

Matthew 21,28-32 The parable of the two sons in today’s Gospel reading was addressed to the chief priests and elders of the people. Its purpose is to defend Jesus’ invitation to sinners and outcasts to the Kingdom, in the face of the sneers of the religious establishment.  Of course, the parable outraged the religious leaders. The first …

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“It’s Not Fair!”

Matthew 20,1-16 “It’s not fair!” How often one has heard that complaint from children of all ages? Matthew tells us that the discontented labourers in the vineyard complained because the Owner paid all of them the same amount, regardless of whether they had worked one or ten hours. No doubt their case today would be …

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Forgiveness

Matthew 18,21-35 Today’s Gospel reading speaks to us about the need to offer forgiveness, to our brother or neighbour who has caused offence. In our experience, it is not easy to forgive the person who offends because rancour, bitterness, and grief burn within our hearts. Indeed, people say “I forgive, but do not forget!” We hold …

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Discipline in the Church

Matthew 18,15-20 Jesus said, “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone” (Matt. 18,15). It is a grievous matter when human families fall apart, and it should be treated equally seriously if Christians fall out as well. We are brothers and …

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The Foolishness of the Cross

Just as Simon Peter had made his great confession of faith and promise of loyalty to Jesus the Son of the living God, the narrow way opens up like a sink hole in front of him. On the way from Caesarea Philippi to Jerusalem, the Lord begins to prepare his friends for what they would …

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