Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 12th September 2021


Fr David's Reflection

In today’s first reading we hear of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. The language immediately gets us to think of the way Jesus was treated on Good Friday: “I offered my back to those who struck me….I did not cover my face against insult and spittle.” He is suffering because he is innocent and he knows that he is sustained in his trials by his belief that God is with him.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples who people are saying that he is. Their answers are wide of the mark so he then asks them who do they say that he is. He knows full well who he is but he wants to know if those who have spent time with him and are close to him have discovered his identity. Peter responds to the question with the answer that Jesus is the Christ, which could only be revealed to him by God. Jesus goes on to explain quite openly that the Christ must suffer greatly, be put to death but rise from the death on the third day.

Every day of our lives we are effectively asked to answer the question as to who Jesus really is for us. We answer this question not with words learned by rote but by living out our faith by showing we love Christ by our faithfulness to his teaching and his example. We pray for the grace to both profess our faith and to live it out. 


Fr David





Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 5th September 2021

Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, some people bring to Jesus a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. Having a double disability was a great affliction. Without hearing and speech the man was isolated in the community. Jesus takes the man away from the crowd which was an act of kindness to avoid alarming the man and not draw attention to what he was about to do. Rather than speak directly to him as he would not be heard, Jesus uses gestures to heal the man. The gestures will help the man to understand what Jesus is doing for him. Jesus puts his fingers into the man’s ears, and touches his tongue with spit. The sigh or groan is often an indication of deep prayer. With a sigh, Jesus then prayed “Ephaphata”; be opened. Mark makes it clear that it was the prayer of Jesus not the gestures that healed the man.


In the Sacraments we use gestures that draw us deeper into the action of God in our lives. These outward signs iluustrate the reception of inward Grace. In fact in a baptism service the priest has the option of blessing the ears and mouth of the newly baptised; using the “Ephaphata Rite”, which reminds us that Christ touches our ears so we can hear his word and also our tongues so we can profess our faith. If we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear we will witness all around us great signs of God’s faithfulness and presence. When we are prepared to identify and listen to the action of God all around us then we can play our part in building the kingdom of God.


Fr David




Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 29th August 2021


Fr David's Reflection


A person who is holy is someone who is a whole person. They are whole or complete because they have God in their lives, therefore the way they live their lives makes sense. We can often recognise this more easily in other people rather in ourselves. Holiness is something we should all strive for. Holiness is something internal and it is something we are all called to attain.


In today’s Gospel Jesus insists, since holiness is primarily a matter of the heart if you want to know whether a person is holy or not, see what comes out of their heart. He lists many of the vices that we are capable of cultivating within our hearts. By the same token, on the positive side, we could think of virtues that would demonstrate true holiness of heart. In the Second Reading, St James shows the essential link between faith and love. When he virtually defines “pure, undefiled religion” as “coming to the aid of orphans and widows in their distress”. This means that a priority for us as Christians should be the most vulnerable and needy members of our community. He goes onto to say we also should be “keeping oneself unstained by the world”. By this, I think St James is telling us to keep focused on Christ and not be tempted to prioritise the values of the world , which are more more materialistic and superficial.


May we strive in the coming week to draw closer to God by ensuring that our hearts are pure and uncontaminated by the lure of sin and selfishness.


Fr David




Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 22nd August 2021


Fr David's Reflection


We are all given the gift of free will by God to make choices that will determine the direction in which our lives lead us. He hopes we will choose to follow him, but we do have a choice.


In the Gospel Jesus gave to his disciples a different perspective. He noticed that many people seemed to be disillusioned with his teaching that we have reflected on the last month or so on the Bread of Life. He asks them to obey out of love not fear of punishment. Seeing many people deserting him, he turns to Peter and the other disciples and asks them “will you leave me too?” It is Peter who speaks up and says “Lord who shall we turn to, you have the message of eternal life”. For Peter and the others this was the second key moment of being asked to choose Jesus. They were being asked again to follow Christ when it was seemingly not the popular thing to choose to do. Peter had left behind his nets and the others had left their various commitments for a reason.  They did this because they believed that the message of Jesus offered them the hope of eternal life. They might not have fully understood what Jesus was trying to teach them but they were fully aware of what he was promising them and that meant everything to them.


Let us reflect on the gift of the Eucharist which is so central to our Catholic faith. May we reflect on this great gift to the Church, whereby Christ is truly present and treasure it always.


Fr David




Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, Sunday 15th August 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Today is the feast of the Assumption when we celebrate that at the end of her earthly existence, the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul, into heaven. This is centred on the major part Our Lady plays in the Incarnation : her faithfulness and trust in God enables her to conceive Her Lord within her.


In today’s Gospel, Mary shared her joy of being told she was to be mother of the Lord by putting herself out and journeying a long way to share her amazing news with Elizabeth. The spirit of Mary is to put ourselves out for others and share our joy with them. In sharing our joy, we also receive joy in turn. Elizabeth greets Mary by saying “blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her by the Lord will be fulfilled”.


Because of our Christian faith, like Mary we should persevere and keep trusting God when things get tough. Faith impels us to struggle on sometimes without the hope of a happy outcome. A person with faith never gives up. Mary first and foremost is a perfect disciple of the Lord.


The implications of today’s feast are that if we model our lives on Mary then where she is now, we will follow. Our Blessed Lady helps us in our struggle with understanding the full meaning of our faith and to live a life that is worthy of our dignity. With the grace of God and help from Our Lady we can also hope to share in her glory and the glory of her Son in Heaven.


Fr David




Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 8th August 2021


Fr David's Reflection


We are all on a pilgrimage to a holy place, to the promised land of Heaven. We need food for the journey, however not just any food, Jesus, the Bread of Life gives us Himself in the Eucharist . Jesus promises to be with us and journey with us.


In the Eucharist the Lord gives of himself, and he is able to do this at a great cost to himself because he gave of himself on Calvary and the Eucharist re-presents Calvary for us. So Jesus is able to be present to us in the gift of the Eucharist because of the Resurrection.


We rightly make a big thing of receiving Holy Communion for the first time. We make less fuss at the end of life and when someone is dying, however this is just as significant an encounter with the Lord. The one thing someone is very sick needs is Holy Communion. Receiving the Eucharist for the last time is known as “Viaticum” which is food for the journey. It’s not always practical to do so but receiving Holy Communion as Viaticum, is an ideal we strive for. Realistically the Sacrament of Anointing of the sick might the what we can more readily receive at our time of need. Viaticum makes sense as it’s food for the last stage of the Christian’s earthly journey. So what better comfort, reassurance and source of strength can we have, as we walk over the waters of death than having Christ as our companion.


Fr David




Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 1st August 2021


Fr David's Reflection


I have a happy memory from childhood during the school holidays going to the local bakers in the North East with my grandad Michael Featherstone for a freshly baked loaf of bread. This was a little task he did enjoy doing every day of his retired life. Bread is often described as the staff of life because it is synonymous with life itself.


It is an item of food that most people in the world eat every day so it is a symbol of the way that God gives us all we need for each day of our lives. The first reading reminds us of the way that God faithfully and generously provided for the chosen people in the desert by sending “manna” for them each day. It was bread from heaven provided by God that they had to go and collect everyday.


In the Gospel, Jesus goes much deeper than this by describing himself as the bread of life. Jesus is telling us we are to yearn for God in our lives like we hunger for food. If we truly believe in Jesus and accept Him as the Son of God then not only does he give us what we need for daily life but also
what we need for eternal life.


Fr David




Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 25th July 2021

Fr David's Reflection


I wouldn’t really call myself a cook but I enjoy catering for others and can get by in the kitchen. It is difficult when catering for quite large numbers to cater accurately because you don’t want to end up having too much food left over. For me, the ideal is when all the food that you have provided gets consumed and there is no waste at all. For me, empty plates and serving dishes are signs of a successful meal.


According to today’s readings at Mass, we are to see left-overs from a meal for the multitude as a sign of the Lord’s abundance of love and care for his people. This happens both with the meal from a few loaves of bread for 100 people with Elisha: as well as on a much bigger scale with the huge crowd fed by Jesus on a few loaves and fish.


We know that the Lord is always the most generous of givers and always gives us an abundance of all that we need. We are also asked to give lavishly too. So when we give to those in need, let us give them more than just what they need ~ let us be like the Lord and give in abundance from what He has bestowed upon us.


Fr David





Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 18th July 2021

Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, the crowds follow Jesus and the apostles even when they are trying to find a secluded place to get some peace and quiet away from it all. However, Jesus is not angry with the people for doing this. Instead he understands why they have done this and feels sorry for them because they are looking for the clear direction in their lives that only God can give them. In Jesus, they see someone who tells them how God wants them to live their lives and they thirst for the teaching and hope that Jesus offers them.

Just like at the time of Jesus, the people of today are also looking for direction, leadership and guidance to make sense of the complexities of life. The Lord has provided leadership for the Church, by calling those who are Bishops to be successors to St Peter and the Apostles, so that the people of God continue to get guidance, direction and hope from the Lord’s teaching. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles to give direction and inspiration to the Church. The Spirit has helped shape the journey the Church has made on its 2000 year pilgrimage. Through the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, we believe the Lord continues to teach with authority and clarity.


May we sincerely pray this day for Pope Francis and Bishop John for the health and strength to lead the Church in this third Millenium with clear vision and confident hope.


Fr David







 Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 11th July 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Travelling light is generally good advice. It also exposes us to the need for help from other people, because we are not completely in control of every situation. Jesus tells his disciples to travel light, in today’s Gospel, when he sends them out. He asks them to take the absolute minimum with them. By not having everything they need with them, they are depending upon other people and also are depending more on God.


When we admit we need help from others we also give them an opportunity to show goodness towards us. So perhaps we need to travel a little lighter in life generally and not be so concerned about being in control of every aspect of our lives. Making ourselves a little more vulnerable means that we can be more dependent on the need for God. We then become more like children who are utterly dependent on others for everything they need in life ~ after all we are called to be children of God.


Making ourselves a little more open to having to depend on the kindness of others to meet our needs, is more challenging but definitely more in the spirit of Christ. This week may all try to be a little more trusting of God and the goodness of God present within our fellow men and women.

Fr David




Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 4th July 2021


Fr David's Reflection


As a child I was fortunate enough to grow up in two different small towns : Birtley near Gateshead and Buxton in Derbyshire. Both places have a special place in my heart for me because I grew up there. Going back to these places now is strange because a lot of the people I knew from those days have now moved on, but nevertheless, a mystical bond has been forged between myself and those towns of my younger days. Jesus goes back to Nazareth in today’s Gospel for the first time since he began his ministry ~ he would have really been looking forward to see his family, friends and fellow people of the small town in which he lived until he was 30 years old.


He was to end up disappointed during the visit by the reaction of the people of his home town to him. The people remembered him well and marvelled at his words. However Jesus had moved on in his life and in his mission but they could not move on with him : for them Jesus still remained the carpenter’s son. They had no faith in him and so he was therefore unable to perform any miracles there. We are told that this also made Jesus feel rather sad.


Jesus showed us that all people can change. He constantly gave people the chance they needed to be forgiven by God and to become better people. When we are young we often make mistakes but as we grow up we can learn from these mistakes and move on from them and become a better person. May we like Jesus remember the people who influenced us as we grew up but always have the confidence to become the person God wants us to become in our lives.


Fr David



Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 27th June 2021


Fr David's Reflection


In the Gospel today we are reminded of the power that Jesus has over sickness and death: a woman with a haemorrhage is cured by Jesus and a little girl who has died due to illness is brought back to life by the Lord. Jairus would have been beside himself with worry, out of his mind. His daughter was everything to him, to see her suffer and perhaps to die would be devastating. His faith would have been tested by the distraction of the interim story Mark also gives us, the story of the healing of the woman with the bleeding, Jairus could have been frustrated by this distraction, but clearly his trust in Jesus was muchstronger than this. It is even further tested because while Jesus is walking to Jairus’s house, messengers report that Jairus’s daughter has died. Jesus tells Jairus not to be afraid, to keep trusting, keep believing, He continues to Jairus’s house. Jesus tells him that the girl is only sleeping, and he raises her, making her well again.


Christians follow Jesus’ example by showing compassion and care for those who are sick. Just as Jairus turned to Jesus to heal his daughter, we pray for those who are sick, asking that Jesus comfort them, heal them, and give them strength. Like Jairus, we have faith in Jesus’ power to heal. We also pray for all those who care for those who are sick, including those who work in the medical professions.


The Lord reminds us that he does not want to see any of us suffering through illness and he is the Lord of all creation ~ he always wants to bring healing where there is sickness and give life where there is death. We should always have hope and faith in the Lord who assures us by his own Passion, Death and Resurrection that God will always have the last word over suffering and death.


Fr David




Twelth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 20th June 2021

Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, the disciples witnessed a work that only God can accomplish which means that Jesus has divine power. Only God can control the wind and sea. We are all always at the mercy of God in this life. At the same time the miracle shows Jesus cares for his apostles. Mark wrote his Gospel for the persecuted church in Rome to encourage them to not be afraid and remain faithful to the Lord. He reminds them that God has not abandoned them, and that they are to continue to have trust in his presence with them. By calming the storm Jesus shows his divine power and his care for his disciples.


Most of us will experience some “storms” or events in life that make us really afraid for our lives. In such times the Lord asks us to not be afraid during such crises as they are just part and parcel of life. These occasions can challenge the depth and quality of our faith. We are to be courageous and keep believing in the Lord and keep trusting that He will always look after us and care for us.


Fr David




Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 13th June 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Much goes on in life that is hidden from sight and its good to try to see things from God’s point of view. The best things in life take time ~ it takes time for a relationship to grow, it takes time to study to a high level; to learn a language, and it takes time for seeds to grow into their full potential. There is no substitute for real life ~Growth is often incremental, not instant, it is gradual and often unnoticed. Things worthwhile in life take time.


The years that Jesus spent in Nazareth growing up with Mary and Joseph are the hidden years: nearly thirty years where nothing happened. During this time there were no miracles, no ministry, no teaching. However Jesus grew up in a family, learning to be loved, learning to be himself, observing peoples struggles, joys, sorrows, and set-backs. He also learned about hard work, and what concerned and troubled people. They were vital years not wasted years when he grew in his humanity and worked out who he was and what his purpose was.


Much of his teaching and his parables would be based on real life day to day experiences. The parables of the seed, in today’s Gospel were meant to encourage the early Church which was worried about the slow growth of the Kingdom. They are being told to be patient, to be humble and not expect anything to happen instantly.


Anything worthwhile in life takes time. There are few shortcuts in real life that are worthwhile taking. Building the kingdom also takes humility, patience and trust. May we have the confidence and courage to allow the Spirit to take effect and work inwardly.


Fr David



Sunday 6th June 2021, Corpus Christi


Fr David's Reflection


Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord. So we are celebrating the gift of the Eucharist. There is a strong theme of Covenant in today’s readings; The first reading describes the sealing of the Covenant between God and people by being sprinkled with the blood of sacrificed animals. Blood is seen as a sign of life and so this is symbolic of God sharing his life with the people. In the Eucharist, Jesus establishes a new covenant sealed however with his own blood. So the Eucharist is a perpetual reminder of the intimate bond that now exists between God and his people. As Roman Catholics we believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which means that we know we really do
receive Jesus in Holy Communion. The Hebrew word for “present” used throughout It scripture is Hineni, which roughly means Here I am. This asks us to be ready and willing.


By saying Jesus is present, this reminds us that Jesus is ready and willing to act in our lives. However most importantly he wants to change us, and transform us with his love. Whenever we come to Mass, and listen to the Lord present in the Word, then receive the Lord in Holy Communion , we ought to be affected in some way. We should be inspired to become who we receive. We encouraged therefore to be “hineni”, truly present and therefore ready and willing to serve God in one another. We are also called to make Christ present to one another.


At the heart of the Eucharist is the generosity and giving of our God. It is a great gift to us. So we are to receive the Lord whom we are meant to become. Will we have their faith and courage to also be ”hineni” ourselves?


Fr David





The Most Holy Trinity, Sunday 30th May 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Today is Trinity Sunday. On this day we think of our belief that God is one and that he is love. We are privileged however to have had revealed to us through our faith in our Jesus Christ, that God is a community of three equal persons. God is a community of love. It’s a love however that is not exclusive. but a community to which through the Holy Spirit we are invited. As humans we all need to belong and most of us are fortunate enough to belong to some sort of community beginning usually but not always with a family. Through our baptism in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we belong to another family, the family of God known as the Church. To not belong anywhere can be a bit soul destroying and can be hard, but to belong somewhere is affirming and important. A family consists of individuals: it is not just the family as a unit that is important, but each member is important and valued for who they are.


The whole point of the Church is to bring us into the intimate divine community of God. We know that God is simply love. The whole point of Church is that God wants all of us to belong to him and to be with him forever at the end of our lives. He wants none of his children to be lost because of their sins. We are called by God to love each other.


We should see the Trinity as friends to whom we can relate and to whom we can talk in prayer. We are God’s children and we are his family. God is love and our response to such love, can only be to trust in God and show love to one another.


Fr David




Pentecost Sunday - Sunday 23rd May 2021


Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel which is set on Easter Sunday Evening, Jesus breathes on the gathered disciples and gives them the Holy Spirit. The Lord breathed his last breath on the Cross, but the new life of Easter enabled the Risen Lord to breathe new life into the Apostles and thus began the Church. One of the obvious things about being alive is that we breathe; breath is a sign of life. So the Church with the Holy Spirit, takes its first breaths through the breath of Christ. He gives them the mission for salvation through the forgiveness of sins. The Spirit leads us to Christ. The Spirit also leads us to prayer because no one finds prayer easy, but it’s the Holy Spirit within us who gives us the desire to want to pray and to want to be in God’ presence. Just as food is fuel for the body then prayer is fuel for the soul: we need prayer as much as we need air to breathe. Time spent with God is the way we can get to know the Lord and the way that we remind ourselves of our need for God, for the very gift of life itself.


We need to think about the quality of our prayer lives. The Pandemic has challenged us to be more creative and imaginative about our prayer and our worship. Let us ask ourselves how we can continue to build on this to improve the quality of our prayer life.


Pentecost is when we celebrate that the Risen Lord gives the Spirit which breathes life into the Church. On this sacred day, may the Lord bless you and reinvigorate your faith through his holy apostolic Church.


Fr David




Seventh Sunday of Easter, Sunday 16th May 2021


Fr David's Reflection


In this last week of the season of Easter, between Ascension and Pentecost. the Church invites us to be praying for a fresh out-pouring of the Hs upon us. Jesus gives an example and takes the initiative as we see in today’s Gospel from John. He gives us the priestly prayer for his disciples and of course he is praying for us as well. He knows what is important for them and for us. When the Spirit comes Jesus wants them to be strengthened, and He is utterly confident that he has chosen well.
Jesus prays for our faithfulness to him: we know that life is always changing and uncertain and we get many knocks and set -backs along the way. We know too that these can be tests of our faith, so a great prayer for us is that the Spirit strengths us in our faith this Pentecost, because our faith is a source of strength through the knock-backs in life. As those of us who have lost loved-ones know, our Easter faith gives us peace of mind and gives us hope too.
Jesus sees for us as he foresaw for his disciples that life as a Christian will be challenging and far from comfortable at times. As Pentecost approaches let us use these days to pray that we too may be like the Spirit-filled Apostles and prove to worthy of the name Christian and therefore like them be up for the mission he has entrusted to us and be on course for eternal life in his presence.



Fr David




Sixth Sunday of Easter, Sunday 9th May 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Christ invites us into a loving relationship with him, but friendship with Christ is not easy, he is a challenging and demanding friend. In this Sunday’s Gospel, on the night before he dies, he calls his disciples his “friends” for whom he is prepared to lay down his life. Friendship with him involves opening our hearts to the needs of others, taking a chance and making friends especially with the poor and the vulnerable. It also involves being patient and overlooking the faults of others as well as the occasions when other people take advantage of us, We are asked to turn these into opportunities to grow and become better people.


These are the kinds of attitudes and ways of treating people that the life of friendship with Jesus involves. It is important to realise that when Christ talks about love he doesn't mean the same thing that our modern culture means. Another important thing for us to appreciate is that, rather than just being something which only applies to the people we are closest to, love is the basic Christian virtue, the basic Christian principle. When we are open to God's influence, love becomes the main principle that gradually shapes our whole character and affects the way we treat everyone that we encounter.


Let us respond generously to Christ’s invitation to enter into friendship with him and my our love for him draw others to also desire to enter into friendship with him through the Church.


Fr David



Fifth Sunday of Easter, Sunday 2nd May 2021


Fr David's Reflection


I think the image of Jesus as the vine and his disciples the branches, needs to be put into context. He speaks these tender words to his disciples on the brink of his Passion and Death. He speaks of the importance of unity with just hours before the whole little group that he has nurtured will scatter and badly let him down.


However, through all of this, Jesus is in control. He is telling his friends at this crucial hour in his life and in theirs too, of the need for unity and togetherness. He does this to help them to see what really matters. In the vine and branches analogy he gives his friends a powerful yet simple image that was very familiar to them to enable them to understand. There was going to be chaos in the hours following the utterance of these words, but he wanted them to remember it will not be enough to destroy their relationship with him.


We have this image in the season of Easter to show his rising from the dead will restore all that our sinfulness and human weakness and vulnerability risks destroying. The Lord’s risen life has a power that is able to cut through all our failings and setbacks: it makes sense of it all and redeems all of that.


May we grow in our understanding and appreciation that Christ will never give up on us. Let us rejoice that the Risen Lord and True Vine, will never cut himself off from us because we are too precious to him.


Fr David



Fourth Sunday of Easter "Good Shepherd Sunday", Sunday 25th April 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Today is Good Shepherd Sunday when we think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It is celebrated in the season of Easter to remind us that the Lord Jesus is alive and at work in his Church. The Good Shepherd is faithful to his role of looking after the sheep in his charge. We see Jesus as being the faithful shepherd looking after the Church. Just as he called his first disciples directly to change their way of living and to follow him, for generations, the Lord has continually called people to serve him in his Church as Priests, Deacons and Religious.


In today’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep intimately and is known by them. Unlike the hired man, he is willing to lay down his life for hissheep. We know that Jesus died for our sins to be forgiven so that we might enjoy eternal life with God. The Risen Lord is
always at work in his faithful people, so it is through the Church that the promise of salvation is offered to the world.


For this reason, today is also the World Day of Prayer for vocations. It is important that we sincerely pray for vocations in the Church because the Lord continues to call people to serve him but in our increasingly secular world, his voice is often drowned out by other voices. May those whom the Good Shepherd is inviting to follow him, find within their hearts, the courage and generosity to respond to Him. May we all play our part in encouraging vocations through our love for the Lord, the Church, the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament.


Fr David



Third Sunday of Easter, Sunday 18th April 2021


Fr David's Reflection


The Gospel takes place on the first Easter Sunday. The Disciples are wounded because they have let down Jesus, to whom they had pledged their loyalty just before his death and they had broken these promises within hours of making them. They are also filled with doubt, guilt, fear, grief and despair.


Like the disciples we might sometimes wish we could turn back the clock, to be before we act in a particular way, before we say what we or did something that we regretted. However life is not like that, we have to live with our mistakes and our regrets so we should not allow them to get the better of us. The Lord tells us that he has come that we may have life and that we have it the full. We need to remember our mistakes and our sins so we can hopefully not repeat them and have to face again the guilt, and regret that we have to live with.


When we give into temptation, let the Lord down and ourselves down too, we can take encouragement from the fact the disciples too let the Lord down. Easter does not take away our mistakes or remove our pain or our fears, however it does introduce something new to the reality of our lives as well as our pain and our fears; it gives our lives meaning. The reality of Easter lights up our lives and our pain and suffering with the great promise of peace and hope. Everything is to be seen in a new light, everything is new because Jesus is alive and he speaks his words of peace to us as he spoke them to his Apostles.


Fr David



Second Sunday of Easter, Sunday 11th April 2021


Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, we also have the story of Thomas, who refuses flatly to believe that the other disciples have seen the risen Lord. Thomas was a realist, like many people, who need more than just personal testimony as the basis for truth, he wanted first-hand proof for himself. On this last day of the Octave of Easter, Thomas gets the proof he sought and needed. Jesus is gentle, compassionate, yet firm with him through his doubts but grants him what he asks. He shows him his wounds: “Give me your hand” he says. Thomas is given the chance to touch the wounds of the Lord by these words; “Give me your hand”. This enables Thomas to make the enormous leap of faith and say of Jesus, “My Lord and my God”. Jesus gently prevents Thomas from getting too carried away and says “happy are those who have not seen but yet believe”.


We are among those who have not seen and yet are called to believe in the Risen Jesus as our Lord and our God. He endured the Cross for us. There was nothing glorious at the time about the brutality of the nails being driven into his hands and feet by the soldiers, or the piercing of his side by the lance.


On this Divine Mercy Sunday, we bask in the loving mercy of God who in Christ gave everything for us to be forgiven our sins and be reconciled with him. May St Thomas help us grow in our Easter faith and attain the peace that only Christ can give to us.


Fr David



Easter Sunday, Sunday 4th April 2021


Fr David's reflection


Easter is massive for us. It is the most important aspect of our Catholic faith. It simply tells us that the Lord has once and for all conquered sin and death. We have had over six weeks of Lent to prepare for Easter and now we will spend a further 7 weeks celebrating Easter.


On that first Easter Sunday, we hear in the Gospel that John and Peter go down to the empty tomb. They do this in order to see with their own eyes what they have been told by the women who were the first witnesses to this momentous event. They see the clothes rolled up, where the Lord had been laid and suddenly everything makes sense. Until that moment they had not really understood what Jesus meant when He said that he would suffer, die but rise again on the third day.  Jesus had tried to tell them all about this, but they did not fully understand until that day arrived. They would not look back from this moment on Easter Sunday.


The reason we have Easter eggs today is because an egg is a sign of new life and Easter is all about the new life that ispromised to all of us who believe and follow Jesus. We thank God for this greatest feast that gives us hope and joy, even in the midst of worry and fear. He Is Risen. Alleluia. Happy Easter.


Fr David



Palm Sunday, Sunday 28th March 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Today is a day of contrasts; the first Gospel has Jesus being welcomed into the holy city as the Messiah and a hero. People are happy and jubilant. He arrives on a donkey, with branches and cloaks on the road and is given great honour.


This wasn’t going to last: In the midst of joy, evil is lurking and there is a sinister backdrop to all this, with much plotting and intrigue going on behind the scenes.


In the second gospel, five days later the mood is different; darkness, hatred, contempt and anger are the overriding emotions. Jesus is betrayed by his friend, arrested. mocked, brutally treated, let down by Peter, crowned with thorns, jeered at by the crowd, humiliated by being put on a cross and was executed as a criminal.


Mixed in with the darkness, the pain, suffering and evil on that first Good Friday there are signs of goodness; slight chinks of light amidst the bleakness and darkness: light that gives hope; the courage of Simon who was just there by accident ; the presence of his mother, the generosity of
Joseph of Arimathaea and the loyalty of friends, who stayed with him to the end.


As we enter into this Holy Week may the Lord give us the grace us to grow in love for him, who showed no limit to his love for us.


Fr David



Fifth Sunday of Lent, Sunday 21st March 2021


Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of his imminent Passion in beautiful language: “unless a grain of wheat shall fall to the ground and die it remains just as a grain but if it dies it yields a rich harvest”. This speaks dramatically of the Cross which lies ahead, but beyond that the Resurrection, which will lead to salvation for all humankind. He is aware of what lies ahead and knows he must embrace the Father’s will, not his own. It is human to perhaps want to avoid pain and suffering but it is divine to want to sacrifice for the sake of the whole of humanity.


The real spirit of Lent has been to try to embrace the Cross ourselves, in other words to die to ourselves for the sake of the Lord Jesus. The struggle with self begins the very instant we begin to follow something other than ourselves. We become like Christ when we start to live for Jesus not just for ourselves. It is this that Christ touched upon in the Beatitudes when he spoke of “Spiritual poverty.


Our first step towards the Master is the moment we begin the struggle with death, which brings growth, freedom and life. May the Lord help us on our Lenten journey to freely give more of ourselves in order to grow closer to Christ.


Fr David



Fourth Sunday of Lent, Sunday 14th March 2021


Fr David's Reflection


As we reach roughly the midway point on our Lenten journey, it’s a good time to cast a bit of light on how our Lent is going. How effectively are our Lenten commitments, forming and shaping our hearts and minds to be more centred on Christ?


On Friday we will celebrate the feast of St Joseph which is particularly poignant this year, with us being in the Year of St Joseph. St Joseph had died by the time Our Lord began his public ministry, so by this stage Joseph had completed his own significant role in the story of Salvation. St Joseph is nevertheless a great companion for us during Lent: he teaches us humility and tells us by his own example to not let our pride get in the way of God’s work. He tells us not to be craving for recognition for ourselves or our good works, because it is sufficient for God and ourselves alone to be aware of any sacrifices we make in life. We should listen to these important lessons from St Joseph and try to put them into practice each day.


At the heart of Lent, is Conversion and renewal ~ we are to turn away from the darkness of sin into light. During Lent we are thinking of how we can change because it is a time to change. May St Joseph urge us and encourage us to grow in humility and in our desire to put Christ before everything else.


Fr David



Third Sunday of Lent, Sunday 7th March 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Anger is a gift from the Lord but quite often we misuse this gift. I feel that it is intended to be used as an expression of our abhorrence at injustices that we might witness or hear of. However often we use anger to vent our feelings against another person for more selfish reasons perhaps because we are in a bad mood ourselves. This is clearly a sinful action and a misuse of the gift of anger.


Our Lord gets angry in today’s Gospel scene whereby he cleanses the Temple which he feels has been turned into a market place. Our Lord clearly is using the gift of anger in this instance in the way for which it was intended. He is expressing his strong disapproval of the unfair way that God’s house is being treated. Therefore he is clearly showing us how anger can be used effectively against blatant injustices.


In this time of Lent perhaps we can reflect on how we use our anger ~ do we lose our self- control too easily and therefore misuse this gift from the Lord. We pray for the gift of wisdom and self-control to enable us to see all situations from God’s point of view rather than simply through our own eyes.


Fr David



Second Sunday of Lent, Sunday 28th February 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Change is painful and Lent is a time for change. We are creatures of habit so the Church gives us the disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to work on throughout Lent , so that we focus attention away from ourselves and instead focus on God and on others. As our Lenten promises and commitments start to kick in, the Church always gives us on the 2 nd Sunday of Lent, an account of the Tansfiguration of Jesus in order to remind us that the whole purpose of Lent is the glory of Easter.


On that mountain top, the voice of the Father speaks to the terrified disciples present, asking them to listen to Christ. He also speaks to us in those same words. We are to trust him and be generous during Lent and we know that Christ can speak to us through the most needy in our society. He also speaks through those who are vulnerable, the sick, the elderly and the homeless. If we respond to their needs then we are showing we are listening to Christ.


The message for the second Sunday of Lent is hope. Despite all the restrictions on our freedom we continue to face, we need to remember we are alive and where there is life there is hope . Hope tells us to keep moving forward , to keep trusting and keep looking for signs of God in our lives and in the lives of other people.


Through listening to Christ and trusting his words, as well as by responding generously to the needs of others, we are giving our own lives meaning and purpose, and becoming beacons of hope to all.


Fr David



First Sunday of Lent, Sunday 21st February 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Lent is a time to change, a chance to repent of our sins and have a change of heart. One of the problems we have is that we are creatures of habit. Even though we know the right way of living and have known a new and better way, it is hard to change because we often prefer to revert to what we know.


A useful word to learn to use a bit more often in Lent and also in life is “no”. In giving up things for Lent, we usually give up things that are good: like chocolate, sugar, crisps, sweets, coffee etc . These are good things but the reason we give up the good things is really to help us give up the bad things. By being able to say “no” to good things that we usually find hard to resist, the thinking is that we will also be able to say “no” to the really important things to resist which are never good for us. Lent is a time for a bit more self control in our lives, so that habits that we have allowed to control us for years can be harnessed and tamed.


So as we continue our Lenten journey let us ask for the courage to change and to have a change of heart to say no to the things we are giving up but also to say no to sins of habit. By doing this we will allow God’s power to enter more fully into our lives.


Fr David



Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 14th February 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Social-distancing and self isolating have become the norm for us during the Pandemic, to keep ourselves and others safe from the risk of catching the Covid virus. As a result we have had to refrain from hugging and shaking hands with those outside our immediate household.


The man in today’s Gospel is literally touched by Jesus and has his life transformed. Being the Son of God, Jesus was not afraid of catching leprosy so it is not surprising that He had the courage to touch the untouchable. He is the Son of God and therefore had power over all sickness, disease and even death. Jesus does not want anyone to be pushed away, to be left out. No wonder, the man could not keep to himself his life-changing encounter with Christ.


The one thing really infectious about Jesus is his love. It is a love that can be passed from one person to another and that’s what he was first and foremost able to transmit to the leper. We are also called to in show our the same love to those who are pushed out, who are excluded by our society. At the moment we have to be a bit more creative in the ways we do this. However if we imitate Jesus in touching everyone with His love then we can bring people back to life, we can bring light where there is darkness and we can bring joy where there is loneliness and despair.


Fr David



Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 7th February 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Despite the demands on his time, Jesus always seemed to be at peace. People wanted him to help them and he was able to keep giving, yet he always ensured he also found time to be with his Father. In today’s Gospel, we are told Our Lord got up very early in the morning while the household were asleep, in order to be with his Father in prayer. He often found quiet places in order to be at one with his Father. It was during this solitude that he nourished his relationship with His Father. Faithfulness to prayer was at the heart of his successful ministry.


Fuelled by the energy of prayer Jesus was able to go on to bring more healing, more sharing of the good news by preaching in the synagogues of other towns and bringing peace where people were disturbed with unclean spirits.


We are also called to bring the compassion of Christ to those we encounter. To do this we also need to have that wholesome relationship with the Father that Jesus did. That completeness in our life can only come through ensuring we make time for God in prayer. We need to make time in order for our hearts to be filled with that divine love that comes from making time and space for the Lord.


Fr David



Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 31st January 2021


Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, we hear that Even the unclean spirits obey the command of Jesus. We are also challenged by the Lord to be people who obey. There is a fair bit of opportunity for obedience around: we are to obey the law of the land, if we drive we obey the law of the road: children are to obey their parents and give them due honour: priests and religious take a promise of obedience to their bishop/superior. However all of us are also asked to obey the commandments of the Lord and of the Church. I am sure you can think of other examples.


Because of Original Sin being in the world, we often find ourselves choosing to disobey. We might disobey the laws and rules of the land and when we disobey the laws of God, we sin. There was only one rule to keep in the Garden of Eden and that got broken. Even the thought of obeying can be a bit unnatural to us. Perhaps we sometimes make wrong choices because of our pride or perhaps just because we are given the freedom to do both good and evil.


The whole point of Jesus coming into the world is to redeem us of our lack of obedience, selfishness and sin and show us a new way. Jesus was totally obedient to the Father, even throughout the Agony in the Garden and his excruciating pain of the Passion. He shows us that to obey is to love, and to obey is divine; so when we obey we are being like Christ.


Fr David



Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 24th January 2021


Fr David's Reflection


What Jesus was asking of the 4 fishermen, whom he calls in the Gospel today, was to completely leave behind all that they depended on. When they left  their boats behind, they were also letting go of control of their lives and handing over such control to Jesus. They would not even know what they would eat that first night, or where they would sleep. They had complete trust in his word and in his judgement . They were invited to share in a great adventure with Jesus that was to take them into new territory. He was to teach them, mould them and help them grow in intimate friendship with Him. They were going to have to draw upon all their natural qualities to become “fishers of men.”


They would go on to witness at first hand his miracles, hear his parables for the first time and hear him preaching the Word of God. This could only have surely strengthened them and affirmed them in their decision to become his disciples. The fact that we all know about Jesus and have faith and trust in Him today, is fitting testimony to what an amazing job the Galilean fishermen and the other apostles did in being faithful to Jesus. They established his Church whereby salvation is offered to all who repent of their sins through faith in Jesus, Our Lord and Master. After his Resurrection Jesus would send them the Holy Spirit, who would certainly transform them and equip them fully for their new mission to bring the message of repentance and proclaiming the Gospel to all.


Let us challenge ourselves to respond to the new opportunities that the Lord may ask of us to build his kingdom of Love, through our faithful service and our own missionary zeal to win new friends for the Lord.


Fr David



Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 17th January 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Even with all the technology and other sophisticated means of communication and social media at our disposition today; it still stands that the best way to promote or advertise remains by word of mouth. If we want to know the best place to get a meal, a good car mechanic or even a good hairdressers; you ask and listen to someone you can trust. So if someone you trust strongly recommends something to you, then you would be wise to follow their advice.


In today’s Gospel, the Lord uses other people to bring them to begin a life of service for him. Two of the disciples of John are guided by him to Jesus when John tells them he is the Lamb of God ~ he is the one that John has been preparing them for. These disciples trust John and his judgement and his guidance and his leading them to Jesus. They begin to follow Jesus and respond to his invitation to come and see where he lived.


We are all called to follow Christ and our Christian vocation is to set upon the adventure of discovering what it is that God is asking to do for him using the gift of life that he has given to each of us. It might be through prayer where we can particularly listen to God, it might come through reading the Scriptures however God also might be speaking through the words of another person.


Fr David



The Baptism of the Lord, Sunday 10th January 2021


Fr David's Reflection


Last week we celebrated the Epiphany, a revealing of who the child born in the manger really is. Like the Epiphany the Baptism of the Lord is also an unveiling of who Jesus is. Today he is unveiled to the Chosen People gathered that day at the River Jordan.


At the heart of the Incarnation is God coming among us to live a fully human life, to show us how God wants us to live. In order to do this he had to totally immerse himself into the fullness of human life. There are about thirty years Between the actual Epiphany and the beginning of his ministry marked by His Baptism. Apart from one incident at the age of 12, nothing really is known about those years as nothing is recorded in the Scriptures about them. We know Jesus lived under the authority of Mary and Joseph. There is no substitute to the living out of ordinary life. These hidden years were not wasted years by any means , they were vital years, when we are told he grew in wisdom and stature. The Parables, his empathy with all people, as well as the compassion and understanding he shows during his ministry all show a deep understanding of human life.  They show that he had totally experienced and understood the life he had lived to the full.


We get to share in the life of the Trinity when we are baptised in the life-giving waters of the font. May the life of grace emanating from our own baptism lead us to be Christ-like in our approach to God and one another.


Fr David



Second Sunday of Christmas, Sunday 3rd January 2021


Fr David's Reflection


The Gospel for Mass today consists of the Prologue of St John‘s Gospel. The opening words are a profound statement about the origins of Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God.” The 19th Century English painter John Milllais in his painting “Christ in the House of His Parents” imagines Jesus as a young boy, helping in Joseph’s carpenter’s shop. Jesus has cut his finger while helping and blood is streaming out of it : Mary is bandaging his wound. Though it’s an imaginary incident, it illustrates beautifully what John means when he says in today’s Gospel: that the Word really did became flesh.


The Gospel goes on to affirm for us that the Word became flesh for us. This implies that the Eternal Word would experience real human life with all its up and down, joys and sorrows. Jesus shared all our human experiences ~ from cutting our finger, choosing close friends, helping others, right through to death.


The Eternal Word became flesh to make the Eternal Father known to all of us. He came to let us know the Father. This means we can know the Father through Jesus, who tells us that he is; “the way, the truth and the life.” In this Christmas season may we continue to reflect in awe at the enormity of God’s love for us in that he is prepared to make himself vulnerable in order to reconcile withhimself all of humanity.


Fr David


Reflection painting




Feast of The Holy Family, Sunday 27th December 2020


Fr David's Reflection


We all know how vital family life is and for many of us, it is our first experience of Church and our first “school”. Like many people my own family have given me an experience of what love is and what God is through the love I received from my parents and the sacrifices over many years that they made for me and my brothers. Through my experience of family life, I also learnt in an affirming yet occasionally challenging environment, what my strengths and weaknesses are, as well as who I really am.


In today’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph go to the Temple in Jerusalem to present Jesus to the Lord according to what the Jewish Law required of them. Simeon and Anna being filled with the Spirit were dedicated to God and spent much of their time praying at the Temple. When the Holy Family arrived at the Temple, the Spirit allowed these two subjects to recognise Jesus as the Son of God.


On this Feast of the Holy Family we think about how God entered human history as a vulnerable baby, born into poverty but destined to save the world. We think of Mary, conceived without sin to become the Mother of God ~ we marvel at her faith and confidence in God’s word. In this year of St Joseph we also focus on this gentle and humble Son of David who put his faith and hope in God to guide him through the circumstances of the Incarnation. In this Octave of Christmas, may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph bless your own family and all the people in our parish.


Fr David




Fourth Sunday in Advent, Sunday 20th December 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Our Lady is our companion for the 4 th Sunday of Advent. She is very calm and gentle as always. As we hear in today’s Gospel, Mary trusts God implicitly and is able to put her entire life into his hands as she agrees to the Angel Gabriel to become the Mother of Jesus. By her own response to God’s invitation, she will play such a major role in salvation history. She also plays a part in our lives today as we prepare to mark the birth of her Son. Her “fiat” was to lead to many mysteries that she was to experience.


It is going to bring her great privileges and joys of course, but it also will lead to many sorrows, concerns and challenges. All that is unknown and uncertain she will leave in God’s hands and she will be right to do so.


May we imitate Mary in her trust in God when we face lots of challenges, questions and uncertainties in our own lives. May we trust like Mary that if we respond to God’s invitation and keep faith then things will work out for us too, even though the journey might be arduous and full of trials. May Mary lead us into Christmas, as we ask her to open up to us the mystery of the Incarnation in which she plays a huge part, but always as the lowly handmaid of the Lord.


Fr David


Third Sunday in Advent, Sunday 13th December 2020


Fr David's reflection


In today’s second reading, St. Paul explains how to make our lives joyful.  Among the various suggestions he makes, he speaks of the need to take time to think and reflect. These activities are very pertinent for our Advent journey, which is a time for quiet and maybe a time to speak less and listen more. If we stay a little more quiet that will give us more time to think, to listen to God and to others and to pray more deeply. If we are more selective over what we say then we are more likely to speak wisely not foolishly . Therefore we are more likely to be joy-bringers and bearers of good tidings rather than trouble and woe. If we are less “me-centred” and more “Christ-centred” we are more alert to notice the needs of others especially those who deserve our help and share the joy with them.


Today’s psalm is from the Magnificat. This prayer is said or sung in the Church every evening at Evening Prayer (Vespers): “My soul glorifies the lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour “. These are the words of Mary to Elizabeth at the encounter and welcome she received, at being greeted as the mother of the Lord who is inside of her. In doing the will of God in all things like Mary then we will find true and lasting joy.


In these Advent days let us like Mary decide each day to be happy at all times; pray constantly, be more grateful and think before we do anything.


Fr David



Second Sunday in Advent, Sunday 6th December 2020

Fr David's reflection


Our companion for the second week of Advent is John the Baptist. He tells people to have a change of heart to prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of God. He tells us to follow his advice, given to every generation to follow; the advice is simple ; follow the ways of right not the ways that are wrong. He is the fulfilment of Isaiah who tells us to make the paths of the Lord straight.


In Advent we have a chance to reflect and to think about the direction our lives are going in. John is not an easy or comfortable companion for us. He lives in the wilderness simply, living off locusts and wild honey. He will look us in the eye and ask us gently but firmly to invite the Lord more fully into our lives; to be more honest and more truthful with ourselves and other people; and to be more trusting of the Lord as we see the need to change.

By living more simply, it means we take less than we give: it means treating people with integrity and fairness rather than being insincere and judgemental. We are to try to make life more easy and more bearable for one another rather than being awkward and difficult to deal with. We are to be genuine, upfront rather devious two faced. Making people unsure of where they stand with us. It means being prepared to forgive rather than bear grudges. Living simply should give us more freedom and make life easier not harder.


Fr David



First Sunday of Advent, Sunday 29th November 2020


Sunday 29th November 2020

Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Generally we understand this to be his coming on the Last Day and his coming at Christmas, which recalls his historical birth 2000 years ago. It is also about another coming which we tend to forget, namely, his daily coming in the ordinary events and people in our lives.

The 2nd reading speaks of waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Waiting for the Lord is an important part of Advent. Waiting can be boring and tedious and seen as a waste of time; but unless you patiently wait you will certainly miss out; miss your turn, miss your opportunity, miss your bus. The waiting can be a time to do something constructive ; listen, think, talk, get to know someone, maybe even pray. It’s important not to squander Advent and not just see it as days we need to tick off as we wait for Christmas. Like any journey the travelling bit is important ~ the journey matters as much as the destination. So we should try to be vigilant and welcome the Lord who comes to us without warning every day in people, places and events we least expect. We are to prayerfully reflect on our daily lives and recognise the Lord who comes to us in various ways.

Therefore we are to slow down, wait patiently and use the time of this important season wisely to reflect and pray. At the same time there can be an urgency about the need to invite God more deeply and intimately into our lives. We are to use this time of Advent wisely and create opportunities to reflect and repent and also time to look around us and see God all around us in everything we are and everything we do.

Fr David


Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, Sunday 22nd November 2020


Fr David's Reflection


We are bestowing at this time of Year the title of Universal King upon Jesus. Through the Incarnation God comes among us, He rubs shoulders with us and sees what real life is like as humans. In the First reading we hear speak of the Shepherd who reaches out to raise the lowly, to feed the hungry, reach out to the lost and bind up the weak and poorly. The image of shepherd and King obviously are brought together in the figure of Jesus. It is hard to reconcile the two roles otherwise.


The Gospel is the Universal King’s great speech ~ after his experiences among us he is able to speak with authority as to what really matters as humans. Like the shepherd, a great King is concerned about all his subjects and especially the most vulnerable and those who might be overlooked or forgotten about. He speaks of the way we have treated other people as determining our eternal destiny. God sees that everything we have done and will judge us says Christ the King on how we have treated the lowly. God is in everyone so we are to be judged on how we have treated the hungry, those who thirst , the stranger, the prisoner and the sick.


The King tells us that all the little things matter; the times when we were too busy to show a little act of kindness are significant; also little details and little acts of kindness really matter. We are to be judged on the amount of love we have shown or not shown.


On this feast of Christ the King may we imitate the Lord who came among us to show us the way of love. May we make him the king of our hearts by showing practical acts of love and kindness to each and every person we encounter.


Fr David


Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 15th November 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Life is God’s gift to us and how we live our life is our gift to God. In our lives we are given many gifts by God and we are asked to use them for the benefit of one another and for the greater glory of God. Sometimes the gifts that we have are very obvious, for example: it is usually easy to spot from a young age those who are good at music art or sport. However our gifts need to be not just recognised by ourselves but acknowledged, encouraged and appreciated by others. For many of us, our real gifts do not emerge until we are older and can then have the confidence to work on them and enhance them.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the Talents, whereby three people are entrusted with talents. At the end of the parable the master asks each of them to show what they have done with what they were given. Two of them had used them well and were pleasing to the Master but the third one was not, because he had simply buried his in the ground and had nothing to show for it. The Master was understandably unhappy with this man who had squandered his potential.


At the end of our lives we will each be asked to give an account to God of what we have made of our lives. The way that we can be most pleasing to God is to live a life of loving service to one another by using our gifts and talents for the benefit of others. The most important thing we want to be able to tell the Lord is that we have tried to make a difference with the gift of our lives.


Fr David


Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 8th November 2020


Fr David's Reflection


There is a strong message about wisdom in today’s readings. In the first reading we are told that wisdom is the greatest gift we could hope for ~ in seeking the gift of wisdom we will find God and in finding God we will have no more worries or anxieties.


In today’s Gospel, this teaching about wisdom is brought to life in the parable of the five wise bridesmaids. This tells us of the need to have the flame of faith kept ever burning brightly because we do not know the hour of the Lord’s coming. We must be always prepared so that when the Lord comes we can enter his Kingdom.


Essentially the way we ensure that the light of our faith does not go out is through love. It is essentially the lamp of love. We need to keep on loving without it being worn out by getting too tired or cynical. For Love to be genuine it does not have to extraordinary. What makes a lamp keep burning are small droplets of oil. The droplets that keep the lamp of faith/love burning are essentially the little things we are asked to do each day; being grateful, thoughtful, having time for God, putting other people first, being kind, helpful and easy to get on with, giving people another chance, forgiving, prepared to suffer and give our all.


We are to be ready at all times for the Lord to come just like the wise bridesmaids were. This means we are to be doers of God’s Word, not just hearers of it. We should be wise and ensure the flame of faith is always alive in our hearts. We should therefore be ever thankful for the Lord being in our lives.


Fr David


All Saints Day Sunday 1st November 2020


Fr David's Reflection


When we are talking about saints its important to remember that these were also sinners. We can never get too from away from our humanity and entwined with our humanity is a deep sense of our sinfulness. We have an image of heaven in today’s 1st reading from the Book of Revelation. The Lamb is Christ – “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. It is the blood of the Lamb which alone can restore innocence before God and the saints in heaven are those who “havewashed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb”.


In most weeks of the year we have days in the Church designated to a particular saint and at Mass we often have a chance to hear about their lives and hopefully be inspired by them. All Saints Day is a complete celebration of all these saints’ days, but it is much more than that. The saints are those who are now in heaven with God, so on this feast we also celebrate all the “little” saints, perhaps some only known to God who are with him now. We all hope to be with God in Heaven, so we believe that we are all called to be saints. Saints are people who have inspired us, and who have touched us by their communion with God. We realise that they are holy people, whole people, because their lives add up and make sense. They may have been people of prayer, thanked God in their faith through their activity in the Church, but also outside of this they have lived out their communion with God through their relationship with Christ. St Bernard once said: The Saints have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs.... But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning. This feast should inspire us to join all the saints; that’s our calling from God; to be saints for the 21 st Century.


Fr David

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 25th October 2020


The emphasis of the question from the Pharisees in today’s Gospel about the greatest commandment is not on the obvious love of God but on the love of neighbour, which they were trampling upon. Jesus summarized everything into two great commandments; love of God and love of neighbour. We should heed the message of Jesus in today's Gospel: that true love of God and true love of neighbour are two sides of the same coin.


True love of God leads us to love our neighbour. A scribe in Luke’s Gospel asked our Lord the question about who our neighbour is, and He answered with the story of the Good Samaritan. The parable teaches what love is and how to love. It tells us that Love is more than just a feeling; Love is an act of the will, to will the good of another whether it feels good or not and to put another’s good before our own. This is true love, a love centred on love of God and self sacrifice.


When you love God then you will be able to love others as Christ does, with patience and sacrifice. Then you will care for what matters most: care for the person God has placed in your path. If we want a simple idea to sum up what Jesus is saying, then look at the cross: a vertical piece of wood, representing me and God, and a horizontal piece of wood representing me and my neighbour. With both love of neighbour and love of God, you have the cross. Without both pieces you are not truly following the way of Jesus. To be an authentic Christian, we need to follow the cross, the way of love.


Fr David


29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 18th October 2020


Fr David's Reflection


My mam used to often say that everything is on loan to us: house, cars, clothes, friends, possessions are all entrusted to us for a while by God. In today’s first reading Isaiah reminds us that God is looking for ways every day to remind us that he is Lord of all that is created. He is in everything there is because “apart from me all is nothing”.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus amazes the crowd by speaking with great authority. The denarius that Jesus is given would have had a picture of the Emperor Tiberius. In saying ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”, Jesus makes a clear distinction between God and Caesar; between divine power and earthly power. Jesus was able to turn the question back on the Pharisees. He reminded them that God is greater than Caesar. The whole world and everything in it belong to God. Examples of what belongs to God are; trees, air, the seas, the land, animals, people – yes, even Caesar! God is over and above everything and his portrait is stamped all over creation.

The whole of our lives should be involved in giving back to God what belongs to him : we do this essentially by striving to be faithful to God and by authentic Christian living. This is the best form of witness and the most likely way that we can be missionary and attract others to share in what we have. That’s because if we do this our lives add up and are complete because God is part of it.


Fr David


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 11th October 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Our first reading at Mass today is one that is often used at a funeral: it speaks of Heaven being like a banquet with an abundance of fine food and drink. In the Gospel, Jesus is addressing the chief priests and elders in his parable about the king’s banquet. This was stating that the Chosen People are not responding to his teaching to build the Kingdom; and so it is offered to everyone who is prepared to listen and respond to it.

We have all been invited to this great Banquet but we must respond which we do through the way we live our daily lives. However our lives are busy and preoccupied and we can find lots of reasons for not making God a priority. It is quite understandable when there are more immediate demands on our time. It is easy to push God back and think I don’t need to worry about God and eternity and Heaven until later. The people in the Gospel all had reasonable excuses for not being able to come to the banquet: These are all good worthwhile things. However there does come a time when we do need to make the Lord number one priority and that should start now, not tomorrow, because we are only ever a split second away from eternity.

We get a foretaste of the heavenly Banquet in the Mass; the finest food is the Body of Jesus, the finest wine is the Precious Blood of Christ. He is really present to us and this is a promise of eternal life.


Fr David


27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 4th October 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Today’s Gospel presents us with the parable of the vineyard. The vineyard, entrusted to the tenants, grows and matures and becomes rich with potential and is ripe for harvesting. But the tenants refuse to share the gifts entrusted to them. They have instead become obsessed with security and they fiercely defend their possessions.


They kill off anyone, including the king’s son, who invites them to share what they have with others. In the end the greed of the tenants becomes their undoing for the king will have nothing to do with them.


Our lives are like a vineyard that God entrusts to us. And each of our lives, is richly blessed by God. The voice of God’s Son Jesus calls out to us to share our talents, our riches, our gifts with those around us and with those who have less than we have.


But sadly, we too often become more interested in security in building walls and towers around ourselves we protect our own interests rather than sharing what we have with those around us. We forget that our gifts, our talents and our richness entrusted to us by God are meant to be used and not just stored up.


The spirit of the Pharisees which we are warned against adopting is an inability to listen to the other side. As St Augustine said “ hear the other side” ~ this means being open to seeing what God is doing in other peoples lives and in the world around us. The Lord is calling us to a gentleness that leads to an open-ness and a generosity.


Fr David


26th Sunday in Oridnary Time, Sunday 27th September 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Over the years I have learned the hard way from lettingpeople down and  the reaction it does to people, when you lose respect and trust in their eyes. They are the occasions I just wish I could relive the moment and start again. I have also learned from being let down myself that I really value a person’s word and be able to trust someone who promises to do something and keeps to it.


In today’s Gospel, the Lord tells the parable of the two sons to illustrate that just words are not good enough. The Pharisees were like the Son who said yes to God but really were not pleasing to God: This is here a warning to us, one of greatest sins is inactivity, sins of omission and omitting to do good. The second son represents sinners and tax collectors who had said no to God but seized the chance to repent and have a change of heart like the second son. It’s sometimes seen as a weakness to change your mind; but it also takes courage and humility to admit you were wrong and have a change of heart.


Faithfulness is one of the greatest and necessary things in life ~ to be faithful however to our promises means we have to keep on saying yes and keep on following up our initial promise of faithfulness. It is costly however to be faithful and remain faithful. It demands a spirit of sacrifice and of selflessness.


Fr David

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 20th September 2020


Fr David's Reflection


In the Gospel, Jesus tells a story about the 11th hour workers getting paid the same as those who have worked hard all day. To our human ears, this sounds unjust and sounds like bad business, and unfair employment practise that would most likely result in industrial action being taken! However we should try listening to the parable by thinking through eyes of those rejected and overlooked: the forgotten, the sick, the lonely the disabled and the disadvantaged. Imagine the joy on their faces when they finally got chosen! God forgets no one and gives up on no one ~ Nor must we as his disciples give up on anyone.


God does not do rejects, nor does he write anyone off. The parable is not about justice but it is about generosity. The essence of this weekend’s reading is the generosity of God, a bit like in the parable of the Prodigal Son, where God is ridiculously and outrageously generous in his mercy and in his compassion with sinners and those cast out by society.


We are called to imitate this in our lives and in the way we treat one another ~ We are not to overlook anyone; we are not to reject we are not to forget anyone. The challenge is to be as generous as our God in the abundance of love and mercy that we show to each other.


Fr David

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 13th September 2020


Fr David's Reflection


The need for Forgiveness is at the centre of our faith. At the heart of the word forgiveness is indeed the word “ give”. So forgiveness calls for a generosity on behalf of the giver. It is not always easy when someone offends us to let go of feelings of resentment and even hatred. However, it is not good to hold on to such feelings as it is not healthy to put energy into something that is not very life-giving to us.


In today’s Gospel, in answer to Peter’s question about how often we should forgive others if they do wrong to us, Jesus responds and backs up his answer with the powerful parable of the Unforgiving Servant. The message is simply that if we expect to be forgiven our sins by God, then we must be prepared to forgive others the wrongs they do to us. So we should always forgive others because of our love for the Lord and because Jesus tells us to.


The great symbol of generosity and forgiveness is the Cross. Jesus died on the Cross to forgive our sins. Even on the Cross he was merciful; saying “Father forgive them”. This showed Jesus forgave those who had inflicted terrible pain and suffering upon him. As he was dying on the cross, he even forgave and promised heaven to a thief who was sorry for what he had done and said he trusted and believed in Jesus.


May the Lord help us to be open to forgive the wrongs of others as he did, so that we can go to him with our own sins and be confident of his generous mercy.


Fr David

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 6th September 2020


Fr David's Reflection


I’m sure we all have incidences when people are wronging us or others that we know. These sorts of things can escalate: feuds, bitter grudges and disagreements are at the heart of much division in society. These can be the reasons for many long-standing conflicts and falls-outs. Unless handled carefully such things can rip apart families and communities. If I am being mistreated, I generally prefer to keep it to myself and put up with it quietly rather than confront the perpetrator which can be stressful. The danger is that saying nothing can allow an incident to eat its way into us. We might even be tempted to talk to others about it, but that risks becoming a source of gossip from which we can take pleasure. That does not however resolve the problem ~ there is no change, there is no reconciliation and the problem persists. Confronting someone about their behaviour or attitude requires the gift of courage, and we need to be confident that the reason for tackling the issue is out of love for the person who is doing the wrong and the impact of their unreasonable behaviour is having on a wider community.


Today’s Gospel gives us the approach that Jesus tells us we should adopt against those who wrong us. He says the initial step is to simply confront the perpetrator. Failure to confront the person who is wronging us shows a lack of love and we are neglecting our responsibility and duty as Christians. So let us be confident that if we go about it the right way, reconciliation can and does result and it leads to great growth in both parties. Reconciliation should never be left untried even though it is the harder way ~ it is the better way and it’s God’s way.


Fr David

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 30th August 2020


Fr David's Reflection


The easy way is not always the best way. I think we all learn very quickly that the easy way to achieve things usually ends up as being foolish. In life it is very tempting to cut corners. We can all be tempted with taking a short cut, to try to make life easier for ourselves, however what is worthwhile in life usually comes at great cost and involves effort, patience, commitment and sacrifice.


In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples after Peter’s profession of faith that he is destined to suffer persecution and death at the hands of the religious leaders but will rise again on the third day.. Peter reacts to this saying that this must not happen. Much as Jesus might delight to hear the temptation that an easier life is possible for him, he is wise to see through it. Therefore he sees Peter’s objection is a stumbling block in his way and is determined to be obedient and faithful to the Father’s will. He knows that what lies ahead is necessary for God’s plan of salvation for all humankind to be realised.


Jesus teaches us that the right way is always ultimately the best way and is most likely to be God’s way too. Anything less than that is to cheat ourselves and cheat God. We might fool other people but when we cheat, we don’t fool ourselves and we don’t fool God. Our following of Christ can be in small steps because God is patient and his challenge is an invitation to us. Jesus supports all of those who follow him down the narrow road of sacrifice and shares his paschal victory with them.


Fr David

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 23rd August 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Jesus calls Simon Peter, because he clearly saw the potential that he had in him; God does not see as humans see, because He always sees the bigger picture. We all need someone to believe in us in order to grow, but the growth of course has to be gradual. In today’s Gospel, Peter makes a declaration of faith for which Jesus praises him and promised him further responsibility; the Keys of the Kingdom.


At the core of the relationship between Peter and Our Lord was love; everything our Lord did for Peter was done in love, for his own good. As we look back, we can see this enabled Peter to become the strong leader of the Church that he was to become, after Pentecost and ultimately being prepared to die for the Lord.


A good leader is one who is aware of their weaknesses as well as their strengths. The experiences Peter had such as denying Jesus, helped Peter be aware of the need to rely on God and other people not just himself. It also enabled him to be understanding and compassionate when encountering weaknesses and failings in other people. Like Peter we also blow hot and cold; sometimes we are strong and other times our weaknesses come to the fore.


Only with a strong relationship with Christ, can we like Peter live with the mistakes of the past, overcome them and move on from them. At the same time, we are to allow Christ to help us to grow and bring others closer to him and enable them to grow in discipleship too.


Fr David

The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Sunday 16th August 2020


Fr David's Reflection


With having three churches, our parish is blessed to have three different patronal feast days in the year. This weekend, because one of the churches is called St Mary of the Assumption, we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady The doctrine of the Assumption teaches us that at the end of her earthly existence, the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken up (assumed), body and soul, into heaven. The implications of this is that if we model our lives on Mary then where she is we will follow.


In today’s Gospel, Mary shared her joy of being told she was to be mother of the Lord by putting herself out and journeying a long way in order to share her good news with Elizabeth, who herself was with child. The spirit of Mary is to put ourselves out for others, share our joy. In sharing our joy, we receive joy in return. Elizabeth greets Mary by saying “blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her by the Lord will be fulfilled”. It’s not simply about being faithful it’s about being blessed, because she not only spoke of her faith she acted on this belief. Faith needs to be expressed in actions. Because of our Christian faith, like Mary we refuse to give up when things get tough.


Faith impells us to struggle on sometimes without the hope of a happy outcome. A person with faith never gives up. Mary is first and foremost the perfect disciple of the Lord. This is why the Church proposes her as a model for us all to follow. That is why we honour her feast day today. We too will be like Mary if we also hear the word of God and act on it.


Fr David

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 9th August 2020


Fr David's Reflection


We can’t see God of course but we can see Him with eyes of faith. It is only in Heaven that we believe that we can see God as he really is. Our faith asks us to trust and to believe that God is present in everything. This is of course not easy for us who live in a world that requires answers to everything. Like myself however I am sure you get experiences that happen every now that are just personal reminders that God is very much around in your life.


In today’s first reading, Elijah the prophet is on the run, being hunted down by the Queen and has had serious doubts about his faith. God reveals himself to Elijah in the simplicity of the sound of a gentle breeze. Elijah does not however see God as he covers his face but he totally believes that God is near. Thanks to this encounter Elijah is spiritually uplifted and renewed in his mission and his purpose.


In today’s Gospel, the disciples are in the boat and are frightened when they are caught in the high winds and rough sea. Jesus comes to his disciples by walking across the water of the angry sea and his presence calms their fears and brings them peace.


In these uncertain times of the Covid virus, may we continue to trust in the reassuring and confident presence of Christ who we know is with us always and especially in times of trial. We pray that he may bring us peace and remind us of his unconditional love for us.


Fr David

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 2nd August 2020


Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes His disciples out into a deserted place, a place of human loneliness, hunger, and thirst. Hungry and thirsty people have followed him out there. When the day was getting long, His disciples tell him the obvious. “They are hungry,” they tell him And Jesus’ responds; “Feed them yourselves.” Which is what He is telling us, His modern day disciples. We are likely to reply, as did to His disciples back then, “All we’ve got are five barley loves and only two fish. But what good that is that among so many? In other words: What good is that in the face of all that has to be done?” There is a lot of need in the world ~ in fact in each and everyone of us there is a longing, a hunger in the midst of our human restlessness. What should we do? The Lord does not leave us empty handed ~ he has given us enough for ourselves as well as plenty to share. He asks us to be open and willing to share. In fact it is only when we realise that we have very little ourselves that we can realise that Jesus himself will do the providing for us ~ all we have to do is to play our part in the sharing and the Lord will do the rest.

Life gives us chances to share ourselves with others and to let others share themselves with us. Are we willing to admit that we have hunger and thirst for something ~ that we have needs? Are we also willing to admit that we are dependent on others to nourish our hearts and souls? It is good to be independent but unless we surrender some of this and admit that we need God and others to meet our needs, then we will end up still thirsting and hungry for some direction in life.


Fr David

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 26th July 2020


Fr David's Reflection


There was an “ice-breaker game”, I used to play a good few years ago when I was a voluntary youth worker and even as a Youth Chaplain ~ it was called: “The questionnaire”. It just consisted of a series of questions about ourselves to be shared in a group. Among the more challenging questions was “what is your most treasured possession?”. When I was younger I would have probably answered; “my bike” or “my guitar”. I am delighted to say that some of the young people had better answers like “family” or “friends”. If I would answer today I would say that “my Catholic faith” is my most treasured possession. I value it more as I have got older but even in the more confusing days of youth it mattered to me even though to be honest, I did not always fully appreciate it.


In the first reading today Solomon is asked by the Lord for the gift he would most like to receive. He chose the gift of wisdom so he could make wise choices and decisions. To even think of asking for such a gift was
wisdom itself!


The parables of the treasure and the peal in today’s Gospel have a similar message; The Kingdom of Heaven is worth investing everything we have to acquire it. However we also need the gift of wisdom in order to see this.

Our faith tells us that God loves us so much he has bestowed upon us great dignity as calling us his children. That is the most precious gift he has given us and should be our most treasured possession. Searching for this, should cost us not less than everything. May the Lord give us the wisdom to seek to build the Kingdom of God by cherishing this great gift of our Catholic faith.


Fr David

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 19th July 2020


Fr David's Reflection


I really have difficulty in seeing someone as all bad, as someone to dislike, as someone who is all bad. I suppose the same is true about saying someone is entirely good too. We are all imperfect ~ no-one is perfect ~ there is surely therefore always something we can notice that is good about everyone. No-one should be condemned or written off. All judgement is to be in the hands of God.


Our own heart is a mixture of both what is good and what is not good. If we think about ourselves, there are bits we like and love about ourselves, there are aspects also that we are not proud of that we really don’t like.


In the parable of the wheat and the darnel, at the beginning of the growth process, both wheat and darnel look the same the darnel looks like wheat. Only at harvest time approaches do we notice a difference ~ they all grow together. The difference between the two then become apparent. In any relationship people enter into a friendship or even a marriage with good intentions ~ it takes the test of time to work out what are the good bits and what are the bad. Everything in life needs the test of time to see what the reality is. There is no substitute for real life. Like the weed and darnel growing together.


Let us ask the Lord’s mercy upon our lives ~ may we be careful and lenient in our thinking and our treatment of others. May we try to eradicate evil in the world and in our lives by beginning with ourselves.


Fr David

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 12th July 2020


Fr David's Reflection


The man in the story of Jesus in today’s gospel is a tenant farmer just like many of his listeners. These farmers did not own the land but farmed land for rich landowners; in return for providing the landowner with a crop, they would get paid in food for their own work. They weren’t always concerned with being careful about the seed for it did not belong to them. Jesus explains the parable later to the disciples. The sower is spreading God’s word but the seeds are different types of people reacting to hearing God’s word. Some just don’t understand and are given over to evil. Some hear it and accept it but then fall away because they have not let the word deeply into their hearts. And as soon as trouble arises or they are questioned or persecuted, they give it up. Still others accept the word but are smothered by the lures of the world – wealth and power. The final category of hearer is the one who tries to understand, who reflects on it, and lives it. These people will bear fruit a hundredfold : these are the living saints among us, while others will still bear fruit in an acceptably high range.


The question to ask ourselves today is where would Jesus place us in his list of those who hear the Word? Will He place us in this last category where we hear and understand the Word, act on it, and bear fruit for others?


Let us ask ourselves in the coming week how receptive we are to welcoming the Word of God in our lives. Throughout the lockdown, with the churches closed, we have had to find new ways and new times and places to hear the Word of God. Hopefully, these challenges have helped us to appreciate the value of the Word of God and a heart that is hungry to be fed on God’s love.


Fr David


14th Sunday In Ordinary Time


Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel Jesus the Master teacher speaks of humility. “For I am gentle and humble of heart”. In our world, we are told to big ourselves up and project ourselves if we want to get on and humility will get you nowhere. However we also don’t like show-offs or big heads or people who are full of themselves. We find them irritating and annoying so we should look for another way forward. Genuine humility is a real gift. A truly humble person does not make a big deal of their status or position in society. We are to model ourselves totally on Christ in every aspect.


When we are around people who are ambitious and proud of themselves, we can tend to feel inadequate and inferior and so become defensive and not enabled to be your best in their presence. Humble people enable others to be at ease and at peace around them and can therefore enable them to bring out the best in others.


So let us the listen to Jesus the Master teacher, let us come to him who yearns for our love and for us to grow in our friendship with him. He will give us peace of mind and rest for our souls. And let us learn from the times when we have let our pride get the better of us and felt foolish. May the Lord help us to move on from such occasions and grow in his grace and love.


Fr David

Feast Day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles Sunday 28th June 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Simon Peter was a fisherman from Capernaum, near the Sea of Galilee. He was with Jesus from the outset of his ministry. His name was changed by Jesus to Peter to be a rock for the Church ~ because Jesus saw within him his strong faith. His faith was a great source of strength for the Early Church.


Saul of Tarsus was a Jewish Pharisee, well educated and very devout in his religious practise. He never actually met Jesus but was persecuting the early Christians because he believed they were a threat to his Jewish faith.


He became Paul the great missionary after his conversion experience on the Road to Damascus. He became a missionary whose main aim in life was to share the Good News that had transformed his life so dramatically.

They were both martyred in Rome for their faith. We give thanks for the faith of these two great heroes of the Church. They are both buried in Rome with great basilicas over their tombs. Today we celebrate the gift of our faith, which has the Apostles as its foundation.


We pray that we may, like Saints Peter and Paul be open to be called by the Lord to respond to his invitation ~ to be formed by his love to change the direction of our lives accordingly: and to be sent out into the world to spread the Good news, that everyone matters to God.


Fr David

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 21st June 2020


Fr David's Reflection


In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to not be afraid. The Lord tells us to trust him. Being honest, truthful and open is always the right way. It is human of course to have fears. We all have to face things we are afraid of in life. Running away from them and not facing them can get us into deeper trouble.


Fears debilitate us, they prevent us from being free to live and to be ourselves. They can prevent us from becoming who we are meant to become. Jesus was calling his disciples to move beyond fear, that is
what true courage can do.


Finding courage to speak out against injustice, telling the truth about an aspect of our lives, or admitting that we have done something wrong takes great courage. Standing up to someone who frightens us, or who is difficult to deal with does take an awful lot of courage.


Courage is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we have received and it tells us that God is with us ; He has equipped with all we need to face our fears and overcome them.


Let us pray that we put deeper trust in the Lord to give us the courage we need to be faithful witnesses and that he will stand by us in our times of trial. Let us remember that God lovingly watches over us just as he watches over the life of the smallest and least valuable of creatures.


Fr David


Corpus Christi Sunday 14th June 2020


Fr David's Reflection for Corpus Christi


Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, which means the Body of Christ. This is a term that is used to describe the Church. Christ is the Head of the Church and we are the Body. In the Blessed Sacrament we are invited to receive the Body of Christ and we are to be like Christ in the way we treat God and other people.


Christ is of course at the centre of this feast. He was full of love throughout his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Love, prayer, service and generosity are also at the heart of what the Eucharist is about.


The word “Eucharist” is another word for the Blessed Sacrament. It derives from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving”. When we celebrate the Mass, we are first and foremost being grateful to God for all the many blessings we receive in our lives.


If anyone should ask us what is unique about being Catholic, I would say that’s its our belief in the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion.


This year, we are not able to receive Holy Communion on this great feast; indeed we are all receiving Our Lord in Spiritual Communion. Despite these challenges that we face, may the Lord enable us to still fittingly celebrate this great gift of our faith on this feast of Corpus Christi.


Fr David


The Most Holy Trinity Sunday 7 June 2020


Fr David's Reflection For Trinity Sunday


Today is Trinity Sunday. On this day we think of our belief that God is one and that he is love. We are privileged however to have had revealed to us through our faith in our Jesus Christ, that God is a community of three equal persons. God is a community of love. It’s a love however that is not exclusive. but a community to which through the Holy Spirit we are invited.


The Father is our Creator. Jesus, in the Gospels, gives us an image of the Father as one whom he loves. He says to have seen him is to have seen the Father because the Father and him are one. He gives us the image of the Father’s house as being where we are called to be in the life to come.


Jesus is the Son, and he is fully God but also fully human. He came among us to bring about the kingdom of God and he is therefore an eternal king.  Out of love, Jesus is utterly obedient to the will of the Father. His symbol is the cross which is the means of our salvation. He rose from the dead at Easter and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.


The Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. Last Sunday, we celebrated Pentecost, when Jesus sent the Spirit upon the Apostles to bring about the Church. We receive him at baptism, and are called to be loving and generous. He allows us to grow and leads us closer to Christ. He leads us into a deeper relationship with God and inspires us to change, and enables us to want to pray and to become more like Christ.


We should see the Trinity as friends to whom we can relate and to whom we can talk in prayer. We are God’s children and we are his family. God is love and our response to such love, can only be to trust in God and show love to one another.


Fr David


Pentecost Sunday - Sunday 31st May 2020


Fr David's Reflection for Pentecost Sunday


Today is the feast of Pentecost, the final day of the season of Easter. This took place fifty days after Easter. The Apostles were together in Jersualem and were unsure about how to move forward and do what Jesus asked of them. The Holy Spirit comes among them and breathes courage into their hearts. This marks the birthday of the Church, because the Church is about people with the Holy Spirit in them. We first receive the Spirit at Baptism. The Holy Spirit has guided the Church through a journey of 2000 years.

The Spirit comes like a powerful wind: we can’t see the wind but we can see what it does. Similarly we can’t see the Holy Spirit but we see what it does in other people. The Church is all about people with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is at work in his Church but we need to look for the signs which are all around us. It would be too easy to miss them or dismiss them.


The Spirit also came upon the disciples as tongues of fire. Fire changes everything, because after a fire everything has changed. It’s also a sign of renewal because after a fire, everything has to be made new again. The disciples were never the same again after Pentecost ~ they were renewed by the Holy Spirit and it was evidenced by their confident proclamation about the Risen Jesus. We are told that those who witnessed this event were "amazed and astonished".


May the Lord bless you on this great feast of the Church. Even though our churches are locked for now, we can still celebrate belonging to the family of the Church in some way. May the Holy Spirit fill you with his love and give you the confidence and courage to be proud of your Catholic faith.


Fr David


Seventh Sunday of Easter - Sunday 24th May 2020


Fr David's Reflection


I always start and end meetings for school or parish with a prayer. Also when I visit a family for baptism or a funeral I always finish my visit by saying a prayer with them. It is usually greatly appreciated. I do this to bring the Lord into the meetings and visits and invite him into our conversations, discussions and decisions.


It’s a powerful thing when someone promises to pray for us. As a priest often people ask you to pray for them . A priest friend of mine often says that the main role of the priest is to pray for the people: “We are paid to pray”.


It is lovely thing when we actually hear someone praying for us. It is very powerful and reassuring to hear them pray and especially when they pray for good things for us. What better thing can we pray for than to pray for eternal life for someone.


In today’s Gospel we hear part of Jesus solemn prayer, set at the Last Supper, where he prays for himself and his disciples. Among other things he prays that the disciples may have eternal life. I wonder how the disciples felt when they heard the Lord pray for them so powerfully, beautifully and confidently. They must have had all sorts of emotions, feelings and thoughts when they heard such a powerful yet beautiful prayer for them. It really was the spirit of Easter, because eternal life becomes a reality and not just a hopeful dream.


Perhaps in the coming days you can let someone know by phone, email, letter or other means that you have been praying for them. It might just be the message they need to hear.


Fr David


Sixth Sunday of Easter - Sunday 17th May 2020


Fr David's Reflection


When I was a child, one of the most important things I was taught to mention in Reconciliation was the sin of disobedience. This would mainly be about not showing respect and obedience to my parents and teachers. This is fairly straightforward because a child does not always have the ability or the understanding to make good decisions or to know what is best. Therefore we are taught to obey because it is important that we take notice of those in charge of us and show them respect.


As we grow older, obedience gets more difficult ~ we have to obey laws and to respect those given authority over us and to comply with all sorts of regulations. Therefore people of all ages because of the virus have recently had to obey new rules about staying at home and social-distancing. The problem with obedience as we grow older is often our pride ~ this means that we may question why someone should have authority over us or know better than us. Pride can be a barrier therefore between ourselves and other people and it can also come between us and God, whom we are also asked to obey.


In today’s Gospel, Jesus is teaching his disciples gathered at the Last Supper, just hours before his terrible death the next day. He uses very powerful words, that come from the heart and says that if they love him they will obey his commandments. His commandments include the following; Do this in memory of me: Be kind to those who hate you; forgive those who do wrong to you ; Do not give up hope when the going gets tough; do not judge others but leave that to God: Do not repay a wrong with a wrong. All these teachings are quite challenging but could be summed up in a single word ”love”. We are simply to love each other as Jesus has loved.  Jesus is asking us also be faithful to him not out of duty, but out of love for him. Our obedience to his teachings is to be in response to his love for us.  This should give us a totally different approach to obedience.


Fr David




Fifth Sunday of Easter - Sunday 10th May 2020 


Fr David's Reflection



Today’s Gospel is set at the Last Supper, just hours before he is going to die a terrible death, Jesus speaks really lovely words of comfort and reassurance. I don’t think the gathered disciples in that upper room realised the enormity of Jesus’ very intimate words to them that night before he died. He says: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God still and trust in me”. He knows full well what is going to happen to Him and he is trying to ease the blow for the disciples, because he knows the next day is going to be really devastating for them. He knows the disciples will literally be all over the place on Good Friday and will find it very hard to accept the particularly violent death, he is about to face. It is incredible that Jesus should even think of saying these very powerful words to his closest friends, however, he is trying to focus them beyond his death and to look to the glory of Easter.


Today’s Gospel reading is very popular at funerals, perhaps because Jesus’ words are so heartfelt and comforting for those who are grieving. When someone we love and have known all our lives is taken from us, our world is shattered. How can life go on! As people of faith, we know death is not the end for our loved one, and we believe because of Easter their soul lives on and can be welcomed into their eternal home through God’s mercy. So to hear words of reassurance from the Lord himself in telling us not be devastated, but to rely on our faith, because God has not abandoned us.  He is close to us in this time of pain. These words are just what we need to hear when we are mourning.

In getting his friends to focus on Heaven and eternal life, Jesus tells them that he Himself is the way to the Father’s House, which is our eternal home. Heaven is where we can see God as he is. We know that the way to get to Heaven is by modelling our lives on Jesus himself. If you think about what being like Jesus means, then we have got to be Christ-like; being obedient to God the Father; being generous, as Jesus literally gave his life for us; we are also to be trusting in God, as the Lord was to the end; we are also to be approachable and easy to get on with, just as He was; and we are to be merciful like He was with sinners, even with those who made him suffer, which means we have to be forgiving when others do wrong to us. Finally let us think of those words of Jesus:

“I am the Way the Truth, no-one can come to Father except through me”.


Fr David


Fourth Sunday of Easter - Sunday 3rd May 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Today is Good Shepherd Sunday. It refers to the fact that Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. A shepherd looks after the sheep entrusted to him, caring for them, seeing to their needs, guiding them and protecting them from harm and danger. In today’s Gospel Jesus calls himself “the gate” of the sheepfold. A gate has an important role; to enclose the sheep and keep them safe, to allow access to those who need to be with the sheep and to keep out everything that would be harmful to them. Jesus always promises to look after his flock the people who make up the Church by making them feel that they belong to him, providing the care and love they need, feeding them with his Body and Blood and ensuring they receive the guidance and example of “shepherds” he has personally chosen for them to act on his behalf. In this way Christ, the Good Shepherd truly is the “gate” through which those serving in the Church must pass.


Today is also a day of prayer for vocations to the sacred priesthood and Religious life. It refers to the fact that people like myself who are priests, believe that because the Risen Lord Jesus is alive, he keeps his promise to look after his Church. He does this by personally calling ordinary people, like Fr Kevin, Fr Emmanuel, Fr Benneth and myself to follow him and dedicate our lives to serving his people in the Church. As priests, we have agreed to be his shepherds by modelling ourselves on Jesus and to be friends with
him by being faithful to prayer. We are also to provide the people entrusted to us with the guidance they need, to help them to understand their Catholic faith as well as to celebrate the Sacraments like the Eucharist and Reconciliation for them.


The Gospel reading ends with a very famous line of Scripture: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (Jn 10 vs 10). These powerful words which were said by Jesus at the Last Supper just before he died, are full of Easter promise. He is telling us that he wants us to be free to enjoy life and not to be held back by our sins and mistakes. This is why he was prepared to go through the terrible hardship of the Cross in order to bring us all the joy and hope that His Resurrection promises.


Fr David

Third Sunday of Easter - Sunday 26th April 2020


Fr David's Reflection


Today’s Gospel is the Road to Emmaus. On Easter Sunday, two disciples are going away from Jerusalem where all the drama has taken place. They are joined by the Risen Jesus but they don’t recognise that He is with them. This is understandable, as they have been traumatised by the events of Good Friday, with all its horrors, and now reports that Jesus is risen have left them very confused, so effectively they are running away.


Jesus, first of all listens to where they are at; they are confused and downhearted, their “faces downcast”! He then puts the events of the last few days into context by explaining all of the Scriptures to them that refer to himself and we are told that their hearts burn within them as He does this. He later joins them at table in the inn and re-enacts what he had done with bread and wine with them, just a few days before at the Last Supper. It is at the breaking of bread that they suddenly realise it is Jesus who is with them, and at
this point Jesus disappears from their sight. This encounter with the Risen Lord has rejuvenated them so much, that they immediately rush back to Jerusalem to excitedly tell the other disciples that it is true that they have seen that he is indeed risen. It’s the same with us, we are often blinded by getting too caught up in the busyness of life, or other things that prevent us from noticing the presence of the Risen Lord, and to
recognise he is with us on our Journey. As with the disciples in the Gospel story, Jesus accepts us where we are at, he wants to reassure us of his presence even at times of great concern and anxiety. When we come to Mass on a Sunday, the Day the Lord rose from the dead, Jesus speaks to us in the Gospel and we witness “the breaking of the bread” which is the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. At the end of Mass we are dismissed or “sent out” to glorify the Lord by being faithful to his Gospel and bringing his love to everyone we meet.


A simple way of being aware that the Risen Lord Jesus is always at our side is Bishop John’s prayer, which takes its inspiration from today’s Gospel story:


Stay with us Lord on Our Journey.


Fr David


Second Sunday of Easter - Sunday 19th April 2020


Fr David's Reflection


We always have the story of Thomas for the Gospel on the second Sunday of Easter. It reminds me that for some people, the Resurrection really is too much to believe. Just as St Peter would never be able to shed the “denials of Christ“ from his life, so too Thomas will always be remembered for his doubts about the Resurrection. Thomas was missing when the Risen Lord had appeared to the disciples on that first Easter Sunday. He helped them to make the huge leap of faith required to come to believe in the Resurrection. However, it is one thing to believe what you see with your own eyes, it’s quite another to believe something on the strength of what another person has seen.


There was an honesty about Thomas in what he was saying ~ the horrors of Good Friday would have been very vivid in his mind. It was unheard of for someone to come back from the dead; Therefore Thomas was speaking with the voice of reason. For us to believe in something, it has to make to make sense to us, so we need to satisfy both our faith and our reason. Jesus appeared eight days after rising from the dead, so that Thomas could see for himself that he was alive and to enable him see and touch his wounds which he had stated he needed to do in order to believe what the others were telling him. The experience is humbling for him, but it enabled Thomas to make that leap of faith that brings him to address Jesus as “My Lord and My God”. After overcoming this barrier to faith, Thomas is then able to fulfil his vital role along with the other Apostles of being an authentic witness to the Resurrection.


When we have any doubts or questions about our faith maybe we can ask the help of St Thomas, asking him to open our eyes of faith so we can see the Lord’s presence clearly. We remember the Risen Lord’s words said to Thomas that apply to us: “Happy are those have not seen but yet believe”.


Fr David



Easter Sunday - Sunday 12th April 2020

Fr David's Easter Sunday Reflection


We cannot have Easter Sunday and all its joys without first having Good Friday with all its drama, pain, horror, trauma and sorrow. When we are experiencing Good Friday moments, of suffering, feeling alone, lost and struggling we should remember Easter Sunday. Easter is massive for us. It is the most important aspect of our Catholic faith. It simply tells us that the Lord has once and for all conquered sin and death. We have had over six weeks of Lent to prepare for Easter and now we will spend a further 7 weeks celebrating Easter. We also celebrate the Easter event every Sunday, which is the reason why it is our Sabbath Day and why we normally come to Mass.


On that first Easter Sunday, we hear in the Gospel that John and Peter go down to the empty tomb. They do this in order to see with their own eyes what they have told by the women who were the first witnesses to this momentous event. They see the clothes rolled up, where the Lord had been lain and the penny drops! Until that moment they had not really understood what Jesus meant when He said that he would suffer, die but rise again on the third day. Jesus had tried to tell them, but they had failed to fully understand until that day arrived. They would not look back from this moment on Easter Sunday.


This year, there is a danger that our Easter celebrations are overshadowed by our isolation because of the virus. Let us ensure that we do mark Easter and despite the restrictions still make it special in some way. Let us perhaps make more time today to just be with our family or those we live with and enjoy who they are. We thank God for this greatest feast that gives us hope and joy, even in the midst of worry, fear and anxiety. He Is Risen. Alleluia. Happy Easter.


Fr David

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord Sunday 5th April 2020

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


There was a very catchy song a few years ago called “price tag” which spoke of someone wanting to be spoiled by her lover and asking that they give her everything she asked for, regardless of how much it cost. The song contained the line “forget about the price tag”! Everything has a price and therefore it is often unwise to forget what things cost. The danger of doing this is that when we forget about the price we can take things for granted.


There was a very big price tag on our salvation: it cost Jesus a great deal: He was betrayed by Judas for 30 silver pieces; He was denied by Peter 3 times when he most needed a good friend; He was rejected by the crowd, many of whom just days before had welcomed the Lord into Jerusalem by waving palm branches and they now urged Pilate to release Barrabas and instead crucify Him; He was flogged, mocked and spat upon by the Roman soldiers; although weak Jesus had to carry a heavy cross to Calvary, where he was stripped and nailed to the Cross. Our salvation came with a huge price tag!


Therefore the Palm Sunday liturgy for Mass with its contrasts between joy and sorrow, starkly remind us that it was a mighty price for Jesus to pay for our sins to be forgiven: but He thought we were well worth it; we were worth dying for, we were worth everything. The one thing, however that we must not do is to forget what the Lord did for us. So in this coming Holy Week we are to celebrate and remember the extent of the Lord’s love for us. Let us fully enter into the mystery of Holy Week and although this year, we cannot physically take part in the powerful ceremonies, they will be celebrated in private and so we can still mark the Paschal mystery albeit in a a quieter, more challenging way. Let us allow ourselves to join in the Easter Triduum as best we can spiritually, but with hearts still grateful to God. May we grow in our gratitude for Jesus who gave his all for us. The current words on our Christian lips should perhaps be “don’t forget about the price tag!”


(Fr. David)

Fifth Sunday of Lent Sunday 29th March 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Everyone’s lives have been turned upside down by the Corona virus. We are being asked to stay at home, stay away from others and effectively go into quarantine. We are not able to come to Mass or receive Holy Communion, Reconciliation or the other sacraments or even to pray in our churches, which for now are closed. Totally right as all these measures are, they are very difficult for us to adapt to, because as Christians we are more naturally inclined to come together, to be in union and communion with others.


Surprisingly I am seeing the privilege of being able to celebrate a private Mass with parishioners being in “spiritual communion” as enriching its celebration in a new way.


The image of the 10th Station of the Cross whereby our Lord is “stripped” of his garments comes to mind in reflecting about our current situation. We are “stripped” of wonderful things that we have got used to and suddenly we find ourselves having to completely rethink how we practice our faith and how we act as Church. It is striking that this “stripping” for us, should coincide with Lent, because Lent is a time of change and growth as we prepare to commemorate the Death and the Resurrection of Our Lord. We began our journey of Lent committing to fast, pray and give to others in order to centre our lives more fully on God, and yet now most of us find ourselves having to continue to do this without the assistance of what we always thought would be there to support us.


In the Gospel, Ezekiel’s vision of God restoring life out of death comes true. Jesus builds on the faith of Martha, and in order to show the glory of God, raises from the dead his dear friend Lazarus who has been in the tomb for 4 days. We know that those who believe in the Lord will never die, they will live forever. Martha believed to the point of knowing for certain that Jesus was her Lord and Saviour. Like Martha, may we who also believe and trust in Christ as Our Lord and God, hand over all our fears for ourselves and our loved ones, to the One who brings us life, and who has conquered sin and death for ever.


(Fr. David)


Fourth Sunday of Lent Sunday 22nd March 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


We are currently living in extraordinary times and are therefore going to encounter new challenges as we travel these unchartered waters, caused by the Corona virus. The Decision of the Bishops of England and Wales to suspend the celebration of Public Sunday Mass for the time being, has like many of you, made me stop and think. A number of people have expressed their deep sadness to me in the last few days at not being able for the first time in their lives to come to Sunday Mass or receive Holy Communion. It is equally going to be very strange for me as a priest celebrating Mass without a congregation.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus cures a man born blind. By putting his trust in God the man is gradually enabled to see clearly who Jesus is through his faith. The Lord is then able to let him see with his eyes for the first time in his life. The Lord is al-so calling us to trust him and to see life and every situation through the eyes of faith.

Fr Kevin was recently telling me how he has found the last four months when he has been in isolation: that although it has been difficult and challenging at times, he has seen it as a grace-filled time, and has taken the period as an opportunity to create more time for prayer and reflection. I honestly feel that some good things will also come for the Church and our country from this challenging time that we are all facing. I pray that we might all grow in this time of Lent in our faith and in our appreciation for the Mass and many of the other good things that we enjoy in our lives. May you be assured of my prayers for each of you and those you love. Please remember me and all the priests in our Diocese in your prayer and spiritual communion.




Third Sunday of Lent Sunday 15th March 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


In today’s Gospel, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well in the heat of the midday sun. She has made a lot of mistakes and as a result is no doubt the source of much local gossip. It’s for this reason that she comes at the hottest point of the day, when most people would be indoors and so a time when she can avoid her neighbours. Jesus convinces her by talking about “living water” that she needs God in her life. She has come to seek water from the well but is “thirsting” for something else in her life: a chance to change, to be forgiven her sins and to be given a clear new direction for her life. The woman asks questions of Jesus then seizes the opportunity that He gives her to change her way of life. Remarkably this is one very rare moment in the Gospels when he literally discloses his true identity as the Christ.


By the end of the encounter with Jesus, in her excitement the Samaritan woman leaves behind her water jar and the very reason she came to the well, which shows her priorities had changed as a result of the chance encounter with Jesus. She is then eager to seek out her neighbours and to tell them all about Jesus. Jesus began by asking the woman to give him a drink of water and ended up giving her everything she needed to get her life back on track.


Lent is a time for giving. Jesus gave the woman something money could not buy; he gave her hope and a chance to start again. The spirit of Lent is to give without counting the cost to us: when we give we
should not do it for ourselves but for the Lord and the good of all. Let us reflect on what we could give to others that would change their lives for the better.


(Fr David)

Second Sunday of Lent Sunday 8th March 2020

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


It seems strange at first sight that the Church always has an account of the transfiguration on the second Sunday of Lent each year as it is focusing on Easter. We might ask should it not come more towards the end of the journey? The rest of the weeks of Lent focus particularly on the conversion and coming to faith, especially in Year A, where will have the conversion to faith of the Samaritan woman by Jesus, then the Man born blind who comes to faith. Then on the 5th Sunday of Lent we will revisit the future glory with the account of the raising of Lazarus from the tomb. Then we will commemorate Palm Sunday with its sharp focus on the Passion and death of Jesus. So the Transfiguration of Jesus really fits particularly well in this year with its focus on the future glory and the need for faith, courage and trust in God.


In today’s Gospel, the Lord takes three of his disciples up to the top of a mountain, where they are privileged to see him as he is now in glory. Peter was inclined to “freeze-frame” the moment for a duration, but the Lord knew they had to come back down the mountain and face his terrible passion and death and all that went with it, before he could attain that future glory.


It reminds us that Lent is a time for us to grow stronger in our faith and in our belief. It is a time for us to grow in resilience and inner strength so that we are prepared to face all the trials and difficulties that life throws at us. Lent is a time for us to prepare well for the glory of Christ’s Resurrection at Easter. Jesus encourages us to grow closer to him in faith and love. It is a time to get our lives back on track and move away from selfishness and sin. The Lord asks us to keep on trusting him, keep on following him and not be afraid because he is always with us on this pilgrimage of life journeying towards the Promised Land of heaven.


(Fr David)


First Sunday of Lent Sunday 1st March 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Lent lasts for over 6 weeks and its length is based on the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert, when he fasted and prayed. This took place after his baptism and was in preparation for the start of his three year ministry of healing and preaching, which would culminate in his Death and Resurrection.


As always on the first Sunday of Lent, in today’s Gospel we hear of the end of the 40 days in the desert and the temptation of Jesus, when he is physically weak but spiritually strong. Therefore he is able to say “No” to the attractive temptations put to him by Satan.


The main disciplines of Lent have their roots in the time of Jesus in the desert. So we are also asked to fast, to show that we have control over our appetites with God’s help. We are asked to pray and have more time for God by listening as well as speaking to him. We are additionally asked to give in a variety of ways including our money, our time, our love especially to those in need.


Whatever we do for Lent we are to remember that Lent should help us to change and model our lives more fully on Christ. Our Lenten commitments should therefore strengthen us to be more resistant to the temptations to sin. Let us remember the purpose of our Lenten journey is to bring ourselves closer to Christ, to become better people and to get our lives back on track for Easter and beyond.


(Fr David)


Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 23rd February 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Today’s Gospel teaching is very powerful and extremely challenging for us: Jesus tells us “love your enemies”: Maybe we don’t have enemies as such but we all know people who we mind challenging and make us feel uncomfortable and it’s to them that we need to show love by being extra patient and praying for them. We can always try to look for the goodness or potential for good that lies within each and every person we know. He also tells us to “go the extra mile”. This means showing forgiveness time after time : it means letting go of grudges and resentment, it means shedding thoughts of getting someone back for harming us. All of this will free us to be able to live as God wants us to live: to be free from the harm that the clutter of storing up resentment and hurt inside of us can do to us. We will therefore be free to put all our energy into living and loving as Jesus did.


The Lord also speaks of loving ourselves too. He is not speaking of a selfish love but of a love that allows us to be comfortable with who we are. It enables us to know that because God has created us, we are filled with his goodness and the potential for eternal life with him. The things we find hard to love about ourselves are the howling mistakes that we have made, when we have let our loved ones down, let ourselves down and also let down the Lord. We should be to so open to his divine grace that we can live with these imperfections and know that through Jesus Christ we are quite simply redeemed of all that is not perfect about us.


On Wednesday of this week we will begin the holy season of Lent by presenting ourselves to have ashes placed on our foreheads as a sign of our repentance. Lent is time to change and to become more like Christ in every aspect of ourselves. In this Year of the Word may we listen to the challenging words of Our Lord in today’s Gospel and respond to them by the way we treat one another in the coming week.


Fr David)


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 16th February 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word this Week


In today’s Gospel Jesus affirms that the laws of God are good . He encourages us to keep the Ten Commandments but he asks us to do a bit more too. Most laws are not there to make life difficult for us but to keep us on the right track. Without laws, people would be allowed to do whatever they liked and this would result in disorder and chaos. Jesus pulled up the Scribes and Pharisees for being too legalistic: they were too caught up with keeping the letter of the law that for example, they would not even help someone who needed help if it went against the laws of the Sabbath.


The laws of God are to keep us on the right track towards eternal life with God. Jesus says that we must also keep his commandment too ~ the commandment to love. The backdrop to everything we do should be love. If we wonder whether something we are about to do will be pleasing to God, then just ask yourself ~ am I doing this out of love? If the answer is affirmative then you can be fairly sure that it is going to be pleasing to God.


(Fr David)

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 9th February 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week

We are currently in the Year of the Word and we are being urged to essentially listen to God’s Word. Imagine being present when Jesus told some of his famous parables or preached the sermon on the mount. Every time we dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God, we should be prepared to “catch” some particular message that the Lord is hoping to say to us.


In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls us to be like salt to the Earth. At one time salt was as precious as gold and thus soldiers were paid their wages in salt. When Jesus calls us to be like salt, he is reminding us that we are of great value and worth to God. Just as a small amount of salt improves the flavour of the food it touches, then we are also called to make a huge difference by doing all that is asked of us by the Lord. We are asked to show lots of little acts of kindness to each other, to give and not count the cost, and to show love where there is disharmony and strife. If we do everything for the Lord then his grace and goodness will permeate every aspect of life that it touches.


We are also called to be light to the world. The Lord himself is of course the Light of the world. He comes to take away the fear of sin and death. He comes to bring peace and hope. Whenever we are faithful to the Lord and his Gospel, we are letting his light shine on the world. Whenever we choose to forgive and let go of grudges towards those who have wronged us then we are shining his light brightly. Whenever we stand up for what we believe in and even face hostility and persecution for our faith, then we are allowing the Lord’s light to shine forth.


(Fr David)


Feast of the Presentation Sunday 2nd February 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week 


Today is the Feast of the Presentation which is celebrated 40 days after Christmas to complete the celebration of the Incarnation. Candles are lit and blessed today to welcome in Christ, the Light of the World.


In today’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph go to the Temple in Jerusalem to present Jesus to the Lord according to what the Jewish Law required of them. Simeon and Anna being filled with the Spirit were dedicated to God and spent much of their time praying at the Temple. When the Holy Family arrived at the Temple, the Spirit allowed these two individuals to recognise Jesus as the Son of God.


Simeon and Anna were both elderly when the promise made them by the Lord was fulfilled in the Temple. Anna and Simeon remind us of the value of old age and how it can be a time to mature in our faith and our relationship with God. They saw the face of their saviour in the latter days of their life.


Just as He did with Anna and Simeon in today’s Gospel, the Holy Spirit , who is present within each of us through our baptism can guide and direct us too, to proclaim Christ’s presence in the world today. By living out the Gospel to the best of our ability, people will know that Christ is present here and now, not so much because of what we say but most especially because our actions back up these words.


(Fr David)



Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 26th January 2020

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Behind discipleship is always an aspect of sacrifice, doing something for God; that means surrendering ourselves into his hands and to be trusting that all things will work out. It means giving up other possibilities and other paths that life may offer. In the life of a priest for example, it means celibacy, giving up having a family; it means making a promise of obedience to your bishop ~ so working through him God will send you to the people he wants you to serve. In other words where he wants to minister, work and live. Speaking to most priests and religious who give their lives to the Lord, we feel we are repaid many times over by the most lavish of givers, God himself, who is never outdone in his generosity to us.


In the gospel we see Jesus settling in Capernaum and the first thing he does is seek companions which is a natural human thing to want to seek friendship and companionship. In calling the fishermen he is also preparing for the fulfilment of his mission because it on these four men and 8 others that God’s rescue mission will be founded. It is interesting to note that a third of the apostles, should be fishermen from Galilee. They had plenty to leave behind: a livelihood, a business, a family, stability, some control over their lives. They were ready to move out of their comfort zones to join this travelling preacher. Whatever happened to them that day by the lake, they were moved somehow to respond, and something within themselves told them that it was God’s work they were being called to do.


We too are called to follow the Lord in our own lives. As people of faith, we are called to realise and trust that the Lord is at work today, we are always in his presence, although veiled to us. Just as he called the fishermen and used their natural gifts and qualities, he will use ours too. Like them we too must simply each day say yes to his invitation to follow him. To follow him means putting into practise his teachings and putting service of Jesus and one another at the centre of our very being. It means putting into God’s hands all our gifts, talents, our time, our very selves. We are to remember that whenever we are generous with God he will always give it back to us many times over.


(Fr David)


Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 19th January 2020

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week

I am a big fan of the Catholic French writer whose 50th anniversary is in September this year, and I intend to mark with a Mass in French in Burnley in his memory, the details of which I will keep you informed. Commenting about today’s Gospel Mauriac writes; “That which had passed between them at the first meeting between the Lord and Andrew and John son of Zebedee was the secret of a more then human love, love inexpressible. Already the lighted fire was catching from tree to tree, from soul to soul”.


That first encounter we hear of with John and his disciples is really important. This is like the first spark of his mission. Like the first spark that begins a forest fire, which spreads from one tree to another this inexpressible divine love is always infectious and moves quickly from one human soul to another. John is then able to witness that Jesus is the Lamb of God having witnessed the spirit like a dove come down upon him at his baptism as we heard about last Sunday as we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord.


As Christians, we are to try each day to keep the flame of faith alive in our hearts to burn brightly so that others may be drawn to catch that infectious love for Christ. Though sinners ourselves we can bring the message of conversion and hope that comes through professing Jesus the Lamb of God to be the Lord of our lives and our hearts.


(Fr David)


The Baptism Of The Lord Sunday 12th January 2020

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Last week we celebrated the Epiphany, a revealing of who the child born in the manger really is, in the calling of the magi by God through the star. Like the Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord is also an unveiling of who Jesus truly is. In today’s feast, his true identity is revealed to the chosen people gathered that day at the River Jordan to be the Beloved Son by the voice of God himself. Through such affirmation, he was given the power he needed for the three year ministry he was about to begin.


At the heart of the Incarnation is God coming among us to live a fully human life and to show us how God wants us to live. To do this, God had to totally immerse himself into the fullness of human life. Between the actual Epiphany and the beginning of his ministry marked by Christ’s Baptism are some thirty years. Apart from one incident at the age of 12 nothing really is known about those years , nothing else is recorded in the scriptures about them. For this reason they are known as the hidden years. We know he lived under the authority of Mary and Joseph. He would have done all the normal things that human beings do; experience family life, make friends, go to school, go to synagogue. In fact he would have experienced all the things human beings absorb themselves in. This included their fears, the things that worried them as well as the things they looked forward to . There is no substitute to the living out of ordinary life. These hidden years were not wasted years by any means, they were vital years, when we are told he grew in wisdom and stature . The Parables he told, the compassion and understanding he shows during his ministry, make manifest a deep understanding of human life. They illustrate that he had totally experienced and understood the life he had lived to the full.


Today we think of our own Baptism and we thank the Lord for this great gift by which we become children of God and members of the Church. May the Lord help us to live out the grace of Baptism by you showing the Lord the trust of a child and by becoming ambassadors of the Lord’s peace and love to one another.


(Fr David)


The Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 5th January 2020


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Epiphany means manifestation, making-known, a moment of understanding. We celebrate this Feast by a change to our main Christmas focal point in the crib in church. We are still in the season of Christmas, but the mood has changed now. Until now the focus has been on the Lord being born as one of us. Who this child really is, has been revealed directly by angels to Joseph, Mary and the shepherds.


At this point in the Christmas season the focus looks to the future and we see who this child is for and so we introduce the magi (the kings). The magi were learned men from different countries and most importantly unlike Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, they were non-Jews, they are what we call Gentiles. They represent the Good News that this Child, the Son of God has come to bring. This is a message of salvation not just to the chosen people of God but to all nations. As we hear in the psalm: “All Nations shall fall prostrate before you”. Most of us are not Jewish but we are from "the nations" who were given the Faith, so the magi represent us.


The magi were guided by a star to see the Lord Jesus. We also need to be like a star, we need to burn brightly in order for our lives to be a vehicle for the Lord to make himself known to the world through us. The Lord is constantly looking for opportunities to make himself known to others, however, sin and selfishness and half-heartedness can often diminish the light of the Lord within us. Maybe we need to see what aspect of Our lives need attention in order for us to be better ambassadors of the Lord’s love.


Lord Jesus, we thank you for making yourself known to us in so many different ways. Through the guidance of a star, the magi came to see who you really are. Help us to be instruments of your Epiphany to the people of a world desperately needing to know you and see who you are. Through Christ Our Lord Amen.


(Fr David)


The Holy Family Sunday 29th December 2019


Fr David's Reflection on The Word This Week


The family is at the heart of Christmas. Like many of you, this year I was invited to spend Christmas day with my family. Christmas is a time to come home and be with those we love, especially when we are separated from them by distance. Like many people, my own family have given me an experience of what love is and what God is through the love I received from my parents and the sacrifices they made over many years for me.


Many families face the ups and downs of life by offering support and encouragement to one another. Of course this is not always the case. The model offered by the Church is the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They had to face many difficulties including the flight into Egypt to escape the threat of death by King Herod of innocent children. The light of faith of both Mary and Joseph was surely tested by such experiences, but proved to be strong enough to shine through the darkness of the fear and uncertainty they had to face.


It is in the family that the gift of faith is handed onto the children of Christian parents when they are presented for the sacrament of baptism. On this Feast of the Holy Family we think about how God entered human history as a vulnerable baby, born into poverty but destined to save the world. We think of Mary, conceived without sin to become the Mother of God ~ we marvel at her faith and confidence in God’s Word. We also think of St Joseph who put his faith and hope in God to guide him through the circumstances of the Incarnation.


May the Lord bless all the families in our parish of the Good Samaritan in this season of Christmas. May we be grateful to the Lord for all the blessings we receive. May he bless our families with good health and provide them all that they need. May the Lord help all the families that are experiencing difficulties. May those who feel they do not belong to a family remember that they are part of the family of God.


(Fr David)


Fourth Sunday in Advent Sunday 22nd December 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Both Mary and Joseph are our companions during this short 4th week of Advent. In today’s Gospel, they are guided through the difficult circumstances surrounding the birth of Our Lord. Joseph is a good and upright man and he wants to do the right thing. However we are told that he changes his mind after he is guided by an angel in a dream and he then decides to take Mary as his wife.

Joseph’s role is vital in the story of the Incarnation. It is Joseph who is related to King David and hence through Joseph, Jesus can be known as the Son of David. Joseph will provide himself as the legal father to Jesus ~ he will provide a home and food on the table for Jesus and Mary. He will also go on to enable Jesus to become known as the carpenter’s son.

So often, many of us look to be noticed and the centre of attention, but life is not about that, we all have a part to play in life and we are to work out what it is that God asks of us. We can do far worse than be inspired by Joseph’s simple faith and trust in God. He is humble but in his own quiet way, he accepts that he also has a privileged role in the story of salvation. He carries out this role with great dignity and knows he is part of something truly divine.

We see the hand of God in today’s Gospel guiding Mary and Joseph through the difficult circumstances surrounding the birth of Our Lord. Let us pray for all foster parents that they may inspired by the example of the generosity and humility of St Joseph. May both Mary and Joseph inspire us, particularly through their faith and trust in God in uncertain times, encourage and guide us on the final stage of our Advent journey to draw closer to Christ.

(Fr David)


Third Sunday In Advent: Gaudete Sunday 15th December 2019


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Today is Gaudete Sunday, which speaks of joy. Today we light the pink (rose) candle and the priest can wear rose-coloured vestments. This is because the coming of the Lord is getting nearer and so the mood of Advent changes from solemnity to joy.


In today’s Gospel, Jesus answers the messengers of John by saying that in Him the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah is happening before their very eyes: “the eyes of the blind are opened: the ears of the deaf unsealed: the lame shall leap like the deer...”


So the Lord asks us also to look for signs that He is coming: let us look for things in life that make us filled with joy. It is likely to be simple things, not complicated things that bring you joy: the smile of a child; someone remembering to send you a Christmas card: an answer to prayer. Whatever brings us joy let us always know the true source of joy is the Lord.


Finally, In the second reading St James tells us to: “be patient, brothers, until the Lords coming" we must therefore be patient for the Lord’s coming. we must be patient with each other, be patient in prayer and be patient in silence. At this time of year, when queues for everything can be much longer than usual, patience can be in quite short supply, so let our joy be anchored in patient prayerful anticipation.


(Fr David)


Second Sunday in Advent


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Do we need, in this time of preparation to have a change of direction in our lives? Do we need to admit that the priorities we have could with a reshuffle? Are the lives we lead too complicated? Do we need to straighten them out by making life more simple?


If our answer to any of these questions is yes, then we are given by the Church just the person we need. Our companion for the second week of Advent is John the Baptist. He tells people to have a change of heart to prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of God. He is the fulfullment of Isaiah who tells us to make the paths of the Lord straight. In Advent we have a chance to reflect and to think about the direction our lives are going.


John is not an easy or comfortable companion for us but he will look us in the eye and ask us gently but firmly to invite the Lord more fully into our lives; to be more honest and more truthful with ourselves and other people. He also tells us to be more trusting of the Lord as we see the need to change.


The Lord calls many people to be a disciple, to love one another and to spread the good news. If we can be as faithful as we possibly can be to the Lord’s teachings, if we can be full of love for the Church and Our Lord himself then we are going to enable those we encounter to desire to grow closer to Christ and His Church themselves.


(Fr David)


First Sunday in Advent


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


Advent literally means coming. It is a time for preparation for Christmas. There can be a danger that we allow Christmas to smother our experience of the season of Advent. Advent is a time of spiritual preparation ~ it’s a time to slow down, when society is telling us to get busy. Its also a time to think and reflect upon the enormity of what we are celebrating at the Feast of the Incarnation: the coming of God among us. Its also a sobering time for to reflect on the anticipated second coming of Christ at the end of time.


Our companion for the first Sunday of Advent is the prophet Isaiah. He foresees the Incarnation of the Lord God who chooses to come and stay with his people. His ways will lead to peace.  As part of his vision, Isaiah sees that all weapons will be reshaped to be used in farming to bring life and nourishment.


Our central focal point in Church during Advent is the Advent Wreath with the progressive lighting of the 5 candles to mark the stages we reach as we approach Christmas. Jesus is the meaning of Christmas. He is the meaning of human existence. The baby born in the stable, in poverty and helplessness as God made man, is our light and hope. During Advent we lift up our hearts as we journey in praise and thanksgiving towards Jesus who is the Light of the World, the light which darkness could not extinguish or overcome.


(Fr David)


Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King 24th November 2019

Fr David's Reflection on The Word This Week


The Magi brought appropriate gifts for the new-born baby Jesus. Among the treasures they brought was gold; this was in recognition that this child was a king. Jesus was to become a Universal and Eternal King. Shepherds who were outcasts, were the first to set eyes on the new-born King. Through the way Jesus treated them, those on the margins were to recognise the nature of the Kingdom of God. Jesus pushed no one away, indeed he welcomed the sick, those whom society shunned like tax collectors and those whose actions made them unclean in the sight of the law. Jesus revealed his Kingdom as being one where every person mattered, regardless of what they have done or their status in the community. His Kingdom turned upside down the accepted values of the day.


Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. There is no better illustration of what sort of King Jesus is, than the scene in today's Gospel with the two thieves on the cross with the Lord. In saying "Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom", this man branded as an outcast and a criminal in the eyes of the worlds, retains his dignity in the presence of God. He is assured by the Lord than even people like him, matter considerably in the eyes of God. His trust and confidence in the dying Christ results in him being promised salvation.


In the coming week let us play our part in making Christ our King, which we do by listening to his Word and inviting him to make his home in our hearts. In so doing he invites to be builders of his Kingdom, by trying to see the potential in everyone; by giving everyone another chance, and by remembering that everyone is known and loved by God.


(Fr David)


Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 17th November 2019


Fr David's Reflection on The Word This Week


We all look forward to our birthdays, especially as children. However when we get older, birthdays can be less enjoyable because they are a reminder of our increasing age which perhaps is not so welcome! It is nevertheless important to mark these occasions in some way because they represent the gift of our lives from God. Our earthly lives are temporal because we are not immortal.


The readings at Mass today remind us of our mortality and that even magnificent buildings like the Temple will not endure old age or human destruction. Jesus calls upon us to show endurance and asks if our faith can be strong enough to hold firm even in the face of death. He means that keeping the Faith and continuing to trust in the teachings and promises of Our Lord even through the traumatic ordeals and troubles of life, is vital for our eternal lives.


He asks us to take seriously his provident care of us; To the Lord every little detail of our lives matters to him and is known to him. So he can rightly say: "not a hair of your head will be lost!"


Let us thank the Lord for the wisdom we find in those who are older than us and ask him to bless them. May we also give good example and encouragement to those who are younger than ourselves so they may appreciate the gifts from the Lord that endure such as faith, love, friendship and sincerity. May we value the blessing of each day, month and year that God gives to us!

(Fr David)


Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Remebrance Sunday 10th November 2019 

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week

Jesus is asking us today to say what it is we really believe about what happens to us when we die. When somebody is told that they are going to die it's always so much more comforting for them and their loved ones if they do have faith in the resurrection; that death is not the end.


On this Remembrance Sunday we think of those brave men and women who died in two World Wars and other conflicts to stand up for our country. Many of them died at a young age, may we never forget their generosity and courage.


For me, resurrection and eternal life after death makes sense of our lives, even if our death is untimely, because it clarifies the meaning of human life, and it makes sense of death as well. Today's Gospel emphasises the reality of life after death. Jesus instructs the proud Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, that if God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob then they must be living, even though they have died. Otherwise, God would be God of the death, and this is unthinkable.


So, how about you? Do you really believe in the resurrection? It is an important questions because it influences how we live our lives. We should not put off answering the question until we find ourselves in the process of dying to contemplate it and then have to respond to it.


(Fr David)


Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time 3rd November 2019 


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


"Little by correct those who offend". These words about God from today's first reading from the book of Wisdom are truly fulfilled in the Gospel in the attitude of Jesus with Zacchaeus the tax-collector. Jesus reaches out to this public sinner and invites himself to dine at his house. Zacchaeus joyfully embraces this opportunity to repent, change his ways and move away from a life of wealth, isolation and sin. He shows that he means business by his offer to repay what has taken from his fellow citizens.


The people of Jericho despise Zacchaeus for his wrongdoing, so unsurprisingly they are not impressed that Jesus befriends him and wishes to go into the house of such a sinner. They forget that Zacchaeus is not the only sinner in town because like us, they too are all sinners. So we should be delighted when someone who we know is on the wrong path in life sees the error of their ways and desires to change.


This account shows that everyone matters to God. All that God has created is good and He really wants to give everyone a chance of salvation. Jesus says in the Gospel; "The Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost". He indicates quite clearly that God does not want to reject anyone or push them away because He cares infinitely about every single person. Like Zacchaeus, we are also sinners and also children of Abraham. Therefore we also need a chance to change and receive forgiveness for our mistakes and weaknesses. May we also share the Lord's fervour and joy for all those in our own time, who seize their chances to be reconciled.

(Fr David)



Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time 27th October 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Most of us would recognise ourselves in both people: At times we can be the proud and arrogant person and at other rimes we can become very contrite and aware of our weaknesses, our sinfulness and be truly humble before God.


Inspired by the words of the tax collector’s heart-felt words in this Gospel, Orthodox Christians formulated a prayer as follows: “Lord Jesus Christ Son of the living God , have mercy on me a sinner. This is known as the Jesus prayer. It was used by monks and others in monasteries and became central in their spiritual lives.

This is a prayer that reflects the humility Jesus calls for us to have through the parable of today’s Gospel. You can pray it all day long whenever you find a moment; for a few minutes before going to sleep or when you feel tempted or even when you are waiting for a bus or are in traffic.


Hollow prayers that are empty of love but puffed up with pride for ourselves mean nothing to God. Humble words sound out more sweetly in the ears of our compassionate, merciful Lord. Let our prayers always be sincere, our humility genuine, and our hearts filled with love as we approach the Lord who hears us before we even ask him.


(Fr David)


Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time 20th October 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week



Prayer is any communication with God and should involve listening just as much a speaking. We are urged to vocalise our prayers of intercession to God, who already knows our needs before we ask. However Jesus stresses the significance and the need to, nonetheless, still do the asking.


I am delighted at the response to the invitation to compose a prayer for our new parish and particularly at the quality of the thinking and creativity that went into these prayers. We now have now got a new parish prayer to help us on our journey as one big parish to really be truly united and grow in cooperation and love.

In any activity in life we quickly learn that we should never give up. We are to persevere and be patient in all things in life. Everything comes to those who wait.


Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel that we need to apply the same principals to prayer. We are called to be patient, to persevere and to never give up. Using the example of a woman seeking justice from a judge who is not particularly upright, Jesus tells us that God who is all loving will surely listen to our prayers and will grant them if they be according to his will.  Jesus is urging us not to be disheartened if our prayers do not seem to be listened to. If our prayers are unselfish, for other people’s needs and are genuine and sincere in their nature then let us leave them in God’s hands and for him to respond in his own way and his own good time. Most importantly Jesus urges us to persist in prayer and to trust his words.

(Fr David)


Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Sunday 13th October 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word this Week 


Jesus has come to show us that salvation is possible for all, through him. His offer of salvation crosses the borders of nationality and race as well as long standing feuds from the past. Suffering and illness can change us and can make us grow in faith, in appreciation, in gratitude or it can make us bitter and resentful. Pain and suffering can bring  people closer to God or they can drive people away from him.


In today’s Gospel , Jesus tells the Samaritan leper that his faith has saved him. Conversion and salvation are separate events:  all the lepers were healed  and all ten of them seemed to believe Jesus had the power to  cure but only this foreigner was converted, healed and saved. He had the faith and insight to recognise the source of this unexpected healing.


So we are asked to be grateful people to grow in our faith in the Lord despite the difficult and unpleasant experiences that life can throw at us. To see that through faith and the promise of salvation lie lasting healing of body, mind and soul which is when a person can be open to discover their  road to eternal salvation.


Coming to Mass on the Lord’s day is the best way to show we are grateful people, it’s the perfect way to show our gratitude to God for all the blessings in our life. At today’s Sunday Eucharist , let us bring to the Lord at least  ten ways in which we feel we have been blessed by him in the week that has just passed. In the expression of our appreciation may we humbly grow in our love and respect for the one who heals us of all that prevents us from living life to the full.


(Fr David)




Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 6th October 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


It’s very human to want to be appreciated for what we do for other people. However in today’s Gospel the Lord speaks to us of not needing to be noticed all the time for what we do. There can be a side to each of us that yearns to have our good deeds as well as our talents and achievements recognized. The Lord warns us not to strive for this because He sees everything that is done and he misses nothing. Let us offer up our small acts of kindness and selflessness to the Lord and not be trying to impress other people by them. We are to see ourselves as servants doing no more than our duty.

The other side of the coin is that we ought to strive to be more observant and therefore appreciative of what other people do for us so that we do not take them for granted. We should include God among those of whom we ought to be more appreciative. Like others who help us, we can also tend to take God’s unconditional love and friendship for granted; surely it is far better to acknowledge this and respond generously to it?

The message of the Gospel today is that a little faith, provided it is truly authentic can do great things, even achieve the impossible. We are urged by the Lord to go on serving the Lord without any claim on a reward. So in the coming week let us ask the Lord to help us build on the little faith that we have and to humbly acknowledge that we are simply servants doing no more than our duty.


(Fr David)


Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 29th September 2019 


Fr David's Reflection on The Word This Week


The expressions, “pampering oneself” and “living the life of Riley” come to mind in hearing the first reading today from the prophet Amos. He warns us about getting so caught up in luxuriating and not giving a thought to those who are poor. The rich man in today’s Gospel is so caught up with himself that he does not even notice the sick, homeless and hungry Lazarus who was begging for food from him outside his own home. There are times when we get so caught up with our own lives and busy diaries that we also fail to see the needy on our own doorstep.

The message from Amos and likewise from Jesus in the Gospel is clear ~ we will be judged for such actions. We cannot plead ignorance because we know that some people are poor and struggling. Let us make a point of keeping ourselves up to date on the global picture especially where there are occasions where people suddenly find themselves without their homes, their livelihoods and their dignity.

We are urged these days to think about living sustainable lives to think about what we need, not just about what we want and to always think what can we give to those who, often through no fault of their own cannot make ends meet.

The parable of Jesus reminds us that once we die we cannot undo the wrongs we have committed. Our Lord who is risen from the dead directs us and encourages to show love to everyone. He emphasises the need to share what we have with those who do not enough to live on. He also urges us to repent of our sins while we are still able to do so.


(Fr David)


Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 22nd September 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


The 1st reading speaks of the tendency that we can have to short- change people, cheat others out of what they are due, rip people off and practise other acts of dishonesty and deceit. Amos reminds us that God sees all of these acts which he will notice and remember. When we cheat and try to get away with something that is dishonest, then we are really only cheating ourselves. If we sell someone short then it’s our own integrity that we have sullied. Dealings of this sort naturally damage our relationship with God. It’s high risk, because if we get found out for our underhand and dodgy dealings, this can do irreparable damage to our reputation and our good name in the community.

Having integrity, telling the truth, being fair and setting impeccable standards in our dealings with each other are the ways to ensure that we are in good standing with the Lord and with each other.

Trust is a very important thing to have between people. However it is very easily broken. Once it has been broken, it is very difficult to restore. We need therefore to understand the importance of honesty and the delicacy of the precious gift of trust so that we can prioritise them and help them to grow in all our relationships.

In the coming week, may we strive to invest in riches that endure and so help to build the Kingdom of God. We do this by trying to live more simply and by being totally honest and upright with each other in our thoughts, words and actions. 


(Fr David)



Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time 15th September 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week



The second parable is probably the least famous of the parables we hear in today’s Gospel but with a bit of explanation of customs at the time of Jesus, it’s meaning becomes clearer: The 10 coins or pieces of silver weren't worth very much monetarily, but they were of great sentimental value. These pieces of silver were a gift from her husband's family, the mark of a married woman, which she put in her hair on very special occasions. The woman might wear them while her husband was away to remind her of his love. These coins were to be worn with five pieces on each side of her head, fastened with little hooks. To lose one coin would be shameful and devastating.

It was believed that the loss of this precious coin represented the withdrawal of God's favour from the family. It was also a cause of great grief for the husband, so much so that he might actually expel his wife from their home because of the disgrace she had brought to him. This is why Jesus tells us in the parable that the woman lit the lamps, diligently swept the floor and carefully searched for the missing coin. She wouldn't give up until she found it. When she did, she would invite her friends and neighbours in to rejoice with her. They would all understand the significance of finding the coin and her relief.

The lost coin could be likened to a person within the household who is lost. The parable of the lost coin also gives us a glimpse of that in which God delights. When a sinner is restored to friendship with God, it is a cause of great rejoicing and cause for celebration.


(Fr David)


 Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 8th September 2019


Fr David's Reflection on the Word this Week 


We measure people’s commitment to a cause by the sacrifices they are prepared to make for it. Think about something that you yourself have accomplished in life, or of someone, like an Olympic athlete, that has won great honour.  In order to accomplish something like that, what did you have to do?  You had to put all your energy into it. You had to make sacrifice. You had to eat and drink healthfully and carefully. You had to commit yourself totally.

Being genuine followers of Christ also involves making sacrifices.  The two short parables that Jesus mentions in today's Gospel are examples of this. Jesus tries to show that if you want the kingdom of heaven and if you want to be a faithful disciple of his, then you have to sacrifice things that would get in the way of achieving that goal.

Jesus uses a parable about construction. When you are about to build a building, you would be foolish if you didn’t first  sit down and estimate the cost of it and know whether you can really afford to do it. Similarly, the follower of Christ needs to know what it is going to cost to follow Jesus.

Perhaps  this week we can  focus more attention on our goal, even if it means giving up some of the things on which we think we depend. Reflect this week about whether you have your priorities right. If necessary, start to change your priorities by looking at the end goal. Be like the builder who knows what kind of building he wants, but makes sure that he has the capital necessary to get it done. And if you don’t have it right now, bring to your prayer what you might have to do in order to make this possible at some point in the future.


(Fr David)


Twentysecond Sunday in Ordinary Time 1st September 2019 


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week



No-one likes to be embarrassed and in today’s Gospel, Jesus gives a very practical example of avoiding embarrassment. The worst form of embarrassment is when we have wrongly assumed that we are more important than other people. Using the example of where you might sit a Wedding Banquet he tells us that if we always put other people first and put ourselves second then we are not likely to be shown up for thinking that we are full of our own importance. This is a good strategy to adopt in lots of different situations in life.

As Christians we should learn the gift of humility ~ we are to see other people as God sees them. After all, we are all the children of God and are all equally loved by God. When we take it upon ourselves that we matter more than other people do, then we are on dangerous territory and are at risk of rightly being put in our places. The one place of honour we should all strive for is a place at the Heavenly Banquet which is reserved to those who have tried to live out the Gospel of Christ to the best of their ability.

Let us pray in the coming week to be genuinely humble by putting others first; to seek out the greatness in others and not in ourselves: and without our prompting to allow others to see for themselves the goodness in us, for which we give glory to God.


(Fr David)


Twentyfirst Sunday in Ordinary Time 25th August 2019


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


In today’s Gospel, St Luke reminds us of Jesus’ definitive journey to Jerusalem, which will be the climax and focal point of his ministry.  He reminds us also of the urgency which this journey proclaims and the radical, costly response it calls for.  Nothing must be taken for granted.  There is a stern warning that many, having been invited by Jesus to follow him but failed to respond, will not discern the reality of their situation until it’s too late.  Jesus here challenges the whole concept of religious privilege.  Those who will stand outside knocking,  are former table companions who listened to his teaching but did not follow it. They will be excluded.  No one can rely on a privileged position or even religious heritage: for people will come from the four corners of the earth to eat in the kingdom of God, echoing Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 25:6-8).

We are faced with the paradox of exclusion and inclusion.  There will be a remnant, the few who will enter by ‘the narrow gate’, perhaps bowed down and with stragglers coming along too. So we must understand what it means to enter by that narrow gate. Narrow gates sometimes lead into gardens and humble homes, and often we even have to stoop to enter them. This recalls Mary’s Magnificat, which we heard on 15th August for the feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, where the lowly will be exalted. It also reminds us of Luke’s concern for the marginalised and suffering people in our world whom Jesus will welcome.

Let us pray this week that we recognise and take the opportunities to ‘enter through the narrow door’ and so fulfil Our Lord’s wishes for us to gain access to the Kingdom of God through service to our neighbours.

(Fr David)




Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time 18th August 2019

Fr David's Reflection on the Word this Week



Jesus tells us that he has come to bring fire to the earth. Fire is very powerful and brings change and it results in things being renewed. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles in the form of tongues of fire. This changed  them considerably and renewed them. When we pray to the Spirit, we ask him to "enkindle within us the fires of divine love."

To understand what Jesus means about families being split apart because of him, it is easier to understand this if we consider that we encounter differing forces within us whenever we think about taking him seriously. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

There is a restlessness within Jesus in today's gospel. There is a task ahead that must be faced, no matter how unpleasant or challenging it is. He longs to complete the work entrusted to him by the Father. With his dying breath on Calvary when referring to the task entrusted to him by the Father, he says "It is finished”

He goes on to say: "I have come to bring division." This seems strange, until we reflect seriously on it. If Jesus appeared to a group of people anywhere on this earth right now, he would create division. The reason he would create division is that, once he begins to speak his message, the crowd will become divided, some agreeing with him, and some opposed to him.

The first conflict we  must face up to, and deal with, is the conflict within ourselves. If do we really decide to take Jesus seriously, there will be all sorts of voices coming at us; voices of prudence, voices of reason, and other voices intellectualising. May the Lord help us in this daily conflict in the coming week to grasp the truth about who Christ is for us and what he asks of us.


(Fr David)


 Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 11th August 2019


Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week


There are lots of things in life that we can be afraid of. There are things like spiders and mice that that we call fears but are really just things that some people don't like. There are other things that make us afraid and really can debilitate us and prevent us from being able to be ourselves. These include fear of failure, fear of being laughed at or embarrassed for our failings, fear of the unknown and fear of pain, suffering and death.

The phrase "do not be afraid" appears many times in the Scriptures  including those from this weekend's readings. Therefore it is a key message that God is asking us to hear. He wants to take away our fears and give us his strength and reassurance so we can be free to live.

Today's second reading states that faithfulness and trust in God's promise are really important. The letter gives the example of Abraham who showed great courage when God asked him to leave his home and go to a new land. This was further illustrated when Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac his only beloved son but trusted all would work out alright and he was of course very right to do so. 

The Gospel asks us to keep on trusting and believing in God when life throws challenges at us. So in the coming week may we remain committed to our responsibilities. May we also remain faithful and obedient in our service of the Lord and one another. May we also be confident about the words of Jesus that give us life and hope. 


(Fr David)




Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 4th August 2019 

Fr David's Reflection on the Word This Week



Today's Gospel Reading speaks of the right attitude towards possessions. On one level Jesus is addressing the young man’s brother perhaps who is being selfish in not sharing his inheritance. On the other hand, he is talking to us and saying that we need to put our trust in God and not in material things that do not last..

Possessions are necessary for life. But possessions can assume such an importance in our life that there is a danger that we could be obsessed with them. There is a risk we get obsessed with desiring to acquire possessions so much so that we no longer hear the Lord speaking to us. When that happens we have indeed got our priorities all mixed up. However a person's life does not consist of possessions. There is more to life than the accumulation of possessions. It is sobering to remember that what we have accumulated, we have to leave behind when we die. Likewise, if ever we have accumulated knowledge it is best left behind as wisdom for those whom we have advised and mentored.

The Lord has indeed blessed us enormously, but we need to 'rise above materialism,' and to share our blessings, and so find ways to build up our accounts in heaven.

May the Lord help us in the coming week to put our possessions into context and to put our energy into those things that will endure. By doing this we will indeed be building the Kingdom.

(Fr David)



Seventeeth Sunday in Ordinary Time 28th July 2019

Fr David's Reflection on The Good Samaritan Parish


Last weekend we announced the news that we are now one parish. We were also able to announce that Bishop John had chosen the new name for the parish from amongst the nominations that the people of Burnley had considered. So we are to be called the Parish of the Good Samaritan.

One of the things I like about the new name is that it is quite unique and I think that’s great. So far the only two places I have discovered with the same name are a Catholic church in Ambridge in Pennsylvsania, USA and a parish near Chalons Sur Soane in France. These could be potentially good places to link up with. The parable is only found in St Luke’s Gospel therefore I would suggest our parish feast day could be 18th October, the feast of St Luke the Evangelist.


Jesus tells the parable so he is the story-teller. However significantly according to the Church Fathers, the Good Samaritan is a Christological title for Christ. The man left dying by the roadside is humanity, dying of its sinfulness: The Samaritan is Christ, the outcast, the one rejected, despised and ultimately crucified. The outcast is the one who shows compassion and love for humanity by tending to his wounds. The Samaritan pours oil and wine on the wounds ~ these are symbolic of the sacraments. The man is taken to the inn which represents the Church where he can be welcomed and restored. The Samaritan promises to make good on his return and Christ of course promises to come again.


Therefore I see the Good Samaritan as a title for Our Lord. So, our new parish is under the patronage of Christ himself. Jesus himself is urging us to seek salvation for ourselves through our practical love for our neighbour and thereby show our love for God. I see the title of our new parish as unique, challenging and at the same time comfortably familiar. May the Lord continue to guide us on our journey to unity.


(Fr David)


Fr David's Reflection on Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday 21st July 2019


On Thursday we had a very enjoyable day of retreat and pilgrimage to Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire. Ampleforth is a Benedictine Monastery and the Benedictine monks pride themselves on their hospitality, which forms part of their Rule, given by St Benedict. The monks made us very welcome during our visit to this elegant place, seeped in history and set in glorious surroundings. As a North East lad, I was brought up by my wonderful parents to appreciate the importance of showing hospitality to guests.


The Benedictines also of course give great priority to prayer, giving praise and glory to God. Very early in the morning each day the monks come into their abbey church to pray together largely centred on the beautiful singing of the psalms. They pray the hours of the day together and on Thursday we also joined the monks for their lunchtime prayer. In today's Gospel, Martha is showing great hospitality and love to Christ by serving and waiting on him. Mary is just happy being in the presence of the Lord, showing love for Jesus by listening to him and having time for him. When Martha complains that Mary is not helping her with the serving; he tells her that Mary has chosen the better part. The Lord here is emphasising the precedence of prayer.

Prayer is about giving glory and praise to God as well as just being in the company of the Lord. Prayer is fuel for the soul and it’s therefore absolutely essential. Mary was just happy to enjoy the Lord's company and that's a great example of prayer. Being like Martha by showing hospitable to  tend to the needs of others is an important way of showing our love for others. However prayer is about showing our love and our dependency upon God.


(Fr David)



Fr David's Reflection on Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Sunday 14th July 2019


The commandment “Love your neighbour as you love yourself” which we hear in today’s Gospel is not just a Christian teaching. Jesus however brought a completely new understanding to the commandment. This teaching is understood differently in different religions and cultures. And the key to its understanding lies in the question that the lawyer asks Jesus in today’s gospel, “Who is my neighbour?” that I have an obligation to love?

Among the Jews of Jesus’ time there were those who understood “neighbour” in a very narrow and restrictive sense. The average Jew would not have regarded the Samaritan as a neighbour. They were considered as outsiders. The circle of neighbourly love did not include them. Jesus came into a world of “us” and “them,”. The “us” being the circle of those recognised as neighbours, and the “them” being the rest of the world regarded as hostile strangers and enemies of the people.

The new thing in Jesus’ teaching of neighbourly love is his view that all humanity is one big neighbourhood. Thus he broke down the walls of division and the borders of prejudice and suspicion that humans build between “us” and “them.” To bring home this point he tells the story of the Good Samaritan. This man would be regarded as “Public Enemy Number One” by the Jewish establishment simply because he is Samaritan. However he is the one of the three passing travellers who fully proves himself to be neighbour to the Jewish man in need. Thus to the question “Who is my neighbour” Jesus’ answer is: Anyone and everyone without exception.

God knows and loves each and every one of us without exception, so I pray in the coming week that we remember this love and that we seize all the opportunities to show love for our neighbours whenever the opportunity presents itself.


(Fr David)



Fr David's Reflection on Fourteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time


Sunday 7th July 2019


In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about there being few labourers of the harvest and the need to ask the Lord for such labourers. This Gospel often gets to think about vocations to the priesthood and Consecrated life. There is often a mentality of doom and gloom when we think about the future of the Church. I think as we look back over the last 2000 years we can see that the Lord has provided for his Church with labourers of the harvest. There have always been lean times and more promising times in the history of the Church, but of the Lord’s faithfulness to his promise there should be no doubt.

I tend to be a positive thinking person and I see signs of hope for the Church. Pope Francis has got us all thinking about our faith in a different way.  As Diocesan Vocations Promoter I continue to work with a small number of quality men  currently discerning a possible vocation to the priesthood for our Diocese in the future.  In mid-June, I took part in the discernment weekend at Hyning Hall when a number gathered to discover more about serving in the Church as  labourers in the Lord’s Vineyard. In addition on 20th July,  Bishop John will ordain Rev Damien Louden and Rev Bob Hayes and Nathan to the priesthood at the Cathedral.

We need to continue to pray for and encourage vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life . The best way to encourage vocations is to be a good authentic example of the Christian life ourselves by continuing to show our love for Our Lord, His Church, the Mass, The Eucharist and the sacred priesthood.

This is the way we can urge those the Lord is inviting to make the next step. However we still need to back this up with asking the Lord with sincere prayers of desiring new vocations.


(Fr David)



Fr David's Reflection on Saints Peter and Paul


Sunday 30th June 2019


Simon Peter was a fisherman from Capernaum, near the Sea of Galilee. He was with Jesus from the outset of his ministry. His name was changed by Jesus to Peter to be a rock for the Church ~ because Jesus saw within him his strong faith. His faith was a great source of strength for the Early Church.


Saul of Tarsus was a Jewish Pharisee, well educated and very devout in his religious practise. He never actually met Jesus but was persecuting the early Christians because he believed they were a threat to his Jewish faith. He became Paul the great missionary after his conversion experience on the Road to Damascus. He became a missionary whose main aim in life was to share the Good News that had transformed his life so dramatically.


They both were martyred in Rome for their faith. In this year of faith we give thanks for the faith of these two great heroes of the Church. Today we celebrate the gift of our faith, which has the apostles as its foundation.


We pray that we may like Ss Peter and Paul be open to be called by the Lord to respond to his invitation ~ to be formed by his love to change the direction of our lives accordingly: and to be sent out into the world to spread the Good news that everyone matters to God.


(Fr David)




Fr David's Reflection on The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ


Sunday 23rd June 2019


Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, which means the Body of Christ. This is a term that is used to describe the Church. Christ is the Head of the Church and we are the Body. In The Blessed Sacrament we are invited to receive the Body of Christ and we are to be like Christ in the way we treat God and other people.  We are to become therefore, He whom we receive in Holy Communion.

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament is of course central to our faith as Catholics. Before we receive Holy Communion we are asked to say “Amen”. This word means “let it be so”. When we say “Amen” to the consecrated host shown before us, as we receive the Eucharist, we are in effect making a proclamation of our faith.


The word “Eucharist” is another word for the Blessed Sacrament. It derives from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving”. The best way to thank God for the many blessings in our lives is by receiving the Lord in Holy Communion and trying our best to put his teaching into the practice of our daily lives.


It would be good in future years to consider having a Corpus Christi procession in our churches, which is a great way of showing our devotion to this gift to the Church. It would also be good to consider organising Quarant’ore devotions in one of churches next year. This consists of  40 hours of Exposition over a period of days leading up to Corpus Christi.


May the Lord help us to fittingly celebrate this great gift of our faith on this feast of Corpus Christi, and bin


(Fr David)



Fr David's Reflection on Most Holy Trinity

Sunday 16th June 2019


We tend to approach the Trinity as something to be grasped intellectually. However I think it’s more important to be seen as something that is rather to be experienced. This manifests itself in the relationships that exist within the Blessed Trinity and which flow out from it.


The Trinity continually lives in the tension between concealing and revealing. On the one hand, the Trinity is shrouded in mystery and eludes our attempts to define it. However God constantly reaches out to make Himself known to us, to engage us in the loving relationships that lies at the heart of this mystery of our faith.


In today’s Gospel the Holy Spirit, John stresses the importance of the Holy Spirit which carries on the work of the Jesus after Jesus has departed for the Father. The Spirit, we are told, helps the Church to grasp the full meaning of all that Jesus has said, especially about what is shared about the Father.


Central to today’s celebration, is an invitation to open ourselves to the love that is at the core of the Blessed Trinity. It reminds us that love is at heart of our understanding of what God is really like. St Paul echoes this, in today’s 2nd reading: “And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us”. So how will we in the living out of our daily lives in the coming week, open our hearts to the love that is the Trinity’s ultimate gift to us?


Fr David



Fr David's Reflection For Pentecost


Pentecost Sunday 9th June 2019


Today is the feast of Pentecost, the glorious final day of the season of Easter. The Apostles were together experiencing bewilderment over how to move forward when the Holy Spirit flows among them and breathes courage into their hearts. This marks the birthday of the Church, guided through time by the Holy Spirit himself.

The Spirit comes like a powerful wind: we can’t see the wind but we can see what it does. Similarly we can’t see the Holy Spirit but we see what it does in other people. The Church is all about people with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is at work in his Church but we need to look for the signs which are all around us. It would be too easy to miss them or dismiss them.

The Spirit also came upon the disciples as tongues of fire. Fire changes everything, because after a fire everything has changed. It’s also a sign of renewal because after a fire, everything has to be made new again. The disciples were never the same again after Pentecost ~ they were renewed by the Holy Spirit and it was evidenced by their confident proclamation about the Risen Jesus. We are told that those who witnessed this event were "amazed and astonished."

Pentecost immerses us in the brilliance of fire and the power of wind, calling us to trust in something bigger than we are. As we look back over the journey that the Church has taken since the first Pentecost, let us marvel at how the Lord has remained utterly faithful to His Spouse through many different circumstances. As our three parishes go through a process of change let us pray to the Holy Spirit for his continuing guidance, hope and trust that all will be well.


(Fr David)



Fr David's Reflection

Sixth Sunday of Easter 26th May 2019

There was once a king who asked one of his artists to produce a painting depicting peace.  The paint he produced was of a thunderous waterfall crashing down to the rocks below, you could practically feel the force of the water, the painting was so graphic.  At first the king was angry at the artist "this is not peace" he said:   the artist urged him to keep looking at the painting.  Then the king's eye was caught by a detail he had not previously noticed; at the base of the painting near where the water crashed to rocks was a little tree and in its branches a bird's nest in which a sparrow was sitting on her eggs, eyes half closed, waiting patiently for her eggs to hatch.  The king now understood the message of peace of his artist; that it's possible to be at peace even in the chaos of life.


During his Last Supper Jesus spoke of peace to his disciples: "Peace I leave you my own peace I give you, a peace that the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.  So do not let your hearts be talking about peace, because real peace is communion with God.  Jesus was in perfect communion with God so he could talk about peace even as his enemies were closing in on him and death was just around the corner.  Peace is a sense of inner calm that signifies right relations with God and others.  Peace is the fruit of trusting God.  Pleasing God is thus the dominant factor in life.  This is something that can be retained even in times of conflict, turmoil and unresolved problems. 


The Lord offers us the gift of his peace, it's not an easy peace of course it's a peace that has been won by his victory over sin and death.  Anyone who tries to bring two or more parties together in a conflict can often have a tough time.  Being a peacemaker is far from easy but it's what we should all strive for, because peace is what we all hope for in life.  Our prayer for peace is that we should all become peacemakers and not shy away from all the opportunities we have, to bring Christian love into situations where hatred and division prevail.  This can all be possible if we are truly in communion with God and like Jesus desire his will before our own desires. 

(Fr David)


Fr David's Reflection

Fifth Sunday of Easter 19th May 2019

Jesus gave us a marvellous example of love by everything he did with his life; with his compassion for the sick, the sinner and those who were suffering. He then tells his disciples on the eve of the greatest act of love, his Passion and Death that they are to love one another as “I have loved you”. Therefore as followers of Jesus today, we are also to show love through the living out of our daily lives.

Mother Teresa was once helping a man in a terrible condition with gangrene. An observer noticed and said to her: “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars!” She replied: “Even I wouldn’t do it for that amount! However I do it out of love for God.”

Love is about being sincere and generous with each other. Love is about those who have more than they need, sharing what they have with those who do not have enough to live on. Love is about those who are not of our faith, meeting Christ in us, through our kindness and humility. Love is being able to rise above the grudges , jealousies and meanness of spirit which form barriers between ourselves and others. Love is not limited to just our friends but is extended to everyone. Love comes from God.


(Fr David)



Fr David's Reflection

Third Sunday of Easter 5th May 2019


Peter’s denials by  Jesus at a crucial moment are very well known. Despite being so close to Jesus, out of fear he said  three times that he didn't even know the Lord.  Perhaps not so well known are the "three yeses” that Peter says to the Risen Jesus on the shore of the Lake.  There is always an awkwardness when reconciliation is needed after difficulties between two estranged friends which in many ways Jesus and Peter were. Jesus had predicted Peter would deny him and so is very aware of what Peter has done to him out of fear. He had also stated that Peter would emerge from this moment of weakness stronger and better.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is masterful in helping Peter to move on from his mistakes so he can be free to lead the Church in the future. Without making reference to the three denials, he simply asks three times whether he loves him. Perhaps Peter is upset at the third question because he at that point realises what the Lord is accomplishing by this powerful conversation. Jesus gives him the mandate to be a shepherd to his people and to lead the Church.

May we also ask invite Jesus into any strained relationships that we are experiencing at the moment . May we have the same sensitivity that Jesus used with Peter. May we be full of love and forgiveness and so facilitate reconciliation. May the Lord give us the courage, words and actions that we need in order to put behind us past hurts and wrongs so that our relationships can be healed, rebuilt and grow healthily on the foundations of our Christian faith. 


(Fr David)






Fr David's Reflection

Second Sunday of Easter 28th April 2019

Divine Mercy Sunday


Easter is about new life. Everything about Easter is about things being new, refreshed, changed and different. After our Lenten observances we should be stronger in our faith and our commitment to the Lord.  At Easter we have received the new holy oils blessed by the bishop on Maundy Thursday at the Chrism Mass and these are central to a number of the sacraments to be celebrated throughout the year.

The newly blessed Easter water is also a sign of the new life through the sacrament of Baptism which is the gateway to life with the Risen Lord in the Church. The most central symbol to our Easter faith is the brand new Paschal candle which represents the presence of the Risen Lord, who has conquered death forever through his own death of the cross. This candle will be lit at all our liturgies throughout the rest of the Easter season as well as at baptisms and funerals throughout the coming year. The Paschal candle is lit at a funeral to remind us of the promise of eternal life offered to the departed Christian at their baptism.

May we take anew to our hearts the words of Our Lord to Thomas in today’s Gospel  ~ “Happy are those who have not seen, yet believe”. May the richness of the symbolism of our Catholic faith help us throughout the year to see the Risen Lord at work in our lives. May Our Lord help us with the challenges that life presents to us and help us to respond to his invitation to join him forever in heaven through our obedience and trust in the words of his Gospel. 


(Fr David)




Fr David's Reflection on Easter

Easter Sunday 21st April 2019


If anyone asks me what is the most important thing about our faith ~ I respond it is believing in the resurrection of Jesus. Easter is at the heart of what it is to be a Christian.  It’s the reason why every Sunday is the Lord’s Day and why we are asked to come to Mass. Every Sunday, because of Easter, is a celebration of the Resurrection.
Easter Sunday is the key to our faith and to our hope, and is central to everything that Jesus taught concerning himself and the Kingdom of God.  It is central to everything that the Church has proclaimed since the day that Jesus ascended into heaven. So we are to believe in the testimony of those who saw the risen Jesus and talked with him - and wrote his words in our Sacred Scriptures. We are to believe too in the testimony of those like Paul and the millions of Apostles and Saints after him who have testified to the fact that the Risen Christ has visited them.
So today we celebrate our faith. Today we stand up with everyone else present in church this day as we are sprinkled with the newly blessed Easter water and say I believe in Jesus Christ who was crucified, died, was buried and rose from the dead. We say this because we believe and through our own personal relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus.


(Fr David)