Mar 30, 2024

“HOLY STONE”: HOMILY FOR THE EASTER VIGIL IN THE HOLY NIGHT

It’s the holiest place on earth—the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem—and on entering it the first thing you see is the Stone of Unction, traditionally the slab upon which Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus laid out the dead Jesus to embalm Him (Jn 19:39-40). Last year I was blessed to visit that place with Father Lewi…

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Mar 29, 2024

“HOLY LANCE”: Homily for the Celebration of the Passion of Our Lord

The Holy Lance or Spear of Destiny is the one that pierced Jesus’ side in today’s Passion of St John (Jn chs 18 & 19 at 19:34). Like the Grail (or chalice) of the Last Supper, the Lance became the subject of various extrabiblical traditions, including the Arthurian legend. In Chrétien de Troyes’ medieval poem Perceval, the Fisher King has keeping of both Lance and Grail…

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Mar 28, 2024

“HOLY GRAIL”: HOMILY FOR THE MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

The quest for the Holy Grail was part of the Arthurian legend that evolved in the Middle Ages, first in Celtic ballards and then French romances.[1] In Chrétien de Troyes’ Perceval, the grail was a miraculous food salver, protected by the Fisher King.[2] When Robert de Boron retold the tale in his Joseph of Arimathea, it had become the Chalice used by Our Lord at His Last Supper, now with healing powers…

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Mar 28, 2024

“LIQUID GOLD” – Homily for the Chrism Mass

Liquid gold. Homer’s ancient name for olive oil[1] has made a comeback, following a surge in prices across the Mediterranean.[2] Drought and a bacterial infection have seen global production fall this past year and the price of a litre of olive oil rise from €5 to as much as €20. Last week it was reported that olive oil is now the most shoplifted product in Spain, surpassing even razor blades, alcohol and ham, and shops…

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Mar 03, 2024

Homily for Mass of the 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B

It was thought to be a rather ordinary Baroque painting, by an unknown disciple of Guido Reni, so its reserve price at a Paris auction house was €6,000. But the baroque depiction of Moses sold just over a year ago for a staggering €600,000.[1] Art dealer Fabrizio Moretti was so convinced of its worth, he outbid all the competition.[2] He had the painting restored, uncovering a striking luminesce beneath the ageing varnish and centuries of filth, and confirmed that it was by the Baroque master Giovanni Barbieri, known as “Guercino”—the squinter—because of a lazy eye that clearly didn’t compromise…

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Feb 25, 2024

Homily for Mass of the 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B

It was known as The Nuremberg Defence. Following the Second World War, an International Military Tribunal was established by the principal Allied powers, tasked with prosecuting those responsible for the most heinous of the Nazi “crimes against humanity”. The so-called ‘Nuremberg Trials’ convicted nineteen officials for their roles in planning…

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Feb 22, 2024

Homily for Mass for the Feast of the Chair of the Apostle Peter

The recently aired ABC docuseries Nemesis offers a dramatic account of the internal wars, external challenges and multiple leadership coups of the Liberal-National Party coalition when in power from 2013 to ’22. In particular, it charts the rise and fall of Prime Ministers Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, based on interviews with two of them and a supporting cast of ministers and staffers. It’s a captivating tale of the perils of power and personality, the egos…

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