8th Sunday in Ordinary time, 26 Feb 2017

From the Dean’s Desk

The 1997 film ‘As Good As It Gets’ had Jack Nicholson starring in the role of Melvin Udall, a New York novelist who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Melvin ate at the same restaurant each day, at the same table, using plastic disposable cutlery rather than the restaurant’s as they may be contaminated. Melvin also feared walking on lines and cracks in the footpath.  Carol Connolly (played by Helen Hayes) invites him to her apartment for dinner.  When Melvin enters the foyer he is thrown into a panic attack, since the floor of the foyer consists of small tiles and it would be almost impossible for him to cross without stepping on a crack!  You could imagine his level of anxiety!

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7th Sunday in Ordinary time, 19 Feb 2017

From the Dean’s Desk

In today’s Gospel [Matthew 5:38-48] we see Jesus continuing his sermon on the mount.  Following on from last week’s Gospel [Matthew 5:17-37] Jesus expands on the demands set down in the Beatitudes [Matthew 5:1-12].  In this case, as it was with last week’s teaching, he expands on the last four statements: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy; blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God; blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be sons and daughters of God; blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of righteousness, for yours is the kingdom of heaven [vv. 7-10].

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6th Sunday in Ordinary time, 12 Feb 2017

From the Dean’s Desk

Last week’s Gospel [Matthew 5:13-16] was the beginning of a new section in the Sermon on the Mount, for here Jesus brings the elements of the Law into realistic and everyday situations.  In being salt and light, our actions challenge people to take on the mission of Christ.  In today’s Gospel [Matthew 5:17-37] Jesus challenges us to evaluate our response to various realities.

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5th Sunday in Ordinary time, 5 Feb 2017

From the Dean’s Desk

Matthew’s Gospel has always been referred to as a teaching Gospel. In fact, his Gospel contains five sermons or discourses – the Sermon on the Mount [Chs 5-7]; the sermon on Missionary activity [Ch 10]; the sermon on the Kingdom of heaven [Ch 13]; the sermon on the aspects of Community living, especially in the area of forgiveness [Ch 18] and the sermon on the Last Times [Chs 24-25]. The Gospels for the Ordinary Sundays of this year will be taken primarily from these sections. Over the next three Sundays we will hear from Matthew’s version of the Sermon on the Mount.  This section covers three chapters in Matthew’s Gospel [chapters 5-7] and it is the basis of Jesus’ ethical and moral teaching.  The following Sundays (6th -8th Sundays) our Gospel continues to unfold the various teachings of the Sermon on the Mount  [ 17-37; 38-48 & 6:24-34].  It involves the proclamation of the New Law.    In this section we encounter some confronting and challenging demands on the part of Jesus.

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4th Sunday in Ordinary time, 29 Jan 2017

From the Dean’s Desk

It is a custom that at the beginning of a new political leader – at least in those countries who elect legitimate leaders through a democratic process – people expect them to place before them their intentions, methods and goals which they hope will be the hallmark of their leadership.  In the Gospel we hear Jesus placing before the people his intentions. Matthew and Mark have Jesus briefly state his intention thus: “Repent and believe in the good news, for the kingdom of Heaven (God) is close at hand’ [Mark1:14; Matthew 4:17].

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