‘A prayerful return’

HOMILY: Andrei Rublev’s 15th-century icon of the Nativity depicts five halos, five haloed/hallowed figures …

‘The interplay of divinity and humanity’

HOMILY: Christ comes … to shine a light on hostilities (toward the poor, the stranger, the most vulnerable) and to light the way of wisdom – hospitality, peace with justice … Christ comes to the anawim, the “have-nots” … as subversive and creative event. A peasant family is made holy. A young woman at risk of abandonment or worse is blessed … she bears the Promised One and will become the queen of heaven.

‘A Josephite commitment to anyone at risk of shame or harm’

HOMILY: Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) was a Spanish reformer and founder of the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits).

The spirituality he developed places great emphasis on the affective life: the use of imagination in prayer, cultivation of godly desires and generous service.

‘To re-orient our lives’

HOMILY: The word peace, eirene in Greek, means to bind or bring together, to unite or set at one. Peace is the opposite of division or dissension. Peace implies health and wellbeing. We might also add: right relationship, harmony, community. It is one of the apostle Paul’s favourite words, used as a greeting or farewell and corresponding to the Hebrew, shalom.

‘An invitation to participate’

HOMILY: It seems a little easy to feel a little hopeless at the moment as we face yet another Covid wave; as floods affect homes, lives and water systems; as people continue to be persecuted in Iran for protesting the inhumane treatment of girls and women; as we hear of the ongoing issues in Ukraine …

‘Poetics of the kindom’

HOMILY: There are some things we can know regarding Jesus. At least three things …

‘What can we do?’

HOMILY: For Luke, the new world will mean a new temple of some kind. Disoriented believers throw up their hands and cry, “What can we do?!” The gospel offers assurance – reach out your hands, join hands and ask, “What can we do?”

‘Life and how to live it’

HOMILY: On the altar-table (and on screen) we have an Icon of the Transfiguration. The icon shows Moses and Elijah “alive” with Jesus, just as Moses, in the Exodus passage about the burning bush, encounters the God of Sarah and Abraham, Rebecca and Isaac, Leah and Rachel and Jacob …

‘A force greater than self-importance’

HOMILY: “You love everything that exists / And you don’t hate anything you have created … / You save all things because they are yours …”

Words from the book of Wisdom, a book, as protestants, we don’t often open and read – a book we call apocryphal, or hidden away, amid texts of uncertain authenticity in the eyes of 16th-century reformers.

‘Hymns to grace’

HOMILY: The tax collector’s prayer invites our humble prayers and heartfelt hymns to grace.