‘The Unknown, the Not Yet, the Possible’

HOMILY: Today is Pentecost! The icon for this festival is known as the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

‘To safeguard the integrity of creation …’

WORKSHOP: This week each table group will read, engage and respond to one of the Gospel readings from Mark, or another reading that points us to what is truly of value. Each group will in turn, read, engage then offer the treasures found within.

‘All the while withdrawing from our grasp …’

HOMILY: Today is Ascension Day, the 40th day after Easter, which commemorates Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the promise of the Holy Spirit. One mode of revelation concluding, something new happening. We might reflect on letting go, starting again, seeing and feeling again.

‘An exchange of stories that just might change lives’

HOMILY: Our Easter liturgy has included the song, “You are the vine”, which draws from John 15. John’s Jesus is very much a di-vine figure, inviting all who see and hear him to join him in humility as One who goes to the cross, united with Abba God in redemptive suffering for the world.

“You are my friends”, Jesus says in today’s reading from the same chapter, “if you do what I command you”. 

‘Mission in Mark: marks of mission’

HOMILY: I don’t know if you are anything like me but talk of the mission of the church makes me profoundly uneasy. I feel this uneasiness in my body. It feels unsafe. It feels like I might be walking into a trap …

‘Whose hands?’

HOMILY: There are two types of resurrection icon. The Latin or Western tradition favours depiction of Christ’s exit from the tomb – images of Christ the Victor, soaring into the air, often carrying a banner or flag symbolising victory over the grave; soldiers and others cowering in fear and defeat below. Think El Greco or Rubens. Resurrection as rising away from others …

‘Failure redressed’

HOMILY: Back in chapter 14 of Mark’s gospel, an account of the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane, we read: “Following Jesus was a youth wearing nothing but a linen cloth, whom [the authorities] also tried to arrest but who fled naked, leaving the cloth behind.” 

‘The Word of the Cross’

HOMILY: The Cross is ugly, terrible – an instrument of torture. It symbolises the frightening might of empire – as threat, weight, trauma. 

‘The story of Jesus and friends’

HOMILY: Our mosaic image shows Jesus washing the feet of disciples (a scene from John’s gospel). It’s about being kind (even amid difficulty and under stress). It’s about mutual service. It’s about equality – “encouraging, comforting and urging … lives worthy of God” (as the Apostle Paul says [1 Thessalonians 2:9-20]). It’s about bare feet and holy ground, hard traveling and “walking the walk”.

‘Growing into resistance’

HOMILY: Our Orthodox icon for today is called Entry into Jerusalem. Jesus is depicted at the centre, sitting upon a donkey. His invisible glory is represented by a halo and the scroll in his hand means Holy Wisdom.