‘Cosmic consciousness’

HOMILY: Thirteenth-century saints Francis and Clare of Assisi impress us still. There are aspects of their lives we might recall with the help of key words: conversion; rebuilding; haircutting; song-writing and letter-writing; peace-making; founding; touching and healing; preaching; stigmata; Nativity; Stations of the Cross.

‘More than conquerors’

HOMILY: Mountains have not featured in my day-to-day living. I have lived almost my entire life on flat, coastal land. And yet, through a series of experiences in my early adulthood – tourist experiences that I undertook often with little appreciation of the cultures and ecosystems that I was visiting and without comprehending the environmental impacts of long-distance travel – walking hills, passes and mountains has been key to my grasp of limits.

‘Pure-heartedness means more’

HOMILY: Jesus says to those he calls hypocrites: “You disregard God’s commandments and cling to human traditions.” The examples he gives indicate that divine commandments have to do with showing genuine honour/respect; with cultivating fidelity, kindness, generosity, honesty, humility, wisdom.

‘At one with the teaching’

HOMILY: John’s Jesus is a teacher of Wisdom. John’s Jesus is also Wisdom personified, Sophia incarnate. The offence, the “stumbling block”, has to do with this.

‘Let us become what we receive’

HOMILY: Sara Miles used to describe herself as a “left-wing, atheist, American lesbian” who loved to feed people. Sara had never been to a church and didn’t think there was a place for her in the church. In fact, she hadn’t even bothered considering if there was a place for her – she didn’t care. On her morning walk one Sunday morning she decided to walk into her local church where she promptly found herself participating in the Eucharistic meal being offered.

‘Write, sing, dance’

HOMILY: Standing up for what’s right and compassionate is to risk/live your life. Paranoid powers – gluttons and abusers like Herod – deeply resent social and political criticism, and prophets like John the Baptiser are undermined, ridiculed, imprisoned.

‘Faith calls to faith’

HOMILY: Jesus was turned around. Jesus turned. Made aware of multiple needs, possible directions. Ministry on both sides (“all sides”) of the lake. Younger and older people. Life and death issues.

‘Regeneration’

HOMILY: Jesus says: “You shouldn’t be working for perishable food, but for life-giving food that lasts …” (John 6:27). The gospel directs us beyond immediate needs and shallow pleasures, and toward a maturity “attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

‘Ever-present as promise’

HOMILY: Jesus says, “I am the bread of life …” There are seven “I am” sayings of Jesus in John’s gospel. In addition to the bread of life, Jesus compares himself to light in darkness (8:12), a gate to safe pasture (10:9), a good shepherd (10:11), the resurrection and the life (11:25), the way or path (14:6), and the true vine who fulfils Israel’s destiny (15:1; Isaiah 5).

‘Where none may perish’

HOMILY: We give thanks for the witness of John, the poet-evangelist whose gospel invites us to receive a poetic Word, dense and substantial like bread.