“The Kings and their Gods”

Today’s first reading at Mass (2 Kings 24:8-17) describes briefly one of the key climactic points of the history of the Jewish people – the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (called Nabucadonosor in older Catholic Bibles) in the year 597 BC and the exile into Babylon initially

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The Nativity of St John the Baptist

The feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist is historically and culturally very important in this country because it’s a ‘Quarter day’, one of the signposts in the year when rents used to be due (like Lady Day), and it more or less coincides too with Midsummer Day,

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St Etheldreda

St Etheldreda, or Aethelthryth (the name is also the original of the name Audrey) was one of the great female saints of Anglo Saxon England. If you’ve ever watched (as I have recently) the Netflix series ‘The Last Kingdom’ (which hopefully will have at least one more series) you see

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Saints John Fisher and Thomas More

Today is a very special feast day in this country – Saints John Fisher and Thomas More – they weren’t martyred on the same day in 1535 – Fisher was killed on this day and More in early July. They symbolise jointly good and holy leadership of the Church (Fisher

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The Immaculate Heart of Mary

In the Church’s calendar the day after the feast of the Sacred Heart is the feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This stresses the closeness, the intimacy, between Our Lord and his Mother; we’re enabled to imagine his childhood (about which hardly anything is recorded) where he would

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Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is the feast of the Sacred Heart. I have written about the feast for this weekend’s parish newsletter. The readings for today this year (Deuteronomy 7: 6-11, 1 John 4: 7-16 and Matthew 11: 23-30) speak to us of the depth of God’s love, represented for us in the

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Thursday’s Reflections

I have always been moved by the way in which the lectionary readings fit in coincidentally with what is going on our lives and in the life of the world. Our first reading today from the book of Ecclesiasticus (48:1-13) sums up, in very fulsome and elaborate language, Elijah, whose

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Wednesday’s Reflections

Our rather incomplete coverage at weekday Mass of the cycle of stories about the prophet Elijah concludes today (2 Kings 2) with the account of his assumption into heaven on a chariot – he passes on his cloak and his mission to his disciple Elisha. Interestingly here he is surrounded

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