Saturday 30 March 2013

Mary Magdalene's Easter

She stayed by the tomb weeping
faithful to the emptiness she found there
longing for her absent Lord

While we are not inclined
to stay with weeping or emptiness

We run away ahead instead

But it is in her weeping and her waiting
that Mary met Jesus
becoming the first apostle
of Resurrection

Friday 29 March 2013


The first time I went to MEDJUGORJE our leader took us up KRIZEVAC (Cross Mountain) to do the Stations of the Cross. She was old enough to be my mother so, when she took off her shoes to go barefoot, I felt I had no option but to do the same.

It’s a slow climb of about two hours over large and sometimes sharp rocks. The pain and discomfort I felt helped me connect with the sufferings of Jesus in some small way.

When we got to the top I sat myself down to relieve my dirty, bruised feet and what happened next is one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

An old woman came over to me unbidden, carrying a small basin and a bottle of water and she proceeded to wash my feet. She was Jesus to me in that moment, touching me in a concrete way with her love, doing something that I needed. It also became clear that she washed my feet because I am a priest.

My feet are symbolic of who I am as a man and a priest – dirty and bruised, needing consolation and healing. I’m regularly astonished that I have been chosen to be a priest. When I vest for Mass in the sacristy I look with vanity at myself in the mirror to make sure I look well but more importantly I look and am astonished that this is me, that I have been chosen for t his.

Every priest has a sense of his own unworthiness; every priest is in need of healing and mercy. Every human being is in need of it. And it is given.

The love of Jesus is something that touches the reality of who we are; it is a love to be felt, experienced. His washing of the feet of his closest friends during the Last Supper is given as evidence of the extent of His love, the perfection of it. “He always loved those who were His in the world and now He showed how perfect His love was. While they were at supper…” (John 13)

It is a love that is daily present to us, concretely touching us in the Eucharist, which is not just a symbol of Christ’s presence and love. It is the reality of His presence and love.

Thursday 28 March 2013



For everyone

God’s Son’s
Godless Distress Arrested

Drops of Blood

And kissed


The Crowning

No longer
Will I
Bear it
On my own

I will no longer
Wear it all alone

I will let you
Take a thorn
From my crown

The crown upon
My head

The thorn
Of my mistake
The crown
Of my disgrace

And shame
The veil that covers
My face

No longer need I
Hide from You

For ours the crown
And ours the thorn

One the blood
We share

We die one death
We live one life

And one the heart
That carries
Every other

Tuesday 26 March 2013

UNTIL THE LATER MORNING - An Easter Meditation

Listening to the readings for the Easter Vigil, I have a sense of obstacles: the obstacles facing the people of Israel on their way to the Promised Land; the obstacles that face us in our spiritual life as we search relentlessly for Jesus; external obstacles and the more difficult internal ones.

“Who will roll away the stone?” asked the women on the way to the tomb. “Who will deliver me from this body?” asks St. Paul when he reflects on the struggle that is part of human life (Romans 7). Who will ease my pain and dry my tears? His answer is, “It is the Lord.”

“I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh instead. A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you” (Jeremiah 31). 

The stone is rolled away and we are opened up to new possibilities, new life. This is done by God. Our task is to allow it be done.

The strange thing is that on entering the tomb the women learn that Jesus is risen, but at this stage they don’t see or experience the risen Lord. They must wait until the later morning. The stone of my heart may have been removed, Jesus may be risen, but I may have to wait for another morning before I experience again the reality that he is risen.

Timothy Radcliffe O. P. describes a nun at the Easter vigil somewhere in South America – “singing love songs to a candle in the dark.” A lovely image! So I will spend my Holy Week and Easter singing love songs to Jesus! Silently – most of the time!

May Easter come to you as a new Alleluia! – sung lovingly in the joyful silence of your heart. 

Wednesday 20 March 2013


O friend of mine
Whom I love

Companion of my soul

You have gone
To the rightful place
Of your belonging

And I to mine

Jet-streaming across the sky
All sign of you has vanished

Still I watch
Across the distance
Between us

It is empty space
And silence

The way of pilgrims
You might say

The truth
So simply said
So painful