Posts by OLV Parish

Prepare the Way for the Lord

(Second Sunday of Advent – Year B) St John the Baptist’s word’s: ‘‘Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight’’, ring out to us as we start the Second week of Advent (Mark 1:1-8).  He is the Patron Saint of the Diocese of Christchurch.  Perhaps his words and his personality are very apt for us in the week when we have been blessed with the appointment of a new Bishop (see page 3).  John comes to prepare for Christ’s coming. He appears in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism for the repentance of sins.  His very person embodies the
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Breaking News: Habemus Vescovo – We have a Bishop

It was announced today that Pope Francis appointed Fr. Paul Martin SM as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Christchurch. Bishop-elect Paul Martin was born in Hastings in 1967, one of five children.  He entered the Marist Seminary in February 1985 and studied theology and art at Victoria University, Wellington.  He taught English and Religious Education in NZ, and has held the roles of Rector at St Patrick’s College, Wellington and Deputy Director in Pastoral Care at St Bede’s College, Christchurch.  He has also served as President of the Wellington Secondary Schools’ Principals Association and was part of the
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Advent

(1st Sunday of Advent – Year B) Here we go. The festive season is upon us yet again. Importantly it is also the start of the new liturgical year. Our liturgical cycle this time around takes us through Mark’s Gospel, which scholars believe to be written around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roma ns in 70.A.D.  During this period Mark was writing to an audience that were living in some tough times, socially and politically. But this was to be expected, Jesus frequently warned his followers that to be a follower of Christ would bring adversity.
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Christ the King of the Universe

We priests have just come out of 5 days of Spiritual Retreat, led by Bishop Hugh Gilbert OSB (i.e. a Benedictine monk) of the Diocese of Aberdeen, Scotland.  During the retreat, Fr Graeme mischievously set me up for a confrontation with the bishop.  He knew I have no time for the Monarchy, and when he discovered that the Bishop is very much a Monarchist, challenged me to confront the Bishop.  Not one that is shy for a fight, that I duly did……  Why am I not a Monarchist?  You may have heard me preach the reason.  It is simple. I
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What is a Talent?

33rd Sunday in Ordinary time Perhaps the most common understanding of the word talent is a certain ability or gift that God has given each one of us. Yet we should be careful to remember that what a talent means in the ancient Biblical sense is different to how we understand it today.  A talent in ancient times was a measurement of something weighty, like silver or Gold.  Thus to the ancient reader, the use of the word talent would instantly bring to mind something heavy. But more than this, to the mind of a Jew, the heaviness of a
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You do not know either the day or the hour

    This Sunday’s Gospel presents us with the parable of the Ten Maidens (Matthew 25:1-13).  The parable centres on a Jewish marital custom whereby, after the period of betrothal, the groom would lead a procession to bring his new wife to their home, and they would celebrate a week-long banquet with family and friends.  In the parable, the bridegroom arrives to begin the joyous procession and take his wife to the marriage feast.  The foolish maidens who were unprepared and without oil are excluded from the celebration while the wise maidens participate fully.  The parable emphasises the need for
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Love of God and Love of Neighbour

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time   In this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 22:34-40), Jesus quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy (6:4-5); ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might’.  Next He quotes from the Book of Leviticus (19:18); ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’  Unlike any other who has gone before Him, Jesus places the twofold commandment side by side, and insists that true love of God must be enfleshed in the love of our neighbour.  He went on to say that all the Scriptures ‘hang on’ these
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The Two Kingdoms

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time   The Pharisees and Herodians were effective at designing trick questions, the ones that to whichever answer Jesus gave, would be wrong. Jesus finds himself in this situation in our Gospel again today. If he answered that it was unlawful to pay taxes to Caesar, then he would have been in a great deal of trouble with the Romans. Yet if he answered that taxes should be paid to Caesar it would contradict the idea that God was sovereign over all things. But Jesus gives a brilliant answer by making a distinction between two different
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Many are invited, few are chosen

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time This Sunday’s Gospel Passage (Matt 22:1-10) presents us with another parable.  In the parable a King invites people to the wedding feast of his son.  When the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.  The king, rather harshly, asks his attendants to “bind the man’s hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”  Jesus goes on to say:  “Many are invited, but few are chosen”.  The man represents the sinner who wants to
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Be persistent with Prayer

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A   “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!” – These were the words of a 19th century Presbyterian pastor, reminding us of what we are missing out on when we do not pray. Continually we are faced with difficulties, worries and concerns. Continually we hold onto them and try to process them ourselves and without the help of God. But as our second reading reminds us, the peace of God will always come to us when we
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