Homily for the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time


How good it is, Sunday after Sunday, to hear these Gospels from St Matthew! How good, amid the fears and obsessions wracking the kingdoms of the world, to hear Christ’s strong, calm voice telling us the secrets of the Kingdom of God. Sunday after Sunday, we’re given this opportunity to put on the mind of Christ. Continue reading

#WeAreStillHere – Shining a Light on Our Missionaries and World Mission Sunday

Missio Scotland in conjunction with the various National Offices of the Pontifical Mission Societies throughout the world has recently launched the #WeAreStillHere initiative, which aims to not only shine a light on our missionaries who have continued to serve in the mission countries and territories in which they work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic but also to encourage both prayers and generosity for their work, especially as we head towards World Mission Sunday on October 18. 

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Homily for the 23rd Sunday of the Year


In St Matthew’s Gospel, our Lord both teaches and does. He is the Master of thought and life. The Gospel alternates from one to the other, in a structured way. So, we find in Matthew’s Gospel five extended building-blocks of teaching, five major discourses – most famously, the Sermon on the Mount, chs 5 to 7. Today we are catapulted into the middle of the 4th, ch. 18. The focus of this discourse is how Christians should relate to each other. It is about life together in the Church. It looks beyond Jesus’ resurrection to the social presence of Christians in history – until the Lord comes. In fact, in today’s Gospel, lost in translation, the word “church” comes twice – here rendered “community”. And the Gospel is showing us how to get our Christian relationships right. Continue reading

Homily for 22nd Sunday of the Year


Today’s Gospel is a hard one. It must have been very hard for Peter to hear the words: “Get behind me, Satan.” It’s hard for us to hear the words about renouncing ourselves, taking up the Cross and being ready to lose our lives. This is not an attractive prospect. Where’s the Good News in this? And yet, and yet, I have the sense that this hardshell hides something nourishing and sweet. Beauty and the beast. I’m not sure I can get to it, but let’s try. Continue reading

Homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary


Aberdeen is a rather sombre place at present: still in lockdown, football-less, and most of all mourning the sad event on the train line north of Stonehaven, and the loss of three lives.

So it’s good to have this feast to keep. It lifts the heart. It is the main Marian feast of the year. It is the patronal feast of this Cathedral and of the diocese, and the principal patronal feast of Pluscarden Abbey too. Continue reading