Memory – Mark Aloysius, SJ

John 6:60-69, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time There is this urban legend which states that goldfish have a memory span of about three seconds. If one were forced to live in such a small glass bubble, perhaps amnesia might be the only means of coping. These days I wonder if our collective memory span would…

Darkness – Mark Aloysius, SJ

John 18:1-19:42, Good Friday In the novel Night, Elie Wiesel recounts his experiences of being in the concentration camps during World War II through the fictional character Eliezer, a pious Orthodox Jewish teenager. In a central event in the novel, Eliezer and the rest of the camp witness the hanging of a child, who dies…

Rehearsing Love – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Mark 14:1-15/47, Palm Sunday This is the only Sunday in the year when we read two Gospels, one of triumphant entry, the other of crushing defeat. It is as if we are not permitted to linger very long with palms in our hand, celebrating Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. After all, this is not why Jesus…

Beyond the Darkness – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Mark 9:2-10, Second Sunday of Lent There is this painting by Rubens, Landscape by Moonlight (1635-40), which I think might provide a way in which we could meditate on our readings today. In this painting, Rubens paints the night sky illuminated by the warm light of the moon and innumerable stars. Against this brilliant but…

Light from Light – Mark Aloysius, SJ

John 1:6-8; 19-28, 2nd Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) Have you ever looked at the moon and wondered at its beauty? Its shape transforming from a crescent to a disc as it dances across the sky, through the changing of the seasons. Luminously golden as it may appear to us who behold it, we know…

The Art of Forgiveness – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 18:21-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Just a couple of days ago, I witnessed something that made me think even now of how limited our capacity to forgive is, and how much our readings today want to expand our capacity for forgiveness. Outside an apartment building, I saw a young mother screaming at security…

A Paradigm of Encounter – Mark Aloysius, SJ 

Matthew 15:21-28, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Never in my life has the question of race featured so much in public discourse as it has in the last week. Aside from the usual racist rhetoric, which reveal deep currents of prejudice within our society, what has been worrying is the normalisation of hatred directed towards…

Hopeful Imagining – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 13:24-30, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was a teenager, our English teacher wore a t-shirt that amused me immensely. On it was written the caption, the older I get, the better I was! I remember him using the t-shirt to both educate us about tenses and also about life. As time passes,…

The Heart of the Gospel – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 13:-19; 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time In the film Inception, a team of skilled thieves, who steal corporate secrets through entering the dreams of others, are given the task of planting an idea in the mind of an heir of a major corporation. The idea that they are tasked to plant is to dissolve…

What if God were one of us – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 10:37-42, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time I. There was once a monastery which was dying as it only had five monks left. Despairing over the eventual demise of his monastery, the Abbot went to see a wise Rabbi who lived nearby for advice. The Rabbi welcomed the Abbot in his little hut. The two…

Broken – Mark Aloysius, SJ

John 6:51-58, Solemnity of Corpus Christi If you have been following the BBC series Broken, which centres around the life of a Catholic priest in Liverpool, you would have noticed how the story is punctuated with Eucharistic motifs. Though much of Broken shows people in great difficulty, my favourite scenes were those of children, their…

I am Never Alone – Mark Aloysius, SJ

John 20:19-23, Pentecost How can we begin to talk about the invisible, intangible, impalpable Spirit of God? Perhaps we should begin with a very common expression we might have heard or even used ourselves: I still feel her spirit with me. We use those words to express that inexplicable but very real experience of feeling,…