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,…

Between Two Miracles – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Luke 1:39-56, Feast of the Visitation Among all the Marian feasts, today is the most ordinary, the least miraculous. There are no angels intruding into quiet spaces; no bodies ascending from earth to heaven. What we see is just two women coming to meet, to talk, to share their joy. Yet, the church chooses to…

What Happens when We Lose God – Mark Aloysius, SJ

John 14:15-21, Sixth Sunday of Easter Have you ever had the experience of having something stolen from you? Recently I had the unfortunate experience of being robbed at a place where I have always felt safe. While I was in the changing room of our gym, someone stole a belt from my trousers. Talk about…

Stop Worrying (for Lent and beyond) – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 6:24-34, Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time I. In just a few days time, we will enter the season of Lent. I’m sure that some of you, if not many, have given thought to what it is you will fast from this Lent. Perhaps some of you will give up some kind of food, kick…

When the Good is Mixed Up with the Bad – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 5:13-16, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time I. There is a scene in the biopic, Jackie, which I have been thinking about a lot since I last saw it. Jackie is desolate and disorientated after the assassination of JFK, and she speaks with a priest about the memories of her marriage. She speaks of the…

Deepening Desires – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 5:1-12, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time I. Anyone who is a parent, a teacher or has dealt with young children knows the strategy of deflection; a strategy that is used in order to avoid having to give an answer in the present moment. When a child is set upon something which you do not…

Ever Widening Circles – Mark Aloysius, SJ

John 1:29-34, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time I. When I was a young child, there was an animation called The Spiral Zone which I used to faithfully follow. In this animation, the bad guys would set up a generator from which an ever widening hemisphere enveloped the entire land, called the spiral zone. Within this…

A Shoot Springs – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 3:1-12, Second Sunday of Advent I. I wonder if some of you have made it to the Caravaggio exhibition here at the National Gallery. There is a painting there, on loan from the National Gallery of Ireland, that has an interesting Jesuit connection. The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio hung for many years in…

Un-busy-ing – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Matthew 24:37-44, First Sunday of Advent   I. Have you ever heard the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by the Russian composer Rachmaninov? This rhapsody begins with a tune that I am sure all of you have heard, Caprice 24 by Paganini. In this first part of the rhapsody, we hear such a vibrant…

When God seems Absent – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Luke 17 5:10, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time I. Perhaps as we begin a new academic year after our summer holidays, we do well to spend some time reflecting on all the experiences we have had during our break. You might have had the grace of rest, the pleasure of being in the midst of…