Not easy to plan a homily for this weekend (to be honest it’s never ‘easy’). People are split across several axes of reality in its aftermath. Some are angry, some mad, some with the church – some with the media – it’s opened wounds for some people, it’s caused the first cut for others. Some want to ignore it all, others don’t know what words to use to talk about it. So …

I spent some time reflecting on the scriptures for the weekend Mass and based my homily on these … and their resonances int he news about the Dublin Report.

These are my notes. I don’t read a homily as such. I use notes and phrases and sentences and build what I say around these … trying to leave room for the breeze of the Spirit to blow through it, too.

First Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a new year in the church’s calendar. Advent is our time for reminding ourselves that God’s plan to bring all things to himself isn’t yet complete, there’s more to be done.

Christ has promised to return in glory at the end of time. The scriptures and prayers of Advent challenge us to be mindful of this and to be ready.

Advent also calls us to prepare for Christmas, for our commemoration of when the Son of God was made man so that he could “show the path to those who stray”. (Psalm 24)

We have all been reminded in the past week once again of the need we have of God. St. Paul’s words to the early Christians are directed to people in ministry in the Church, too. Challenged “to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants.”

  • “praying at all times”:-

—  for healing for those immediately affected by the issues raised in the report and for their families,

—  For healing for those who have suffered as children and young people at the hands of people elsewhere in society and in families,

—  For all the church (all baptised): for strength, for hope and for confidence – not because there’s a sense that the church is being got at – but for the strength, hope and confidence to overcome the pain and disappointment that rises up inside us. (I share some of that shame, anger and pain.)

—  For help to be like Christ, to be compassionate to all, to help all to heal, to learn from the past, to never loose hope, to know that Christ heals.