Tag Archives: Fr Doug Shepherd

The Cathedral Connection 28 July 2019

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PRAYER

The importance of prayer is a favourite theme in Luke. It underpins the message in both the First Reading and in the Gospel of today.

In the First Reading we have Abraham interceding with God on Sodom’s behalf. A city full of evil and corruption. Abraham is troubled by the idea of the innocent being punished along with the guilty so passionately prays to God, even bargains with him.

The First Reading highlights the importance of intercessory prayer and reveals the true mercy of God.

This prepares us for the Gospel in which Jesus tells his disciples how to pray to God, the Father and urges them to be persistent and confident in their prayers.

‘Ask, and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.’

 With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 30 June 2019

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In this new section of Luke’s Gospel Jesus journeys to Jerusalem. Luke portrays Jesus as one who knows his ultimate destiny and is willing to do everything in achieving his Father’s will.

Luke is not exactly interested in telling us the route Jesus followed as in telling us about the incidents he faced on the way.

In the first passage we see the hostility Jesus encountered from the inhabitants of a Samaritan village because they were heading for Jerusalem.

This is followed in the second passage by three different stories of would-be followers who had excuses in not committing themselves fully in being a true disciple of his. It is not an easy road to take in completely surrendering, as Jesus did, to the will of God.

Jesus did not hide this fact from his followers but told them as he tells us that total commitment is needed in witnessing to the Gospels.

‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

With every blessing and grace.

Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 26 May 2019

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The Gift of Peace

In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus knows and is aware of the deep anxiety of his disciples as they face the reality of his leaving them. They are who they are because of him. Without him who will they be? Jesus carefully prepares them for his departure. Before he returns to the father, he councils his disciples not to be afraid because go he must. He leaves them with his word, his peace and the promise of the Holy Spirit who will help them in the future to be the wonderful apostles they will become.

We too are not alone nor helpless. As Denis McBride writes:

‘We have the word of God and the presence of the Spirit to help us do what the Church must always do: face the real confusion and aim for peace. It will not be until the heavenly Jerusalem that we will know total peace. Meanwhile we face the real world with confidence because of the great gifts in our community: the word of God, the presence of the Spirit, and You who still argue for the freedom of the Gospel.’

May the peace of God be with you always

With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 14 April 2019

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IN MEMORY OF ME

On Sunday we will recall the joyous entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of ‘Hosanna.’ Some of those who were there at his entry would later be shouting out ‘Crucify him’ in the courtyard of Pontius Pilate.

We will again hear the passion of Christ and the terrible suffering Jesus had to endure.

As Christians we are a committed to be a people that remembers the passion of Jesus: Whenever you do this, do this in memory of me.

We remember the victory of love over the powers of hatred and destruction. The triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and of life over death.

His terrible suffering that saved the world, yet it wasn’t his suffering that redeemed us, it was his love.

Surely suffering is something you and I would give almost anything to avoid. Yet we would gladly suffer for someone whom we love.

As Christians we must not only accept suffering but make it holy. Love makes it holy.  And keeping the memory of Christ’s passion makes us sensitive and attentive to the suffering of others.

The cross demands our attention as we recall the suffering of Jesus and the suffering of all who are victims of hate and violence.

With every blessing

Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 31 March 2019

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The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness

 The parable of the Prodigal Son is probably the best known and best loved of all of Jesus’ stories. The younger son discovers that, in spite of his sins he is deeply loved and forgiven by his father. Gandhi experienced this when he was fifteen. He stole something from his brother. However, he felt so bad about it that he made up his mind to confess it to his father. He wrote out his sin on a piece of paper, asking for forgiveness and punishment, while promising to never steal again.

At the time his father was very sick and in bed. Gandhi handed him the note and sat by his father’s bedside waiting for judgment and punishment. His father sat up in bed and began to read the note. As he read it, tears came into his eyes. Gandhi himself began to cry. Instead of getting angry and punishing him, the father hugged the repentant son, and that was the end of the matter.

The experience of being loved while he was in sin had a profound effect on Gandhi. He said years later, ‘Only the person who has experienced this kind of love can know what it is.’

Those who experience this kind of love, know something about the heart of God and in the power of repentance and forgiveness. God never closes his heart to any of his children. No matter what they do, if they return to Him, the one thing they can be sure of is an unconditional and generous welcome.

With every blessing

Fr Doug

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