Weekly Sunday homilies by Father Marcus Holden and Father Andrew Pinsent, who were ordained Catholic priests in September 2005. Together they've founded the Evangelium project.
Many thanks to Edwin Fawcett for the gift of his music.
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Here below are the Evangeliums for Sundays in liturgical year B (which begins on 1st Sunday of Advent, 30 November 2014). They were recorded in 2011. You can listen to Sunday Evangelium by season: Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter & then Special Feast Days.
"Today we celebrate the first disclosure of the Son of God to the gentiles, to the non-Jewish people, to Magi or Wise Men from beyond the borders of ancient Israel. These men probably came from Persia, the area today known as Iran. .. But we know little about these men except that they must have had remarkable humility. In their search for truth, they were prepared to go wherever they were guided by the star. They left their country and travelled first to Jerusalem and finally to a humble dwelling in Bethlehem, and when they saw the child Jesus with his mother Mary, the Bible records an extraordinary action: these wise men, presumabely notables of some wealth in their own country, fell to their knees and worshipped. They worshipped because they had an epiphany or theophany. In the face of Christ, they recognised the face of God-made-man."
Readings: Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12: After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
"I invite you to picture in your minds eye the image of the stable, with representatives of every aspect of God's creation gathering around the manger: the child's mother Mary, her husband Joseph, the shepherds who have come in from the fields, the Wise Men shortly to arrive from the East, the ox and the ass who know their Master's crib and the star in the sky. They have come to Bethlehem not simply to revere the birth of a great man, some future prophet or world leader, they have come to worship God Himself; they have come to gaze on the face of God, God-made-Man for our salvation."
Readings: Gospel: John 1:1-18: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
"We're made for the lights of eternity, we're made for God. God became man, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. He became one with our humanity, not with an animal, a plant or even a planet. He became one with us and it tells us about ourselves that we're made for him and our hearts will be restless until they rest in him. Lets allow him on this night to subvert us! To enter clandestinely as a warrior into our soul, to break down and topple all those idols, all those false things that hold us back, because he will bring light. O Christian realise tonight in the wonder of the manger your nobility. Amen."
Readings: Gospel: Luke 2:1-14: .. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a saviour has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
4th Sunday of Advent
"Yet throughout all these centuries of tribulation, the promise of God in the first reading remained, namely that God Himself would make a house in which to dwell, and that the sovereignty of David's line and throne would be established forever. And this is the background against which the events of Christmas are highlighted, like a light set in the darkness, like a mystery at last revealed, in the light of which the whole history of the Old Testament is seen as a foreshadowing and a prefigurement. For what St Paul describes as the Good News is something genuinely and uniquely new in the world, namely that God has become man and dwelt among us. The temple that God has prepared is not the gold and stone of the Temple of Solomon, but the body and blood of Jesus Christ himself. The ark of the covenant is no longer a casket overlaid in gold, but the Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, who held the living Word of God. And when God lies in a manger so that we can at last see him face to face, he is not come to us through the plans and works of a man, but through the loving obedience of a woman who gives us, in a few simple words, the entire key to holiness and to glory: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me."
Readings: Gospel: Luke 1:26-38: The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. ..'"
3rd Sunday of Advent
with Father Marcus Holden, in Year B
"There's one thing that can separate us from the joy that has been offered - one thing and one thing only. We often think it’s a situation that takes it away or a person or some suffering or something we don't have, but none of those things really matter, in fact they can be turned to benefits. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in that regard: there's one thing and it's personal sin. The Holy Father said recently that the only evil in the Church is sin; all the other problems can be traced back to this. And while the other things have a certain importance, they only have a relative importance. Sin is the thing that really separates us, freely chosen sin, but it has a remedy. However big that sin is, however blinding, however blocking it can be for the love of God, for the joy of our souls, that sin can be eradicated. and its remedy - confession. At this time, preparing for Christmas, we're called to return to that sacrament of reconciliation. There's nothing more important."
Readings: Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28: A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. '"
1st Sunday of Advent
"We get to Christmas and when we've eaten all the food and opened all the presents and all the guests have gone home, we could easily say 'What was the point of all that?' As Shakespeare has written: 'Life is but a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. Tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.' Without Christ, without eternal life, without heaven, everything can seem as nothing and would be as nothing. The very dissatisfaction at the core of our being with everything, which makes us so different from all other creatures on earth, may be teaching us something. It may not be pointless after all. Is God teaching us that we're made for a love that lasts, for a truth that holds firm, for everlasting life - we're made for God. Advent is the season to put our waiting, our hopes, our desires in order."
Readings: Gospel: Mark 13:33-37: Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'"