Sunday of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

A comedian died and was waiting at the gates of Heaven, where he overheard St Peter assessing the people in front of him in the queue the way we’ve just heard in today’s gospel reading. The comedian felt ashamed and embarrassed that he couldn’t recall doing any of the good deeds listed. When it came…

33rd Sunday in Ordinary time

‘I’ve done nothing wrong’. I don’t have any official statistics to hand, but anecdotally this phrase is among the most commonly used explanations or excuses. Sometimes this phrase is worded rather differently, such as ‘I didn’t break the law’ or ‘I haven’t done anything illegal’. But the meaning remains the same: ‘doing nothing wrong’ is…

32nd Sunday in Ordinary time

Each year on 11 November in this country we remember the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. On that day, 99 years ago, the fighting on the Western Front in the Great War finally stopped. The end of the Great War continues to be marked with sadness and…

31st Sunday in Ordinary time

Five hundred years ago a monk called passionately for reforms of the Catholic Church in order to return it to its evangelical roots. All his ‘Ninety-Five Theses’ were summarily rejected, and the monk in question was urged by Pope Leo X and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to follow suit. He refused and, as…

29th Sunday in Ordinary time

Ten years ago, I took part in an introductory weekend course for clergy and religious from abroad who had come to work in Scotland. The main goal of that weekend course was to give us a better understanding of the country, including its historical, cultural, religious and political background. One talk was about the political…