Saturday, 20 September 2014

Homily Notes: Twenty-Fifth Sunday Year A

One of the things that really gets me annoyed is when somebody jumps a queue. If I have been waiting in a line for ages, and someone further up the line sneaks in, it can be infuriating! Wait your turn!
The gospel parable today annoys me as well. How can one who has worked so hard all day get the same wages as one who has joined in the last hour? What is that all about! Those scholars who commentate of the scriptures tell us that a parable is meant to get under our skin, to make the listener think, to challenge our comfortable notion of life, and how it is being lived. This one does the job!
The answer of the landowner is worth noting, he responds; why get angry because I am generous? In other words, I am not like you!  This is so true of our life of faith. Now and again I can find myself judging people by my own poor standards and not understanding the generous goodness of God, who is not like me.
I think wrongly sometimes that it can be unfair that being good is not a prerequisite for being rewarded. But doing good, is the natural obligation of one who professes faith in Christ. We don’t do good just to get God’s attention, and we don’t do good just to get back something. We do good, because Jesus commands us to! He reminds us this often when he tells us to love God and our neighbour as ourselves. Jesus does not say love God so as to advance in his estimation; God loves us unconditionally anyway. His love is one that calls us to love, to follow his example, pouring out our lives for others as a direct response to being loved.
God loves generously, and calls people to faith in him. Our part of this is not to judge who is worthy or not of God’s love and attention, our part is to serve God’s word by embracing it as fully as we can as we live. When we fall down we can approach the throne of God’s infinite mercy, and seek God’s generous loving nature found there in abundance.

Friday, 19 September 2014

First Words

First Words

Woken from restless dreamings in the torrid night
Morning brings a silent wake, receives fresh light
Opening eyes banish sleeping, a new day to ignite
As grey canvas skies gradually take their daily flight
First words belong to prayer, the sacred ancient rite
Whispered in gratitude, a sheltering in God’s sight
An eternal communication with the divine playwright
Inspiration springs forth, with new chapters to write
Be close to me Lord, as I journey, my heart excite
Allow my words to be kind, your word be my delight! 

Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2014 all rights reserved

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Aye Vote

The Aye Vote

Waiting for a Scottish winter to take effect 
To freeze the bairns, is freedom that perfect?
Say yes to the centuries old righting of wrongs
Dancing to the tunes of age old national songs
United? Well have you seen the green and blue 
Marching with whistle, banging the drums for you
Better together, whispers in the autumn, vote no 
Let's share a drink, a handshake with the old foe
Malt whiskey, leaves a bitter taste in the throat
When supped by a Sasanach, stubborn old goat
So go, say farewell as you wave me goodbye 
Take that Holyrood road when you vote your Aye! 
When winter comes calling, the road frozen over
A distant memory, the route south towards Dover 
We will drink to the good times, the tartan years
Lamenting the Union's demise with genuine tears! 

Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2014 
all rights reserved

Monday, 15 September 2014

Melancholy meets a moment of Grace

Melancholy meets a moment of Grace
I possess a melancholic companion that haunts me
That stares into the raging fire and walks into the roaring sea 
A sadness clings to my shivering child, in the corner of my mind
On my shoulder as I walk or run, I feel an icy breath close behind
A sorrowful waif who glides around the recesses of my aching heart
Waiting for twist or turn, the opportunity to tear my fragile hope apart
Lurking in the uncertainty of the inability to perceive what is yet to come
Planting doubt, hesitating an advent of joy, rendering my heart numb
To vanquish this foe, this ravaging soldier, quickly advancing towards me
my knees fall in prayer, hands lift up high, my words whisper an urgent plea
“Lord God, in your goodness have mercy, save me, make my delight in thee”
My trembling limbs steady, fear fades way, in a restoration of the gift of serenity, as what was melancholy is transformed in a moment of grace, to a promise of eternity.
Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2014 all rights reserved

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Sunday Homily Notes: THe Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Cross of Jesus is not a beautiful thing to behold, and yet it transfixes our eyes. The savagery and cruelty of the crucifixion of Jesus stands at odds with the obedient willingness of Jesus to endure it for our sake. As St Paul reminds us in the second reading at Mass today:
“Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”
The gospel helps us to delve deeper into the mystery of the Cross when it says
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.”
This mystery of the Cross attracts people to come to its truth. An uncomfortable truth, that challenges our perception of life and the way it is to be lived. It is a truth that sets us free from clinging onto our own way. A truth that allows us the freedom to think unselfishly, and not burden ourselves with the pursuit of things, or of personal glory. The cross of Jesus reminds us also that evil will not overcome, that in the end love triumphs. Love is the reason for our hoping; God loves us and that love compelled his Son to go to the cross and die for our sins, taking them on himself. By his death on the cross our wounds have been healed, our sins forgiven, and our life assured.
The Cross is more than a symbol or a sign, it is the promise of God’s love for us and an assurance of his mercy granted to the penitent heart.
I am reminded today of the story of the old violin that was being sold at auction. The first few bids were very low, as it was old. Then an old man stepped forward and played the violin and it made a most wonderful music. The next bids were considerably higher, the old violin’s true value was seen when it was demonstrated by one who knew its mystery. The Cross of Jesus only makes sense to those who delve deep into its mystery, who know why Jesus was lifted up. And knowing this mystery changes our perspective on this world, which holds no lasting fear for us, for the direction our lives are taking are being lifted up too, and sustained in the Cross of Jesus, who died for us.
In his Cross we find our hope, the hope to accept our own sufferings and weaknesses and the hope to rise above them, seeking God’s kingdom in our lives, and when our lives on earth eventually come to an end inhering the Kingdom prepared for us.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


Freeing the heart of clutter
With words of trust to utter
Flowing from a place of gratitude
That seeks a moment of personal solitude
Communing with the Author of my book of days
So as to become more instructed in his heavenly ways.


Kneeling before the King
Allowing my heart to freely sing
Bowing my head in an act of adoration
Bearing my soul in an act of supplication
Asking for help in my weakness, my humanity
Receiving a promise of a healing hand through eternity. 


Sighing when words run out
Hearing the Advocate erase all doubt
Gently renewing a loving, trusting heart
Dusting down, ready for a brand new start
Abandoning my future to the God of my life
Who eases all worries, any confusion, the pain or strife.

Fr Patrick Brennan © 2014 all rights reserved


September, presiding over fruitful activity, as another years ending looks over the shoulder, acknowledging awakening creativity, as the race engaged in, is in full flow.

A time to remember past loves and not forget new ones to come, a time to hope, for future dreams to gleefully sow.

Autumn is introducing its season, quickening the heart, flowering the anticipation of the shivering sensation.
The mouth watering prospect of all this striving, turning into the reality of arriving at the so longed for destination.

Morning dawns with a  chilly sky scouring the terrain underneath, injecting it with a mournful glow.

While idling behind slow moving grey clouds, the sun gets ready to make a show, to appear to delighted mortals below.

Gentle, worn leaves instinctively call time on holding tightly, closing wise old eyes.

While letting go of familiar branches, find themselves floating down to the earth, carpeting the ground, to the delight of younger eyes.

The blanket covering of Autumnal making, presents stoically a decaying reminder that the journey is seeking a finishing.

Searching craves finding, new beginnings unseen, hidden to the eye, but alive to the senses excitedly awaking.

Contemplating this gorgeously sumptuous, indulgent season, that proudly puts on the golden gown of Septembers regal finery.

I settle down to welcome what is to come, while daring to lament what has gone, allowing the heart to accept hoping, to find peaceful occupation, to give into trusting happily, finally.

Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2014 all rights reserved