Fr Kieran Gardiner
Church in Horsham
Fr Kieran Gardiner
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REFLECTION

Some turned against Jesus, the one who spoke gracious words, or the one who spoke challenging words, and
a mixture.


He was liked and not liked. There were people who were very religious and liked him, who were the backbone
of Judaism, and others who went off him when he said what they didn’t like or agree with. He started with the
Scripture – but then went on to point out bits of the scripture they didn’t like to hear – about foreigners.  And
later they would  say – sure we knew him as a kid and his family; that meant they could write off what he said.

He was inviting them to the purity of their religion. Often happens when there are new challenges in the church.
What is happening in the church where the world we live in challenges old customs and beliefs about marriage,
civil partnerships, divorce, and also how to welcome people to church who don’t feel they belong.  All are
welcome here in the love of God. We don’t give up what is essential to our church but we are brought into
rethinking and sometimes to change, sometimes to stay with what is an everlasting truth.

This happens in the church and in the family.  We need to be able to live in love with different points of view and
different ways of life.  Child not baptised, marriage not in church, gay partnerships….the people are more
important. Jesus is challenging them to see everyone as important, and especially the poor. He would always do
this. And they would kill him for it, because he never put organised religion before people.

The words which are at first upsetting may proved to be gracious words as they were from the mouth of the
Lord.

Donal Neary SJ

Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger