The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:1-17)

The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:1-17)

The book of Isaiah is often known as the ‘Fifth Gospel’ for its detailed references to the future birth, life and death of the Messiah. Particularly at Christmastime, several passages from the prophet are read during Mass that are understood as references to the birth of Christ. As Pope John Paul II explained: “One of … Continue reading The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:1-17)

The Crucifixion (Psalm 22:1-18)

The Crucifixion (Psalm 22:1-18)

Psalm 22, traditionally thought to be by King David, is a heartrending prayer for relief from suffering. From the gospels, however, we learn that the psalm is also a coded reference to the crucifixion of Christ. There are a number of reasons why this is. Firstly, St John’s gospel says that while Christ was being … Continue reading The Crucifixion (Psalm 22:1-18)

The Song of Creation (Daniel 3:46-90)

The Song of Creation (Daniel 3:46-90)

The Song of Creation, also known as the Benedicite, is found within the Book of Daniel. It was originally a thanksgiving song, first sung by the Three Holy Youths, in one of their darkest hours. As Pope St John Paul II explained: “This hymn, sung by three young Hebrews who invite all the creatures to … Continue reading The Song of Creation (Daniel 3:46-90)

The Piercing of the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-14)

The Piercing of the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-14)

The Prophet Zechariah served God at a critical time, when the Jews had just returned from exile in Babylon (around 520 BC). He was from a priestly family and lived at the same time as the prophet Haggai (Nehemiah 12:1,12,16). The two of them supported the high priest Joshua and the governor Zerubbabel in the … Continue reading The Piercing of the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-14)

The Life of St Joseph (Matthew 1:18-2:23)

The Life of St Joseph (Matthew 1:18-2:23)

St Joseph is probably best-known for his key role in the Nativity, travelling with his pregnant wife to Bethlehem and caring for the Christ child in the manger. However, there are several other episodes recorded in the gospels that tell us more about him and of his important role in the life of Christ. As … Continue reading The Life of St Joseph (Matthew 1:18-2:23)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Christ once told a story about how God is always ready to forgive our sins. It’s commonly known as ‘the parable of the prodigal son’, because the younger son in the story was ‘prodigal’, or reckless with money. The famous parable, from St Luke’s gospel, sits alongside two others on the subject of God’s mercy … Continue reading The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

The Visitation (Luke 1:39-45)

The Visitation (Luke 1:39-45)

‘The Visitation’ is the formal name for the visit of the Virgin Mary to her elderly relative, St Elizabeth. The episode is described only in St Luke’s gospel. It took place straight after the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was pregnant. Mary’s first thought on receiving this news was for her elderly relative Elizabeth, … Continue reading The Visitation (Luke 1:39-45)