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Listen

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Jesus said:
‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’
Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.
So Jesus spoke to them again:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
I am the gate of the sheepfold.
All others who have come
are thieves and brigands;
but the sheep took no notice of them.
I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me will be safe:
he will go freely in and out
and be sure of finding pasture.
The thief comes
only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come
so that they may have…

Thomas II

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Did anyone ever ask Thomas?

No one ever asked where I had been.

When the women had brought the message of his Resurrection, I had followed after the others. Seeing Peter confused - as ever- and John struck dumb for once, I prayed with all my heart for it to be true. The women said we had to go back to the Galilee but Peter was still rooted in indecision. There was no sign of us leaving the stale darkness of the upper room. Their words felt like dream memories. Hopes of another world - we were stuck in this one. I couldn't bear it. 

The others swore that they had seen the Lord, but where was the light? Where was his energy, his joy, his understanding? Where was he?

If it was true then why weren't we going to Galilee?

I had said that we should come to die with him. It feels as though I have. My only refuge is  the place where Mary had watched. Bundled into the low branches of the olive tree, wrapped still in the acrid scent of despair, I took the night watch on the abandoned tomb. W…

A cold and broken Hallelujah

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John 20:1-9

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dea…

Sing Hosannah!

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Matthew 21:1-11
When they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
‘Go into the village facing you,
and immediately you will find an ass tied,
and a colt with her: untie them and bring them to me.
If anyone says anything to you, you shall say,
“The Lord has need of them,”
and he will send them immediately.’
This took place to fulfil
what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
‘Tell the daughter of Sion,
Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of an ass.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;
they brought the ass and the colt,
and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon.
Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road,
and others cut branches from the trees
and spread them on the road.
And the crowds that went before him
and that followed him shouted,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!’
And when he en…

Urbi et Orbi

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John 11:1-45
There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. The sisters sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’ On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea.’ The disciples said, ‘Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you; are you going back again?’ Jesus replied:
‘Are there not twelve hours in the day?
A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling
because he has the light of this world to see by;
but if he walks at night he stumbles,
because there is no light to guide him.’
He said…

All in this together

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Gospel of Luke

The angel Gabriel said to Mary, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured!
The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply  disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmai…

The servant’s name was Malchus.

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Easter Midrash 

An imagined story of Good Friday 

"The servant’s name was Malchus." John 18:10

The servant's name is Malchus. I am not dead yet, rather, far from it. I don't know how others felt when they were healed but the inside of a miracle is a place of light and clarity beyond any new dawn. The complex weaving of skin only reflecting the myriad unravelling of thoughts and memories below the surface. Paths of life's story being made straight.

My name is Malchus. Named by my mother. Her bedtime tale that I was named after the appearance, in Jerusalem, of regal scholars from the East. Magi seeking a king who had not yet been born. A slave herself, she had stood holding a lamp as the temple priests and scribes argued amongst themselves; no-one wishing to tell Herod that the prophecy was not for his line. When I was born just a few days later, I became her little 'king'. That's what Malchus means. I didn't thank her for it. Growing up in slave quarte…