Year A Sunday Gospel Reflections by John McKinnon

The Lateran Basilica was the first official public church building in the diocese of Rome, a basilica formerly used for legal administration in the city. It was given by the Emperor Constantine to the Christian community in Rome as a place for worship. It became the Pope’s church, close to where for centuries the Popes resided, and from where the Pope still officially presides. The Roman diocese remembered the original gift and dedication and celebrated them each year. Then, two years after the conclusion of the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, the feast was extended to the whole Catholic world. The building was seen possibly as a tangible affirmation of the Church’s historical origins and the primacy of the Pope, and symbol of the Church’s unity and strength.

The Gospel of today’s Mass is taken from St John’s Gospel, and deals with issues suggested by the Temple building in Jerusalem.

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Year A Sunday Gospel Reflections by John McKinnon

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John McKinnon is a priest of the diocese of Ballarat, Western Victoria, who studied for six years in Rome where he was ordained in 1957. On reaching the age of 75 in 2008, he retired from official parish work and has made himself available for other…


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John McKinnon is a priest of the diocese of Ballarat, Western Victoria, who studied for six years in Rome where he was ordained in 1957. On reaching the age of 75 in 2008, he retired from official parish work and has made himself available for other ministries in the diocese. During his life as priest he has been parish priest, Diocesan chaplain of the Young Christian Workers Movement, lectured at the Institute of Catholic Education in Ballarat, and worked at a national level in the ongoing education of priests. He has given retreats to priests in most of the dioceses of Australia, as well as to religious and laity. Of recent years, he has been drawn on to give regular spiritual support to priests, religious and laity, particularly in the more isolated areas of his diocese.

John said: "My aim in these talks is to provide background for people who wish to reflect on the Sunday Gospels in the light of their own personal experience and to apply them to their lives. I shall examine each text, seeking to explain details that may not be familiar, and trying to determine the particular nuances of Jesus' message that the author of the gospel wished to emphasise. I shall conclude each talk with three questions that may help people's personal reflection and application of the Gospel's message."

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