Year A Sunday Gospel Reflections by John McKinnon

Mary carefully kept all these words and pondered them in her heart

[The Lectionary presented Mathew's account of the birth of Jesus last Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Advent. Every year, the Gospels for the Midnight Mass and the Dawn Mass of Christmas are taken from the Gospel of Luke. Because the Gospel of the Midnight Mass has already been commented on in last year 's [Year C] Cycle, the commentary today will examine the Gospel used at the Dawn Mass.]

Today's passage continues Luke's narrative of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. It takes up the story just after the announcement of the birth made by angelic messengers to shepherds watching their sheep out in the fields.

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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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