Year A Sunday Gospel Reflections by John McKinnon

“… though they see, they do not see; and though they hear, they do not hear or understand”

The mood had changed over time. After initial enthusiasm, Jesus and the disciples were beginning to confront indifference and even organised opposition. Their situation resembled in some ways what disciples encounter today, at least in the Western world. After centuries of power and influence shared with secular regimes, the Church is losing ground. Many Church members are confused, wondering what is going on, and what has gone wrong. Has God’s Kingdom lost its vitality?

In an effort to engage with the indifferent, Jesus began to address them in parables. There was little to be gained by his giving answers to questions they were not asking. Generally, parables are stories drawn from life, which first engage and then confuse. They raise questions, and leave their hearers to reflect on their experience to find answers.

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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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