Year C Sunday Gospel Reflections by John McKinnon

‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner'

Jesus was heading for Jerusalem. There the powerful Christ/Messiah, the glorious Son of Man, would be humiliated, brutalised, dehumanised and killed, convicted by the religious and secular rulers of the day. Common expectations would be turned on their heads. Even the sense of God, of sacrifice and of priesthood, would be re-defined.

As has been noted, Luke used Jesus' journey to Jerusalem as the setting for his collection of teachings of Jesus relevant to the life of discipleship within the Christian community. Like his crucifixion, so much of Jesus' teaching turned accepted wisdom on its head.

Today's teaching is a classic case in point – the discerning of genuine openness to grace. The story is well known.

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Year C 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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