Godzdogz

Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?'

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Today’s readings: Matthew 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14—27:66 or 27:11-54 Read more

'It is finished' (John 19:30)

Friday, April 15, 2011
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'I Thirst'

Thursday, April 14, 2011
"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst." John 19:28

This passage from the Gospel of St John records a truly poignant moment in the Passion of Our Lord. At its centre is something very human, something common to us all: thirst. All of us have experienced thirst to some degree and those who have experienced acute thirst know the distress it can bring. Real thirst can leave the body reeling and the mind confused. Whilst we can cope with hunger, indeed whilst we can live without food for some three weeks, we cannot do without water for more than a few days. The dying often experience intense thirst and it is as if the water, of which our bodies are largely constituted, is seeping away and with it the life that it symbolises.

In declaring this most human of needs, Christ, in His near final words upon the cross, spells out for us His true humanity. He declares that He has united Himself to us and shares with us in His sinless body all that is present in full human nature, the nature we are called daily to grow into and fulfil. The Roman soldier, no doubt moved by Jesus’ humble request, acquiesces and grants him some of the vinegar wine which he has. In this small act of human kindness we can see mirrored the far greater act of love which is Christ's death on the cross, a death given that our thirst may finally be quenched.

All of us thirst, but not just for water. We experience that deeper thirst at the very heart of our being for the One who gives us life and who promises life for all eternity. He never leaves our side and, even in the depths of distress, He lifts up to our lips the saving water of His blood, shed for us that we may know Him and be united to Him. “Oh God, you are my God for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you, like a dry weary land without water.” (Psalm 62)  Read more

Services at Blackfriars

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Behold your son

Thursday, April 14, 2011
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished … (Jn 19:26-28) Read more

'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit'

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The gospels tell us that Jesus prayed the psalms as he hung on the cross. Matthew and Mark record the opening verse of Psalm 21(22), 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' Scholars remind us that to refer to a psalm by its opening words is a way of referring to the entire psalm, and that we should imagine Jesus praying his way through the whole of it. Read more

'In truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise'

Monday, April 11, 2011
Paradise Lost - and Restored Read more

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Sunday, April 10, 2011
At some point all of us have to face death in some form: the loss of a loved one, a relative, a friend, or the recognition of our own mortality in the face of sickness or old age. We have all spoken words of comfort to those who mourn and, no doubt, felt that such words do not really do justice to the situation. Sometimes as we utter such condolences, we can feel the presence of a contradiction arising between what we see: death and grief, and what we profess to believe: the resurrection and eternal life.

Feeling helpless in the face of death should not surprise us, indeed, feeling a gulf between the unseen life eternal and the visible, tangible reality of death is no uncommon reaction. The grief that such separation brings is very real and we see clearly that painful reality in today's Gospel. Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, is dead and Mary and Martha are mourning the loss of their brother as they face an uncertain future. Jesus enters into their grief and is moved by their plight, in fact he is deeply troubled by the outward reality that is death. What He does in the face of this death is quite astonishing and in raising Lazarus He gives the people a great sign by which they might know that He is the Christ.

But it is not simply in the action of restoring Lazarus to bodily life that we see the glory of God at work, it is in the way that he clearly shows the women and his disciples that He is the bridge between the seen and unseen, the visible and the invisible. He is the very real and true link by which our apparent contradiction in grief is removed. “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

Much of what we see in life is fleeting, we catch glimpses of events and people but the reality of what underpins these moments is much more precious. We can see two people talking or laughing together but the friendship or love which binds them to one another is much more compelling than the surface impression, it is something altogether greater and more powerful. We have to lift our eyes and raise our minds to appreciate such things, we have to try to see beyond what is fleeting to what is eternal. Christ helps us to do this in His very person as He did with the mourners at Bethany. Indeed, through His subsequent passion and death, He reveals to us all the reality of that which we cannot see without the eyes of faith. If we allow Him to show us the truth of unseen things, then the perceived contradictions between that seen and that professed , even in the midst of suffering and death, will be resolved in Him. Like Martha we will be able to answer; “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”  Read more

'Father forgive them for they know not what they do'

Sunday, April 10, 2011

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Dominican Chant During Lent

Sunday, April 10, 2011
Our brother Innocent Smith, O.P., of the St. Joseph Province, has prepared a thoughtful and reflective presentation about our Order's distinctive Lenten chants for Compline. Read more
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