24th November 2014 Glory be to the Father
For many people it is a custom to conclude the Angelus with the ‘Glory Be’.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

After having prayed about and reflected on the Incarnation, which lead Jesus to the Cross and Resurrection, the natural response for us is, ‘Glory to God - Praise to God’.

Praise is a natural response to any gift of God - to all God’s goodness and love.

We also include, as it were, all time in this prayer of praise. At this moment of time we unite ourselves to all people who praise God. People had praised you in the past (‘as it was in the beginning’). We praise you now (‘is now’). People will praise you in the future (‘and ever shall be’), and forever (‘world without end’).

17th November 2014 - May be his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection
The Incarnation cannot be separated from the Cross and the Resurrection.  God’s Son took flesh in order to reconcile us to the Father and to one another. As this plan unfolded we see that it lead to the Cross and the Resurrection.

Here is where the Angelus gives us the big picture. It is another reason why I love the Angelus. The Incarnation and Redemption are together in this final part of the prayer.

Not only does this final part of the prayer sum up Jesus’ saving work, it also says so much to us about the reality of our lives.

As we go through life we experience at different times both joy and sorrow. When there is joy we are grateful and yet know that inevitably there will also be times of sorrow. When we are in these times of sorrow, we also know that this is not the whole picture. God offers us joy again - and in different and deeper ways.

In other words there are ups and downs in our lives, as there were in Jesus’ and Mary’s life. However because of Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection, we also know that through our crosses we, with him, will come to the resurrection. All we go through in this life will be transformed by Jesus.

No matter what happens to us in life or whatever burdens we bear, the Angelus is a prayer of joy and hope. In fact it gives us, through the course of our lives, deeper joy and hope.

10th November 2014 - That we to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by an Angel Pt2
I just want to tease out a little more how God works through others and therefore through us. I begin by quoting the prayer of St Teresa of Avila:-

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours, yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion is to look out to the earth, yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good and yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.”

What St Teresa says is very real because of our Baptism. We have been plunged into Christ in Baptism [the meaning of the word Baptism]. We have been Christened [Christ-ened] so we are one body with Jesus.

Think of how you are Christ to your spouse, children, parents, families, parishioners, peers, work colleagues, and those you serve either in work or in the normal course of your life and relationships. Let us give thanks to God for the privilege of being instruments of Christ - and pray that we will become better instruments as the years go on.

3rd November 2014 - That we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Your Son was made known by an Angel Pt1
I would like again to reflect on how God works through others. In this case we have again the Angel at work.

A story is told of Jesus on his return to heaven. The Angels gathered around him and asked him about his time on earth and how things had been.

Jesus talked about his life and death etc. and how during his life he had helped others and brought them the Good News. He told them how he had gathered a group around him and trained them. He then sent them out to carry on his work of bringing the joy of the Gospel to others and help many people, as he did.

The Angels listened intently to Jesus but because they had an idea of the fickleness of human beings, they said to Jesus “What if this plan doesn’t work Jesus - what is your backup plan?” Jesus replied “I have no other plan”.

I leave you to contemplate this truth this week. Think of the fact that Jesus relies on you and me to bring the Good News of God’s love to others. What are the different ways we do this? He does rely on you and me, and remember as we do our part, he will certainly work through us.