Weekly reflections from Monsignor Tony Doherty

4 April 2020
Palms in preparation for blessing during a Palm Sunday celebration at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville in 2019. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


A retired priest from the Archdiocese of Sydney has chosen to start recording weekly reflections on the Gospel.

Monsignor Tony Doherty has started a series of reflections called “Breaking Bread Together” on a personal YouTube channel.

The reflections were designed for parishioners of St Joseph’s Neutral Bay, part of the Parishes of Sydney Harbour North, but he warmly welcomes those outside of the parish to the video.

In his reflections, Msgr Doherty reads the Sunday Gospel, provides a reflection, and then allows for a time of prayer towards the end.

In his reflection for Palm Sunday, Msgr Doherty explained how Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was a deliberate move that he described as an “acted out parable” and how the fear we are currently experiencing will, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “you must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“There are key turning points in your own live. For Jesus, entering Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, he was facing one of the key turning points of His life. When he passed through those gates, there was no turning back. This was his point of no return.

“The point of this first Palm Sunday is not a comedy, but a drama of a man facing his fear. This young teacher from Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth, really confronted the sickening anxiety of what his life was calling to Him behind those ancient walls.

“In our life, Palm Sunday 2020 is a time when that same fear is abroad. It’s like a wave throughout our whole world breaking over us, with every new headline, bringing that wave a little faster. And the challenge is asking us the question ‘are we strong enough to swim?’

“Fear can be one of life’s most disabling emotions, but it can also be an experience that allows us to appreciate a deeper sense of who we are and what we are capable of.

“Eleanor Roosevelt claimed ‘you gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror, I can live through the next one too.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’”

To follow Msgr Doherty’s reflections, visit his YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNTI-unsj934-1HkRkbMaZA


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