Category Archives: Religion

Ash Wednesday

Last week we were fortunate enough to be at the Centro das Artes Casa das Mudas (Calheta) – in itself an amazing building in a stunning location.

Inside we discovered this gem of art and it seemed entirely appropriate for Ash Wednesday.

Christ, table and ashes by Graca Pereira Coutinho




Pondering Mary and Elizabeth

By Anton 17 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Luke 1:35-44 (CEV)
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”
38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 A short time later Mary hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea. 40 She went into Zechariah’s home, where she greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby moved within her.
The Holy Spirit came upon Elizabeth. 42 Then in a loud voice she said to Mary:
God has blessed you more than any other woman! He has also blessed the child you will have. 43 Why should the mother of my Lord come to me? 44 As soon as I heard your greeting, my baby became happy and moved within me.

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months. Then she went back home.

Listening to this account again yesterday something struck me that I’d never thought of before and I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard discussed or preached on.

If Mary went to visit Elizabeth when she was “in her sixth month” and stayed three months, would she have been there for the birth of John the Baptist.

I mused this question on Twitter this morning and got this great reply

Just wondering if anyone else has any thoughts on the question…

Scarred for Life

S. Giusep Bild Thomas

You rose
with your scars.

You were resurrected,
bearing those marks.

Scars we can touch
and know
and know that you know.

New life,
carrying the scars
of all that had happened,
all that had been,
all ‘they’ had done.

that seems important.

John 20:19-29 (NIV)

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”