Homilies for Sundays and Feast Days by Fr Patrick Jackson SAC

Trying to understand the readings for a particular Sunday or Feast Day, who the writer was speaking to, and the issues that were being addressed in the context of the culture, I had the sense of wrestling with the Word like Jacob, to grasp in the darkness of my initial perception, the Spirit’s meaning. The Word shone light on my own experiences, hoping that in sharing them they might resonate with others’ experiences and help them. Even in giving the Homily for a particular congregation, I experienced the Spirit at work suggesting better ways and helpful words to feed the hungers in the human heart.

I have always felt the obligation to preach well for the sake of the people; a craft with the help of the Spirit to make the homilies personal and nurturing, relevant to those who listened. Delving into the scripture guided by the insights of scholars and homilists, listening to the wisdom of ordinary people, writers, current news and events, but especially having time to ruminate and be guided by the Spirit in what I have to say to the congregation on any particular Sunday was both fascinating and challenging.

I wish to thank my friend Anthony Lim for his encouragement and for bringing all these homilies together in printed form in line with the lectionary. Thanks to Fr Michael Kelly CssR for his assistance with Year C, Fr Brendan Byrne S. J. for his advice, Deirdre Heffernan, Rev Sharne Rolfe for reading and offering helpful comments, and finally, Annie Frances Hall who edited the three years of Homilies and added the scriptural citations to complete this work.

After some thought I decided to put all these homilies on our Pallottine Website, hoping it can be of service to other priests and people in their own Wrestling with the Word. Praise be to the Father, Son and Spirit and thanks to all who have inspired me to write.

Fr Pat Jackson SAC


I wish to dedicate this work to my twin brother
Dr Michael Jackson D Theol, (Manly); D. Psych, (Deakin)
Who died on October 21st at 3.00am in Bunbury
mourned by his loving wife and companion, Ann.
He lived for Jesus, sought for truth, had great empathy
for people in need, and for me and for many a source
of wisdom, understanding and life-giving spirituality
And to mum and dad who laid the faith foundation for their six children
and who inspired us to live it as a team,
supporting each other throughout our lives.