Thursday, January 19, 2017

Catholic Reflections 588 : Homily Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A - 22nd January, 2017

Homily Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A - 22nd January, 2017


      

First Reading: Isaiah 8:23 - 9:3

Psalm: Ps 26:1. 4. 13-14. “The Lord is my light and my salvation
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13. 17
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23
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Please visit my weekly audio programme featuring the readings and prayers of this Sunday of Ordinary Time, and a homily reflection.
please click this link for the audio "blog"  
https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-3rd-sunday-ordinary-year-a
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After John the Baptist was arrested, the first words Jesus is quoted as saying as he began his ministry is….  “repent, for the Kingdom of God is close at hand”  
 
Repent is not a great translation for the greek word used….   It has a deeper and more profound meaning…..  …. …   metanoia…   change one’s mind…  think differently…    be repulsed by one’s wrong-doing….   Heartily amend…  change for the better
Change ONE’S THINKING OR PURPOSE..
 
Change one's heart..  change one's mind…   change one's attitude# ! 
 
Jesus at the very start of his ministry is saying…   Open your minds, open your hearts and open your thinking….   Be prepared to accept God’s different ways…  a closed mind, a closed heart will not be able to hear and accept the new ways of God’s Kingdom…. As disciples, we must be open…  we must be ready to think differently and change our attitude and our focus…..   to God’s ways…..  
 
two words come through strongly in this weekend’s readings…. 

They are  LIGHT…… and Unity……..

(In the first reading and the gospel)….there is the image of ……”light”……., shining in the darkness….  This light leads to burdens being lifted, and slavery being removed….. Our Lord is that light who shines in the world and brings the world renewed hope, joy, forgiveness and peace……….

AND in the second reading, Saint Paul implores the people of the community of Corinth….. To foster unity…. and concern for each-other….
…”that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose”

If ever we were tempted to think that the early years of the Church, (which existed not long after Jesus’ death and resurrection)  was perhaps somehow more filled with the Spirit.,… more united…… more idyllic than ours today….. The second reading quickly brings us back to earth…


The Corinthian community was divided…. it was bickering and fragmenting…. ambition and misunderstanding was brewing… and the second reading tells us that people were taking sides along the lines of various personalities in the community. Instead of the message of Jesus’ Gospel… but Saint Paul, implored the community members to remember their unity in Jesus…In order that we put our service in the hands of Jesus' good news, St Paul reminds us that fostering a sense of unity – that is, seeing ourselves as all on about the one mission, one single project with different facets, helping to work for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom… and not the kingdom of ‘self”- this mindset is essential.

The calling of the disciples is both a wonderful example to us of the response of a disciple as well as having a deeper spiritual meaning….  Many of Christ's disciples were fishermen…..   they were skilled at their work… which involved being keen observers of the weather conditions and seasons, and so on;   They were good at putting their boats and nets in the ideal place for a catch…   It meant hard work and wisdom from experience; Sometimes their job meant lots of action..  other times it meant lots of waiting….   and a heap of Patience….    If we were to walk past someone who had their fishing-line in the water, standing or sitting patiently..  we would be foolish to say…  "look there is someone doing nothing"…   because we know they ARE indeed doing something..  They have cartefully put themselves in the right place… they have set their bait and cast their line and now they are waiting,..   watching…    ready to respond when the fish take the bait…..      


This image is used by Jesus when he calls his disciples… they will need to use their observance skills and wortk ethic and patience in order to watch the signs of the times around them…  spiritually and emotionally…   they will need to work hard and respond when needed…  but at other times… they will need to wait…  patiently…   purposefully .. ready to help when the time is right…..    again the gospel and discipleship can be nicely summed up in that serenity prayer…  that applies equally well to all who are called to join Jesus in being ‘fishers of people’…  Lord grant me the grace to change the things I can, and the strength to endure the things I can’t change… and Lord, give me the wisdom to know the difference….

Jesus called his disciples and they dropped everything and left everything behind and followed him.  They did this literally and also spiritually…  because they also left their previous lives behind and their earthly attachments; and also they – in a sense – forgot themselves and their own plans and ambitions and followed a new path of being on about Christ’s vision.

Saint Paul in the second reading continues this theme of self-forgetting and Christ-focusing!   This theme runs through many of Saitn Paul's writings and it is a wonderful guide to all Christian communities everywhere..... . If there is to be any rivalry in the Christian community… it is only to striving with all our hearts together to try to excel in fostering the kindness, mercy, restraint and compassion of Christ and by striving with all our effort at working together with our vision looking outward and forward, towards the goals which Our Lord himself has set…..... St Paul, when he says this, knew that this was not always easy... In fact, it requires sacrifice, humility and real dedication... (division can occur for different reasons.. people may genuinely disagree on how to achieve a goal or a value… but as St paul says in another letter, the answer to such dilemmas goes down to the fundamental debt we have to one another….….(this time to the Roman community of believers)… The only important kind of debt that we should owe others in a Christian community is the interest-free repayment of generous and mutual love for one another... to be the most charitable and gentle people we can be.... …… And everything we do, everything we say, must be for the furtherance of Christ’s gospel and at the service of the establishment of God’s Kingdom and never merely our own needs and ambitions.   The presence of factions and cliques and wrangling between personalities and divisions was rightly called out by Saint paul as being contrary to the Gospel...  
We are all “for Christ” - no other personality should be our rallying cry or source of conflict....   

Jesus is the light.... In Baptism, we are called to carry the ‘light of Christ to others.

Jesus brought his LIGHT to others by forgiving, healing, including, sharing, inviting and giving.....We think about the many ways we are invited to bring Christ's light to others.... And especially in all we do and say ….to make the light of Christ shine brighter in us, through us, and be seen at work in the community....... 


In this week that includes the Australia-day holiday, we give thanks for all the wonderful gifts we have received in this country.... We remember that we live in a commonwealth… and that this commonwealth is for the common good…. the gifts we have are given to share for the benefit of each other…..

May we continue to be people of peace, respect, harmony and care for others in our society…. and may we always spare a thought for the people 'doing it tough' -  whether they be next door or in the next nation……… 


It is good for us to pause and give heartfelt and full praise for God’s many gifts to us in this blessed Southern land of the Holy Spirit…..
 
 
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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly


#(http://lexiconcordance.com/greek/3340.html)

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Archive of homilies and reflections is at:
http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
To contact Fr. Paul, please email: 
paulwkelly68@gmail.com
You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul’s homily mailout by sending an email at this address:   
paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

 
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
+++++++++++++
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you were lifted up to draw all people to yourself: Lord, have mercy//You shouldered the cross, to bear our suffering and sinfulness: Christ, have mercy// You open for your people the way from death into life: Lord, have mercy//
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Memorial Acclamation
1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.
2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
       Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
       Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
     May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.


Sundays Ordinary II p.29
Eucharistic Prayer II p.56
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Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

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Commissioning of  Deanery Youth Leaders
22nd January
 
Steph:              Fr Paul, tonight I present to this community the Youth leaders of this Deanery for 2017.
Please come forward:

NN
(Leaders receive hand shake and prayer card from Priest, then stand in line at the front of the Church facing congregation)
This weekend these leaders undertook a leadership retreat where we revisited our foundations, that is, to build ourselves on the foundation of Jesus Christ. We reflected on why we are Catholic; we also re-cast the vision and mission of Venire, and how we can fulfil this in each of our Parishes. These young adults stand here tonight prepared to pledge the next 12 months to leading the teenagers of our Deanery closer to Christ.
Priest:             Will you commit to serving the South Coast Deanery through servant leadership and leading by example in the way you live your lives?
Leaders:          I Will
Priest:             Will you abide by the teachings of the Catholic Church, participate in the sacraments regularly and strive for an active relationship with God through prayer and scripture?
Leaders:          I will
Priest:             Do you commit to nurturing Christian relationships with all our youth, and make a priority to develop relationships with new teens while fostering old ones?
Leaders:          I will
Priest:             Therefore please now make your pledge in front of our friends, family and community.
Leaders:          We as a Leadership team are honoured to serve in this youth ministry. Venire is a Christ-centred, relational teen ministry which strives to journey with young people as they find their identity in Christ, and empowers young people to know, love and serve the Lord. We will serve young people by building Christian friendships with them and leading them, by example, into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
Priest:             As you journey into 2017 we pray that God will be with you and guide you in this ministry (blessing) May you glorify the Lord by all that you do in your life. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen







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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Catholic Reflections 587 : Homily Second Sunday Ordinary time year A - 15th January, 2017

Homily Second Sunday Ordinary time year A - 15th January, 2017

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
       First Reading: Isaiah 49:3. 5-6
       Psalm: Ps 39:2. 4. 7-10.
Here I am Lord; I come to do your will.
       Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3
       Gospel: John 1:29-34
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Please visit this link here *https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-2nd-sunday-ordinary-a-2017* for my weekly Prayer, reflection and Readings site, "Faith, Hope, Love" 


There is a truly superb line in the first reading that jumps out and really hits me this weekend….

It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations, so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

So, God is wonderfully saying… I am not happy with just some being saved… not just the chosen few……. I want my invitation to go out to people all over the world… I desire that all people become my family……

The second reading reinforces this: -- Saint Paul writes with great love and affection to the community of believers in Corinth. He rejoices in the fact that we are all united with each-other, and not even distance or time or culture separates us from our brothers and sisters everywhere in the world.. Like Saint Paul, we are united in prayer and in the Spirit with people everywhere and with the Heavenly community. The grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ stays with us and binds us together in good times and bad.

In the Gospel, Saint John the Baptist declares… “look! There is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” This is the one who will take the offences of all of us on his shoulders and offer himself up in atonement for it all. In the time of Jesus, every day in the temple of Jerusalem, twice a day, (once in daytime the other in the evening) an unblemished lamb would be killed and the blood sprinkled over the altar of the Lord as a sacrifice for the sins of others….. John first used this term that has become so central to the Christian understanding of Christ… Jesus was the spotless lamb who sacrificed his life to pay for the transgressions of the world… //His once and for all sacrifice ends the shadow of moral failure that clouds aspects human life….

John also says, twice in this Gospel, a very odd thing: He says “I myself did not know him, but this is the one I was preparing for.” What does he mean??? Well, John,….. and the disciples of Jesus who come after this… all have a lot to learn and understand about God’s ways and God’s Kingdom… I reckon we are lucky that the Apostles all took a long time to comprehend the message and Kingdom that Jesus had come to establish…. They often ‘didn’t get it’ when Our Lord taught them and showed them, time and again, the different ways of God.

“This Lamb of God even showed us how God preferred to erase our sin by taking the burden on God’s-self; and sparing his people in love… renewing them and unburdening them…. rather than adding to the suffering and mess created by our own mistakes….

The world needed this lamb because the world had many sins….

This need has not changed, these many centuries later.

We need Jesus. We all need saving.. Us humans have been given many gifts and graces ….. but we are not the final authority over everything. We cannot “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps” -- We are not the complete masters of all we survey (and that can be quite unsettling to admit; because who doesn’t like to have a large measure of control over our lives?)-- It is a natural instinct for self-preservation to have clarity, predictability and control over what happens around us). And certainly God has not made us helpless…. We can do many extraordinary things… (with God’s help)….. But at the same time, it is also reassuring to acknowledge that we are not “all-powerful,” and that we NEED God. We are really ‘”all-at-sea” without God’s saving guidance and help. John the Baptist invites us all to accept… that we all need of the “Lamb of God”….



There were people in John the Baptist’s day who did not recognize that Jesus was the Christ (the Lamb of God)….There are people in this day and age who also do not recognize what it means for Jesus to be the “Anointed one”…..“It is no coincidence that the first people to understand and flock to Jesus, were the sinners, the outcasts, the needy…… Others did not recognize Christ because they did not recognize themselves as sinners. ”If I am not a wrong-doer, then I have no need for Christ. (Why do I need Saviour if I have no need of being saved? – IF I AM SELF-SUFFICIENT?). Will a person truly celebrate the mystery of Christ in profound gratitude and joy, if they do not first recognize in sorrow that they too are a sinner who needs a saviour? But, the real focus is not REALLY on sin, but on Christ who loves us and reaches out to bring us back into the fold and to restore us.” (##) It is a mistake for us to ever hide our weaknesses from God… to try to pretend we have no faults ….. //or if we only show ourselves to God when we think we have disguised the flaws….. //We would be hiding from God a long time and failing to understand God’s parental love and compassion; which spurred God to go looking for us in the first place…… wanting us safe and sound again in his care.

God came into the world//// not when everything had finally started to go right. ///God didn’t become flesh because everyone was doing just fine… // If God had waited to become one-of-us until everything was going wonderfully, he would have waited forever! ….. No, our God entered into the world because things were going very badly; and we all needed God’s grace……. God wanted to help “from within”...... as one….

Daily, we keep following Jesus, even though we do not yet fully understand his ways….(but we definitely want to… more and more with each passing day)……We believe in Our Lord’s Good news ……even if our perception is fledgling…. We follow him into the unknown…..….. trusting in his guidance along the unfamiliar paths on which he leads us…….because he promises to be with us always as we walk along…..….. with (as today’s psalm says so beautifully)… “a new song on our lips”… // a song of praise….// And thanksgiving… //a song of trust and hope.
 

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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly

##Mark Link , quoting Killian McDOnnelL (adapted), who is also quoted in
http://saintagnescathedral.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/January-16-2011.pdf

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Archive of homilies and reflections is at:
http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
To contact Fr. Paul, please email:
paulwkelly68@gmail.com

You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul’s homily mailout by sending an email at this address:
paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Second Sunday Ordinary time year A

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
+++++++++++++
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you call your people to turn away from sin: Lord, have mercy//You teach us wisdom, and write your truth in our inmost heart: Christ, have mercy//You forgive sins through the ministry of reconciliation: Lord, have mercy//
++++++++++++++
Memorial Acclamation

Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.

2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
       Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
       Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
 May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Sundays Ordinary I p.28

Eucharistic Prayer One p.49

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Go forth, the Mass is ended.



Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Catholic Reflections 586 : Homily Epiphany of the Lord. Year A - 8th January 2017

Homily Epiphany of the Lord. Year A - 8th January 2017



First reading      Isaiah 60:1-6 

Responsorial Psalm. 71(72):1-2, 7-8, 10-13. “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.”

Second reading. Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6

Gospel       Matthew 2:1-12

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Please visit my podcast which presents the Readings, Prayers and the homily for this Sunday:

https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-epiphany

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Although our popular tradition holds that there were three wise men… it actually doesn’t say in the bible how many wise men there are…. It only mentions that three types of “gift” were given….. (there could have been more than three bringing these symbolic gifts). In the eastern church, there is an alternate tradition that there were twelve wise men…. But really it doesn’t matter how many…. 

What does matter is that people from foreign lands, who were not members of the Jewish faith, realised that a King had been born… a special King.. and they came to give him homage… while others.. who were part of the religious tradition of Jesus did not see the signs and missed out on this unique opportunity

One of the great messages from the readings of today’s mass is that the light of God’s glory is revealed in Jesus, (God made flesh), and shines through in the humanity of Christ; and this light has been seen and accepted by others. 

This is a challenging theme because lots of the times us humans can miss the divine light in the events and people of our daily lives……... if we are distracted or if we do not expect to find the extraordinary.. which is “hiding in plain sight” within the ordinary and the “everyday” - We can potentially miss the light of Christ at work around us, and we don’t always recognize the light of Christ in one another. 

The gifts brought by the wise men are significant…
Gold, frankincense and myrrh

Gold… for a King….

Frankincense … a beautiful perfume… A symbol of holiness, reverence and prayer. 
 
Myrrh…... a bitter perfume (as the hymn says) . Used in anointing the dead in preparation for their burial… a symbol of Christ’s humanity and his suffering and his death to save us all. 
 
The Wise men recognised that Christ was Priest, Prophet and King….. They worshipped him as King of all creation, they saw his holiness… and they fore-shadowed that he would save us by his suffering and death on the cross; when he gave giving of his life for us…..

Let us, in our prayer, in our actions and our priorities.. always recognise Jesus as our King, (ever-open to the light of Christ shining in others and in the events of our lives…. And cooperating with what God is doing there). //Let us be reverent and gentle; and worship always God’s holiness… // and let us join Christ in his self-sacrificing love; his loving service of others for the sake of the Good news… 

Whenever I read this gospel passage… I cannot help but be struck by the disturbing irony in it….. 

King Herod summons the Wise men from the East… We are told that they give him a hearing… They listen to what he has to say…. (but fortunately they do not do what he asks of them, they listen, they reflect and then they decide and act). They initially come to listen to him…. They don’t know him, ….. They know he is a King… The wise men would probably assume he was a noble and gracious King…. but he is not… he is filled with fear, and possibly hatred and jealousy…. Herod’s intentions were murderous. ….

Herod manages to control his emotions while he is consulting with the Wise men….. he pretends to be genuinely interested in the Star, and the possibility of a king being born……… I almost imagine he is choking on his words when he says… “when you find him,,, tell me too… because I too want to go and ….. do….. him…… …(ahem)…. ‘homage’…… We, the listeners…. The audience to this Gospel drama…. Know better…. Herod hates Jesus… and rejects his Kingship…. And wants to kill him…. He might as well have said…. “ (when you find him,,, tell me too… because I too want to go and ….. ‘do him in’ !!!).

Herod is a liar ! He wants to tear down, not to build up ! …. to destroy and blot out forever the child who is the hoped-for ‘Light for all nations’….. Can there be any fear… or any hatred greater than one that wants to blot out HOPE from the earth……For the sake of his own power… His own comfort????  
 
It is fitting that the Wise Men, after having met Jesus, ‘go home by another road’ – So, although they listened to Herod, it is clear that they didn’t swallow everything he said….. 

Instead…. They have been converted… They are different! ….Changed!! ….// New men… in fact… they will never again be able to go down the old paths… Everything is different now, having met and discovered Jesus. …. They will not go and tell (fearful, murderous) Herod about what they have seen… but instead they resolutely go home by a new pathway…. (Their lives changed) to live the new reality of what they have experienced……

In the gospel today, the Wise Men from the East ultimately FIND the King for whom they had searched so diligently …….. Jesus ! …. And this King (the greatest the world will ever witness)….  Is revealed as a humble, vulnerable baby lying in an animal’s food trough…. This is revelation of God and God’s Glory… to all the world……. Here is the LIGHT of revelation for all nations.  
 
The gospel today uses the quote from Micah…. “you Bethlehem are by no means the LEAST”…. this is really important……  
 
Not only is Bethlehem FAR FROM BEING the LEAST of all cities… but this humble baby, in a humble manger, is not by any means the LEAST of all babies…. and the shepherds are not anywhere near the least of all people…… There is more than one REVELATION going on here (for all with the eyes of faith to see!)… The message is repeated in later sections of Matthew’s gospel: (The wise men, and us too… are being shown something deeply significant…..) 

At first sight, the ‘poor and forgotten’ “the outcast” and “the outsider”  the “humble”…. As well as  “sinners” of our society are seen by some corners of society as less-significant. Less important, less worthwhile…. …. but this is shown to be very WRONG…. The lowly are in fact GREAT… because it is THROUGH Christ’s presence and action amongst the poor and downcast, that the Lord is coming to us……. 
 
The reaction of the Magi is interesting too…… when they enter the presence of God… revealed in his humble baby in a manger… they immediately open up treasures chests filled with gifts…… 
 
This must always be our reaction too, in the presence of God….. when we come before the presence of Jesus… we too must open up our hearts and offer God our gifts…… the response of a person to the revelation of God’s presence is one of openness, generosity and service……… 
 
What is it that WE are laying before the Lord??……. let us think about what gifts we are presenting to Jesus for him to make use of…….

Unlike the wise men, we have no gold…. But we give our love….

We have no frankincense….but we give the lord our prayers, our openness and reverence….

We have no myrrh… but we give our work… and ourselves.. at the service of our Lord…

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Reflection: Paul Kelly/ ; also Mark Link: Vision – Year A/ ; Gustavo Gutierrez: Sharing the Word through the Liturgical Year / ; and Abbot’s homily: http://www.christdesert.org

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Archive of homilies and reflections is at:http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
To contact Fr. Paul, please email: paulwkelly68@gmail.com

You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul’s homily mailout by sending an email at this address: 
paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Epiphany of the Lord. Year A


The Lord be with you.
+++++++++++++
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you came to reconcile us to the Father and to one another: Lord, have mercy//You heal the wounds of our sin and division: Christ, have mercy// You intercede for us with the Father: Lord, have mercy//
++++++++++++++
Memorial Acclamation

1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.

2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Epiphany p.18

Euch Prayer II p.56

++++
Go in peace.

 



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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Catholic Reflections 585 : Homily Mary Mother of God. Year A - 1st January, 2017

Homily Mary Mother of God. Year A - 1st  January, 2017


 
Psalm:  May God bless us in his mercy.
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Homily Mary Mother of God. Year C. 1st  January, 2016


{Here is the link to my podcast for the prayers, readings and reflection for the Feast of Mary the Mother of God:


https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-mary-the-mother-of-god-1st-jan-2017 }


Happy New year! 

The Year of Our Lord 2017 is upon us.

What better way of celebrating the beginning of a new calendar year than by dedicating it to the care and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and the first and most perfect disciple. As the most perfect disciple, Mary was attentive to God’s word, accepted it in her life and responded generously and without hesitation even at times when things seemed quite difficult to understand or to bear….  And Mary, the mother of God also suffered along with Christ…   at the foot of the cross…  surely feeling every moment of his pain…..   never leaving him… 

We pray that Our Lord Jesus, through the constant prayer and intercession of the Mother of God, will bless and protect us and give success to our work, as we strive this year to be faithful disciples of Christ in our daily lives and actions.

It is wonderful at the start of each new year to give thanks to God for the many gifts and blessings we have received in the year just ended, and to give thanks in anticipation for the countless opportunities, graces and blessings that God will give us this coming year. It is a time for new starts and looking forward to how we can be the best disciples of the gospel that we can be.

Even though our church year actually started a month ago at the start of Advent, nevertheless, the start of the calendar year is still an important milestone. It is the year of Our Lord 2017. Another year which we commit to the service of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Mary the Mother of God is a wonderful inspiration for us too.  
        
Mary’s prayers and example assists us as we dedicate ourselves to  help (in any ways that God asks of us),  to establish God’s kingdom in the places we live and work and socialise.

And for many of us, the new years eve is a wonderful chance to treasure all these things in our heart, to ponder everything that has happened to us this last year, and to prayerfully and quietly reflect on the year ending and the new one beginning.

We have so much for which to be grateful: All the people and events for which we are truly and deeply thankful; including our families, our friends, our brother and sister parishioners, our wider community, our nation: which is blessed with so many natural gifts and the gift of relative peace and freedom, and grateful too for the gift of our Church too; the gift of our faith, which makes us beloved daughters and sons of God. 

In our New Year’s Masses, (dedicated to Mary the Mother of God), We present our discipleship and prayers to God…..

We offer up to God, all the good we have strived to do in the previous year.  May God transform all our efforts for the good, for God’s own purposes.  


And we offer up prayers for all our loved ones, friends, colleagues and parishioners, that God may hold them in the palm of his hand this coming year.

We think of our loved ones, friends and fellow parishioners who have passed away this last year past, and pray for all our departed loved ones, as we continue to commend them to the ongoing and eternal care of God. We trust that they are now enjoying the peace and reward of God’s eternal kingdom.

It is a good thing for us to make new year’s resolutions, knowing that only with God’s grace and guidance can these resolutions bear much fruit…

At the start of 2017 we pray that this be a year filled with grace and joy and peace. And, when we speak of a “happy new year,” we know that God’s idea of happiness is a fresh and challenging one. It is this TRUE happiness we are really seeking. It is God’s idea of happiness that we really desire.

“Look at Mary and Joseph kneeling before the manger. They must be tired. They have traveled 75 miles or so from Nazareth to Bethlehem on foot and on the jolting back of a donkey. They must be very hungry. They have not had a proper meal since they left Nazareth some three days ago. They must be cold in this damp cave, as the stable would likely have been. It must have been very humiliating for them to discover no room among their relatives in their ancestral home or at the village Inn.

Yet in the midst of all of this, Mary and Joseph are the happiest people to walk the face of this earth. Here in Bethlehem they are teaching us the amazing paradox that it is only when we lose ourselves in the love and service of Jesus that we find true happiness. Happiness that this world can never give and a joy that no one can take from us. But how can we lose ourselves in the love and service of Jesus? Jesus has made it very simple,
“Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you do for me.”

So on this first day of the New Year let us ask for the grace to know Jesus more intimately, love him more and more fully… and follow him more closely” ((quote from Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.)
…..So that this may be a truly joy-filled New Year according to God’s vision for the world.

It reminds me of times when things did not go to plan and alternative plans needed to be made and it initially cause confusion and frustration but when we look back they were some of the happiest, unexpected and blessed moments that we can even smile about later, even if it didn’t seem to be any cause for smiles at the time it was happening.

For the new year, beginning, we ask God to bless and make fruitful our words, our actions and our work, and help us to live the witness to the good news…

May God bless us and keep us in faith, hope, love and health in this new year 2017 and beyond. May Mary, the beloved Mother of God, pray for us in good times and in times of trial or struggle, and keep us in her tender care  as we faithfully follow her and our beloved Lord into this new and wonderful year of possibilities.

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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly


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Archive of homilies and reflections is at:
http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
To contact Fr. Paul, please email: 
paulwkelly68@gmail.com

You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul’s homily mailout by sending an email at this address:    
paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Mary Mother of God. Year A

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
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Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you are mighty God and Prince of peace. Lord have mercy//  You are Son of God and the Son of Mary. Christ have mercy// You are Word made flesh, the splendour of the Father. Lord have mercy.
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Memorial Acclamation

1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.

2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
       Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
       Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
     May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Virgin Mary I p.38

EUCH PRAYER 1 p.49

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Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Catholic Reflections 584 : Homily (version II) The Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Year A - 25th December, 2016


Homily The Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Year A - 25th December, 2016

Please listen to my podcast on the Readings, prayers and Reflections of Christmas:

https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-christmas-2016



Homily The Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Year A - 25th December, 2016

(Readings taken from the Mass “During the Night”)
       First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-7
       Psalm: Ps 95:1-3. 11-13. “
Today is born our saviour, Christ the Lord.
       Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14
       Gospel: Luke 2:1-14
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As we celebrate this feast of Christmas, and we Look around; it is just wonderful to see the faces of family, friends, parishioners… ….people from near and far… savouring the joy of this special season……. The faces of happy children - and we give thanks to God for the gift of our families and friends at this time… (and the many blessings God gives us daily..in big and small ways)……..
The birth of Jesus connected Heaven to Earth and welcomed us to share in it. We are now never really alone,… even when by ourselves.. because we are forever members of God’s family… united in Christ…and with one another…

We keep in mind those working over Christmas.. to keep us safe and sound… and those who are not able to join family and friends for celebrations…… We have grateful HEARTS FOR ALL whose work makes this feast day so special… …including everyone who prepares (and hosts) the special meals and gatherings that THAT WE TREASURE AT THIS TIME..

We know that gift-giving is a special tradition at this time… The gifts we give are a symbol of the best gift God ever gave to the world… the gift of his only son, who became one of us and invites everyone to become brothers and sisters in God’s family….

By his birth (and his life), Jesus gives us the gift of PEACE>….
This is the kind of peace that all the world is crying out for… (we know this all too well from so much that has happened this year). The world is desperate for this true and lasting peace more than ever.. Peace that only God can give us….and peace that God does indeed offer us.

I hope that this Christmas finds you filled with joy and peace…// and I pray your Christmas plans go perfectly…// but, not to worry if things don’t all go perfectly as planned… // We have as our model, the Holy Family… who experienced the very first Christmas and, as we know, things did not go at all smoothly for them… They were forced to undertake a stressful and difficult journey at the time Mary was near the end of her pregnancy….…. When they got to Bethlehem there was no room for them; and they had to sleep in a stable… Then, time came for Mary to give birth and Jesus was born in a stable surrounded by animals and his bed was an animal’s food trough!!

It is a reminder that the true message of Christmas is that God came into our world to share our joys and sorrows, our graces and temptations.., our successes and failures; our happiness and our frustrations. It is good for us to remember always that God did not become one of us because everything was going wonderfully….
But actually quite the opposite.. Christ was born into the world because things were going really badly and the world was in dire need of saving. People were longing for peace, mercy and grace… Our Lord gave this to us and we celebrate this… so, this feast is a day that meets the real and varied needs of each of us. God meets us where we are at here and now…..and greets us in whatever is going on in our lives… asking us to draw near and trust and hope in God’s care.

The readings this Christmas speak often on the gift of “true peace” - It strikes me that God could have chosen any way God wanted; to enter into human history and save us. God could have (theoretically) ridden in on a silver chariot with a crown on his head and stayed at a regal distance from us his subjects…. And forcefully put all the bad guys under his feet and enforced God’s kingdom on all people, without exception! … but God did NOT choose “control” and “force” as God’s weapons…… Instead, God chose love, and “the vulnerability and approachability of a small child”…. God chose mercy, service, graciousness and inclusion as God’s instruments of choice!

Our Lord entered into our lives as one of us, to share and carry our burdens and give us companionship and hope….and this is what makes this day so beautiful…
When we speak of the kind of Peace, Our Lord’s birth and his later life and teachings show us…  we see something very special…   Jesus shows us that true peace is achieved along the line summed up by the well-known serenity prayer..  (that is, sometimes we make the pain and suffering worse in life by trying to deal with it vainly with control and force and distress when things don’t go as we want)…   but then we hear the words of the prayer “
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

I was really taken with a quote I heard the other day, Children’s tv presenter the legendary Mr Rogers, (in The US) many years ago was asked what he said to reassure young ones when they see scary things on the tv news…   and he replied… 
"“(when you see something sacry on the news), Look for the helpers. You'll always find people who are helping." – (Fred Rogers, on what to do when scary things are on the news).  

You know what. I believe there is more good than bad in the world..  more builders than destroyers…  more grace and mercy than violence and hate….The bad news (the exceptional news) gets more airplay.. the good works are so ordinary they don’t hit the front page so often.   And 
certainly,,,the greatest helper in history is Jesus.. who is always to be found in our midst… never leaving us….helping, healing, rebuilding..  in and through his many friends.).. The lord stays with us and acts through gentleness, grace and peace…. Jesus was always Persuading, never forcing, “leading and accompanying”.. never controlling… // loving, and generously- giving, but thereby opening himself up to weakness, rejection and pain as a result….….. but all the time assuring us that, in the end, God will always be faithful to us… God will have the final say.
“peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm and “centred” in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”##

Throughout his life, Jesus always rested in the care of his heavenly Father’s love. Whatever happened in his life, whatever happened around him… and much of it was terrible.. he sheltered in the palm of the Father’s hand. Even from his birth, and then to his ministry, and his suffering, death and resurrection, was tethered firmly to the Father and the Spirit. This did not at all assure him of a smooth ride.. far from it… but nothing at all would destroy that bond of peace and love, ever.

We too can shelter in God’s care; come what may…. For God has moved close to us… closer than anyone could ever get…… And this so wonderful… Christ is born… The lord of peace, and love and grace has come into the world and assures us that God’s Kingdom has begun to show itself and will continue to unfold until God’s gentle ways of peace and harmony will welcome absolutely everyone as brothers and sisters; walking together, the paths of love and care with one another…..

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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly

## WITH A LINE FROM A TRADITIONAL STORY, AUTHOR UNKNOWN…. “PERFECT PEACE” , A VERSION OF WHICH IS FOUND…..
http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au/stories/personalgrowth/picture.shtml

+++
Archive of homilies and reflections is at:
http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
To contact Fr. Paul, please email:
paulwkelly68@gmail.com

You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul’s homily mailout by sending an email at this address:
paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

The Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Year A

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
+++++++++++++
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you came to gather the nations into the peace of God's kingdom: Lord, have mercy// You come in word and in sacrament to strengthen us and make us holy: Christ, have mercy//You will come again in glory with salvation for your people: Lord, have mercy.
++++++++++++++
Memorial Acclamation

1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.

2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
       Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
       Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
 May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Nativity I p.17

Eucharistic Prayer II p.56

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Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.