Monday, July 25, 2016

Catholic Reflections 561 : Homily Eighteenth Sunday of the Year C 31st July, 2016

Homily Eighteenth Sunday of the Year C  31st July, 2016




Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23. Do not bet your life on the house. There’s more to the good life than goods.

Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17. Time passes quickly and flesh is like grass. What lasts is friendship with God.

Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11. Appearances are deceptively divisive because we live in the hidden-ness of Christ.

Luke 12:13-21. We make plans for the future based on certitudes which are far from certain.

The continuing events of recent days and the suffering and violence experienced by so many, including the attacks on innocent patients in Japan and a Holy, defenseless priest celebrating Mass in France, and so many more horrific actions reminds us yet again that people can use their great gifts and resources for the purposes of great harm and suffering, or people can use their creativity and their talents, their time and their planning to do enormous good. It is quite clear that God implores us to do good and to use our time and our energy and our plans and schemes to make the world a better, more compassionate, more tolerant and more loving place. let us never lose sight of the fact that whilst there is no doubt that many acts of cowardice and destruction occur regularly in our world, there are far more acts of kindness and compassion and selflessness. Many of these good actions, which restore our faith in humanity, can get overlooked and forgotten when things go wrong. Many countless acts of kindess and love are so ordinary that they will never reach the front page of our news services, but this does not take away from their value.  


The first reading this weekend (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23), is rather sobering and poignant, almost depressing. The writer is bemoaning the vanity and futility that goes with some of our earthly strivings. It is not meant to depress us, though, or to bog us down. Instead, these words are meant to “snap us out” of our torpor and back into reality. Some of the things we can be tempted to spend an enormous amount of our time, energy and resources on will produce limited fruits and some of very questionable quality.

I cannot help thinking of news reports in recent years of financial disasters that affected many everyday people; ordinary mum and dad investors who put a large slab of their life savings into what looked like fruitful and fairly solid company investments only to watch everything they had worked for; (all they were saving up for a nice retirement), just evaporate overnight when those investments went bust. It is absolutely unimaginable. The suffering and pain is palpable as they realized that all the hard work and striving of their working years was effectively gone. So they could be forgiven for thinking they had worked all that time for nothing! They had toiled in vain.  Might they have said, “I could have had a part time job all my life for all I now have to show for it.” Hopefully many might be able to recover from their terrible predicament.  Recent news shows that some victims, after a very, very long legal fight have managed to get something back in compensation for their terrible losses. So, it is great to hear some good news sequels. And also, their work over those many years did provide for them and their families, and the pride and effort they put into their vocation would surely have produced enormous spiritual fruits and satisfaction, for in a vocation we do not just work for a living, but all our strivings are also put at the service of God’s grace too. In any case, our hearts go out to those whose toil (from a merely financial perspective’) appears to have been in vain………. 

We reflect on all the Fruits that do not last beyond this life and which might not be worth all the effort. So we are invited, as Paul says in the second reading, (Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11), to keep our eyes on the ‘things of heaven’ – the things that last… and to avoid merely earthly desires.

The gospel today is very challenging too. All the parables Jesus told are meant to be challenging and jarring. They are meant to unsettle us and turn upside-down our expectations. And this parable is particularly unnerving… 

It seems quite sensible to plan for one’s future and to ensure against a rainy day. It is wise to save up for the future and for a comfortable life. Many people do it. It is considered prudent. So, why is this man in the parable this weekend considered to be unwise??…  Why is he considered ‘foolish’?  He is called a fool not just by ANYONE… but by God himself….  If God calls someone a fool, then surely they must be the worst kind of fool!

Jesus tells this story not to people who are foolish. Neither does he tell this story to people whose lives are actually about to end (one hopes for a long life, but life is short and unpredictable and so one never really knows)…. So rather, this Gospel is directed at people who Our Lord hopes are sensible, and who are also open and loving people, with resources at their disposal and who (God willing) have a long healthy life ahead. And he is inviting them to trust in God’s providence and care and use their resources for the good of others now at this time and in this place. It is no good to worry only about all the endless possible future needs, which may never come to be. It is good to be sensible and to save for a rainy day, but not at the expense of our commitment to others whose needs are right here and right now and are all-too-real and immediate!  Jesus seems to want to make sure we are not stopped from being generous because of unreasonable fear and over-protection for events that may never come.

In the parable, “God intervenes to show the man how foolish and misguided his plans are. This does not mean that in the next life he is condemned to hell…** It does not suggest that at all. Rather, the point here is to be clear about the priorities we make in this life so that we respond to the meaning of life itself. Jesus rejects the accumulation of riches for oneself because it is not in accordance with God’s will of selfless and generous loving service towards God and others.** This is so important that our priorities are encouraged to always keep this in mind.

That rich man thinks only of himself. He even talks to himself. This man also works for himself and stores food for himself. It is mean! It is lonely! It is a distorted world-view where he is trapped in a very selfish and isolated world of his own making.  Rather, Jesus reminds  us that we are in union with others around us. We are actually diminished as people if our purposes and actions do not go beyond self-satisfaction.  This foolish man lets his fear and self-focus absorb him completely…

…… In a way., we already know what a good ending to this parable would be….
The rich man has a good year and he is so happy that he says to himself and those around him, “this is a wonderful year. God has blessed us. Quick, tell others to come along and take some grain. Let us share it, for I want all of us to celebrate in this wonderful blessing, so that we might all have some more, and have a bit for a rainy day too. Then God will come to him and say, well done my good  and faithful servant,  you have made yourself rich in my sight, now enter into your inheritance. We know that God will do this because other parables of the kingdom show that kind of situation. And this vision fills our hearts with joy….

This is how the man could make himself rich in the sight of God. May our love, gratitude, generosity, service and care for others flow out in gracious care and compassion for others. May we use our gifts for the good of all; for the greater good of God’s Kingdom…
+++

References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly

**SHARING THE WORD THROUGH THE LITURGICAL YEAR. GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ.
+++
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:    
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Eighteenth Sunday of the Year C

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.
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault,* through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
++++++++++++++
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 VIII p.32

Euch prayer III p.58

++++
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.




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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Catholic Reflections 560 : Homily Seventeenth Sunday of the Year C 24th July, 2016

Homily Seventeenth Sunday of the Year C  24th July, 2016


Reading 1. GENESIS 18:20-32

Responsorial Psalm Ps 137:1-3. 6-8. “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.”

Reading 2. Colossians 2:12-14

Gospel LK 11:1-13

….
As the world again witnesses acts of senseless violence and hatred in Munich and many other places around the world, let us pray for world peace and for respect and reverence to fill the hearts of people of every culture, language and nationality. May kindness and respect and peace become rampant. If anyone wishes to be reckless, may it be thoughtlessly and brazenly going about showing unrelenting love, understanding, compassion and healing.  The world is crying out for more random acts of love and an end to random acts of gross violence and hate. May the Lord bring peace to our world. 


The word “parable” means literally that something is “laid alongside” another thing. In other words, a story or an example is put forward in order that the listener or the reader can compare or contrast a matter with something else.  In today’s Gospel, it is very likely that the parable used by Our Lord is intended to contrast something with another. Jesus is virtually saying: “Do you really think that God’s answer to your heartfelt prayer will only depend upon how effectively you have worn God down by repetition? Do you think God acts begrudgingly and reluctantly, like someone who does not really care??”

God is a loving, “doting” father. God would give you the world if it was for your own good. God has given us the world, (not without just limitations) for only that which is good. God eternally cares for us and gives us what we need. God ONLY desires our good. God does not do any harm to us, and God does not desire any harm for us. God always answers our prayers, but sometimes as we know all too well, the answer to our prayers is a loving but definite “NO.”

We also know that God only ever answers us in love. Even if we do not fully comprehend the reply we receive to our prayers. Even if God’s answer to us does not make sense. Even if what we ask is not what we want.  The important message is that to God we are beloved children.  A parent always knows that a child will sometimes ask for something to which even the most doting but responsible parent would lovingly say “NO.”  This reply may very well cause distress. But distress is not desired. The desire to is honestly and lovingly speak the truth and answer lovingly.

The Gospel goes on: ”Ask, Seek, Knock”…  What a wonderful concept.  God has truly given us the true freedom of the children of God.  We take this freedom seriously. We take full adult responsibility for our decisions and actions. The meaning of Our Lord’s teaching can be highlighted by looking at what he DID NOT say. If we look at what Jesus did NOT teach, we can highlight Christ’s true teaching and message by bringing it into sharp contrast. For example:  Jesus did NOT say “TAKE, DEMAND, SEIZE, STEAL…”   Nor did Our Lord command us to “bash down the door and enter and take what you want.”  And naturally so, because Jesus’ message was about non-violence, grace and gentleness.  So, “Ask, Seek, Knock…” These are indeed “doing words” // … (verbs)…. But they are gentle, gracious, respectful ‘action words.’
This captures the true beauty of Jesus’ message.

“Ask…  Seek …  Knock…..”  Notice what he did not say:  Jesus did not teach us:
“Don’t ask and you will receive.”……  “Don’t bother looking and you will find”…  “Don’t knock and yet expect people to know that you are standing outside."

God gave us freedom to engage with him as his children and to use our Christian freedom and responsibility to ask what needs to be asked, and to seek and find that which is hidden, as well as knocking at the door of opportunity.  This active seeking and openness allows God’s ways to be provided to us.   

The gospel today and the first reading remind us of the constant pattern to authentic Christian Prayer.  First and foremost, our prayer is always a recognition of the primacy and greatness of God. Also, our prayers gives thanks to God for the many gifts and blessings that God has given to us. Prayer is for the purpose of placing God back at the centre of our lives, where God always belongs. Prayer is intended to allow us to bend our wills to God’s will and to shape us more and more into people who follow God’s will in the world, and not merely our own will. Prayer puts God’s will ahead of the fads and trends of this world.  When we pray, we become aware of how great God is and how far short of God we fall.  Our prayer always contains at least an implied spirit of penitence and a request for forgiveness and renewal. And prayer covers all of the events and people of life. True prayer is a connection to God and covers the needs we have,** and the needs of our families, our friends, our fellow parishioners and all people who struggle or hunger throughout the world…. 

Jesus, by teaching us the Lord’s prayer, gives us not only a beautiful but simple prayer but also gives us his “mission statement.” Christ shows us the focus of his Gospel, that puts God and God’s ways front and centre in our lives….. 

May Jesus (our teacher) lead us deeper and deeper into HIS perfect prayer and into his transforming ways. And through this prayer, may God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…

+++++
References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly

** (this paragraph adapted from _) THE DAILY STUDY BIBLE. GOSPEL OF LUKE. (REVISED EDITION). BY WILLIAM BARCLAY.



+++
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:    
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Seventeenth Sunday of the Year C

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 healed the sick:Lord, have mercy//Lord Jesus, you forgave sinners:Christ, have mercy//Lord Jesus, you give us yourself to heal us and bring us strength: 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.

Sundays Ordinary VII p.32

Euch prayer III p.58

++++
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.



Monday, July 11, 2016

Catholic Reflections 559 : Homily Sixteenth Sunday of the Year C 17th July, 2016

Homily Sixteenth Sunday of the Year C  17th July, 2016



Our prayers and thoughts turn again to everyone affected by the terrible violence in the Bastille Day murders in Nice, France.  The world is again shocked, disgusted and horrified by senseless acts of hatred and violence.  We continue to pray for peace in the hearts of all people everywhere. May we continue to recognise the face of Christ in one another. If the world saw all others as our brothers and sisters, it would be a different place.  May God give comfort, peace and strength to all those affected.  May those who have died be welcomed into the peace of God's Kingdom and may those who are injured be swiftly helped by the care of those around them.  Lord. Grant us peace. 


Both the first reading and the Gospel this weekend speak of the true meaning of hospitality and graciousness;  and for a Christian, these are always a symbol of openness and a welcoming attitude, as well as an open heart, an open ear and an open mind to God’s word - An openness to God’s different ways….. 

In the first reading….  Abraham and Sarah give hospitality to the three mysterious visitors….    This is what is expected in the culture of the time towards all travellers….  But there is something different here….  Somehow, Abraham KNOWS that these three visitors are not just any old travellers, but are actually Angels who represent the very presence of God….   I love this scene from the bible…   


If anyone were to make a movie of this scene from the Bible, I reckon these three mysterious strangers would say very little, but would just nod,  and graciously accept the hospitality of Abraham. It would be a delightful and very mysterious scene. I would love to see this acted out…..(actually, the 1966 movie entitled "The BIBLE," features this scene and one reviewer describes this scene featuring the three angels visiting Abraham, as one of the best scenes in the movie…  and bemoaning that more scenes like it are not featured; probably because it is such a key incident)…

The hospitality of Abraham, which is nothing less than what was expected of all hosts towards any visitors who came along, nevertheless is a deeper symbol of the graciousness, openness and compassion that is expected of all who follow God.  We are called to be open to all people in this way, as a sign of our heart being open and amenable to God.

This lesson is consolidated in the Gospel….   It is also a beautiful passage,  but, it is also a very misunderstood passage..  It can be quite confusing….   It may be helpful to keep in mind that Jesus is very good friends with both Mary and Martha. He is not really rebuking Martha.  Our Lord is gently teaching Martha that, although he deeply appreciates and values her hospitality and will enjoy the meal she is rushing to prepare, ultimately these important actions are but a foretaste and a symbol of the true hospitality and welcome that comes from sitting quietly at the feet of the Lord and LISTENING to him and LEARNING from him;  becoming a disciple of Christ and being utterly open and responsive to God’s Word and God’s teachings.   

And this is what Mary is doing, and it is not to be taken from her…..

Jesus is not preferring contemplation to action, and is not rejecting Martha’s ways and accepting only Mary’s ways. Jesus is not “contrasting a strictly contemplative life with the active life. Both are necessary. We venerate Martha as a saint as well as Mary. The one thing necessary is to listen to Jesus and to ponder his words deeply. Without his Spirit, activity can be misguided and even harmful. We need the saving spirit of Jesus as does the World around us. We need to listen and be open to The Lord, first and foremost.**”

Both action and contemplation are needed in the life of a Christian….  But both need to be firmly based on openness and responsiveness to Jesus’ Word, and his teachings, values and message.

As we have said already….

Action without contemplation could be fruitless and quite misguided ….   A waste of effort……    
But just as importantly, contemplation without actions could be merely a self-indulgence.   Both are needed in their own order…

I firmly believe that the kind of hospitality that is in evidence at any formal dinner party, is not merely good table manners, but is a deep and powerful symbol of the values of reverence, respect and welcome that are at the very heart of the Gospel.  The proper manners shown in a gracious dinner party are an expression of the respect we show to others.  This is a "rehearsal" for how we reverence and treat others in the rest of our lives. I still believe there is very much a place in modern society for old-fashioned hospitality, graciousness, manners and courtesy, because to me they ultimately are practical expressions of the graciousness, hospitality, welcome and respect that Jesus showed towards all people. This graciousness and welcome is expected of us in every generation. 


It is no coincidence that Christ’s ministry revolved around various meals that he attended or hosted.  Christ always issued a wide invitation to people of all sorts of situations, to participate in these meals – and to sit down as one and as equals.  It is also no coincidence that the ultimate expression of Christ’s mission, his Kingdom and of his salvific suffering, death and resurrection, was revealed in the Last Supper, at a Passover meal, where Christ give his very self to us in the form of a shared meal and called us to self-forgetting love, self-sacrifice and compassion.

Our Lord asks us to practise this graciousness towards all people, in formal and informal ways, and in polite society as well as in the ordinary and casual events of life too.  

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

REFERENCES
 · FR. PAUL W. KELLY
·  **(CARMELPRINT 2004)
·  SHARING THE WORD THROUGH THE LITURGICAL YEAR. GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ.

+++++
References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly


+++
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


Sixteenth Sunday of the Year C

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 raise us to new life: Lord, have mercy// //Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins:Christ, have mercy//Lord Jesus, you feed us with your body and blood: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.

own preface p.73

Various Needs and Occasions 3 . p.73

++++
Go forth, the Mass is ended.



Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Catholic Reflections 558 : Homily Fifteenth Sunday of the Year C 10th July, 2016

Homily FIFTEENTH Sunday of the Year C  10th July, 2016
The lawyer is looking for a clear and definite pathway to Heaven, and so he asks: ‘What must I do?’ When Jesus tells him that the answer is Compassion and love, the lawyer again asks for a definition: “What are the limits of this?”

Jesus tells him that his Way is not lived by merely following rules, and nor is the Gospel kept by staying within strict and limited boundaries…….. but rather the Gospel is lived by responding to life wherever and whenever you find it; with the Love and compassion of God…    The love which is made up of God’s very essence…    serving, self-sacrificing love to others and to all……. .

Eternal life is the free, generous, unrestrained, authentic gift of true, compassionate, self-forgetting love for others. 

Living in a loving relationship with God means loving and caring for all that God has created; and going beyond the limits, the reservations, the fears, the restrictions and responding freely, lovingly and passionately, (come what may, and irrespective of the personal cost),  to the situations and people life throws up at us.

The law of God, the word of God is not some distant thing written in stone, but a living, breathing, flexible and loving law,… as the first reading tells us……”the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.”

With this parable, Jesus shows us that God’s love doesn’t care one jot about what others think of a person. God’s love does what is right, and what is compassionate, and what is responding to real need, irrespective of popular opinion.  

The first listeners to Our Lord’s parable,  in First Century Palestine, would have been utterly shocked and thrown-off-balance by the unexpected results of the story.  The hero in this parable is not the one the listeners expected. The hero turns out to be the one who is usually despised by Jesus’ listeners.  How can the “good guy” be the Samaritan??   They would have gasped in astonishment. 

 And worse…. The expected “good guys”  -  the priest and the levite,  turned out to be not responding the way that Jesus was teaching God’s disciples to respond.

 Let us look at the characters of this parable….

Interestingly, the traveler who gets attacked has been very foolish and even reckless.  The road to Jericho was notorious for robbers, as it was steep and winding. People who travelled that road travelled in groups and were taking their lives into their hands if they dared to travel alone and with valuables.  So Our Lord is saying, even if people have been foolish and have contributed to the situation they have found themselves in, Gospel compassion responds to their need and doesn’t moralize. Compassion and love responds to real need, it does not stop to work out blame and fault.  Nor does compassion stop to work out whether people deserve a loving response when their own foolishness may have played a part in their situation.

The story does not suggest that the Priest was a bad guy. Nor does it suggest that the priest did not care about the poor person who had been beaten.  It may have been that the Priest was very concerned for the victim. However, it is clear that he put his religious and legal duties ahead of the human and physical needs of a robbery victim.  If the priest touched an injured person he would have been ritually unclean and unable to perform his duties at the temple.  So, he put his “ceremonial duties ahead of charity.”  “The Temple and its liturgy meant more to him than the pain of a person.”***

“The Levite appears to have moved a little closer to the victim but still does not help.  In those days, robbers often used decoys pretending to be injured to lure helpers to come nearer, whereby they would be ambushed and attacked.   “ The Levite was a man whose motto was, "Safety first." He would take no risks to help anyone else even if he felt he should. 

“Then there was the Samaritan. The listeners would obviously expect that with his arrival the villain had arrived. He may not have been racially a Samaritan at all. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans and yet this man seems to have been a kind of commercial traveller who was a regular visitor to the inn. The name “Samaritan” was sometimes used to describe a man who was a heretic or a person who did not keep the letter of the ceremonial law. Perhaps this man was a Samaritan in the sense of being one whom all orthodox good people despised.

 We note two things about him.

(i) His credit was good! Clearly the innkeeper was prepared to trust him. He may have been theologically unsound, but he was an honest man.

(ii) He alone was prepared to help. He may have been considered a heretic but he alone showed the  love of God in his heart. …  In the end we will be judged not by the creed we hold but by the life we live.


And so, the Lord teaches us that we must help a person even when they may have been foolish and ill-advised, or even brought their trouble on themselves, as the traveller had done.

 We must help any person…. of any nation or any creed, colour or nationality or value-system….  Anyone who is actually in need is our neighbour. Our help must be as wide as the love of God, which is beyond measure….

We must not put rules and ceremonials ahead of people and their plight.  The law of God is living and active. The ceremonials of religion express and contain the values of God’s Kingdom and ought not be used in opposition to the human condition.

The help we give must be practical and not consist merely in feeling sorry. No doubt the priest and the Levite felt a pang of pity for the wounded man, but in the end they did nothing to help.
In order for the fullness of compassion to exist, it must flow into deeds.

What Jesus said to the scribe, he says to us--"Go and do the same."”** 

+++++
References:

**William Barclay -  THE DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES. REVISED EDITION. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE. THE WESTMINSTER PRESS

PHILADELPHIA. 1975


Fr Paul W. Kelly

+++
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

FIFTEENTH Sunday of the Year C

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 raise us to new life: Lord, have mercy// //Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins:Christ, have mercy//Lord Jesus, you feed us with your body and blood: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.

own preface p.73

Various Needs and Occasions 3 . p.73

++++
Go forth, the Mass is ended.






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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Catholic Reflections 557 : Homily Fourteenth Sunday of the Year C 3rd July, 2016


Homily Fourteenth Sunday of the Year C  3rd July, 2016

First reading Isaiah 66:10-14.

Responsorial Psalm 65:1-7,16,20. “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.”

Second reading. Galatians 6:14-18.

Gospel. Luke 10:1-12,17-20
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This weekend we continue to pray for World Peace.  It has been a week of tumult, with new and shocking acts of violence and terrorism, particularly the attacks in Istanbul, Turkey.  

Also, on a totally different level, but still of concern to many, there has been upheaval economically and politically in the UK and Europe. We pray for continued understanding and respect and reverent negotiations between all parties, as well as a profound sense of tolerance and fraternity with other nations, races and cultures. 

The gospel this weekend shows Our Lord teaching his disciples to “travel lightly.”  If we avoid being overly attached to material possessions and if we are not caught up on "power and authority," we can successfully proclaim and witness to true peace, justice and the values of God’s Kingdom. 

Our Lord knew intuitively that people who are attached to possessions, personal comfort and power will be more tempted to water-down the gospel message and tone down the values of the Kingdom for fear of the economic and social consequences of offending the status-quo or upsetting the influential.

If I value my possessions too much, I will hesitate to proclaim the gospel boldly for fear of forfeiting my valuables when persecuted for my stance.  If I value power, I will not be keen to humble myself to the level of a servant, as Christ did.  If I value my life too much, the truth and the justice of the gospel will be silenced by the merest threat to life, liberty or well-being by those who hate this message.

There is certainly something free-ing and light about ‘travelling lightly’.   Many of you have no-doubt done this at different times….  But, over the last months I have been progressively "down-sizing my life"…    Over the years I had collected about 27 large boxes of “things” as well as heaps of clothes and “knick-knacks.” Whenever I moved I did not have the time I would have liked to sort things extensively, so everything would be collected into storage boxes, some of which I hadn’t touched from one move to the next. It became a bit daunting..  and I am by no means a hoarder…   Over the years I felt “crowded out” and “weighed down” by these possessions, these ‘things’. The thought of making a move for the purposes of new ministry would fill me with hesitation, when I thought of packing up….  And to change the situation, I needed the time to sort through these items, in order to sift through them.  I eventually made the time and one-by-one, sorted through those 27 boxes..   Throwing out junk, scanning important documents, donating to Saint Vincent de Paul charity stores things that might be useful for others…   just making a start and slowly, methodically whittling away at these items,  I was astounded … after sifting through these things and sorting….  Any guesses what I was left with after I had sorted through the 27 boxes?....   I can hardly believe it myself…  but I was literally left with a quarter of a small plastic storage box; that was all that remains of those 27 boxes…   (I must say a lot of it was rubbish, but I needed to check everything before casting it out, and I needed to securely destroy any documents that were confidential and could not be just dumped). And it is done!! .. and true to the gospel it is much easier to move about with a “quarter-filled” box with a few key papers, than 27 large storage boxes….   (I must admit, I think I am now addicted to throwing things out..  I walk around thinking..  “that could go…”   “do I need that?”.,…   it can become very tempting…)…  

But anyways, Our Lord really knew what he was talking about.  Jesus wants us to travel light,  (Not just in regards possessions, but also other spiritual and emotional baggage that we can tend to get bogged down with).   

I find the second reading by Saint Paul a bit mysterious.  Paul was writing a very important message to the people of Galatia.  There were tensions in the community,  and Paul’s letter is a passionate, loving and sometimes stern masterpiece of writing…  to get across the message of the gospel to the arguing people.  Saint Paul tells people that they shouldn’t get bogged down on focusing on external signs of religiousness, unless one keeps the meaning of the gospel. He is so passionate he even says at the end of it..  see…  look its my own handwriting.. see the big letters….…  (I am so old and hard of sight now.. but I am so moved by this issue, I am scribbling this down myself….in my own hand.. I have taken the writing implement from my usual scribe… .)….he then goes on to reminds them, and us, that some people wear the signs of faith but don’t live it….  They wear the signs of membership of God’s people in the Jewish faith, but only to avoid being persecuted by the Romans for being Christian. He says,  enough of this. No more trouble on this topic…  look.. the cross of Christ shows us the meaning of true discipleship… if you want signs.. look at the signs on my body, says Paul, of what I have suffered for proclaiming the gospel….    He had been through shipwreck, imprisonment, floggings, and so much more…  

Finally, in the gospel, the seventy-two disciples come back successful.  They are delighted that the spirits deferred to them. But Jesus seems to warn them…   don’t give in to pride and don’t gloat over your power…   our achievements are all about God’s grace…  Jesus says a strange comment here…  he says, I saw Satan fall from heaven.   He may be saying, watch out..  one of the angels fell from heaven because of pride… don’t fall for that yourselves.. its not about you and your power and ability, it is about allowing God’s grace and peace to work in and through you…  it needs humility, openness and also not going around looking at what I can get out of this or that situation…  

Only by this humility, simplicity, and openness to serve and travel lightly, can be more fully allow God’s grace to work in us, as instruments in the hand of the Divine artist.      


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References:

Fr Paul W. Kelly

Sharing the Word through the Liturgical Year: (1997). Gustavo Gutierrez

THE DAILY STUDY BIBLE. GOSPEL OF LUKE. (REVISED EDITION). BY WILLIAM BARCLAY.


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Fourteenth Sunday of the Year C

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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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 the image of the unseen God: Lord, have mercy.//You are the firstborn of all creation: Christ, have mercy//You are the head of the body, the Church: 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.
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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 IV p.30
Eucharistic Prayer I p.49
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Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.



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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Catholic Reflections 556 : The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. 29th June, 2016


Saints Peter and Paul. 29th June, 2016
St Peter and Paul

Saints Peter and Paul went through their lives and ministry, strong in the belief that God was with them, and that God was accompanying them on their pilgrimage of life; guiding them and supporting them in their mission of proclaiming the Good news…

Time and time again, they were saved from imprisonment and death…. and picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and continued on their way, boldly proclaiming the Good News…. But, they were not under any illusions. Although they often praised God for his constant love, protection and grace, and they were very grateful for the times they were saved from death, they nevertheless knew very well that being Jesus' friends and disciples was not about having permanent protection from suffering, imprisonment and death. After all, their Master and the founder of the message they proclaimed, suffered the most terrible fate on the Cross. Being a disciple is not a guarantee of safety or absolute physical protection.  Our discipleship, as we all know too well, a not "magic charm" to prevent all illness or even suffering and death. However, our discipleship DOES give us hope and trust that God always remains with us, in the ups and downs of life; in good times and bad; in sickness and in health; in peace as well as in times of turmoil.

God is with us… to lead us and guide us along the path to eternal life, where we will share ultimately in the fullness of Jesus' Kingdom and have a permanent place at the Heavenly banquet, a room in The Father’s heavenly household.

Eternal life… this life begins now… and can be experienced profoundly in so many ways here and now in this present age.  ……… And, we also know that the fullness of eternal life will only be fully experienced in the world to come, even though we taste it and live it partially now.

We Catholics believe that the Pope, presently the wonderful Pope Francis, is the successor of the special role of St Peter… as the foundation stone on which Christ builds his church…… and so, it is timely that we celebrate this feast.

 We all celebrate and encounter the richness of the universal church…. a church including people from every race, language and culture….. all one In Christ…. All part of the People of God.

We celebrate our membership of the Catholic, Christian, faith family…. The fire of the Good News that drove the apostles to the ends of the earth in Jesus’ name….. and found its hold in this far-flung part of the world (as it then was from a European perspective), The Faith that has inspired and enlivened generations to establish permanent local communities deeply embedded in the principles, life and values of Jesus' Kingdom…. this is our story too here, and in every parish throughout the world.

St Paul, the apostle to the Gentile nations would be so proud today… As he looks at all that Christ has achieved in and through Our Lord’s church….. Saint Paul would be the first to remind us to celebrate our 'unity in diversity'

When Jesus asks 'who do people say I am….. and then asks the even more important question…. 'who do YOU say I am' Simon replies…. "You are the Christ, the son of God." It is really important for us to see why Jesus then immediately says his next words….. You could almost add a "because" into Jesus’ sentence….. "Because you say that I am the Christ, the son of the Living God, (because this is your faith and your creed…. Then …..you are "Petros…." YOU are ROCK, and on this Rock…  on which I will build my church." 

The church is founded upon the rock of the truth that Jesus really is THE Christ… Christ truly is THE Son of the living God…. and that Jesus is God the SON…….// As important as it is that Peter proclaimed these words…..// … even more importantly is that he proclaimed the central POINT of our Faith… It is BECAUSE Jesus is the Son of God that we are who we are… // That we Christians live as we live…..// and it is BECAUSE of WHO Jesus is and what he does that we share in the actual divine life and relationship of God - …by uniting ourselves in mind, heart and communion to Jesus…….

And this changes everything…. It gives us the grace, the love and the freedom to live and to act as Jesus did…… and in so many ways…. by our words, actions and lives… to set prisoners free… to declare God's favour to the world…. and to cancel so many types of debt that we can hold over one another…… to BE, as Peter, Paul and the apostles are….. Good news to the poor…..



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