Thursday, December 01, 2016

Catholic Reflections 581 : Homily 2nd Sunday Advent. Year A - 4th December, 2016

Homily 2nd Sunday Advent. Year A - 4th December, 2016
 
Please also listen to my podcast of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Second Sunday of Advent.

https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-advent-2-a-2016

 
First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm: 71:1-2. 7-8. 12-13. 17.
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever
Second Reading: Romans 15:4-9
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12


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Whenever there is a bush-fire .. even before you see the smoke or see the fire... you know something is coming.,.... because, apparently, (so I am told), all the snakes and mice and wild-life come racing out of the bush... Getting out while they can !.......... Same with the proverbial sinking ship..... the rats are the first to desert it !     
   
Saint John the Baptist went about proclaiming that the “Day of the Lord” was near and that NOW was the time to repent and change our ways or else......... all of a sudden he sees in the distance the Pharisees and saducees coming for baptism.. and he calls out (the equivalent of …)....  “well, well well... look who we have here!  .......   If it isn’t the snakes, getting out before the bushfire ! Who warned you of what was coming???....”   
 
The Pharisees and the Saducees were well known for focusing on external things... how they were seen to be doing the right thing... whether or not they really were......but this didn’t fool John... your lives have to change... external rituals are not enough unless your heart is changed.....    
   
The first reading challenges us all......  God does not judge by what the eye sees of the ear hears... but  God looks at the heart...... with righteousness and equality.....  
   
This is indeed good news for a world where (as one person once put it) the only exercise most people get is jumping to conclusions...........WE can continue to hope and work for a community where we refuse to judge by appearances.,... where we strive to live out the justice and harmony that Jesus asks....No matter how far off true harmony may seem, we are reminded that it is God who is steadfast towards us, and is constantly at work to bring about a change of heart. “God’s Spirit is at work when enemies begin to speak to one another, and ...nations seek the way of peace together” (Eucharistic Prayer II of Reconciliation).  
 
It is good to ask ourselves some helpful questions in this time of Advent……   
What are the paths that we need to straighten in our lives and in the life of the church?  ......  What barriers do we need to unblock in our preparation for the rebirth of Jesus in our hearts???  
   
As individuals.....  what are our barriers? .....  The best test of that is to analyse the things we do and say when we think no-one will hear us or see us or find out what we are doing. What things in our lives do we compartmentalize?,  (keeping separate and hidden from the rest of our lives).   .....   
   
Another thing that has struck me of recent years…..    we should ask more questions instead of making more statements…..  And we would be a lot happier if we asked “open-ended” questions instead of conclusion-laden ones…    
   
I will never forget in a parish many years ago…  (and I use this example as an instruction and not as a criticism), in the midst of a bit of tension between a school group and the parish over the use of a hall that was owned by the parish but shared in usage between the school and the parish..   I got a message one day which said …..“Why did you have the water supply turned off in the hall?” This question really hurt my feelings.   Trying to be polite, I calmly replied…  “I didn’t HAVE The water turned off. Rather, the pipe (which was very old and came all the way from another building) has suddenly gotten blocked and we have called a plumber to fix it”  ….   Why people jumped to assumption that we had deliberately turned the water off, I cannot say. Actually, at that same place, (where many happy and kind things also happened, I must add)….. … one day…  the parish had a meeting in the same hall…..n it concluded with a lunch…   and we had way too many sandwiches..  So, whilst lunch was still occurring, we took a tray of sandwiches out and offered the sandwiches to a group of people who were working on a garden outside the hall.  In response, one of the people commented…   ‘Oh, giving us your scraps?’  I was utterly horrified… and hurt.  To think that people would assume that we would give to others what we would not be willing to eat ourselves…   I think there was a lot of “judging by externals” and not from the heart going on….   Anyway.. that was a long time ago.. in a far, far away place… And by telling that, I by no means want to take a high moral ground.  We can all be tempted to jump to conclusions and judge by hearsay and by assumptions..  its an all too tempting habit that sadly any one of us can fall into time and again even though deep down we know it’s a trap.      
   
In this Advent time of reflection and preparation…….. its good to pause and ask ourselves humbly…..
How often do I make judgements on the basis of appearance,, or hearsay.... how does Jesus message differ from this?  
   
Who are the people I find hard to accept... how does Jesus invite us to relate?..  
   
Let us continually present any barriers and blocked paths we discover to the Lord of Justice and grace…..... and God will pour his mercy and love upon them... and slowly but surely remove these barriers and blocks….    step by step……  
   
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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
 that
2nd Sunday Advent. Year A

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.
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.
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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.

Advent 1 p.16

Euch Prayer II p.56

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Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
 



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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Catholic Reflections 580 : 1st Sunday Advent. Year A - 27th November, 2016

Homily 1st Sunday Advent. Year A - 27th November, 2016



First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm: Ps 121:1-2. 4-5. 6-9.
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord
Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14
Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44
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Please visit my podcast "Faith, Hope and Love A time of Worship and Prayer, based on the Scriptures and Prayers of The First Sunday of Advent, Year C, 2016.  
Please click this link here: 
https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faithhopelove-podcast-advent-1-2016-year-a


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First Sunday of Advent 2016
An Advent Pastoral Letter
“THE FLESH AND THE FACTS”

By Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge, DD, 

(Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia)

The Year of Mercy has come to an end, and I want to thank all who helped to make the Jubilee a gift to us all – Pope Francis for offering it to the whole Church, but also the many who have conceived and organised the many activities that have been part of our Archdiocesan journey into God’s merciful love.  The Jubilee may be over, but we don’t now set mercy aside.  On the contrary: in these days of Advent and Christmas we set our sights firmly on the infinite mercy that takes flesh in Jesus. 

At the heart of Christianity is the claim that God became one of us, which is what we mean when we speak of the Incarnation.  In the Prologue of John’s Gospel, we’re told that the Word, who had existed from all eternity, was made flesh and pitched his tent among us. 

It’s extraordinary to claim that the God whom neither time nor space can contain became a human being at a particular time and in a particular place.  But that’s what we celebrate through Advent and the Christmas season.  This puts a bomb under any sense that the material world in general and the flesh in particular are bad.  In Genesis we’re told that God saw what he had made and found it very good (1:31).  Christmas says that God saw what he had made and, seeing its goodness disfigured, decided to become part of his own creation to restore it to the glory he intended from the beginning. 

The God who takes flesh deals not in abstractions but in facts.  Likewise the Church that worships the mystery of the Word-made-flesh needs to deal with facts.  That’s where mercy starts.  At times what we believe and teach can seem too abstract.  That’s the sense I had listening to certain voices at last year’s Synod on marriage and the family in Rome.  What I heard at times was logical, perhaps even beautiful in a way, but it didn’t put down roots in the soil of human experience, and it would have been incomprehensible to most people outside the Synod Hall. 

In 1975, Pope Paul VI said that the split between the Gospel and culture is the drama of our time.  In the years since then, the truth of that has become only more apparent.  The Gospel and culture have parted ways.  The Gospel hasn’t moved but the culture has gone elsewhere in a way that the Church can find difficult to understand and engage.  Hence the problems of communication we now face.

At times the Church can seem like a teacher trying in vain to communicate something important to students: they just don’t get it and you can see it in their faces.  The temptation is to think that if we say it often enough or loud enough they’ll eventually get it.  But they won’t.  The teacher has to find new words or images, a new language; and if he or she does then the penny drops and you can see that they finally get it. 

The challenge now is not to abandon the faith in favour of the facts, but to create a new engagement of the faith with the culture of which we’re part – as the logic of the Incarnation demands.  That’s not as easy as it sounds because the facts have changed very quickly and dramatically, and that process won’t slow or cease. 

Part of this new engagement will be a reconsideration of Church structures and strategies, which can be based upon the facts of other times.  They may have been brilliantly successful once upon a time when things were different.  But they are not what’s required now in a situation where the facts have changed. 

During the Synod process of 2014 and 2015 Pope Francis invited the whole Church to consider marriage and the family in the light of the changed and changing facts.  This is a vital area where the split between the Gospel and culture is perhaps more apparent than in other areas of human life.  What the Church believes and teaches and what the wider culture thinks and does have been moving in different directions for some time.  The Church can’t just look the other way in the belief that the wider culture is doomed.  That’s not the Catholic way.  We are a Church who, because we take the Incarnation seriously, take culture seriously and seek to engage it as creatively as we can.  This means we have to be in touch with reality rather than inhabiting some abstract world which can produce what the Holy Father has called “dry and lifeless doctrine” (Amoris Laetitia, 59) and “a cold, bureaucratic morality” (Amoris Laetitia, 312).

At times the facts can seem unfriendly to Catholic belief and teaching.  But according to psychologist Carl Rogers, “The facts are friendly” – by which he meant something like: “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).  The question for us is, How might "unfriendly-seeming facts" actually be "friendly"?  Or to put the question differently, Where is God in the midst of the mess?  The real God is there somewhere, somehow; but it’s a challenge to discern God’s presence when the facts seem not just messy but unfriendly. 

Pope Francis has spoken often of the need for the whole Church – not just the pastors – to undergo “a pastoral conversion”.  The word “pastoral” can mean many things, but it doesn’t mean that we compromise the truths of the faith.  It does mean however that we get in touch with the facts of human experience.  It means that we, like God, abandon the world of abstraction to engage the real lives of real people in the ways traced by the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of Love”. 

This will mean a new kind of listening to the truth of people’s experience.  From a new listening will come a new language that people can understand because it’s in touch with their lives.  That’s what it means to be a truly pastoral Church.  It’s also what it means to speak of a new evangelisation by a more missionary Church. 

Advent is a time of waiting, but there’s nothing passive about that, because we wait with ears and eyes wide open.  Advent is a special time for listening.  It’s also a special time for seeing – scrutinising the signs of the times, asking ourselves in the light of the Incarnation how the facts, which can seem unfriendly, might actually be friendly with the friendliness of the God who becomes one of us so that mercy may have the last word. 

+ Archbishop Mark Coleridge  DD.  Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia.
First Sunday of Advent 2016

++

A short reflection by Rev. Paul Kelly:

Advent has  two particular qualities : It is a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ's first coming to us is remembered;  and secondly, Advent is a season where our mind and heart is directed towards  awaiting Christ's Second Coming, at the end of time.   (Roman Calendar, 1969)

ADVENT IS UPON US. A time of waiting and of new beginnings.

Advent literally translates as "Arrival" or "coming."

We are preparing for the commemoration of when Jesus arrived in Bethlehem.  Jesus comes to us in so many ways in our daily lives, and we are invited to be open to receive him and respond to his action and we also await his coming on the last day.

You will have noticed a couple of things are a little different in this Advent season we are now in.  Every season of the church year takes on a distinct tone and feeling.  Firstly the colour of the season of Advent is Purple (or more precisely “Violet”). 

Naturally in the lead up to Christmas, (in this time of waiting and preparing), the Gloria is not sung (or recited) again until Christmas night. 

With the start of Advent, a new Church year has begun and with it comes a new reading cycle.  We are in YEAR A, the year where we systematically read through the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Matthew is very closely tied to its Jewish heritage, probably written within a strongly Jewish-Christian community and particularly points out the ways in which Christ is the fulfilment of the Judaic Law and the Prophets. It is believed that Matthew's Gospel was written around 80 to 90 AD, probably closer to 90.

The Gospel of Matthew has five basic sections:  the Sermon on the Mount (ch 5-7), the Mission Instructions to the Twelve (ch 10), the Three Parables (ch 13), Instructions for the Community (ch 18), and the speeches at the Mount of Olives (ch 24-25). It has been suggested that this echoes the structure of the five books of the Pentateuch.
                               
We have the Advent Wreath in our sanctuary in this season.  The meaning of the Advent wreath derives from pre-Christian Germany.  Christians kept these popular traditions alive and added a religious meaning to them consistent with the Christian Gospel. By the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light.  ·  From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world. 

Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle and each week one more candle is lit in addition to those lit the previous week.

We are counting down the weeks and days until the coming of the Lord at Christmas.

I am writing this reflection in Australia, and so the meaning of the Advent Lights is slightly different in the Southern Hemisphere.  We are at the start of summer around this time, and the days are growing LIGHTER as we approach Christmas. However, in the Northern hemisphere, it is winter and the days grow darker as Christmas approaches. Nevertheless, whichever the part of the world you live in, we are lighting candles in keep expectation of the celebration of the coming into the world of Christ, by his holy birth in Bethlehem. Christ is our light and our salvation.


·  As our days grow (longer), we look on this Advent Wreath - these candles and green branches -  and remember God's promise to our world:  Christ, our Light and our Hope, will come.
·  As with the light from this candle, so too may the blessings of Christ come upon us, brightening our way and guiding us by his truth.
· May Christ our Saviour bring light into the darkness of our world,  to us, as we wait for his coming. 

First Week:  O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Saviour of all peoples, come and dwell among us. 

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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

1st Sunday Advent. Year A

The Lord be with you.
+++++++++++++
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
sung
++++++++++++++
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.

Advent 1 p.16

Eucharistic Prayer II p.56

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Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

++
extra: 
Special Message from His Holiness, Pope Francis, to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia:

message from Pope Francis, directed to NATSICC and the local church on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Alice Springs.

It’s furnished here in full in case you may wish to reprint it within parish newsletters, or utilise it in other forms for the upcoming weekend:

To Mr John Lochowiak
Chairperson
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council


I send cordial greetings and best wishes to you and the entire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the visit of Saint John Paul II to Alice Springs. I assure you of my spiritual closeness as you reflect on the many ways in which Almighty God has blessed your community through that historic visit.

This anniversary affords me the happy opportunity to express my deep esteem for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and for your ancient cultural heritage. Uniting my voice to that of Saint John Paul II, I encourage you in his words: "Your culture, which shows the lasting genius and dignity of your race, must not be allowed to disappear. Do not think that your gifts are worth so little that you should no longer bother to maintain them. Share them with each other and teach them to your children. Your songs, your stories, your paintings, your dances, your languages, must never be lost." For when you share the noble traditions of your community, you also witness to the power of the Gospel to perfect and purify every society, and in this way God's holy will is accomplished. I pray that this occasion will provide an opportunity to deepen your love for Christ and for one another, offering a convincing and tangible sign that we are "no longer strangers and sojourners, but...fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God"(Eph 2:19).

Commending you and all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the intercession of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.


From the Vatican, 29 November 2016  

Francis

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Catholic Reflections 579 : Homily Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - C - 20th November, 2016

Homily Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - C - 20th November, 2016


Please try my blog podcast for this Sunday's readings and reflections and for worship:

https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-podcast-christ-the-king-c-2016




First Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-3

Psalm: Ps 121:1-5.
“Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord”
     
Second Reading: Colossians 1:12-20
      
Gospel: Luke 23:35-43
       +++++
It is fitting that the end of the church year declares Jesus to be the King of Heaven and of Earth. The Lord Jesus is King of the universe.  We long and we pray for the day when it will be fully revealed that Jesus is the King of our world, our lives, our priorities, our plans and our hopes and dreams.  Come, Lord Jesus, establish your Kingdom values in our lives now. We long to have our lives transformed by the peace, justice, love and forgiveness that marks your gospel.
 
We humans are a proud people. We believe we are strong and self-sufficient. Many of us are tempted (at times) to proclaim: "we bow to no man, we kneel to no one!"  Yet, we happily (and rightly) bow to Jesus and we immediately kneel to Our Lord, for he alone is deserving of all our worship, all our obedience and all our energy.

On this feast of Christ the King……  I am thinking particularly of the complete transformation God has done to our concept of “Kingship,” “power,” “authority” and even of the usual definition for "victory" and "success"…..  
Our previous human concepts of these words and their meanings, are (to put it bluntly) pretty shabby…..   Not far from the surface, many people have the ingrained belief that “power” is about “dominance” and “having the upper hand”…..  It often goes hand in hand with the “use of force”…..   In rather limited human terms, many think that “authority” is about who can push their point of view the strongest, loudest or longest….  Kingship is is usually considered to be about privilege and prestige and aloofness…… and victory…  is about leaving behind the losers and living happily ever after….  It is also often considered to be about 'survival of the fittest'   - and 'alls fair in love and war'  ….   And 'eat or be eaten'…..    
 
So,…… In comes God and, (through the life and example of Jesus), totally transforms and changes the meaning and definition of these things….   it is such a shocking transformation, that you can hardly recognise that it is the same thing……..   and many in this world will never accept or recognise that God's definition of these things is the right one…..
 
God-with-us. He came down very close to us. He was not a distant authority but one who has lived in our flesh and known our experience. 'Being there' for others is such an important gift and skill……. Time is the most important gift we can give and it should be given generously. But sometimes it can't. Work, illness and circumstances sometimes hamper our  "being there" but we keep searching for creative ways of having a presence to others in need…… whether its….. Letters, cards, phone calls, so we can be "present" when physical presence is not possible.
 
Secondly, Jesus sets clear principles on behaviour. We all know the 'Golden Rule', that we should be compassionate, forgiving etc. Jesus does not love us and let us do what we like. We need to love like Jesus, setting clear principles in our lives so that we and those around us can be our best selves with behaviour that makes them fully human, fully alive.
 
Thirdly, Jesus sets the example. What behaviour Jesus wants us to do, he himself did first. Our Lord did in actions, what his words also said….
 
Finally, Jesus loves us no matter what we do. He may not like or approve of our actions but still he loves. And God loves us as a parent loves us……  not for what we  can give or do back; but simply  because we are created in God's image...as are all people….
 
The world cries out for the new renovated definitions of authority, power, victory and kingship….   Which is more about family and relationships, care, protection ….and love…. More than anything else…  Rather than the survival of the fittest,   the Kingdom shows us that the Kingdom ids about ensuring everyone gets to the promised land.. that the weakest and the frail are not left behind.. but are carried along with us…   on our journey…  the Kingdom shows that the truly Christ-like community is discerned by how much the most vulnerable are protected by the strongest….    
 
We today celebrate that we desire more than anything to participate in and hold true to the values of Christ.. (the King and his Kingdom).. which we joyfully and humbly admit is the true way in all things…..    …   To Jesus…  Lord of All the earth..  to him be honour, glory and true power and authority.. forever and ever…  amen…  
 
+
• The Peter's Pence Collection is an annual collection of the Catholic Church around the world 
• The collection allows the Holy Father to respond to the most needy throughout the world, to offer timely, effective emergency assistance to our suffering brothers and sisters 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly

Kym Harris, a Benedictine nun from Tanby near Rockhampton. On “Celebrating Jesus' authority.”


+++
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

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - 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.
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.

Christ the King  p.37

Eucharistic Prayer I p.49

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Go forth, the Mass is ended.






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Monday, November 07, 2016

Catholic Reflections 578 : Homily Thirty-third Sunday of the Year C - 13th November, 2016

Homily Thirty-third Sunday of the Year C  - 13th  November, 2016



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Please visit my Readings and Reflection Blogsite….”Faith, Hope and Love” (2016)
https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-podcast-2-33rd-sun-ord-time-c-2016

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First Reading: Malachi 3:19-20
Psalm: Ps 97:5-9. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Gospel Acclamation: Luke 21:38
Gospel: Luke 21:5-19
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The gospel and its theme of people putting their efforts into building up a vision only to have it be torn down again by circumstances,  reminds me of the wonderful gratitude I have for my school teachers, including my favourite subject of English Literature, and all the wonderful poems, novels and plays that we were introduced to.  Many of those texts are still my most favourite to this day.  I realise that some of the novels had similar themes, of people who had put their life's dream into building up something only to find it escaping from their grasp,  whether it be The Great Gatsby,  or Death of a Salesman,  or King Lear or Julius Caesar, or the Poem Ozymandias..... I look back now with delight as i think of my teachers who would say to me, "read the part of Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman,"  or  "how about you take the part of King Lear."  Most of the time i would think, ah this is an interesting role, it seems fairly sedate, only to have the character slowly moving from relative calm to frothing, uncontrolled madness. I loved it !  

Speaking of that fantastic poem "Ozymandias" that speaks of the ruin of an empire that once thought itself great and unassailable, an ancient king who thought his empire would last forever only to have it lying in ruins and virtually forgotten, but for a cryptic plaque on a wrecked statue:

Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


It is timely to think of things like this, as Our Lord warns us to put our efforts into building up that which lasts forever. 

This weekend, Jesus warns his disciples that there are tough, stormy times ahead, not only for him, but for all who follow him…

But in the midst of this, he offers hope…  ‘don’t be fooled, the end has not come….. 

He rightly predicted that there would be wars and natural disasters..  many which will shake the foundations of society and frighten many…  but he calls us to remain resolute and keep focusing on the gospel…  

In all of this, he says…  "don't be shaken. Do not be thrown by the tumult around you. Keep on working diligently without hesitation. Keep witnessing  to the truth of my message….  I will be with you,.. I will be faithful to you… even if following me causes persecution and even (for some) breakups in ordinary family and social relations…"


The prediction of Jesus about the temple being destroyed…  is really horrific… and given how central the temple was in the life of the people of Israel, its almost complete destruction is still shocking to think of even to this day… the thought that the beautiful temple of God’s presence..  the sign of God’s blessings and protection – that God was with the people…  the thought that this would be utterly destroyed… is still a fact wailed about these two thousand years later… 

But again, this is an invitation to think and pray carefully about what we are putting our energies into…  what are we building…..  because some buildings…  MOST buildings, are not built to last forever… and even the ones that are intended to last forever, DON’T!!!
Jesus is not just talking about physical building…   what are we putting all our hopes and dreams and energy into… because there may be a time when exactly that which is the object of all our time, effort and energy, will be knocked down (by natural disaster, illness, the bad will of others, and so many other reasons)…  so Jesus implores us to put our energies and priorities into his Kingdom and its values that can never be torn down…..The reason that the early Christians endured such persecution, such horrors, and kept faithful was they KNEW JESUS….   They met him, they walked with him…. Or they met those who did….  So they willingly would go to their deaths for what their Lord stood for… 

We will not be left standing unless we connect ourselves to the one true spiritual building that endures forever…  Christ… the Foundation stone and fortress…….   We need to daily deepen our knowledge and love of the person and message of Jesus … to deeply allow Our Lord to immerse us in his heart and mind…… ….. and may we catch on fire with his person and message and values.

And let us reflect often….   Open this spiritual question about our priorities and choices…….. What are you building???  Are we building something that will never be torn down?
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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly


My Daily Visitor reflections, Nov/Dec, 2010

Bequette, M. K. "Shelley and Smith: Two Sonnets on Ozymandias." Keats-Shelley Journal, Vol. 26, (1977), pp. 29–31.


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Thirty-third 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 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//
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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 III p.30

Euch prayer two p.56

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Go in peace.


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