Sunday, April 26, 2015

Homily 4th Sunday of Easter, YEAR B

Homily 4th Sunday of Easter, YEAR B  

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This weekend, with the gospel reading about the Good shepherd, it is also Prayer for Vocations weekend…. It is interesting, looking at Pope Benedict’s letter on the occasions of Vocations week and various resources put out on the occasion… there is a common factor…….    The key to vocations    and discipleship is  love….  And particularly God’s unique brand of love

God’s love is at the centre of all discipleship…    and all vocations…  and essentially in the vocation to priesthood and religious life….   

This central theme of God’s love was emphasised by Archbishop, Mark Coleridge. The first thing Archbishop Mark desired to do after arriving to take up his role as Archbishop,  three years ago to this date, was meet and pray with his priests, who are his assistants in his mission of pastoral care of this place.  He was very impressive. He is a wonderful and captivating speaker, intelligent, gentle but forthright. He knows what it means to be a leader and isn’t afraid to lead, but he is also humble and a listener and a man of great intelligence.   I think we have been very blessed.  He quoted the late Pope Saint John Paul II (for whom he himself was a speech writer in his role in Rome for many years),  and how Saint John Paul described Christianity not so much as a ‘religion’  but rather an “encounter” with God in Jesus”.   He says that this powerful image has stayed with him and deepened over his years.   He says that our discipleship is about  Encounter with Jesus and the wonder that it brings, then communion with Jesus and then Jesus sends us out with a task – a mission…  so, in similar echoes to our archdiocesan motto  - “Jesus Communion and Mission,”  he says it as ENCOUNTER< COMMUNION< MISSION !   same, but deeper.  He says that he has always felt that the Brisbane church was a vibrant and missionary church and says that the Church needs to become more and more missionary in its outlook. This is no time to circle the wagons, but to go out in mission to live and proclaim the message of Jesus. 
Archbishop-elect Coleridge,  was very impressive in his talk.

He also said that he sees his prime responsibilities as    promoting:
-      The mission of the Church
-      Unity and communion with the universal church. He empashised that we are the church IN the archdiocese of Brisbane and not the church OF Brisbane.  
-      Vocations
-      Liturgy.
He also said that “fear” is the great enemy and that Jesus came to give us his peace so that we overcome Fear and boldly live and proclaim his message without fear or favour. 

He also reminded all of us that God calls us to go out of our comfort zone and to go on a journey. He noted the difference between  JOURNEY and mere “wandering”  - wandering is aimless and confused and time-wasting, whereas, a journey has a goal and a plan and a direction.   We will hear much more of this impressive man in the time to come…  I was impressed and energised

As disciples of Jesus….  We are not trying to merely imitate God’s actions, which is commendable,… nor are we merely trying to do what God, in Jesus, did, (as far as any human being could try to imitate Jesus – who is God made flesh---    but rather…  we are ultimately striving to become more connected to WHY Jesus acted as he did .. the reason and cause of all his actions and words…  which (at its core and centre)  is God’s unfathomable love… ….to become instruments of God’s love, ………………servants of God’s love…  and the become the love of God inside and out…

One of the reflections on vocations..  makes a wonderful illustration about the depths of God’s love, care and faithfulness to each one of us,,,,,    the writer mentions the famous songwriter Irving Berlin, who is well known for writing hit songs like "Easter Parade," and "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Berlin was once asked, "Is there any question you've never been asked that you would like someone to ask you?" "Well, yes, there is one," Berlin replied. He posed the question himself: "What do you think of the many songs you've written that didn't become hits?" Then he answered his own question: "My reply would be that I still think they are wonderful." Then he added, "God, too, has an unshakable delight in what--and whom--He has made. He thinks each of His children is wonderful, and whether they're a ‘hit’ in the eyes of others or not, He will always think they're wonderful." Irving Berlin hit it right on the head. Here is the critical truth about faith--it is grounded in God's wondrous LOVE for us. We may not feel worthy to be loved, we may even push that love away at times…--but we cannot keep God from loving US. That is God's very nature. God is a shepherd – (a very, very good one – the best, in fact). God is love. Today on Good Shepherd Sunday we remember the truth that God always searches for the one who is lost, or who feels unworthy or unloved and carries them in His arms. Anyone who would follow Jesus (the good shepherd)  as a disciple or especially in the vocation as a priest or religious…..  must be prepared to have a love for God’s precious ones – after the example of the good shepherd himself. 

As the readings tell us this weekend “We are (all) God’s children.  We are God’s flock.  Jesus Himself promises us that we are no longer slaves but children of God. 

(And since God has given us freedom, he then invites us to give our freedom totally in service and love for others…, as Jesus himself did with his freedom).  It is ironic but beautiful.

Jesus tells us that He will lay His life down for us.  He has already died for us, but every day He is will to lay down His life for us once more.  Salvation is not something in the past, salvation is today.

Today’s readings begin with one from the Acts of the Apostles.  Peter is trying to explain how a crippled man was cured and why.  What is really important is not so much the cure of the crippled man but the love of Jesus for His people.  Even today we do not always understand this.  Jesus will do anything and everything for us if we have faith in Him.  He heals us every day from so many things. (true, sometimes we ask for help or healing in certain  specific ways, and we don’t always get it. But God always answers our prayers in some way or another..  and even if God does not take all burdens from our shoulders, we can know that at least God is love and God is faithful and God does not will any bad thing for us or for others…. God only wants  to cherish us always). 

The second reading, from the First Letter of Saint John, is a wonderful prophecy of what heaven will be like:  we shall be like Him and we shall see Him as He is.  So much of our life here is spent trying to be like Him, trying to live as He lived, trying to love and He loved.  In heaven, we shall be like Him, and we will LOVE like him. That is the goal of all discipleship and vocation …   to love like God. If we LOVE as God does.. then all other things flow from it.

The Gospel today reflects that this is Good Shepherd Sunday.  We have readings that explain to us what a Good Shepherd is like.  This is an image trying to explain to us the care and the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus.  Truly there is no way in this life fully to comprehend the love that God has for us.

We should be able to speak every day of God’s love and care for us.  If we can quieten our hearts and our minds, we will more easily see this love and care of God at work every day in our lives.  It may not always be the love that we want from God, but it is truly love always wished good for us. 

Let us rejoice and be glad today.  Let us be still and listen and look for the signs of God’s love in our lives.  Let us be aware of how much healing God has already done in our lives” (A)

And may God keep transforming us into instruments of his love and grace…  that we might show God’s love and care to others we meet…  and slowly but surely be transformed from hired workers into shepherds after the Lord’s own heart…  (with love at its very centre)….



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REFERENCES:

  • I was very impressed by the following resources and have relied heavily on them for this homily this weekend, (quoting them extensively).
    • (A) MONASTERY OF CHRIST IN THE DESERT. ABBOT’S HOMILY. Abbot Philip, OSB
    • Vocations day resources.  
  • FR. PAUL W. KELLY

Homily 3rd Sunday of Easter - B

Homily 3rd Sunday of Easter - B     

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In the gospel this weekend, the absolute truth of PHYSICAL resurrection of is again reinforced.

Jesus even shares a meal with them and makes a point of eating what sounds like a delightful piece of grilled fish to show his disciples he is flesh and blood. 

It is quite a claim to suggest that Jesus was risen again. The Disciples initially couldn’t believe what they were hearing when reports started coming in  that Jesus was risen again.  If it were merely a made up story, it would be easy to suggest that he was merely Spiritually risen, and experienced  a kind of ethereal and spiritual way, but that is not what is being said and not what has ever been claimed.  Jesus is RISEN, and he is truly risen!  His disciples saw him, touched him, at with him and spoke with him on several occasions.

The true genius of the Christian faith is our belief in the Resurrection and what it says about the relationship and connection between the BODY and the SOUL. For Christians, the body is not just some annoying outer shell that encases the pure spirit of a person and which would be better off being cast off so that the person can achieve perfection.  
The Greek philosophy (which was very popular and influential in the time of Jesus, and has been very influential throughout history, tends to see a bit of a divide and a distinction between body and spirit. The Greek philosophy, I think, tends to see Spirit as pure and divine and good, and the body (and that is physical) is corruptible and sinful and bad.

Even in the Jewish faith, the spirit or the soul was considered (by many) to indeed live on after death,  but only some believed in resurrection of the body. The Jewish understanding tended to see the flesh as earthly and the soul as heavenly. 

The Christian belief in the incarnation of Christ (God becoming flesh.. and dwelling among us)  and that Jesus is truly God and truly human, shows a profound  understanding of the human person which believes in the holiness and the dignity of the body and the material world.  We have been saved by Jesus – (God made flesh) - who took on our nature and never cast off that human nature nor did he ever cast off the human body when he returned to the Father in Heaven --  This belief informs our teachings on justice and the dignity of the human person and of the sanctity of the human body and why suffering is not something to take lightly.

Jesus Resurrection takes this a step further. The destiny of the human person is that they will one day live with God in Heaven (body and soul). The body is sacred and will be raised up and is not to be cast off in order to attain perfection. God will perfect us physically and spiritually.  The earthly, the physical and the material DO matter in Christian spirituality, and cannot be ignored or put out of the picture.

The disciples, in today’s gospel, are shown to be in fear and doubt when suddenly Jesus appears to them and reassures them, giving them literally a solid and tangible foundation for their belief (his physical resurrection),  the truth of which will keep them going in good times and in bad,,.,, in peacetime and in persecution,…..  

Jesus opened the minds and hearts of the disciples….   Otherwise they would have gone on sitting and hiding in the upper room, and they would still not have understood and they would still have not gotten out and preached the Gospel, irrespective of whether they saw him eat some fish…   - It was essential that the disciples (and each one of us) are “OPEN” to Jesus’ message.

Our discipleship and following of Christ (if it is to remain authentic) must always have a deeply practical element of action and right-behaviour to it.  Our faith must show itself in practical implications for our physical world and the physical body.  One of the readings today pointedly reminds us “anyone who says ‘I know him” (I know God)’…  but doesn’t keep God’s commandments is a liar.” …  Anyone who says ‘I know Jesus’…  but does not live according to Jesus’ actions, teachings, values.. and behaviours… /….anyone who does not show real respect for the world and the human person, does NOT have the TRUTH in them.

The other important point from today’s readings is that the Resurrection of Christ and his sacrifice on the cross,  tells us a lot about sin and its forgiveness….. ///…  Also, as I wrote in the newsletter: We sin. That is what humans do. But that is never where we leave things. We cannot ever make a concession to weakness and wallow in the lowest common denominator of our frailty. We can often do the wrong thing and sometimes it is knowingly, sometimes it is out of ignorance, and sometimes it is out of negligent failure to know what we ought. We humans are flawed, but nevertheless, infinitely loved by God who created us.

God knows what we are like and loves us unconditionally as a parent loves their child. And, just like a parent’s love for a child, a parent does not condone or encourage bad behaviour or ‘wilful refusal to change one’s ways’ because of the lame excuse that “we are all human and we all make mistakes.”  Just because we are human and prone to sin is no excuse to stay in our bad habits and remain in ignorance.  We are called, as beloved children of God, to grow and change constantly. We are called to spend our whole lives on a journey of learning, openness, repentance, conversion and transformation, with God’s grace. 

So, a major victory achieved through Christ’s death and resurrection must be seen as the forgiveness of human sin. “The scriptures point out is not easy for us to admit that we are sinners and that there is sin in the world.  Today we speak of ‘mistakes,’ of ‘faults,’ of ‘misunderstandings’—but sin is also there and not to be denied. Sin is a reality that is still a very unpopular topic, even though really, it is not being falsely humble to say…  we are all sinners.

We are all invited to look into our hearts and to know that we need salvation.  Jesus needed to die for each and every one of us.  We do well to recognize that our own choices against God are part of the sins in our world.  Can we accept that Jesus came to die for us and for our sins and that in Him we are redeemed (purchased back by God) – Body and soul.

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FR. PAUL W. KELLY;  and, Abbot’s Homily. Monastery of Christ in the Desert.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

homily. Easter Week 2. Divine Mercy Sunday

Easter – Sunday Week 2. Year B.
This weekend, is Divine Mercy Sunday, where we recall the absolute mercy and love that Jesus has for all humanity. The world needs…  we need to ever deepen our understanding and experience of the depth and breadth of God’s divine mercy and love for us and for all the world…..    it is at the heart of God’s nature.. and the heart of God’s relationship with us, his beloved people.. his sons and daughters.     
This same Sunday is the day the Pope last year canonized both Saint and Pope John Paul II (who was beatified only three years ago on this same weekend, and whose feast day will now be October 22nd every year…  to coincide with the start of his papacy)  - and also Pope John XXIII, (feast day 11th October annually). Saint John xxiii, instituted the Second Vatican Council and his feast day matches the date of the opening of Vatican II.  Both extraordinary and strong examples of the faith. 
The Risen Lord twice says the words “peace be with you.”   Jesus is offering us true PEACE….   and it is something we desire very deeply…..     Jesus appears to his disciples to reassure them of the reality of the forgiveness he has won for us by his death and resurrection….. we can truly be at peace and trust in Jesus’ promise that he does mean to free us from our burdens and forgive us our sins…..    this is a message of enormous hope…. 
He implores us….  doubt no longer… but believe…. trust in my love….    trust in my forgiveness…..    believe that I do offer you the means to real and lasting peace in life…. 
Also, the gospel today ends with the writer of John’s gospel saying….   there are more things that happened in relation to Jesus….    but they are not all written here…..    WE, (these many, many years after Jesus walked the earth)…..   we too are witnesses to what Jesus continues to do in our world even now…..   we are called to be ministers of reconciliation, ministers of forgiveness…. and ambassadors of Christ’s peace….. 
 The importance of the community cannot be understated either……   in the first reading we hear of an ideal community…. they pray together… they learn together… they share their resources to help and support each other….     our faith community exists so that we might assist, build up and strength each other…. especially those most in need, most struggling……   Jesus calls us to be a community of disciples looking outward towards the world and ready to make a difference for good….
Our faith tradition tells us that to understand and believe in Christ, we must read the Scriptures and meditate on them.  We must also come to know other believers and listen to each other.  Christianity is a religion that preaches Jesus crucified and risen, but always in the context of the community of those who believe in Him.
Today let us ask Saint Thomas to intercede for us that we can believe more deeply in the great mystery of salvation.  Let us be patient with our doubts and keep looking for the truth of Christ's presence in the midst of the everyday events and people of life.  Most of all,  let us rejoice in the Lord who loves us, forgives us our sins, and invites us deeper into these mysteries.
May we continue to be built up by the risen Christ to be disciples who rejoice in being a community for the good of each other and for the common good of all……    ministers of Jesus’ graciousness and care…..Jesus brings us peace and immediately commissions us to go out and put his message into action, by acts of charity, love and support for all we meet….
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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Homily Sunday of the Resurrection, 2013. Year B 5th April, 2015

Homily Sunday of the Resurrection, 2013. Year B  5th  April, 2015     

 

The Tomb is empty!!
 
Christ is Risen !!

The Lord is truly the God of New Beginnings and new starts.  Thans be to God for the new beginnings God allows to spring forth in so many big and small ways in our lives. 

…….All that Jesus said he was, is revealed to be profoundly true.
 
Jesus said that he came to unite all humanity into the one family of God.
 
He invited us all to share deeply in the relationship he has with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
 
His assurance that we will always be beloved and cherished children of God, is confirmed
 
It is all completely true. This feast of Easter celebrates this Truth.
 
We will live forever with God and with each other, in the new life won for us by Christ, on the cross, // and confirmed on that first Easter Sunday, when the tomb was found to be empty, and Christ was later encountered alive and risen.
 
All that Jesus won for us, (in his self-sacrificing love on the cross)…and for that matter, all that he won for us in the entirety of his self-giving life on earth….   is now given the ultimate stamp of approval through the resurrection…
 
How could we ever have doubted?….  how could the Lord of Life be held for long in the tomb of death? …. It was inevitable that God, (the source of all life), would quickly break the chains of death and establish a new order.
 
God has the last word on every sin….; on every tragedy, …… and this final word is one of complete faithfulness

Easter is a time of thanksgiving and celebration.   We celebrate life… (and new life at that). We celebrate love…. that never ends……
 
We have been reborn in Jesus……..
 
If in our lives we experience sin, ……injustice, ……….pain, ………suffering… or doubt…..   we believe that God will always be faithful to us…. //…….confirming (over and over again), that we ARE cherished sons and daughters……always…
 
This Easter, we give special thanks for our families and friends… We offer prayers of thanksgiving// and prayers of blessing for our loved ones.
 
Our thoughts too, are with those who are working over this weekend… especially the emergency service and medical personnel..,  who are out there on duty, on weekends such as this so that we will be safer and happier…..   We are grateful for the work they do now and always… //……  we give thanks for all the wonderful people in our lives and the gift they are to us……//……..  may they be blessed with joy and health.. and may they know that God is with them in all they do… //…… in their work and in their social time… always….  
 
We thank God for all the love and support that we receive from those around us…. the kindness and care shown by those close to us….. 
 
May we be inspired to reflect God’s faithfulness and love to us,// by the way we treat each-other –// with appreciation and respect, gentleness, and forgiveness…. 
 
We see glimpses of Christ’s Resurrection even to this day… (two thousand years after he rose from the dead)…// Jesus’ resurrection is still real and active in our lives today…. 
 
We “glimpse” the resurrection daily whenever….
 
-         People who are suffering all kinds of troubles, become filled with a peace, a serenity and a graciousness that goes beyond their present situation.
-         We glimpse the resurrection, when people reach out in forgiveness even when they have been deeply wounded by another’s actions… when they feel peace and forgiveness in their hearts despite what has happened to them or loved ones…
-         Whenever people give practical assistance to those in need… especially those most on the margins and most alienated….   and (in this spirit)……we gratefully acknowledge the gracious generosity of so many at times of disaster.
-         Whenever people stand up for others who are mistreated and without a voice…   and it helps to change the situation…  resurrection is witnessed…..
-         And when people support each other and give strength and hope in times of loss… the resurrection is glimpsed… 
-        ….And we certainly witness the power of Christ’s resurrection at work, when people come forward,..  and say they want to be part of the life of this church and to celebrate (in so many ways) the presence of God in their lives…//…..they want to acknowledge, explicitly, the presence and action of God who is with them along their whole life journey/…… 
 
Happy Easter….    and at the end of our celebration (tonight/today)… we go forth from here to continue to witness to the resurrection in our lives and in the daily lives of those around us…… //    May Christ’s Kingdom come in all its fullness… and may we be of assistance in helping that Kingdom to flourish (in quiet and practical ways… by our actions, by our values and attitudes…..)……In the places we live and work
 

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REFERENCES:

FR. PAUL W. KELLY


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Friday, April 03, 2015

Good Friday. 3rd April, 2015.

Good Friday. 3rd April, 2015.

 

By Purely earthly standards, Our Lord's ministry when it ended with his execution on the Cross, would have been judged (if using purely HUMAN standards) to have been an unmitigated disaster and a monumental failure.  (That is, if one only looks at his ministry and death with purely earthly eyes). His ministry was very brief...  possibly only three years long,  and no longer than six years. At the end of this time, most of his followers scattered, one of his closest disciples betrayed him, and the leader Christ had chosen had denied him three times and fled. In addition, Jesus was arrested like a common brigand, and was wrongly accused of Blasphemy and of being a dangerous heretic. he was also unjustly charged with treason towards the Roman Emperor.  He was executed as a common criminal.  
 
Human law was a bit ambivalent here. Because even human law found him innocent. He was declared not guilty by the highest human authority of that area - Pilate.  nevertheless, he was still executed. By earthly standards, Jesus was assumed to be a criminal and a failure, and a blashphemer.  He was considered like a person cursed.  He was considered to be outside of God's people and sentenced to be damned for all time.   But this is why today and the Passion of our Lord is the greatest example of two things:  1.  Appearances can be deceiving.  and 2.  God's ways are not like human ways. God's idea of true success and glory do not always follow the way of the world.  
So, for anyone and for all people who have ever been stymied by the capricious standards of purely human judgement...  if one has ever suffered judgement or condemnation by the world as being a failure or a lost cause or an outsider.. today's Passion gives new sight,  new meaning and new hope ... for God has the final say and it is surprising ......
Christ  is the visible expression of God.  And, as we commemorate the solemn festival of Our Lord’s suffering and death..  we see that Jesus is the visible expression of God’s love (which is deeper and more heartfelt than anyone could ever fathom)… and he is the visible expression of God’s mercy, compassion, and kindness… Christ is also the visible expression of God’s Kingdom, God’s priorities and values…  and they are beautifully different from what the world often values highest….    Christ…  shows us that God is complete, self-sacrificing love and mercy…  Christ is “self-emptying love and service for others”….   Jesus is about giving the very last drop of his blood out of love and service to others….  
Through Christ’s suffering and death, we are saved..  we are freed..  we are forgiven..  we are given hope to endure all the many “little deaths” and trials and suffering of this world..  For God has the final say.. and it is a word of hope and love… 
In just a short while, in this ceremony, we will have the adoration of the wood of the Holy Cross…..  as we show our individual veneration of the Cross…   We nail, as it were, to the cross of Christ, all our sins..  our trials..  our temptations..  our failings..  our doubts..  our pride.. our selfishness.. our lack of compassion..  our failures to love…   our illness..   our worries..  our thwarted priorities…. 
When it comes time to venerate the cross,  each of us is invited to think (quietly to oneself and to God, who is in the secret places of our heart)… Think of what you are nailing to the cross as you come, for Christ died to save us…  to include us…  to show us God’s mercy and that God is faithful…   yes..  even in our darkest hour…..    
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REFERENCES:
FR. PAUL W. KELLY
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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Homily. Holy Thursday.

Homily. Holy Thursday. 

 

Tonight is a sacred night… 

It is truly beautiful.   It is Christ’s transformation and fulfilment of the ancient Passover, in a new and extraordinary way.

It is about Christ..  who shared the last supper with his disciples…  who was about to die to save the world….   And who instituted the Eucharist as an ongoing, living memorial which would allow all who trust in Christ’s promises real and effective access to his saving mercy. It connects us to his suffering, his death and his resurrection which is salvation for us all…  it provides an ongoing access point to the forgiveness which the Lord offers to us along our life journey… and connects us forever to Christ.. to renew, cleanse and strengthen us to walk along the Kingdom’s paths…

Tonight Jesus reveals that his whole mission, and his whole message is about love, service, self-sacrifice, humility and mercy….  

And he bids us to follow his example in thought, in word and in attitude….  

Christ..  by instituting the eucharist… and washing the feet of his disciples…   shows that the truth of his mission and of our existence … is about self-forgetting concern for others…  

 

St Peter is also a lesson to us all..

He meant well. He was fiercely loyal to Jesus and  yet he still had a lot to learn…   He would not let Jesus wash his feet in this simple but powerful example of   an act of profound service and humility. …   Peter was proud. And pride can be powerfully contradictory to the message and example of the gospel.  Peter probably thought he was right to feel proud on behalf of his Lord and master, Jesus, whom he knew to be the Christ and the Son of God. He was proud on behalf of Jesus, whom he has once before gotten chipped by Jesus for trying to tell him HOW the messiah should and should not fare.  Jesus told him to stop being a stumbling block when Peter tried to tell him he MUST NOT suffer and die. Jesus quickly rounded on him and said, you are thinking in a human way, not in God’s way. (For Jesus knew he MUST suffer and so enter into his glory). And Now, Peter suffers from well-meaning concern and pride again. He felt that he could not bear to see his lord and master lowering himself to wash his humble feet..  but Jesus puts him straight..   unless you let me do this, you can have nothing to do with me….   Peter..  as with us all, must let go of his preconceptions and his attitudes, and his pride.. and must allow Christ to teach him this new and different way of greatness.. which is about service, humility and sacrifice…  Peter, after his correction, quickly ,assents….  Peter is a great example of a disciple, who though sometimes as we all do, getting it wrong, quickly and sincerely repents when they realise the error of their course…  and swiftly changes tack …..back to the ways of the Lord. 

We too must be open to Jesus’ ways which are not our own ways….  We must accept humility and service and let go of our own expectations and demands…  and put on Christ’s ways…  

The disciples did not believe that they or any of Christ’s group would deny or betray Jesus…  but Jesus knew better..  He knew that to be a good disciple is to pray and to be aware of the weakness of the flesh ..  of temptation and fear and doubt….  Of selfishness, of pride…   of self-deception.  Jesus constantly taught his followers to be alert and prepared for such trials……   

Tonight, we pray that we will surrender to Christ and his vision, his ways…   and his invitation to  be humble servants who let go of our expectations and ways and accept Christ’s ways …  For Christ’s ways are always about self-emptying service, love and sacrifice…  of “self-forgetting” for the good of others…  

And now  ,..  we enact what Christ did on that first Eucharist At the last supper…  and we put ourselves at the service of Christ..  who is not only our Lord and master…  but also,

He who comes among us as one who serves…. 

 

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Friday, March 27, 2015

homily Passion Sunday. . Year B. Mark’s Gospel



Passion Sunday. .   Year B. Mark’s Gospel

 

Holy week has begun…… and the passion narrative is such a powerful text in itself.

 

In the coming days, when you get some quiet prayer time, it would be goo to read through the whole passion reading of Mark’s gospel,  from the woman anointing Jesus with oil… to the last supper, and through his trial, and Peter’s denial of him …..   through to Jesus’  crucifixion and the laying of his body in the tomb…..

 

Mark, in his account of Jesus’ passion presents to us an amazing array of characters….    representing contrasting personalities and differing behaviours…..   Mark is inviting us to enter into the text and see where we stand in this amazing drama……    Mark presents the flawed leader who wants to placate his people rather than do what is right……   he presents the disciple who takes fright and denies his master when the heat is on……    he shows us the crowd… who welcomed Jesus in and now bays for his blood… and is swayed by popularist sentiment…  and even accepts the trade-off between a criminal, (a murderer),  Barabbas… and an innocent man, Jesus….   we see people dressing Jesus up as a King…and bowing to him…but not in truth but in mockery….  in what ways are we still to truly bow down to Christ…. to what extent is our commitment to Jesus still only as deep as the baptismal robe we were clothed in……

 

Let us be immersed in the drama of Holy week, so that Jesus, who gave everything for us… will bring us through it… and to new life and renewed faith and commitment….  to the good news that gives us life… and life to the full..



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Saturday, March 21, 2015

HOMILY 22nd March, 2015 - Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year B.

HOMILY Fr Paul's Reflections Fifth Sunday of Lent - B


The Greeks, in today’s gospel ask to ‘see Jesus’. They were foreigners, and had heard about Jesus and were curious to meet him…. but the reply they get is unexpected….. do you want to see Jesus??? well, unless a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it remains a single grain….but if it dies… it produces a rich harvest…


we are asking the same thing….. let us see Jesus…. and Jesus gives us a cryptic reply too….. if you want to see me…. I am to be found in the suffering…. in the broken….. in the act of self-sacrificing service…..in self-emptying love……


The opening prayer for this weekend is revealing.. it is picks up on this theme today…

may we walk eagerly in that same charity (THAT SAME LOVE) with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death.

WE ARE ASKING THE LORD TO Change our selfishness into self-giving.
Help us to embrace the world you have given us, that we may transform the darkness of its pain into the life and joy of Easter.


How difficult it can be to die to one's selfishness so that others might benefit..... to make the difficult step... to sacrifice oneself oir one's own self interests for the good of others... it can be the hardest thing in the world.. but it is the way of Christ.. the way of the Cross, but also the way of fullness of life and grace...
One of the greatest gifts that can be given to this tired world we live in…. if the gift of unselfishness…. or self-giving…… or generosity and love…. where so many other keep asking ‘whats in it for me’ what’s it worth???,,,,

our following of Jesus has a cost….but its not suffering for no reason…. its suffering because of what we believe in… its suffering because we believe in the values Jesus offers….. and Jesus gives us an example of how we can react when faced with the cost of our values….. ‘Father… should I say, save me from this hour….but no…. for this is why I came……’

to live a life of service, love and self-giving… this is why Jesus came, and this is why we follow him,.,.


in these dying days of Lent… let us ask God to kindle in us all a deeper love, a deeper, unselfish love…… to live the values of service, self-emptying and compassion no matter what the cost…. knowing the cost… and trusting that Jesus went before us in this and all things….


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


REFERENCES:


· FR. PAUL W. KELLY


· PREACHING TO THE CONVERTED. BY FR. RICHARD LEONARD.S.J.


· SUNDAYS AND HOLY DAY LITURGIES. YEAR B. FLOR MCCARTHY S.D.B.


· SHARING THE WORD THROUGH THE LITURGICAL YEAR. GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ.






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