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Family is the most significant force in the life of a child PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 31 May 2015 – The Most Holy Trinity

Baptise them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

The Holy TrinityBecause most of us are baptised as babies, we often miss the significance of our baptism. It is a joyful occasion where families gather to celebrate and name the baby - to recognise it as a new and unique individual.

Every culture on earth recognises the importance of such a moment in the life of a child. However, as Christians, we add a new dimension. The name identifies the individuality of the child - but the sacrament initiates the child into the life of a series of communities. The first and, at this stage, most significant, is the child’s family. The parish welcomes the new member of their worshipping community - and the wider Church receives the new Christian into a world-wide family. But even beyond that, baptism initiates the person into the very life of God: he or she becomes a disciple and friend of Jesus - a child of God - and a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Rather like the disciples encountering Jesus, we have to look at our own baptism and that of others differently. Yes, we remain fully human - but through baptism, we carry the seeds of a new divine life which will find its fulfilment after death when we enter eternity. It is a  gift which gives life a new purpose: where we are God is and in the graces of our baptism, we have been commissioned to sanctify the world - at least our own little bit of it!

Excerpt from Wellspring of Scripture

 
Jesus did predict the coming of the Spirit PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 24 May 2015 – Pentecost Sunday

The Spirit of truth will guide you into all the truth

No-one could say that Jesus had failed to forewarn the disciples that the Spirit would come and yet, most of the Gospel accounts of their life after the Resurrection suggest that they did not really expect anything to happen. Two began the journey back to Emmaus, others hid behind closed doors and later went back to the nets they had so impetuously left a few years before. Jesus had told them the Spirit would come - but everyday life seemed to go on as normal - and, quite frankly, the disciples were probably glad of the anonymity for a while: as Jesus had also said, if the authorities treat me as they will, how will they treat you?

Pentecost Sunday

And so, the fishermen continued to fish - and life passed - until one day, they and the other apostles came together... Earlier in Acts, we are told that they met to pray with Mary and “certain women” - a gathering of people who had been with Jesus during his ministry - who had seen him die - and seen him rise to new life. What was it in their prayer in that gathering that opened the way for the Spirit to come upon them. As the wind blew through the house - and fire fell upon their heads - did they need Mary to discern what was happening and echo words from her own overshadowing by the Spirit: don’t be afraid?

Suddenly, the prophecy of Jesus in today’s Gospel comes true - the Spirit of truth does come upon the apostles and a secretive gathering of people explodes onto the unsuspecting streets of Jerusalem. There the Truth is proclaimed to anyone who has ears to listen. This Truth is not reserved for a closed group of people - but is to be proclaimed to the whole world. The Truth is not limited to a language - everyone can perceive this truth in their own tongue. The Truth is not to be hidden in code - available only to those initiated into its intricacies - but open for anyone who dared to look.

Excerpt from Wellspring of Scripture

Last Updated on Friday, 22 May 2015 21:10
 
Jesus’ departure PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 17 May 2015 – The Ascension of the Lord

The Lord Jesus was taken into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God

There are departures and departures. When some people leave us, we sigh with relief. Tax inspectors, for example, unwanted guests, the sponging relative. Other leavings leave us grieving. A parent’s death, for example, our child’s first move out of home, our spouse’s departure for a long stint of overseas work. We hardly notice other departures: as we close the door to the plumber, farewell the emergency teacher or leave our bank manager, we are simply business like.

Ascension of Jesus

Ascension Day recalls Jesus’ departure. Mark describes Jesus being taken up into heaven and so returning to be with God. A remarkable picture, we might think, but the people in it are all very down to earth, almost as if their overseas boss is catching the plane back to the head office. Jesus has final instructions for his less than competent work force. He drops in on his disciples as are eating together, ticks them off for their stubborn disbelief in his rising from the dead, tells them to go out to proclaim the Gospel, and explains that their work will be accompanied by extraordinary cures and expulsions of demons. Then he leaves to return to the right hand of God.

...Ascension is not simply a goodbye.

The disciples don’t mope in the departure lounge. They immediately go out to preach the Gospel, and their healings duly follow as predicted. They show no grief, no fuss, no relief to see Jesus go. They have been given work to do, get down to it, and of course have Jesus with them. He is not a distant boss but remains interested in them and available to them even though he is in another office.

We make a fuss of Jesus’ Ascension because it reminds us that Jesus’ death was not final, that he rose to be with us, and that he went to God to stay with us. It marks a new stage in God’s involvement in our lives, not its ending.

But Jesus’ Ascension also marks a change in gear. Previously Jesus’ taught and acted and preached the Gospel of God’s love. After the Ascension the task is handed on to his disciples who preach the good news of Jesus. The mission continues.

And so we head towards Pentecost. Jesus sends the Spirit through whom he remains real and works among his people. So the Ascension is not simply a goodbye. It is a hello, but to people who are being sent out to happily to live the Gospel.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ

Lenten candleTaizé Prayer Meetings

The FCJ Sisters invite you to a Taizé Prayer to prepare for Pentecost. Please come and experience.

Thursday 21 May (7:30pm – 8:30pm)

FCJ Community House
1 Moonbria Avenue, Kew
(Corner Mont Victor Road)

Last Updated on Friday, 15 May 2015 20:50
 
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