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A table open to everyone PDF Print E-mail

01 September 2013: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

All who exalt themselves shall be humbled and all who humble themselves shall be exalted

Why does Jesus eat with tax collectors and sinners? Why doesn't he keep a proper distance from them? How shameful! Later the accusations, rejection and scorn: "Look, a glutton, and a drunkard...  a friend of tax collectors and sinners... How dare he?"

It is an explosive issue. Friends, to sit at table with someone is a sign of respect, trust and friendship. One doesn't eat with just anyone; people eat with their own kind. Sharing the same table means belonging to the same group, and their differences with others are important. Gentiles eat with Gentiles, Jews with Jews, men with men, women with women, rich with rich, poor with poor.

Jesus surprises them all by sitting down to eat with just anyone. His table is open to everyone, no one feels left out. They don't have to be pure; they don't have to wash their hands. Disreputable people can share his table, even sinners who forget the Covenant. Jesus doesn't exclude anyone.  (Jose Pagola: Jesus, an historical approximation)

Everything will be different in God's reign. God's greatest joy today is to share life with the poor and contemptible, the undesirables - the asylum seekers and refugees - and the sinners. Jesus is already doing that by joyfully sharing meals with those who are scorned and marginalised by society. Those who have never been invited by anyone, will one day sit at God's table!

Happy Father's Day with much love!

Image courtesy of pixabay.comTo all the good fathers, fathers working to become better fathers, fathers in heaven and God the Father!

Today on Father's Day we are invited to reflect on the role of father as nurturer of the positive and distinctive roles not just as bread winner but also on Virtues such as faithfulness and resilience in life's difficulties, that can ascribe meaning to it.  Father's hallmark style is the physical play with their children. They are also likely to encourage children to take risks, accept challenges and be independent. Fathers today play an important role in protecting their children from threats in the larger environment. Beyond that they have a positive, distinctive disciplinary style. As Terry Philpot on the paternal role in the family in a recent issue of The Tablet reflects on Professor Wilcox in his new book, 'Gender and Parenthood', adds, "Good dads make a difference in that their boys are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviour, their girls less likely to become pregnant in the teenage years, and both their boys and girls are less likely to suffer from depression".

May we pray for better support of fathers and parents, for stronger and longer lasting marriages that will be a product of our individual choices, behaviour and culture. Finally fathers, accepting that you're not in control is a reason not only for more humility but for more joy. You can work hard and leave the rest up to God. Pope John XXIII once said that when he woke up in the night, worried about the future of the Church, he would relax by asking himself a question; "Giovanni," he would say to himself, "why are you so worried? Who is in charge of the Church - you or the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit! So go back to sleep, Giovanni!"

Image source: pixabay.com

Welcome to our new communicants

Congratulations to Conor, Georgia, Charlotte, Luca, Leo and Grace who received their First Holy Communion at the 9:30am Mass today.  We pray for you and your families' ongoing journeys with God.