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To be a true neighbour PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 14 July 2019: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Who is my neighbour?

The Good Samaritan.  Image courtesy of pixabay.comIn today's gospel reading, we hear again the parable of the Good Samaritan. A familiar story, but its lesson is just as telling today as it was when it was first told – in a world troubled by antagonisms in which religious differences play a big part. Jesus is instructing his disciples. He has not come to abolish the Law that was so important in the faith of old Israel, but to bring it to its fulfilment (Mt 5:17). He uses this exchange with an unfriendly lawyer to illustrate what this means. 'Love your neighbour as yourself', the Law said; this text, however, identified the 'neighbour' as a 'member of your race' (Lev 19:18). Other Old Testament texts, on the other hand, express a more generous and inclusive attitude to the stranger; hence the lawyer's question. Jesus turns the question around. The question he has been asked is self-centred: 'Who should I accept as a neighbour?' The parable takes up a far more generous question: 'How can I be a true neighbour?'...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of pixabay.com

04 August 2019: Celebrating the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

St Ignatius of Loyola

Everyone is welcome to come and remember the life of one of the patron saints of the Parish community and the founder of the Society of Jesus (SJ) with a Eucharistic Celebration at St Ignatius' Church on Sunday 04 August at 9:30am. Morning tea will be served in the parish hall (behind the Church) after Mass.

We are all invited to bring something to share for this parish celebration. Refreshments for the morning tea may be delivered to the parish hall before Mass.

 
The strong faith of true evangelisers PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 07 July 2019: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Your peace will rest upon him

Spreading the Word of God on foot.   Image courtesy of pixabay.com...The Lord's instructions to the seventy two are for us too. He invites us to learn what it is to be an evangeliser. The first requirement is that we have truly found joy in the meaning faith gives to our lives. These disciples ‘came back rejoicing'; and today's liturgy, in its choice of the reading from Isaiah, underlines this first characteristic of authentic bearers of the gospel message – with its expressions of boundless joy in the blessings of God. True evangelisers must have a faith commitment that is strong: the disciples are told that they must be single-minded – their greatest treasure should be the message they bear; it will be this personal conviction that leads others to share in what they have found. True evangelisers are bearers of peace: the disciples are told to be aware of the healing and reconciliation their message should bring to their hearers. Jesus sends the disciples out ‘two by two': because the example of a community that lives by Christ's teaching is an essential part of authentic evangelisation. And finally, Jesus warns against the spirit of self-importance that can spoil the work of the evangelist: all that should matter is their own relationship with God...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of pixabay.com


 
Wherever He goes, I follow PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 30 June 2019: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus resolutely set his face towards Jerusalem. I will follow you wherever you will go

The path of life... In today’s gospel reading from Luke, Jesus begins to instruct his disciples, preparing them for the decisions that lie ahead of them. The example of Jesus, in the direction he gives to his life, is clearly affirmed - ‘the time draws near for him to be taken up’, and ‘Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem’. He shared our life to the full; he too had to make the painful human decisions that gave direction to his life. In these decisions, he was ‘resolute’, faithful to the end in expressing the generous ways of his Father. Our lives are shaped by the basic decisions we have made - concerning family priorities, concerning our professional responsibilities, concerning our attitudes as neighbours and citizens. As this gospel reading takes us into the company of Jesus, let us ask ourselves how responsible we are in the making of these life decisions, and how resolute we are in putting them into practice...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of pixabay.com

 
The central place of the Eucharist PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 23 June 2019: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

The body and blood of ChristEvery time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord

...The gospel reading from Luke makes clear the central place given to the Eucharist in the community for which the gospel was written. In Luke’s narrative, Jesus, after completing his Galilean ministry, turns his attention to the formation of the apostles. He has them share in his mission by sending them to preach the good news and to heal the sick. Confronted by a crowd that has neglected to provide themselves with nourishment in their eagerness to stay in his company, Jesus has a new lesson for The Twelve. ‘Give them something to eat yourselves’, he tells them. There can be no doubt, as the narrative continues, that Luke sees these words as pointing to the Eucharist, the nourishing of the people of God that will be the centrepiece of the apostolic ministry. Taking the loaves and fish, Jesus ‘raises his eyes to heaven’, pronounces ‘the blessing’ over the loaves, and then ‘breaks them’. Though provided by Jesus, the nourishment is given to the people through the ministry of the apostles – who are instructed to organise the people ‘in parties’, to distribute the loaves and fish, and to collect the scraps...

Extract by John Thornhill sm - read more at The Emmaus Series | Image courtesy of pixabay.com

17 June 2019: World Day to Combat Desertification

Human beings have always had to endure drought and deal with deserts. In the Old Testament Elijah meets a widow and child on the edge of death by starvation in a drought. In Jesus’ life the desert was central. It was seen as the edge of the human world – a place where human beings only with difficulty could hold on to life and sanity. As an edgy place it was considered inhabited by demons. It was contrasted with the green and wellwatered valleys that reflected God’s care for humanity.

Deserts and drought were then an unavoidable feature of life, sometimes seen to be sent by God as punishment, but certainly beyond human control. In our world we know that droughts and deserts can be made more acute by global warming, and that global warming is caused by human activity. When we remove trees from marginal land and cultivate it intensely, we are likely to turn it into desert and may also deplete the underground supply of water. The elements necessary for plant growth are also likely to be leached out. In recent years an increased proportion of the earth has become desert. The rise in temperature around the earth is also likely to lead to more and more severe droughts. Their impact will fall disproportionately on people who are poor, because the poor are forced to settle in ever more marginal areas.

We have now become more attentive to the fragility of our environment and to the effects of mining, burning coal and fossil fuels and of land clearing on our world. We can see that the prosperity and fertility of our world depends on establishing good relationships between human beings, and also between human beings and the environment of which we are part. Poverty and the degradation of our world both spring out of a lack of respect for our fellow human beings and for our world. They reflect the pursuit of profit at the expense of respect.

The remedy for desert and drought making begins with respect: to stop seeking profit at the expense of the environment and people who are poor, and to ask more urgently how we can heal the human wounds of poverty and an abused environment. If deforestation makes deserts and contributes to global warming, the proper response is to plant out vulnerable areas. It is not to expel native people from their forest habitat so that we can build mines that will poison the surrounding environment, cause sedimentation of rivers and affect fishing in the rivers and the sea. The proper response is to protect both the environment and culture so that people can thrive.

Fr A Hamilton SJ

 
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