Pastor's Desk: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 20th July 2019 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End • Martha and Mary

Jesus visits the home of Martha. For such a short Gospel passage, this text has created much discussion among biblical scholars. It seems everyone is this story is breaking the rules: Jesus rebukes his host, Mary does not help her sister, and Martha is not sitting at Jesus’ feet like a good disciple. Luke’s gospel is all about ‘reversal’: what you expect to happen does not happen, often the opposite happens! Confused? Mary is positioned here as a disciple learning from her Teacher. Martha as one who is trying to serve through ‘many tasks.’ Throughout his Gospel, Luke places a special emphasis on the wider circle of Jesus’ disciples, and names the women who follow Him. Luke is perhaps reminding us in this text that being a follower of Jesus requires an upset of the norms and a reversal of roles.

This story occurs in Luke immediately after the Good Samaritan, where the importance of service and action are clearly emphasised. It seems unfair that Martha is being told off for serving those who come to her. If Jesus arrived with a hungry entourage, what host would not be stressed out! Jesus frees Martha from these duties, not because they are not important, but so that she too can be nourished by him. Frantic activity is never good or sustainable for us.

Let today’s Gospel be a reminder that when we are bogged down in the craziness around us, we can sit and listen to Him. Then we may be better prepared for the challenges that we face, whether they be in our homes or our wider communities.

Jane Mellett

Pastor's Desk: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 13th July 2019 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End • The Good Samaritan

Parables are never what they seem. They have a clever way of enticing us to figure out what is really going on beneath the surface. One of the real questions in this parable is: Who offers correct worship to God? Jesus spoke about a God who was not concerned with the constraints of the Temple, but who was on the streets. Look at what the Samaritan did for the man on the road: he bound his wounds, he poured oil on them, he took him to an inn. These are all action words. The emphasis in this parable is on action and compassion. The Samaritan is considered to be an outcast, yet Jesus makes him the hero of this story, no doubt causing outrage to those who were listening to Him. The priest and Levite were most likely carrying oil and wine on their person; in the case of the priest, these items were needed for making sacrifices in the Temple. Coincidently these items were also a vital part of a first century first aid kit, needed for cleaning the wounds of the injured man.

The lawyer is concerned with the limits to ‘love of neighbour.’ But there are no limits, no boundaries, no outsiders in God’s Kingdom. Holiness is not separation from the marginalised, but proximity to them.

“Since once again Lord, I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I will make the whole Earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.” – Teilhard De Chardin

Jane Mellett

Pastor's Desk: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 6th July 2019 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End • Synergy

Earlier in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus sent out the Twelve disciples to heal disease and to teach about God’s Kingdom. Here he sends out a much larger group ahead of him, in pairs to every town and place where He himself intended to go. Being sent in pairs reminds us of the value of team work. In order for communities to grow and flourish the gifts of many people are needed. Synergy is needed. This happens when individual talents are harvested and aligned, as in the beauty of a choir singing in perfect harmony, or a sports team at the peak of their performance. Synergy is like a power of the Spirit that rewards collaborative efforts. It is when we can dream and strive for the possibility of things before they happen. Synergy promotes collaboration, not competition or exclusion.

Jesus gathered his followers around him, men and women, who were enthused by his vision. He sends his followers out in pairs so that they can support one another. In all our different roles, we too are sent out ahead of him, as parents, ministers of various kinds, politicians, educators, social workers, nurses… In any team – a parish council, a ministry group, a choir, we need a type of synergy. We are all responsible for our Church, not just a select few. We all have different roles to play, we all have responsibilities. When we promote collaborative team work and strive for synergy, we embrace each other’s stories and work for the common good. Then, exciting things are possible!

Jane Mellett

Pastors Desk: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

Posted 29th June 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 30th June 2019 - Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

gods-callToday’s readings are essentially about God’s call and our commitment in answer to that call. The first reading and the gospel ask for total commitment by us in complete freedom. It has to be done daily with a spirit of love as true disciples of Christ.

While he is on a journey to Jerusalem, Jesus meets a group of men who initially seem anxious to follow him but they fall short in their commitment. When he tells them to follow him one man asks for permission to go and bury his father first. Jesus quickly tells him to let others take care of the burial and follow him instead. Of course Jesus would always want us to take care of and honour our families in life and in death. What he is simply trying to do here is make it clear to the men that they should be aware of the harsh realities of life as a follower. The message is clear - if anything else stands in our way or takes priority in our lives, then we are not free to follow him.

Each day in work, at home, in the wider community we are challenged with a situation similar to these three young volunteers to serve the Lord through our daily interactions with others. That requires choices that are not always easy to make because they may conflict with loyalty to family and friends.

We pray for the grace to always follow him wholeheartedly without any doubt or reservation.

Fr. Gerry

P.S. As this is the last Pastor’s Desk until September I wish you a pleasant and safe time during the summer holiday period.

Pastors Desk: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ / C

Posted 22nd June 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 23rd June 2019 - The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ / C

body-and-blood-of-christ2Each time we gather around the Altar at Mass we do so as a community of faith united in our desire to do what Jesus commanded us at the Last Supper: ‘Do this in memory of me’. Every day people throughout the world gather in Church to be nourished by the Word of God and receive spiritual food in the Body of Christ. We bring to the table of the Lord the ups and downs of our lives and ask for his help and healing.

Because we can receive the Blessed Sacrament daily there is a danger that its significance and sacredness can be diminished for us. Coming to receive can become an empty action that we do because we are simply present at Mass. Sometimes it’s only when we are prevented from receiving the Eucharist, due to illness or being housebound, that we can see its true value in our lives as Catholics.

I read recently that the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was given a tiny pix with the Eucharist in it, by his priest, to take on his journey to the moon. Before he ventured out with Neil Armstrong to walk on the surface, he offered a prayer of thanksgiving for their successful journey and received Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

Those actions of Buzz Aldrin are a reminder to us that we believe God is everywhere and truly present in the Holy Eucharist. Wherever we go he truly follows. We should never be done praising God for all he does for us. Let us always remember the words we pray before we receive at Mass: ‘Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed’.

Fr. Gerry