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Pastor’s Desk – 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings are essentially about God’s call and our commitment in answer 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 and honour our families in life and 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 whole-heartedly without any doubt or reservation.

Fr. Gerry

Pastor’s Desk – The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

Each 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’. Everyday 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

Pastor’s Desk – The Most Holy Trinity

When we pause to pray or often as we simply pass by a church, we bless ourselves and say the words that accompany this holy action. ‘In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. These words remind us that there are three persons in God.

The Trinity is one of the most difficult areas of Christian belief for us to understand, if in fact ‘understand’ is the correct word to use. It’s believed that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain what in our minds is impossible to explain. Even a very young child can tell you that to have three of anything is better than one.

What exactly is meant by the Three-in One of the Trinity? Well, if you think of a spring that comes out of the ground way up in the mountains. It flows down the valley, gaining momentum, to become a river, and then flows into the sea at its estuary.  If you can imagine the spring as the beginning, and the river as the descendant of that spring, with the Spirit covering the world like the seas.  So, all aspects of the river and sea are the same water, but with different facets, and with different functions.

In the same way, the Father is the root of all creation providing all the goodness. Jesus Christ is the core of our Christianity, strong and firm with his work for the Father. The fruit of the life of Jesus here on earth is the Holy Spirit, from whom we receive all that is needed for a better moral and spiritual life.

Fr. Gerry

Pastor’s Desk – Pentecost

Many of us remember the old catechism books we used in school. We spent ages in class and at home learning the answers to the different questions. On the day of our confirmation we hoped that we would remember the answer to the question that the Bishop may ask us. The books also contained some interesting pen and ink illustrations of the different parables or events in Jesus’ ministry. One of them comes to mind on today, Pentecost Sunday. The drawing shows the apostles in the room, all looking upward, while the Holy Spirit descends on them with ‘tongues of fire’. As a child I was fascinated by the picture and I Innocently wondered if this would happen to me during of my own confirmation.

That first Pentecost must have been a very exciting time for the apostles and the infant church. Today we hear Jesus trying to prepare them for the time that he would no longer be with them. He tells the disciples that they will be known by the love they show to others. To help them in their task his Father will send an Advocate, the Holy Spirit which will make a home with them.

That gift of the Holy Spirit is not just something that happened in those early days of the church. It’s alive and active in the church today. When we live a spirit filled life it will be evident to all those we encounter in the ordinary bits and pieces of our daily routine that we are his modern-day disciples.

‘Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.’

Fr. Gerry