Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C

This past week has been anything but ORDINARY time.

At home we experienced the awful revelations of the Darwin children in detention, followed up by more sad news of the children on Nauru. Then came the brutal murder of Fr Jacques Hamel a priest who worked for years in the YCW and continued having a deep involvement with workers. And when we felt it was safe to breathe again, the papers are full of more accusations against Cardinal Pell.

We really do need some form of antidote.

Sunday is not meant to be a simple pill popping exercise to gain health nor a simple chance to take a break and recharge the batteries. Ultimately it is a chance to engage with the Lord just as the “man in the crowd” out of nowhere asked Jesus to mediate in a family dispute.  Nothing is new.  But instead of getting a legalistic answer, he received a call to not let fear of possessions, gaining or losing, dominate his life. He was called to engage with life in a vastly different way.

So, I wonder how Jesus would respond to the situations mentioned above.

Bring to your thinking some of the truths contained in Jesus’s response, including the Parable

*avoid a legal solution

*do not let fear be the determining principle

*reject the notion that life consists in “having” possessions.

We believe that life is a gift outside the control of you and me. Life cannot be secured by possessions…read the newspapers every day. The man was rich because he had many crops, he was a fool because he thought they guaranteed and secured his life.

Laws and detention centres will fall. Children will be educated, but how? They have tried for 2000 years to expunge the memory of Jesus by murdering his people; truth will out even for Cardinals!

Possessions have a remarkable role in our lives .They are there to assist us on our path to the Father. Let them not get in the way.

Mons Frank

 

 

PS. If you get a chance to read anything by Massimo Faggioli, grab it with both hands… Marvellous insights to the forces at work in our Church in the past 100 years and the ways in which we humans have accepted, or rejected, the outpourings of the Holy Spirit.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C

We are still on the way, like Jesus, to our Jerusalem moment.

We note that willing and all as Jesus is to teach, to help, to do and say, we find him at a certain location… alone and at prayer, in a sense, a lesson for us.

Again we face the questions: What is prayer? How do you pray? When should you pray? What do you pray about?

All very good questions that have been formulated by countless generations!

We ought to pray with the community formally, by being physically present or by joining in from our work place or sickbed or from the beach or from the snowfields. We simply make our desire known: I wish to join in. There are the missals, also the prayer books that make it possible.

But there is also the challenge to find a certain spot and be alone (and sometimes or often accompanied by our spouse) to spend time with the Lord.

Prayer is always a struggle. It is not impossible. It needs to be regular. We need encouragement but as I read just recently, “prayer can do things, and go places like nothing else can.”

You may find it useful to concentrate for a time every now and then.

May your Kingdom come

Give to us the bread we need

Forgive us our sins

Do not lead us into testing.

Plenty of material for a discussion as well as a prayer!

Mons Frank

  1. Keep in mind the needs of the College in England,  the Formation weekend in August and the planners for the National Meeting in 2017.

Sixteenth Week in ordinary Time. 2016

I write with the Nice reports, the Turkey reports, the ‘not confirmed’ news out of the Philippines that 1500 criminals have disappeared since July 1, and the testimony of the 130 Tertiary Chaplains present at La Trobe University this past week from thirty countries discussing, amongst many topics,   ‘formation or radicalisation’. What a week for our wounded world.

And after a series of difficult encounters, Jesus finally is offered hospitality…can’t help pondering that it’s not such a bad thought to begin the new week with!

He accepts. After all, that is what he has been teaching during the journey to Jerusalem.

The sisters (where was Lazarus?) represent the proper response to the Prophet ….provide food and listen to the word. Perhaps one can’t do this at the one time as an individual but as a couple, surely. Perhaps, too, it is one of those charisms that we practise in Teams and take different roles on different occasions.  “Happy are those who have kept the word with a generous heart…and yield a harvest through perseverance”. Hospitality: and not just the cuppa but the meal.

Too many of our powerbrokers, in different parts, seem to have lost the notion and the practice of hospitality. Let us continue to act and be alert, that in the meal context we, too, may discover that,  like Mary and Martha, “the mystery is Christ among you”.

Mons Frank

P.S. Kevin and Faye and Chris and John have left for the College meeting in a few days time being held in England.  Your prayers for a safe and profitable journey!

 

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C

And who is my neighbour?

Against the shootings in Dallas, the callous attacks in Bangladesh, the cowardly murders of the people praying in Bagdad,  the continuing debates about refugees and asylum seekers in Europe and Australia, we may well ask “Just who is our neighbour?”

Some time ago, during a radio talk back session, a man rang in to inquire, “Where could I ring this Samaritan chap?” The parable still needs to be proclaimed.

Let us remember that we are still on the road to Jerusalem. We are still passing through Samaria. We, like Jesus, are meeting all types. Today, on behalf of the formal opposition, a spokesperson determined to take a rise out of Jesus and us. A deliberate set up!

Jesus upholds the long proclaimed teaching from Deuteronomy, the time honoured and often forgotten “Love God…Love your neighbour “, and he makes it abundantly clear.  A new definition of neighbours and all done in Samaritan territory and with a Samaritan as the hero. The teaching must have stunned, and was not received kindly or with grace. Fancy that it is the hated enemy who is the hero with a human heart!

Over the centuries, we have had to be reminded of this teaching. Sometimes ordinary people have raised the bar, at other times it has been the great saints. In our time it was Cardijn for the young workers, Mother Teresa for the poor in India and elsewhere, John Vainer for the disadvantaged,   Mary McKillop here at home for the children and Mary Glowery for women.

For us today, we take to heart the injunction in the First Reading:  “No, the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.”

Mons Frank

Fourteenth Sunday in ordinary Time. 2016

We are still on the road, heading to Jerusalem with dangerous territory to be negotiated. Samaria, not so much foreign, certainly not Gentile country, but members of the family, outcasts. They did not agree with all the heads in Jerusalem.
This excerpt highlights teaching on acceptance and rejection, a lesson to be learned today by Australia as we vote.
Peace offered, peace rejected.
Hospitality offered.
Wipe off even the dust, all in the context of preaching the Good News about the kingdom…what a task!
Now remember who is being sent, the 70 or perhaps to make sure, the 72. Seventy reminds us of the 70 chosen and commissioned by Moses the great ancient Prophet and Leader. Here in our midst we have the new Moses, sharing the load, and choosing helpers who never got ordained.
I see today’s gospel, against today’s circumstances, being not only an appeal, but a commissioning of the baptised faithful, and a further affirmation of the role of the baptised.
For Teams it is not only about building up the numbers, but also recognition of his “outcasts!” How do we offer them peace, hospitality and invite them back to the table?
It will involve acceptance and rejection
It may also help us to join the mighty throng whose names are written in Heaven.
Mons Frank