First Sunday of Advent.  Year A

Welcome to the new Liturgical year!

Our focus now turns to the gift of Jesus Christ whom we know came in the flesh at the appointed time and will come again to gather the faithful into the kingdom that He established. Many denied his presence in the beginning as many deny his existence now…in one sense nothing has changed: the individual has to weigh up the evidence and then commit to the call. It is a daily task and the Liturgical year is designed to assist us, primarily on Sunday, but also daily.

The phrase “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord” strikes me as being challenging this year.

There is so much negativity published now that we may think that the Ship of State and the Barque of Peter will fail. We have the joy of being part of the “Good News” and of the Promise: “I will be with you to the end of time.”

Sure, every now and then we need to “Wake up” and discern just where the Spirit is working and where it wishes us to use our talents. Being joyful in our faith creates hope!

Sometimes we need to be alert and “Stay Awake.” If we don’ t, then the enemy takes over. New bills or laws sneak into our lives. Proclaiming joy in the following of Jesus, again brings hope to our world.

As we start the new liturgical cycle, let each of us bring a happy face, a cheery smile and a wonderful greeting of joy and peace as we go up to the house of the Lord.

 

Mons Frank

The Feast of Christ the King.  Thirty Fourth Sunday of the Year. Year C 

There is always satisfaction in finding ‘home’ at the end of the journey. ‘Home’ is not always what we expected or anticipated or what we feel we deserve. There is the possibility that we may even arrive at what is truly good for us, and indeed for all women and men, and not recognise that we are at ‘home’.

That to me is the crux of the journey we have been walking this Liturgical year and we have arrived at home. On a cross, mocked now, even by the soldiers, and for the most part deserted by the followers and bystanders, we enjoy one added truth. We know today what they did not realise then: that there was a deeper truth holding up the cross on that Friday. The Resurrection.

Individuals may feel that at the end of this year we are surrounded by all sorts of jeering and mocking because we are believers, whatever faith stream we emerge from. We face many moral challenges…e.g. the many ‘Rights’ movements demanding our allegiance; the many physical demands for our dollars; the confusion over the call for commitment.

Bring the positive to bear this weekend. Remember the good that you have done in 2016. Think of the hope you have given to the ‘criminals’. Remember the instances that your charity changed the moment for some struggling person. Give thanks for those experiences of light when all seemed dark. Our journey is worthwhile. We, too, will hear “today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

Mons Frank

Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C

All journeys have a beginning and an end. Be it for Leonard Cohen, President Obama or the President elect Trump. As Jesus stands in the Temple reflecting and answering questions, he too, knows that his time on earth is numbered and so too for us, who try to live out the Liturgical cycle of the Church’s year. That end is nigh.

We are asked these latter days of our Liturgical year to have a good look at ourselves and come to this point: I have done something to advance the Kingdom of God this year or, maybe, I’ve let the team down and I ask for forgiveness. I will do better next year.

The Prophet Malachi reminds us that an account will be asked of us and of our nation. In faith we are not alone nor are we exempt. We must produce fruit according to His principles. Paul’ s observation that if he won’t work then let him not eat, may seem at odds in today’s society, but look at his instruction a little more carefully. In today’s world, again, the Gospel image of standing in the Court of one of the ancient wonders of the world, the Temple of Herod, and pondering its significance, is at sharp contrast with the word rumbling in our ears as we ponder the latest high rise….”They intend to pull it down in thirty years.” Pull it down! We have not here a lasting city, is so true for us. That approach may well be a 2016 comment on “Take care not to be deceived”.

We are not to be frightened that the time has come. However, we need to be on our guard…our loving God will come to take us into his love. Let us be prepared to accept that offering next weekend as we end the 2016 Liturgical year.

 

Mons Frank

Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C

The liturgical year is all but over. Two weeks to go.

The Gospel of Luke is reaching its climax. We have arrived at Jerusalem. We are in the Temple precinct and Jesus publicly is facing down his enemies, one by one, destroying their arguments in front of the people, and thus stirring the opposition into the mood for acting against him.

There are five incidents reported by Luke in this section:

  • Taxes to Caesar
  • The Resurrection
  • About David’s son
  • The polemic against the scribes
  • The story of the widow

All worth a read but keep in mind the situation. The Prophet with new insights is tackling the old guard. All in the Temple area, in front of the people looking for hope and deliverance from their oppression.

For good measure, Luke has Jesus introducing the fact of Angels, a provocation to the Sadducees, but a reminder of what happened to Stephen who saw the Angel coming down from heaven. Angels are real. Another form of the great creativity of an all loving Creator.

We reflect that this story, and the others in this section, give to us a glimpse of the Kingdom, vastly different to that taught and hoped for by the then Leaders of the people. Some say that this little section is really the icing on the cake of his teaching. God raises the dead just as easily as He gives life in the first place.

So, we are children of the Resurrection. We celebrate both the Saints and the s  ouls and hope to be numbered in their ranks. Now, but certainly in the future…and forever! Amen.

 

Mons Frank