Feast of Corpus Christi.    18 June 2017

We like to think that the giving of gifts will be received with gratitude, that the gift will be appreciated and treasured, and that the relationship between the giver and the recipient will be enhanced.

Today our feast reminds us that since the first suggestion of the Gift of Corpus Christi, violence has surrounded even the very notion, let alone the reality of this Gift.

To his original audience, the descendants of those who found life and deliverance in obedience to the Law of Moses and from the manna eaten in the wilderness perennially recalled and celebrated every Passover, Jesus now proposes the absolute need to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. A big ask, both then and now. They disputed and argued and some plotted to do away with him. The violence to his face was materialised in the violence to his body and subsequent horrible death on the cross. Many today perpetuate that violence and others simply reject the Gift.

We’re asked on this feast to revisit the same Gift offered to us which, in our time, is offered via the celebration of the Eucharist…food in the proclamation of the Word and life for the total person in the eating and drinking.

“Do this in memory of me.”

The doing, of course, is not simply in turning up, but is completed by taking the Gift to the world. This we do by lives of loving service to all our sisters and brothers.

 

Mons Frank

Feast of the Holy Trinity. 11 June 2017

“The Father is love, the Son is grace, the Holy Spirit is the one who unites.”

On the surface, this Feast is a day for the dogmatic theologians to unfurl their insights into the gift and mystery of the nature of God. Some would prefer if we just believed. Other say the same God gave us brains and we should use them to explore this revelation; and so, after many years of debate, we came up with the expression that in God there are three divine Persons and the book publishers have enjoyed the follow up for centuries.

 

But the dogma has grave implications for the human race!

 

The theologians remind us that God, in essence, reflects relationship and community. Given that we are made in “the image and likeness of God” then the conclusion is obvious; unfortunately, we creatures constantly wish to follow our individualistic ways and, a little like Nicodemus, find it hard to allow the Word to enter our lives.

Ultimately this Feast celebrates the gift of Jesus who alone makes God known. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a teacher of the Law, a ruler of the Jews who came to Jesus by night…(you can’t be too cautious when entering a life changing dialogue). He, used to judging and living by Moses, the Law and the Prophets, now finds that he must accept that judgement flows from the acceptance or refusal of the proclamation of Jesus. That involves realising the importance of community and relationships; which truth has challenged humanity, baptised and unbaptised from that day. Successful movements in the life of the Church have accepted that challenge, be they Parishes or YCW or Teams or movements like the great monastic establishments, let alone the many religious institutes.

Nicodemus turned up on Calvary. His journey was still in the dark, but he kept trying. Our journey today is in a period of darkness. Let’s keep turning up.

Mons Frank

Pentecost. 04-06-2017

Closed doors!     ( and maybe Minds. )

Fear …of he Jews.   ( perhaps rather. Those that had opposed Jesus.  )

First day of the week.   (What a day. , Mary had reported on her visit and experiences. …no body  no guards . Folded linen. A meeting with the ” Gardner” 

No wonder they were gathered behind closed doors! 

Then without knocking or opening the doors a voice proclaims.  “Peace be with you.”

Peace in the midst of all this turmoil.. Fair go!  Then the gesture that will remain with them and those not present. ” He showed them his hands and his side ” .Joy mixed with continuing confusion. So yet again   ” Peace be with you “ 

There are many hidden behind locked doors in 2017 . Not only  in Iraq near an Ice cream shop  nor all attending a State funeral in Melbourne this coming week. Some are loudly decrying Margaret Court and some have not yet made a move to gather the workers at Murray Goulburn . All these people need to hear the genuine words from the Lord  ” Peace be with you” .

In view of the events of those immediate past months  one might ponder what we would have expected from the Risen Lord if we had been in that room,and , what do we want to hear even today when we are in our room secure, we think ,because the doors are closed.

“Peace be with you”. How many of those who die prematurely are searching for Peace and Meaning in their lives?.

Bu there is always a Rub in dealing with the Risen Lord, let alone with the now arrived Spirit.

                 ” As the Father has sent me,

                    So am I sending you” 

We must be messengers of Peace to our troubled world

Try the greeting of Peace   ,      regularly. !

Mons. Frank