Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  Year C  28 July 2019

 Your indulgence; an introduction this week!

As most of you know, I live in Bendigo (the centre of the universe), and it has been a significant week for us. On Tuesday we learnt that a new Bishop had been appointed to Sandhurst, the earlier name of the City of Bendigo.  Rome does not necessarily change names because cities do. Shane Mackinlay, former Master of Catholic Theological College, will be ordained on October 16.

On Friday, in the presence of the Premier of Victoria, the first sod on the site of the Bendigo Islamic Association Cultural Centre and Mosque was turned after many battles, protests and court hearings.

On his journey to Jerusalem Jesus was observed “praying”.  Prophets in the Jewish tradition were meant to be “people of prayer”.  It is instructive to look at some sections of the Scripture and note the various approaches to prayer by the key leaders and Prophets. We have the approach of Moses today, and note that the disciples had observed or heard about the approach of John the Baptist.

Prayer is mysterious. There are many teachers; libraries full of books, CD’s, and videos while apps are available following all sorts of traditions. The bottom line is the invitation to all; to try and to pray.

I don’t know who prayed and how they prayed about the Mosque and Bishop. We know that many did. It is perhaps simplistic to say that “our prayers were answered”. On the surface…yes, but what sort of a Bishop and Mosque will we enjoy? So, maybe the next stage of our prayer needs to start; we don’t want stones, snakes or scorpions. We need bread, fish and eggs and both Bishop and Mosque must provide bread for their respective communities. Like the friend, we must keep knocking, even if it is midnight.

If we are too busy to pray, then we are busier than God wants us to be.

Mons Frank