Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - 21-06-2020

e return to the Liturgy in ‘Ordinary Time’, as our world suggests we are returning to ‘normal time’. There are some doubts about the latter and one might say that our ‘Ordinary Time’ should not be the same each year, even if the cycles of prayers and readings remains the same. We were drawn into the Mystery of the Passion and Death of Jesus, exploding with the gift of Pentecost. It ought to mean something different, perhaps truths more refined or honed each year. That, then, enables us to look at the readings with enriched lenses.

We are told that Matthew’s Gospel was written bearing in mind his mainly Jewish community, now under attack from the old guard who would not accept the teaching and revelation of the Jew, Jesus. So, life was increasingly difficult. Hence “Do not be afraid.” That injunction may be read quite differently in Hong Kong these days!

What goes around, comes around is our saying. Jesus puts it a little differently, “For everything that is now covered will be uncovered.” Many have discovered that truth in public life this week in Victoria, as our Church similarly experienced in the Royal Commission. Truth has a habit of surfacing. The enticement to secrecy is alluring; the pain of subsequent revelation is often excruciating. The machinations of “friends”, as Jeremiah states, still exists. Fake news exists not only in America; but in Covid-19 time, some in our city are blaming the Karen refugees for importing the virus into Australia!

Like Jeremiah, we have recommitted our cause to the Lord and reinforced that commitment in the Easter celebrations. Paul reminds us that “It is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift.” That is our inheritance.

*Recommit to the values of the Gospel,
*Declare yourself for him in the presence of men, and
*Do not be afraid.

Mons Frank

Corpus Christi. The Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ 14 June 2020

Some ages burn books. Some ages destroy cities; to build their city. We seem to be entering an age of pulling down statues. We then spend fortunes creating, if possible, the burnt books, excavating the buried cities and rescuing the statues…in many cases to try to recover the knowledge so burnt, buried or smashed.

Our Church takes another path. Liturgically, we are in the midst of a Triduum celebrating Trinity, Communion, and, with the Sacred Heart on Friday, the true humanity of Jesus. All relate back to Pentecost and the inauguration of these feasts spans over 1500 years. All build on the life experiences of people trying to ponder anew, or for the first time, what the gift of Pentecost meant. You may say we are slow learners. The formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity took nearly three hundred years of, sometimes, bitter debate. We made it eventually. God showed patience in that debate as with many others. Slowly we reflected and passed on insights to the next generation; remembering the trials and battles, trying not to forget what had been handed on, be it truth or falsehood until the truth was hammered out.

All this is towards asking you to read the second reading for this Sunday, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.

Jean, my next-door neighbour some 80 metres away, is fast approaching her tenth decade. She was still driving to the service station, for milk and the paper and to St KiIlians Church, just around the corner, until Covid-19 grounded her. We nodded for some years, waved, and now talk over the front fence, occasionally. The other day she bailed me up and we had a serious conversation…”I am really missing Mass, I am missing my friends. We have good chats at Mass. It is OK to speak in the Church isn’t it?” And so we chatted. “I am really missing Mass”.

It took nearly 1000 years for Thomas Aquinas to be asked to write the Mass for this new Feast of Corpus Christi. Clergy and people had become a little lax. A new liturgy was created, processions were introduced, and the true meaning of the Gift of Communion was reinforced and clarified. In a rather local way, Jean provided me with a valid insight to what Paul wrote about 2000 years ago.

“…though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf.”

We hope Communion can soon be returned to all our people!

Mons Frank