Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A. 3 February 2017

“He is a light in the darkness for the upright.”
What a challenging week for the world, let alone for Australia, in responding and trying to understand the initial words and actions emanating from a certain part of the U.S.A.
The coming weeks, commencing on Monday, will be very confronting, in more than one way, for all members of the Catholic Church. The public scrutiny of our leaders, the examining of the procedures and protocols of handling allegations of sexual abuse by Clergy, Religious and employees of our Church, will be exacting, painful and, we hope, fair. It appears that this is the first such examination of us as an institution in our history by the State. If one does not reform oneself in time, someone else will do it for you. And our time has come.
The readings this week are very pertinent.
Viewed in the light of the scenarios mentioned, it is worthwhile to reflect upon these words from Isaiah: “Share your bread with the hungry”. Thank God for Vinnies and many similar organisations.
“Shelter the homeless poor”. So many parishes have places of refuge and safety for destitute and lost people. “Clothe the man you see to be naked” calls us to reflect upon what you see and hear of action undertaken in the name of the Good Lord. There is so much good done by our schools, hospitals, homes, support for families, youth activities, you name it and somewhere, perhaps even in your street, there are willing self-giving souls trying to make a difference for the sake of Jesus.

There are hundreds and thousands of our brothers and sisters attempting to practise what Isaiah was calling his people to do 2600 years ago, let alone raising voices in our days calling for “the clenched fist, the wicked word” to be done away with. Human nature has a habit of biting us where it hurts when we drop our guard or cease to be alert or put the safety of the institution before the wellbeing of people, let alone children.
Isaiah gave us a path and Jesus challenges us to be “salt for the earth” and “a light for the world.” Perhaps the coming examination of our leadership and our structures may give our current Pope even more courage and strength to his right hand to cleanse us of our sins and bring into the darkness of parts of our world our many good works which will enable all peoples to give praise to our Father in Heaven.

Mons Frank.

P.S. It has just been announced that Fr Bob Wilkinson of Adelaide in the new Spiritual Counsellor for the Oceania Team. It has been a great privilege to have served in that role for the past six years. I have been asked by Chris and John Dighton, our new leading couple to continue this offering. If you do not wish to receive it, please let me know.
I wish all God’s blessings upon the Teams Movement. It is a veritable light for our world and for our Church. May it continue to bring support and strength to married couples and their friends in abundance.

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