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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

Archive for the month “October, 2017”

30th SUNDAY IN ORDIANRY TIME

 

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Have you ever had the overwhelming sense you were loved? How do you know you are loved? “Love makes the world go ’round.” In spite of the cynics from the board room to the court room to the news room, love does motivate people. Love indeed makes the world go around. For without love, the world would be a place of despair. Because of love the world though there is a lot of despair is also a place of love, that is the love of God.

 The Pharisees in the Gospel Reading for this Sunday are all out to get Jesus because he had silenced the Sadducees. In an attempt to do this they asked him this question Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. It is hard to love someone that we have never met in person but we love God because many others have passed on their love of God to us.

There is a sense in which we could say that it takes a lifetime of practice to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, to live the first commandment, putting God before all else. To direct us all our lives God has given us guidelines, the Ten Commandments and he also gives us things like the beatitudes as well many people who have given the love of god to us.  So many people in the modern world have decided to turn away from God and from spiritual things. We as the Church have to face up to the fact that the love that god has for each of us means little or nothing for many of todays people.

Love of God. Love of neighbour is Easy to talk about and Difficult to live out. In spite of this love in action will change us and our surroundings All we need to do is  to try and live like Jesus did. we should take one step at a time toward our creator and our fellow human beings and this will provide us with great reward. And we should not worry where we are going, for God’s Spirit will lead the way. like so many other Faith based  questions we are simply asked to try to love God and he will do the rest.

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MISSION SUNDAY 2017

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This weekend  throughout the world  we celebrate the great missionary spirit that has brought the joy of  faith to all the corners of the world.  All of us know someone who has joined a missionary order or we may have come across a missionary such as Columbans, Mill Hill Fathers, St. Patricks Fathers the Medical Missionaries of Mary or whatever of course there are many  other missionary religious orders who along with the Lay Missionary movements have brought the joy of the gospel and the love of God to the far flung corners of the world. God is always calling people to come and follow him  and share his mission. Mission is very much part of Christian tradition. Each of us are baptized into Christ’s mission to bring his  light and joy into the world where we are as well as other places. On World Mission Sunday, we renew and celebrate our calling to be missionary disciples.

We join with many people around the world to support the missionary church wherever it is being planted and taking root. We are especially mindful of  the new churches or the little flocks of Jesus letting their light shine in remote and distant lands. As a little flock, the people of god are challenged to witness to Christ in those places by their life of faith, hope and love and we in our turn are challenged to support them by our prayers and other forms of practical support financial and otherwise.

God wants all people to  experience his saving presence in their lives. it is through God’s grace that we have received the joy of the Gospel and then we are sent by the Holy Spirit to be ambassadors of God’s wondrous deeds in all we do and say. Will we accept the invitation to join in God’s mission by our prayers and material support of those who are out there on the missions? The great Irish missionary tradition was the fruit not just of great missionaries, but of humble men and women at home who gave and are giving generously to support the missions through the missionary Orders and other organisations such as the Apostolic Work.

Christian discipleship and missionary endeavour which we celebrate today are alive and active spiritual apostolate and there is much work out there for everyone to do. This type of service should continue in the Church when that happens we will be a truly missionary people. To be servant in the way that Jesus was means that we should live in complete trust that God loves us and this will help us to pass his love on to others in an ever changing world. Let us pass on the Joy of the Gospel and the love of the father to those we meet wherever we are as we live out our vocation to be missionary people.

Our annual celebration of Mission Sunday  gives us the opportunity to acknowledge all those faithful missionary men and women religious and lay from all over the world who left everything behind in order to bring the light of faith to the far corners of the world. We pray that the Lord of the harvest will continue to inspire many people to join the missionary orders as well as the  lay missionary associations so that the  love of God and the joy of the Gospel may be passed on to each generation in its turn.

28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

 

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In the Gospel reading for this Sunday we hear about the king sending his servants out to call all those who were invited to come to his son’s wedding but none of the invited guests would come. So the king told his servants to go out and invite everyone on the road to come to the wedding feast. Jesus tells the parable because his ways have been criticized by the “chief priests and elders of the people.” They have rejected him so now he turns to  everyone on the road and he welcomes the poor, sinners, and outsiders. Matthew emphasizes, not only the importance of the meal, but the urgent need we have to respond to God’s invitation to his feast. In the parable those who did respond to the invitation, “bad and good alike,” did so with enthusiasm. They knew a good thing when they heard it and so grasped it immediately, filling the banquet hall just as the king had wanted for his son. Today all of us who say we are Christians are also invited to the wedding feast and this is a pointer towards our participation in the life of the Church especially going to Mass and taking part in the sacramental life of the Church. We hold precious the image of God who calls the good and the bad to the banquet of life that leads to eternal life.

The expectation is that we will prepare ourselves now by being dressed appropriately for the occasion. Perhaps the best description of the proper wardrobe for a Christian is given to us by the apostle Paul. If we wear the clothes he describes the clothes of compassion, kindness humility, gentleness and patience we will never be thrown out of any banquet. In Colossians he tells us You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience… Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts. (Colossians 3:12-15)

This weekend’s parable reminds us that God’s invitation is his gift to us, and it is given to us so that we can freely accept or ignore it. Those who were gathered in from the highways and byways had no claim on the king (God). We, too, have no claim on God, We do not merit God’s invitation on our own. It is a grace God lovingly offers to each and every one of us. Hopefully all of us will be able to accept the invitation to come to the feast.

27TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

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As we gather this weekend we pray for those who lost their lives or were injured in the atrocity that took place in Las Vegas last week. We also pray that their families and friends  will get the strength to continue their lives knowing that the world and its people are with them in thought and prayer.

This week our parish hosted the  World Meeting of Families Holy Family Icon on Monday – Wednesday. It was particularly significant that Holy Family Parish was chosen to be one of the host parishes as the icon came to Down and Connor. Over the 2 days people came from various parishes as well as the local schools to pray at the icon. The emphasis was on the family there were petitions for our families and they were written and placed in the petition box and will be forwarded to the contemplative communities throughout Ireland by the WMOF so that they can pray for our families in the days ahead. There was also time for prayer both in the quietness and as a community gathered  to hear the word of God and pray the rosary in the presence the Icon.

In our Gospel for this Sunday we hear the parable about the vineyard, it is the tenants who refuse to bring forth the fruits of the vineyard to the owner. They even kill the owner’s son in arrogant defiance. The owner is poised for understandable retribution against such violence. A vineyard was and is often associated with the people of Israel. That image of “vineyard” is tied in with one of the final sentences in this story. “The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to those who will bear its’ fruit.” When we reflect on this parable of the vineyard, a question naturally arises. How could those tenants be so ungrateful? How could they react in such a selfish, unjust, and, eventually, murderous way? We tend to interpret the parable as primarily reflecting the refusal of Jewish leaders of that time to accept Jesus as the Messiah. But we need to look beyond that historical event. We need to ask ourselves what the parable means for us here and now as we reflect on the refusal of our own people to accept the things of God. The world we live in can also be seen as a vineyard entrusted to our care. How do we care for the faith we profess and how we show our faith as an example for others to see? What do we return to the vineyard owner who is god our father.

What are some of the obstacles that keep us from responding as we should? So today we are asked to reflect on our own faith and we are called to go out into the vineyard that is the world where we live and work  and have our being. Called  to be the humble workers rather than the land owners to nourish the vines of other people’s faith by what we do and say so that as a result of our efforts they may give glory to our father in heaven.

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