fullertont

RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

Archive for the month “May, 2019”

6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER

images (9)

 

This weekend we celebrate the 6th Sunday and soon we will be at Ascension and then Pentecost Sunday which is often called the birthday of the Church. In this Sunday Gospel Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to the apostles as the advocate. Although Jesus had spoken to the Apostles and told them many different things, he knew them well and realized that they wouldn’t remember everything he said Jesus also knew that they would have to endure many struggles, that they would have to face ambiguity and confusion, difference and disagreement. We see all of this in the Church today with many people agreeing with Pope Francis and many others disagreeing with him on issues of faith. The Apostles would not see eye to eye on everything; they would have different memories of Jesus; they would emphasise different things. In the conflicts that would arise they would have to put their faith to work. That is why he told them and he tells us that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in his name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.

These words are a direct pointer towards Pentecost and the gifts that the Holy Spirit would bring to them as well as us.  We don’t have the physical presence of Jesus with us the way his first disciples did when he talked with them around the table at the Last Supper, washed their feet, and gave them his reassuring promises. His farewell to them was a real farewell he was going, he would no longer be with them as he had been. But he assured them and us that he is present in a different way, in his gift of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel Reading Jesus also promised the Apostles Peace  ‘A peace that the world cannot give.’ Sometimes we mistake this peace for our idea of quietness or tranquility, but the peace the Jesus gives is a peace that can be found even in the midst of turmoil. This peace is not something we can manufacture ourselves by our own power. It’s a gift that comes from Jesus, who doesn’t want to lose touch with us. Jesus chose his followers to carry out God’s plan of salvation. He chooses us today to do the same. By allowing us to participate in his work of redemption, he gives us a personal stake in the Kingdom of God.

With all the confusion ambiguity and disagreement that we see as people of faith we remember the great gift that is the Holy spirit is something that unites us. If we keep on trusting in the presence of the Spirit of God we will have peace in the midst of any personal, family, or community turmoil that comes our way as well as someone who will keep us going along the right Road!

Advertisements

5th Sunday of Easter

download (1)

This weekend we stop and say a prayer for all those who are doing exams at the moment A levels GCSE’S or University exams, Our world puts great store on education and sometimes it forgets the pressure that this puts on our young people especially at exam time and not all of them are able to deal with that pressure. During this exam season we remember all those who are finding the exams hard to get through and we pray for all those who are doing exams in the days ahead that they may be inspired to do their best and know that there are people out there family, friends teachers and lecturers who value them no matter about the exam results.

In this Sundays Gospel Jesus calls us to a new way of living when he tells us to love one another as I have loved you.  At one level this is a simple call to love, at another it is a big challenge for us to be Christ like  to others in this sometimes horrible world. This means that we should love as Jesus loves, in order to be the face and heart of Christ to a wounded and hurting world.

It seems to me that our faith should constantly challenge us to live lives of love, love of God and love of one another and this ideal is so very hard to achieve. The love Jesus speaks of seems to be narrow and restrictive. He is addressing his disciples when he says, “love one another.”  This love may seem insular and applicable just to an inner circle of his followers. Is he telling us that the sacrificial love he calls us to applies only to those around us in the Church? No, of course he is not saying that because we know from other parts of John’s gospel that Jesus’ mission of love includes an outreach to the world That outreach in our modern times must include all those who have left the Church for many reasons we should not leave them behind as many people might want to do. Jesus wants us to be united with him and one another in A loving and caring community. A loving and caring community that has a great effect on others bringing those who might be doubtful with it. What more articulate proclamation of the gospel can there be than a group of diverse people drawn together, not by similarities in education, economic status, neighborhood, citizenship, race, etc., but by the love that God has for them and their bringing that love for one another to other people? A community such as this couldn’t help but draw others into it and to one who is the source of their universal love. We are called to be that community showing the love of God to those around us and this is not easy to do but we should try and not be afraid to do that as we go forward.

5th Sunday of Easter

download (1)

 

This weekend we stop and say a prayer for all those who are doing exams at the moment A levels GCSE’S or University exams, Our world puts great store on education and sometimes it forgets the pressure that this puts on our young people especially at exam time and not all of them are able to deal with that pressure. During this exam season we remember all those who are finding the exams hard to get through and we pray for all those who are doing exams in the days ahead that they may be inspired to do their best and know that there are people out there family, friends teachers and lecturers who value them no matter about the exam results.

In this Sundays Gospel Jesus calls us to a new way of living when he tells us to love one another as I have loved you.  At one level this is a simple call to love, at another it is a big challenge for us to be Christ like  to others in this sometimes horrible world. This means that we should love as Jesus loves, in order to be the face and heart of Christ to a wounded and hurting world.

It seems to me that our faith should constantly challenge us to live lives of love, love of God and love of one another and this ideal is so very hard to achieve. The love Jesus speaks of seems to be narrow and restrictive. He is addressing his disciples when he says, “love one another.”  This love may seem insular and applicable just to an inner circle of his followers. Is he telling us that the sacrificial love he calls us to applies only to those around us in the Church? No, of course he is not saying that because we know from other parts of John’s gospel that Jesus’ mission of love includes an outreach to the world That outreach in our modern times must include all those who have left the Church for many reasons we should not leave them behind as many people might want to do. Jesus wants us to be united with him and one another in A loving and caring community. A loving and caring community that has a great effect on others bringing those who might be doubtful with it. What more articulate proclamation of the gospel can there be than a group of diverse people drawn together, not by similarities in education, economic status, neighborhood, citizenship, race, etc., but by the love that God has for them and their bringing that love for one another to other people? A community such as this couldn’t help but draw others into it and to one who is the source of their universal love. We are called to be that community showing the love of God to those around us and this is not easy to do but we should try and not be afraid to do that as we go forward.

4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY

download

 

This Sunday  we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Easter  also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. In our diocese we are concluding a nine day novena of prayer for Vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  There are so many different forms of vocation but this weekend we think about the vocation to priesthood religious and diocesan. I would like to take this opportunity to ask anyone who reads this to pray for and encourage priestly vocations as we are nothing without our priests and we pray that God will send us Good Shepherds. The idea of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is a lovely thought because it is a well-known fact that the shepherd never leaves his sheep outside the sheepfold. If any are outside the shepherd will seek the lost sheep at all costs until they are found.  The wandering figure of the shepherd, anxiously tending his sheep to the point where he is willing to surrender his life for them, is the image Jesus uses about himself in this Gospel Reading.

That mixture of tenderness and toughness, care and self-sacrifice, is one that summarises his own practice of leadership. It is not a leadership of detachment and defensiveness;   rather, it is a leadership of involvement and self-sacrificial love. In the good shepherd’s foolish extravagant love, his own life matters less than that of his sheep as we know Jesus gave up his life for us on the cross Good Friday and left us an everlasting memorial in the Eucharist.  The good shepherd is not an image of religious authority that is involved with its own importance, blind to the useless pain it causes in those it leads. The authority of the shepherd costs the shepherd, not the sheep. The image of the shepherd cannot be separated from the way that the shepherd actually cares for his own sheep. When we see how Jesus actually behaves as a leader, we see his tenderness in caring for the people and his courage which led him to the cross.   The parable of the Good Shepherd has many consoling truths and promises for people of every century, including ourselves in the twenty first.

The good shepherd challenges us not to leave the lost sheep behind: Jesus said “I have come to seek out and save the lost.” All of us know people who have wandered away from the Church, who have lost their sense of belonging, who feel they have no community to belong to. How will they know they are welcome back if no one tells them? How will they be helped back if no one offers to make the journey with them? It is up to us to help everyone to feel that they are welcome though sometimes that can be hard. The Gospel of the Good shepherd is a call to us to help those out there who have lost their way to come back to the loving shepherd who seeks out the lost sheep and rejoices when they are found.  It is also a particular call for us to pray that the lord of the harvest will send labourers into the harvest so that the world will believe.

Third Sunday of Easter

 

Image result for 3rd Sunday of Easter year C

This Weekend  we celebrate the third Sunday of Easter it seems strange that we have come so far from the ashes of Ash Wednesday right through to Jesus resurrection at Easter. In the resurrection We celebrate the one who affirms for us that God has walked on our streets, confronted the evil we confront and suffered died and rose again for us.  Jesus  resurrection assures us that life can come out of death and good can overcome evil and it does. It doesn’t always seem that way these days when we see the suffering of the people around the world but for people who have faith in God nothing is impossible. After a tragedy like Sri Lanka or whatever there is a strong response of self-sacrifice and compassion from everyone to help the victims and those affected by the violence.  Then with the passage of time we go back to where we were before the crisis, preoccupied by our concerns and yet through all of this bad stuff God is with us.

After the earth shattering events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday Peter and the others were ready to put the events of those days behind them and return home to what they did before they came across Jesus. But Jesus won’t let them go and by association he won’t let us go either. In our Gospel Story for this Sunday he comes to the shore looking for them. He gets their attention, as he did when he first called them, with a large catch of fish. He prepares breakfast for them and invites them to eat, “Come, and have breakfast.” After the meal Jesus asks Peter three times about the reality of his love. Insisting on love is something of a mark with Jesus. Three times Peter affirms his love, as three times Jesus insists on it. And when Peter professes his love Jesus commissions him to care for his flock when he says feed my sheep. And that is what Peter does – as we hear in Sunday’s first reading. In his ministry of preaching and healing Peter gets through to many people, and the authorities become nervous at the ability of Peter and the apostles to work in the name of Jesus.

 In spite of the opposition Peter will continue insisting on his love for Jesus and this insistence will take him to martyrdom in Rome. No matter whether the believer is new or old, a pew sitter or a leader of people, the call of Christ is the same: “Follow me.” Following Christ means life in the community of faith where we are. Are we, like Peter, spreading the net for new believers and professing a true love for our Savior? Or are we on the sidelines watching others doing the work when we should really be out there doing the work with them?  At the end of the day whatever happens we remember that God is with us and wants us to be with him now and in the future, He is with us in good and bad times so let us take courage this Eastertime  to go forward in faith.

Post Navigation