12th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body

Today’s Gospel turns our thoughts to the strange phenomenon of persecution: throughout the history of mankind, the truth has been a commodity that often leads to persecution: the prophets of the Old Testament were attacked because of their message, as was the Lord Jesus himself. For his followers, the same may be true. The point of the readings is not simply to face up to the reality of the opposition the Gospel may meet, but to remember where the truth of the Gospel comes from: the Father in heaven, who knows us and values us. So we can be confirmed in our mission to witness to the truth, not fearing those who merely kill the body.

 

12th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

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The Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink

The Eucharist – the Body and Blood of Christ – is a mystery with so many layers and a depth that takes more than a lifetime to penetrate. It is not just a thing that we receive however reverently it is a person, a relationship, a belonging and a transformation that we consume, that becomes part of us: Receive what you are the Body of Christ. The readings invite us to reflect on how our celebration of the Eucharist brings Christ’s words to our reality: who eats my flesh and drink my blood lives in me and I live in him. The people of the Old Testament had God living in their midst, walking with them on their journey, feeding and nourishing them with the gift of manna from heaven. Jesus walks with us, not looking on from afar, journeying in communion with us living within us, as we eat and drink the gifts he extends from the Last Supper. And as Saint Paul reminds us, our communion with the One Christ is also a communion with each other God lives in us as the Church, as we become His Body.

 

Corpus Christi 2017 Newsletter

 

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MOST HOLY TRINITY

 

God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved.

We begin our Summer ‘Ordinary Time’ by celebrating a strange feast – not of a particular saint or event, but of the awesome paradoxes of our God, the Three-in-One, Father, Son and Spirit: so immeasurably distant, yet so amazingly close, so full of power and so full of love. It is love that is the key to the mystery: the revelation of God, to Moses and in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shows a perfect love – a perfect unity. In the beginning, in the story of Creation in Genesis, God made man and woman ‘in the image and likeness of God’, to live together as a community of love. So too, the Church is an image of this perfection of community which is Father, Son and Spirit. We, as many members of one Church, strive in our everyday lives to imitate God who is Three and One, perfect unity and perfect love.

The Most Holy Trinity 2017 Newsletter

 

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Pentecost Sunday

As the Father sent me, so am I sending you: receive the Holy Spirit

We arrive at the fiftieth day – the completion of the Easter Season, and the completion of the Paschal Mystery: the Lord has died, is risen, has ascended to heaven and now gives birth to his Church, by sending the Spirit upon the apostles. This feast of the gift of the Spirit is so significant for us, because it marks the handing on of Jesus’s ministry to the Church – in the Church we are guaranteed the presence of the Lord, in his sacraments, in his ministers, in the Blessed Sacrament and in his Celebrated Word. It also marks the fulfilment of our thoughts about baptism throughout this season: the gift of the Spirit which we receive in Confirmation is the ‘seal’ of our baptism, guaranteeing and confirming all that baptism achieves.

Pentecost Sunday 2017 Newsletter

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ASCENSION OF THE LORD

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

Ascension is not just a feast that happens to fall in Eastertide: it is an integral part of the Easter mystery. Remember the Lord’s words at the Last Supper: “I am going to prepare a place for, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me.” The resurrection presumes the Lord’s return to the Father. This is therefore a feast of hope: our hope in the Lord’s return, as he went. Our hope that he will take us with him, when our bodies are raised as his was. Our hope that we will take our place in heaven, where he sits on the Father’s right.

Ascension Sunday of Eastertide 2017 Newsletter

 

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6th Sunday of Easter

I shall ask the Father, and he shall give you another Advocate

By now we are some distance away from Easter, but the season is still permeated with the Easter message: Christ is risen, we are baptised in him. But today a new dimension of the story comes out: Easter is not complete until the risen Lord has returned to the Father and sent the Holy Spirit. So in the Gospel today we begin two weeks of looking forward to the coming of that ‘Spirit of truth’ which sets us apart from the world.   This is a Spirit of power, which flows through the life of the Church, enabling its members to ‘proclaim the Christ and, dwelling in our hearts, to live in the midst of the world’s slander and accusations.

 

6th Sunday of Easter 2017 Newsletter

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5th Sunday of Easter – I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

We continue to explore the meaning of baptism, of membership of the Church, of living a life which has been immersed in the life and death of Jesus Christ: in other words, we continue our ‘Mystagogy’ – our training in the mystery of Baptism and the other Sacraments. We hear more about ‘who Jesus is, with another I am statement: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. We are baptised into his way, his truth and his life. We hear about the earliest community struggling with the life they are called to by baptism, and Peter again reminds us that baptism builds us into a spiritual house with Jesus as our cornerstone. The mystery of the Church is clearly before us today: the Church is the community of those baptised in Christ, the pilgrim people walking with Christ (who has shown us the Father) to the place he has prepared for us. Today’s reading can perhaps make us think a little about how we form part of this spiritual house, the Church, as we journey to the Father.

5th Sunday of Easter 2017 Newsletter

 

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