33rd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

 

You have been faithful in small things; come and join in your master’s happiness

We must be very careful that the real point of today’s first reading is not washed away in genuine concerns over what one can and cannot say about the responsibilities of spouses. This is not, in fact, a recipe for ‘the perfect wife’, but an illustration, from one age, of the virtue of fully employing the talents God gives us. Some things are timeless, such as holding out a hand to the poor, while other talents shift and change. The point is that all of us are gifted in varying ways and degrees: none of us should begrudge anyone else their talents, for fear that we overlook our own. We work wisely and well, looking forward to the master’s return, when we can hand over to him not just what he gave us, but also the fruits that our labours have gained.

 

33rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 33rd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

32nd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him

Watch early for wisdom”: wise words, and ones that the foolish bridesmaids of the Gospel should have taken to heart. This is the ultimate in ‘putting off till tomorrow…’, since the reading is about the end of time, when the Son of Man will come again. Then there will be no tomorrow. If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing today. Quite often we contemplate the end of time with anxiety and fear: this is not what God wants. Look at the Psalm, where we hear of desperate longing, a thirst for the Lord, that cannot wait. We should not just wait for the Lord with patient endurance, but with impatient longing: what could we desire more than the coming of the Lord, the rising of the dead and an eternity of joy and glory?

 

32nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 32nd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

31st SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

They do not practise what they preach

An awkward set of readings to sit through as a priest today! The more responsibility we have for the flock of God, the more is demanded of us. But for all God’s people, there is the need for constant vigilance, to be on guard against hypocrisy and complacency, the two greatest threats to our living God’s way and not our own, self-serving way. This is a prelude to the end: for the next three weeks we will think about the end of the world and the judgement that awaits. This Sunday’s readings should begin to encourage us not to fear and dread that day, but to look forward to it, by putting our lives in order and living as the Lord showed us.

31st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 31st SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

30th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

 

You must love the Lord your God, and your neighbour as yourself

When you look at something like the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and see its 691 pages, or look at the 2,000 pages of the big Jerusalem Bible, you can be forgiven for thinking that Christianity is a complicated affair. But Jesus reminds us today that it is essentially very simple: everything can be summed up in two basic rules: love God, love your neighbour. Exodus backs this up, by talking about the simple love that we must show to each other. Not that this is easy – love is always costly, and involves some degree of sacrifice. We will have to change, to become perfect in love; but it is possible, and when we do, like the people of Thessalonica, we become a great example to people everywhere.

 

30th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 30th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

29th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

“Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.”

Everyone on this earth belongs to God. All are made in his image. Therefore it is right that all men and women, ‘from the rising to the setting of the sun’, should know the God to whom they belong. The only desire of our God is that all should know and love him, and find in him the fulfilment that they seek. Even a pagan king like Cyrus is used to further this knowledge of God – just as Jesus uses Caesar’s head to make the point again: all belong to God, and the mission of all who acknowledge that belonging is to help others to find it. This is exactly what we see Paul, Silvanus and Timothy doing, as they write to the people of Thessalonica, to whom they carried the Good News of Jesus Christ

 

29th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 29th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

28th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

“Invite everyone you can find to the wedding.”

The Church’s year is drawing to a close: in a few weeks we will be thinking very clearly about the end of time – but here we have a preview. The parable of the banquet is a link between the Gospels of recent weeks (which have as their theme: ‘Just who is going to be saved?’) and the looking forward to the end times which will follow. The big danger is complacency: we are baptised, we go to Church, we’ve got our invites to the wedding. But when the big day comes, will we be ready for it? Or will our thoughts be on the other things of life? Jesus speaks of himself as the Bridegroom, and today points out to the chosen people that they are in danger of missing the celebration. Our faith is that the Bridegroom will come again; let us be careful that the same parable is not addressed to us.

 

28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 28th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

27th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

He will lease the vineyard to other tenants

Today we focus on the vineyard: frequently we see the vineyard as an image or parable of the Kingdom of God. A vineyard takes a great deal of work, throughout the year; it must be tended, watered, pruned, cared for if there is to be any fruit – there are no quick results with vines. So the financial and labour investments made would create high expectations for a good crop. How heart-breaking when the fruit is as sour as vinegar! So it was with God and his people: he invested immense care and love on them, tending then and giving them what they needed – but the fruit was rotten and sour. What can God do? Hand the vineyard over to some tenants who will bring in a harvest. That is us, the new people of Israel: but what sort of harvest will we produce?

27th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

“Call on Mary with devotion, and she will not leave your needs unattended, since she is merciful, indeed, the Mother of Mercy.”

                                               St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

 

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 27th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME