22nd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

 

If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself

A quick glance at last week’s Gospel reveals the interesting development of the story: last week, we heard Peter proclaiming that Jesus was the Messiah, and being given authority as a result. This week, Peter gets it wrong: he is rebuked by the Lord because he does not understand who the Messiah is. The Messiah is the one who will give everything for his people – even his own life. To be a follower of Jesus demands an understanding and acceptance of this fact, and a willingness to take up the cross as Jesus did. Our introduction to this is the prophet Jeremiah – also persecuted for doing and saying what was right. Have a look at the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, where this twinning of Jeremiah and prophecy of persecution also appears.

 

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21st SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

 

You are Peter, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven

There is a very simple theme to this Sunday’s readings: it is the principle of authority in the community of the Church: we are introduced to the idea that God gives authority to someone in the first reading, where Shebna is dismissed by God and replaced. This is a prelude to the Gospel story of Peter being given authority: not because he is powerful or wise in the world’s sense, but because he was able to profess his faith in the one sent by the Father. This is the principle of all authority in the Church: it is to spring only from God and our faith in God, professed by our way of life and rooted only in Christ, for ‘to him all authority, in heaven and on earth, has been given.’

 

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20th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

 

Woman, you have great faith

Today is one of those occasions when, even though the second reading is not chosen to correspond to the theme of the Gospel and first reading, it does in fact fit very well. Indeed, much of the letter to the Romans is explained in this Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word: the whole theme is summed up in this: the Messiah came first of all to the people of Israel, to whom the promises were made in the past – but it could not remain there. The good news had to be taken to the ends of the earth, so that all peoples, indeed the whole of creation could welcome the Messiah and take a place in the Kingdom of God. All nations are welcome on God’s holy mountain: “Let all the peoples praise you, O God!”

 

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19TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

Tell me to come to you across the water

How does God reveal himself to us? Most of the time, in precisely the way we do not expect! This is what happened to Elijah: we expect God – all-powerful, almighty – to appear in dramatic effects of nature; but no, God is in a gentle breeze. Similarly in the Gospel: the disciples do not expect Jesus to come towards them walking on the lake – but he does. And when God is revealed in the unexpected, he gives courage and strength: Elijah was afraid when he went to Horeb, but was strengthened by his encounter with God to continue his mission; in the same way the disciples are given courage and faith by the Lord who walks to them on the waters.

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THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD

The Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor came to strengthen the faith of the disciples, for trying times lay ahead: the Son of Man would be put to death and all that the human eye could see was weakness, humiliation and suffering. Beyond the shame of the cross, however, is the light and glory of Easter, and it is this that the Transfiguration reveals. It shows the disciples and us, Christ’s divinity – he who is Light from Light – anticipates the glory of Heaven.

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17th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

CONGRATULATIONS TO
FR PETER ON HIS ORDINATION
(29th July 2017)

 

 

 

Prayer for Vocations

LORD of the Harvest,

BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call.
Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.

 INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving—
for vocations blossom in the
good soil of faithful people.

INSTILL those in religious life, parish
ministries, and families with the confidence
and grace to invite others to embrace
the bold and noble path of a life
consecrated to you.

UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament,
so that we may cooperate
with you in building your reign of mercy
and truth, of justice and peace. Amen.

— Pope Francis
Adapted from the Message on the 51st World Day
of Prayer for Vocations.

 

 

17th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

 

 

He sells everything he owns and buys the field

What a gift it is, to be able to recognise the true value of things, and choose those which will last forever and bring us true happiness! Solomon, renowned for wisdom, is able to make the right choices when offered the chance to have anything he wants. What would we choose? The parable in the Gospel tells us that, in a sense, the choice is already before us: we can see the kingdom of heaven waiting for us: it is of greater value than anything else, and so all our hearts should be set on it. Nothing should stand in our way.

 

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16th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 

Let them both grow till the harvest

There is no room in a good field for weeds and rubbish: so in the Kingdom of Heaven, there is no room for all things that provoke offences, and all who do evil’. They must be got rid of, for the sake of the good wheat, for the sake of the good subjects of the kingdom. But this weeding out will not take place until harvest time – in case one piece of good wheat is destroyed with the weeds. This shows the mercy of God: everyone has chance after chance to prove that they are wheat, not darnel; there are no quick judgements in the kingdom of heaven, and things are never as black and white as we think. Only at the end of time will evil stand out clearly, so that it can be disposed of, and only the Son of Man can judge.

 

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