Dear One and All,
You can feel SPRING in the air! I really enjoy this time of the year, as the Garden starts to awake after the winter sleep, heralded by the Daffodils, Magnolia, and new leaves starting to burst forth on the Rose Bushes. I also start to feel more ‘alive’ because of the prospect of Summer just around the corner. This time of the year sometimes sparks enthusiasm in people, and it has always been a good time of the year for Parish Fetes, Scriptural Study Groups, and other faith and community ‘fun-raising’ events. ( I left the d out deliberately)
In the first reading today from the Old Testament, the Prophet Jeremiah, we get an insight into a man of God who is totally fired up with enthusiasm for the living and proclamation of God’s Word. I really like the word enthusiasm; in checking out the latest Macquarie Encyclopedic Dictionary, we see that it’s root derivitave
is Greek. En means in, and Thusiasm is a very hard word to describe…meaning an absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit.
Now we can get some more information by looking at the noun from lexic.us, and we see the following: Inspiration as if by a divine or superhuman power; ecstasy; hence, a conceit of divine possession and revelation, or of being directly subject to some divine impulse. Now, we’re talking! As you ponder the 1st Reading….come on, let’s go back to it; try and read it by letting the words themselves inspire you with the feeling of being lovingly ambushed by the Lord God, and there is no escape! It can be frightening and thrilling as we see this experience of God and its social repercussions spilling over from Jeremiah’s mouth. He feels lovingly trapped, by being possessed by the Lord God. Even as he speaks about the insults and derision that his vocation draws from him, he knows deep within his spirit that the living truth of the Lord God is unstoppable!
Now look at the antiphon of the responsorial Psalm: a brilliant Twitter message! The antiphon is the community response to the first reading. As I have said before, ideally, we should pause after hearing the first reading and we ought ask ourselves this question: Lord, what are you saying to me through your Word? Then can’t you see that after we have had the chance to chew over God’s Word, like absorbing a fantastic Fry’s Turkish Delight, we are truly putting into action the Biblical truth; the just one meditates wisdom….chews over, enjoys like sucking honey from the honey comb. Now, look at that extraordinary Psalm….O God, you are my God, for you I long….this is an extraordinary timeless and evergreen prayer!
Now taking that all into account, let’s look at Peter in the Gospel: the same Peter who spoke up for the group in last week’s passage….; ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’; the very man who the week before, when feeling the force of the wind, cries out to the Lord…..’Save me!” Today, we see the same enthusiastic Peter
who is true to his spirit and self, saying to Jesus…’.this must not happen to you!’ A swift reply is given by the Lord, which is not meant to hurt Peter, it was a typical tactic used by Rabbis and Teachers….shock tactics to get the message across. Then we see the ultimate price of Discipleship…..the experiencing of Salvation; of being saved, by wearing the Cross of Jesus, we are then only fit and suitable to experience the re breathing of new life into us through the dying and rising. The dying to self, in order to rise to a new life, a new way of seeing the world, a new way of relating to all people; the entire planet due to the stewardship entrusted to us in chapter One of the Book of Genesis.
So let’s look at some of the human experiences of salvation, in which the saving hand of God is seen and experienced. I would like us to look at the word’s of an old Song, these days…it is called: You needed me! By Anne Murray, from her Album, ‘Let’s keep it that way’.
I cried a tear, you wiped it dry,
I was confused, you cleared my mind,
I sold my soul; you bought it back for me,
And held me up, and gave me dignity,
Somehow you needed me.
YOU GAVE ME STRENGTH TO STAND ALONE AGAIN TO FACE THE WORLD OUT ON
MY OWN AGAIN YOU PUT ME HIGH UPON A PEDESTAL SO HIGH THAT I COULD SEE
ETERNITY YOU NEEDED ME, YOU NEEDED ME.
And I can’t believe it’s you, I can’t believe it’s true, I needed you, and you were there, And I’ll never leave, why should I leave, I’d be a fool, ‘cause I’ve finally found someone who really cares……..
You held my hand, when it was cold,
When I was lost, you took me home,
You gave me hope, when I was at the end,
And turned my lies back into truth again, You even called me friend.
Aren’t those lyrics something? Let’s check them out! I cried a tear…who wiped them
I was confused, who cleared my mind? YOU!
I sold my soul, who bought it back for me? YOU!
And held me up, and gave me dignity….who did that? YOU!
Now, this is a very important line…..the one who rescues, needs the rescued!
Surely that is the Lord!
Now, I believe that the experience of Salvation happens in the here and now, in the REAL LIFE situations….Our Lord came to our rescue in the real life situations… and that’s what the Gospel is all about! Experiencing the Lord God in REAL LIFE!
Looking at the first reading and the Gospel…..what is it that can dampen our enthusiasm for the Lord? Let’s have a look at this final story of the REALHOMILIE today and see what it says to us.
story of the old man and the scorpion.
Once, there was a very old man who used to meditate early every morning under a large tree on the bank
of the Ganges River in India. One morning, having finished his meditation, the old man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the strong current of the river. As the Scorpion was pulled closer to the tree, it got caught in the long tree roots that branched out far into the river. The scorpion struggled to free itself, but got more and more entangled in the complex network of the tree roots.
When the old man saw this, he immediately stretched himself onto the extended roots and reached out to rescue the drowning scorpion. But as soon as he touched it, the animal jerked and stung him wildly. Instinctively, the man withdrew his hand, but then, after having regained his balance, he once again stretched
himself out along the roots to save the agonized scorpion. But every time the old man came within reach, the scorpion stung him so badly with its poisonous tail that his hands became swollen and bloody, and his face distorted with pain.
At that moment, a passer-by saw the old man stretched on the roots struggling with the scorpion and shouted: “Hey, stupid old man. What’s wrong with you? Only a fool risks his life for the sake of an ugly, useless creature. Don’t you know that you may kill yourself to save that ungrateful animal?”
Slowly the old man turned his head, and looking calmly into the stranger’s eyes, he said: “Friend, because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting, why should I give my nature to save?”
Well, that’s the big question: Why should we give up our nature to be compassionate even when we get stung in a biting, stinging world? The story about the old man and the scorpion holds out a great challenge to a society in which we are made to believe that mutual struggle dominates the process of human development. It challenges us to show that to embrace is more human than to reject, that to kiss is more human than to bite, to behold more human than to stare, to be friends more human than to be rivals, to make peace more human than to make war – in short, that compassion is more human than strife.
Food for thought! May God Bless you and your families, and may we never forget each other while held in precious conversation with the Lord.
PS: Don’t forget the extraordinary events which are happening in the little small village of FINUGE in County Kerry, Ireland. Chapter 13, this week….The Local Vicar is invited by the PP, Fr.Williamson to give the Sermon at an Ecumenical Service in St.Kerians, Parish Church. Go to the Website, the FUNNIES TAB and scroll down to the Chapter..you will kill yourselves laughing.
PSS: Looking for inspiration and enthusiasm…what about your Teenage kids? Do check out:
I highly recommend a very inspirational, and thought provoking website hosted by Colin Lee, International
Presenter, Coach in Senior Pure Maths, Science and Real life. His website is: www.inspirelibrary.com Colin and I have worked in Ministry together for a number of years, in the areas of Biblical Drama, Liturgy, Youth Ministry, Public speaking, Sacramental formation, and Ministry to the sick and infirm. This is a great website…pass it onto your Teens….
Hi and welcome to Inspire Library!
For many years, I have trawled through videos, books and websites to find what I can use to inspire young people I meet on a weekly basis. The result is a collection of almost magical resources that I use in my presentations, a collection that I’d like to share with the world. These resources have also inspired me when the going has been tough.
Often, all it takes is the right spark to keep that dream alive. I hope you will find this resource useful yourself. If you feel inspired, please share it with others and inspire them. You may be surprised at the difference this might make in their lives. We can all do with a bit of empowerment.
The start of this journey involves heart to heart interviews with people who have inspired me and others like me. My vision is to talk to real and authentic people who enriched others, people making a real difference in our communities, people whose lives have real impact on the world and upload them here.
Here is a treasure trove of collective wisdom, ready for us to draw on at different points in our life when we need to be inspired and moved. If you know someone who could do with a chat with me or you’d like to see me yourself, please get in touch.
Inspire and Be Inspired!
Colin Lee www.inspirelibrary.com
Cheers, and happy Reading and reflecting on God’s Word,