VIEWING THIS BLOG
If you subscribe to this Blog, which of course is FREE, the format that arrives in your inbox is sometimes all over the place. Might I suggest to you that you use the Blog alert for you to go back to
And view it the way I originally posted it….hopefully it will appear neat and tidy. However, you might find a typo every now and then, sometimes they escape my eye, sorry. L
THE NEXT TWO WEEKS…. I am going to have a little ‘break’ a holiday, so stay tuned to the 16th Sunday in Ordinary time Year B
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD.
It is very important for us to read God’s Word slowly and reflectively. We are not reading it just to get information or answer questions; we must enable God’s Word to enter us just like liquid polish enters timber that is thirsty for nutrition. A good rule of thumb is to have a question like this in our mind……”Lord, what are you saying to ME in your Word today? Secondly, how can my life be changed, in order to allow God’s Word to find a Home in my being? Finally, as for special Feasts, Advent and Lent, the three Readings are in a sequence which has an underlying thread running through them. In Ordinary time, the First Reading, and the Gospel are bridged…so we generally look for the link. The Second Reading is continuous, and follows on to the next Sunday.
First Reading: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Death was not God’s doing,
he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living.
To be – for this he created all;
the world’s created things have health in them,
in them no fatal poison can be found,
and Hades holds no power on earth;
for virtue is undying.
Yet God did make man imperishable,
he made him in the image of his own nature;
it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world,
as those who are his partners will discover.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
Let’s stop! Let us reflect on God’s Word in an unhurried manner. Lord, what are you saying to me through your Word? Lord, how should my life be changed as a response to your invitation with your Word? The responsoria; psalm is the community response to the First Reading, and the Antiphon is like a short text message, which sums up the response.
Psalm: Ps 29:2. 4-6. 11-13
R. I will praise you, Lord,for you have rescued me.
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me
and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead,
restored me to life from those who sink into the grave. R.
Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him,
give thanks to his holy name.
His anger lasts but a moment: his favour through life.
At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn. R.
The Lord listened and had pity.
The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing,
O Lord my God, I will thank you for ever. R.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7. 9. 13-15
You always have the most of everything – of faith, of eloquence, of understanding, of keenness for any cause, and the biggest share of our affection – so we expect you to put the most into this work of mercy too. Remember how generous the Lord Jesus was: he was rich, but he became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of his poverty. This does not mean that to give relief to others you ought to make things difficult for yourselves: it is a question of balancing what happens to be your surplus now against their present need, and one day they may have something to spare that will supply your own need. That is how we strike a balance: as scripture says: The man who gathered much had none too much, the man who gathered little did not go short.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Let’s PAUSE again after this Reading, and reflect on it like you did after the first Reading. The Community Acclamation follows and should be sung: e.g ALLELUIA, or PRAISE TO YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST KING OF ENDLESS GLORY. When we are present at our Sunday Eucharistic Celebration, the Alleluia or Praise be to you…should always be sung. Why? It’s a bit like singing Happy Birthday! We never say it… 🙂
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside. Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.’ Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.
Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years; after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she had spent all she had without being any the better for it, in fact, she was getting worse. She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak. ‘If I can touch his clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I will be well again.’ And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. Immediately aware that power had gone out of him, Jesus turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’ But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.’
While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?’ But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith.’ And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha, kum!’ which means, ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up.’ The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Reflection time again……. Can you see and hear the links, connecting the First Reading, and the Gospel? After that, we are then ready for what is to follow…..
DEEP SEA DIVING INTO THE SCRIPTURES
If you have ever opened your eyes under water, or used a snorkel and face mask, or had the opportunity to use an aqualung, it is a very different world to explore isn’t it? I love snorkelling, and it is though the fish welcome you into their world. However, they need to be treated with respect, and one must be aware of ‘no-go’ zones especially where sharks are known to call that place, ‘home’ especially at meal times. So, this next section is going down into the Scriptures, which opens the pathway for us to be curious about The Word, and it will also develop an appetite in us to do this more often.
Focusing the word
Key words and phrases
Come and lay hands on her to make her better and save her life.
Who touched me?
Your faith has saved you.
Do not be afraid; only have faith.
to the point
Mark is presenting the expanding reach of the power of the kingdom: over evil, illness, sin, death. While this expanding power unfolds, however, we are caught in living in the ‘already but not yet’ of its ‘unfulfilment’. The way we live is in faith and free from fear.
Connecting the Gospel
to the first reading
The good news is that God fashioned all things that they might have being (Wisdom). Death reveals the power of evil at work in the world, but God’s plan for us is full, abundant life.
In a contemporary culture that likes to deny death, defy death, postpone death, keep death at a distance, the Paschal Mystery invites us to see death as a doorway to life.
These two healing stories are examples of a typical Marcan device: intercalating (or ‘sandwiching’) one story in the middle of another. In this way, Mark invites the reader to interpret the two stories in light of each other. The Gospel starts out as a typical healing story, but goes on to reveal Jesus as Lord of life.
Both the woman and Jairus must overcome their fear in order to have Jesus accomplish his work. The woman’s faith is exactly what Jairus needs, as Jesus tells him, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith’. The power of faith is obscured in the present translation where the Greek word ‘to save’ is translated as ‘make better’. Jairus says to Jesus, ‘lay your hands on her that she may be saved’; and Jesus says to the woman, ‘your faith has saved you’. Both healings point to the deeper truth: faith leads to salvation.
A realhomilie::: by Fr Kevin Walsh
Dear One and All,
Every day when we switch on the Television News, we see something about the coming Olympic Games in London. Even the golden arch, McDonald’s, has jumped on the band wagon with its special snack; London Fish n’ chips! But more importantly, we are seeing some of the great athletes, and the lengths that they have extended themselves, and the sacrifices that they have made, in order to not only get selected to represent their country, but having the burning desire to get gold! One cannot but be amazed and inspired, by these wonderful young men and women who have focused and continue to focus on what is the goal, for themselves, and their country.
It has occurred to me that the ‘stuff’ which makes a true athlete so single minded, is also related to the focus needed for explorers, founders of religious Orders and Congregations, the quiet achievers that we know in our communities and suburbs has allot to do with a special flavour of ‘faith’ , namely insight! In this context, faith is seen as ‘insight’ i.e, the ability to see within a situation or goal that the unstoppable drive within them will make an indelible change in their life, for a deeper realisation of their potential, thus realised when the goal is achieved. This last paragraph sounds a bit clumsy to me! But, I am sure that you can see what I am getting at. Thanks for trying.
Let’s keep all that in mind as we look at today’s Gospel from St.Mark. For a start, Mark assembles short sequences according to a literary process similar to that of a slow dissolve used in film montage or in a series of slide projections: an image is progressively substituted by another, then it fades in its turn as a third image takes its place. This way of developing a kind of movement forward, not only enlivens the narrative, but also leads the readers and hearers into a deeper understanding of the recorded facts, so that the spiritual impact may achieve what it was sent to do. A very clever way of a smooth linking of these vital images. I use the word vital here on purpose, because the end result is the fullness of life!
There are a number of important symbols used in these three stories of the montage. Let have a look at Jairus. While I was taught many, many years ago by Fr Robert Crotty CP, the person par excellence that inspired me in Biblical understanding, he always instilled in us Seminarians, to be deeply curious about the Scriptures, and to develop a kind of Sherlock Holmes approach to the hidden treasures found continually in God’s Word. So, what about the name Jairus? It seems that this name is a very ancient one, and it pertains to the Clan of Jair, which means ‘may he (God- YHWH) strengthen.’ Now, let’s hold onto that notion as we go on further into the story, and see the implications for us, here and now!
Jairus is a synagogue official who had obviously heard about Jesus or had heard him speaking in the synagogue. What does Jairus do? He sees Jesus, then he prostrates before Jesus as one who acknowledges his poverty of spirit and contrition, in the presence of Jesus. Notice he sees, I would not discount the value of that word sees because it is a prelude to his prayer of petition to the one who will enable him to rise to new life. In other words Jairus sees the saving hand of God at work in Jesus, and hence experiences salvation for himself, and for his clan!
I will now move on past the second episode in this montage to continue the story, which is now backed up by the second story about the woman who had been losing blood. Notice that Jesus says to Jairus….” Do not be afraid; only have faith…” I am sure that you can remember many times in the Scriptures were the Angel of the Lord has said to people…”Do not be afraid…” fear seems to be a normal consequence of being close to God. It would seem that it is really a healthy and normal condition to have in these moments. Look at Our Lady at the Annunciation….” Do not be afraid…” In the Old Testament, we see this in Joshua 10:25 “do not be afraid or dismayed…’ Psalm 56:3 “…when I am afraid, I will place my trust in you.’ Jeremiah 1:8 ‘Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to protect you – it is YHWH who speaks.. .’ Matt 14:27…it is I, do not be afraid. ‘And Matt 28:10 ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers…’ There are lots of these in the Scriptures, but there is no need to attach any more instances. The message is clear……Fear is a normal consequence when God comes close to us….Let’s always remember that it is the Lord God who initiates this platform for our experience of salvation. So at this juncture, let’s have a wander down memory lane……can you remember times when you were afraid because you knew that the Lord was close to you within some event or conversation? Did you experience fear when an Angel of the Lord in human form lifted you up from the doldrums? Have there been moments in your life when this ‘fear’ was experienced in such a way that you remained speechless? By re-membering, and I deliberately broke up that word, we make present the saving activity that we had experienced in the past, becomes a ‘now’ event.
Jesus says to Jairus….’.only have faith’…. Hence Jesus seems to be saying that what Jairus is experiencing is a movement along the road to full insight – faith, and this will be manifested in the raising up of the little girl. Remember the request of Jairus…’ Do come and lay hands on her, to make her better and save her life. In other words, in what Jesus says and does, the little girl will experience the saving hand of God, in the way in which Jesus Himself will receive new life from the Father at the moment of his Resurrection! We do need to remember that Marks Gospel was the first Gospel written between 60 and 70 AD; that was a long time after Our Lord’s Resurrection and therefore the Gospel community is looking back with the filtered glasses of all that had happened in the fledgling church till that time; consequently these experiences of being saved or salvation are shown as paradigms for our own experiences of the saving hand of God. The little girl gets up immediately and begins to walk around….walking where? What does that mean? It would seem that in her ‘walking’ she was a changed person forever, and that the encounter with the saving hand of God had given her life to the full, and this she would proclaim, while the other Apostles were told to remain quiet! Very interesting isn’t?
Let’s go back to the middle story of this montage….This lady had been suffering the loss of blood for twelve years; in other words she had been losing LIFE….’blood’, for our ancestors in faith was a rich symbol of ‘life’. Let’s observe the fact that she came up to Jesus, in a similar way, Jairus came up to Jesus, suggesting that in this prelude experience of new life/resurrection, the coming up suggests that they were well on the road to the fullness of that experience, just as Jesus resolutely takes the road up to Jerusalem, where the Paschal mystery will begin. In her travel towards Jesus she, like Jairus was driven unstoppably. Seeing in Jesus the saving hand of God, nothing would hinder their contact with the one who had already contacted them….. (In Jesus is the fulfilment of all the Prophets and all that the Lord God had said and done) Who did she tell about this process? Herself! We do that too, don’t we? Now the next bit we have to be very careful as we understand the meaning of power going out of Jesus…..Jesus is not a magician or some charlatan that we might see on Psychic Television shows….no, the power is the dynamic of the Holy Spirit which is creative and salvific! The touching of Our Lord’s garment is seen as a response to the invitation already given her by God, and it is God’s desire that all people should live! This is where the first reading links in…..this desire of God that all should live is part of the Lord God’s wisdom! It is its opposite-evil which brings death in the relationship between the Lord God, and His people.
Once again, when this encounter happened, she became ‘frightened’! What did she do? Like Jairus, she fell at his feet in the living disposition of Psalm 50…..’Have mercy on me O God; in your great compassion wipe away my offence….’ Jesus says to her…it is your faith –‘insight’ which has brought you to experience the saving hand of God….Go in peace, and be free.’ The peace here is not just, take care and good luck…no! It is the Shalom of the Lord God…that peace that only God can give, and its produce is freedom….free to be faithful to the Lord God by being an in-fleshed edition of the Good News.
So there we have it for today! We are called to be instruments of salvation for others…being other Christ’s as Chrismatised in Baptism that is what we are called to be…..as St.Teresa says, ‘Christ has no body now but yours, no hands or feet but yours….’
I do hope that this realhomilie has helped you in Food for Thought on God’s Word, on my part I am energised through the Deep Sea Diving into the Scriptures which I share with you, and this sharing enables me to reflect upon my responses to the many invitations that the Lord God has given me over the years….yes, even in the dry times, because Christianity is a mystical religion it is not just a moralism, we are all en route to God our Father as bread sharers…Companions on the journey.
May the Lord Bless you and keep you, and let’s remember each other to the Lord, the next time that we are held in conversational prayer. Fr.Kev
OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………
This is a great opportunity to gather the Family in Prayer. Having a Prayer Setting really adds to and designates this time as a ‘special’ time together. You might like to have a nice coloured cloth on a coffee table, or on the centre of the Dining Room Table. You will need a candle, Crucifix, Bible …in the opened position, even at the Gospel of the Sunday, and maybe a flower. During Easter tide you might like to place some white and gold material on your devotional altar. You might like to create your own permanent ‘sacred space’ in your home, where the Word of God is open, and a small tee light within a fire proof glass, could awaken in the minds and hearts of your family of the ‘real presence’ of God in His Word. Prayer time needs to be able to engage as many of our senses as possible. The burning of some fragrant oil also can evoke in the minds of your family, ‘prayer time’. Someone in the family might like to be the leader of the intercessions, then other family members can share the prayers….everyone can be invited to join is spontaneous shared prayer…
Leader: God hears us as surely as Jesus heard the plea for healing from Jairus and the woman with the haemorrhage. So we, too, fall humbly at Jesus feet and pray.
1. That the Church be not afraid but just have faith to proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
2. That people of the world not ridicule those who live in faith. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
3. That those whose life is ebbing out from illness or lack of faith be touched by Jesus presence. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
4. That our community reach out and touch others in need. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
5. Let’s think back over the past week, and what we have seen on the T.V News, Breaking News on our Mobile Phones and ipads….who are some of the people in our Global village or need our prayers? You might like to share some of these…………., we pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
Leader: Good and gracious God, you touch those with your presence who open themselves to you in faith: hear these our prayers that we may have life everlasting. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.
Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.
1. The Cross
ALL WE SHALL TAKE IT.
2. The bread……………
ALL WE SHALL BREAK IT.
3. The pain
ALL WE SHALL BEAR IT.
4. The joy………………
ALL WE SHALL SHARE IT.
5. The Gospel……………
ALL WE SHALL LIVE IT.
6. The love…………
ALL WE SHALL GIVE IT.
7. The light……………
ALL WE SHALL CHERISH IT.
8. The darkness…………….
ALL WE SHALL PERISH IT. Amen.