THE LITURGY OF THE WORD.
This weekend I am using the Readings from Year A, because most Parishes would be having candidates preparing to be received into the Eucharistic Community this Easter and they would usually use the Reading for Year A. However, I have provided a Reflection for Year C.
CHANGE IN FORMAT OF MY BLOG
AS from this weekend I have shortened my presentation due to time restraints in my daily life of 24/7 Care of my 92 Year old Mum. I am sure that you would understand. Thank you.
A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh
FOR YEAR A
THE WRITTEN STYLE OF THE REALHOMILIE
It is my aim that I present the Homily to you in a way that you might hear me speaking.
I do not follow the strict rules of written prose as such; I use the techniques of oratory shared with me
in many Mission Sermons, and Mission Instructions by tried and true Mission Fathers,
from whom I am privileged to
have been formed in that great tradition.
St.Paul of the Cross. Pray for us.
Dear One and All,
One of the many hazards in driving a car along any road is when you are in the middle lane and another car sneaks up on your left hand side, and then sits in your blind spot! No doubt, you have been in a car or perhaps you have been the driver when this has happened to you. In responding to the situation, you indicate your intention to move into the left lane, and suddenly you see the car in your rear vision mirror just in time before you collide with it. The feeling of shock and horror can cause a weakness in the knees, let alone a reaction to the breaks! If the unfortunate smash occurs, one could be tempted to say: “ I didn’t see you there”.
The Gospel reading today is about the cure of a blind man. But the story has far deeper implications than just a person receiving his sight back…this story contains a great challenge to all of us, because it is about the ability to see with the eyes of faith! Like the driver in the car, not knowing that there was another vehicle in the blind spot, we all have our own personal blind spots. Lent is a time to have a look at some of these, and with the help of God’s grace, we can make steps to develop a clearer vision, so that we may see with more clarity God’s saving activity in our lives, and in those around us.
Our sinfulness can be a form of blindness; recognizing our inner blind spots is half the battle in getting rid of them. Today’s Gospel makes a very clear point that the blind man had no problem in admitting his blindness. The amazing thing about the story is that the blind man saw more than the religious leaders could; in the sense that he saw the goodness in Jesus, and had more faith in him than they had. The Pharisees had perfect eyesight. Yet, Jesus called them blind! And sadly, they remained in their blindness because they refused to acknowledge it, and seek the help, which Jesus was offering to them. There are many forms of blindness. These other forms of blindness are in some ways just as crippling to the human spirit as being visually impaired. Here are a few examples:
Selfishness: this blinds us to the needs of others;
Insensitivity: this blinds us to the hurt we are causing others;
Snobbery: this blinds us to the equal dignity of others;
Pride: this blinds us to our own faults;
Prejudice: this blinds us to the truth;
Self-centeredness: this blinds us to the beauty of the world around us;
Materialism: this blinds us and makes us numb to spiritual values.
All these things do to the window of the eyes what curtains do to an ordinary window; they prevent the person inside from seeing what is outside. It also prevents them from recognizing what needs to be healed by the Lord within their very selves. The most important eyes of all are those of faith. The smallest child who has faith sees more than the smartest scientist who has no faith does. Faith is all about seeing! It is about seeing the saving hand of God in our own lives, and within the lives of others. This kind of sight is insight; namely, the ability to really see not only what God has done, but is doing right now. May the words of the song: Open my eyes Lord by Jesse Manibusan help us in our Lenten response to ‘Turn from sin and be faithful to the Gospel…’Open my eyes, Lord; help me to see your face. Open my ears Lord help me to hear your voice. Open my heart Lord, help me to love like you.’
God Bless you and your families, and may we never forget each other in prayer. Fr.Kev
FOR YEAR C
4th Sunday of Lent. Lenten Food for Thought, by Fr.Kevin Walsh
Dear One and All,
The Parable of the Prodigal Son, or the another way of naming it, The Parable of the Forgiving Father, is one of the most profound examples of the extent to which our God will love us, and embrace us. I think that we could safely say that real love is often manifested in the desire to forgive, and in forgiveness. Another aspect of this story is the opportunity to see bits of us in all the characters, as displayed in their attitudes and actions. The trump card of course, is the Father, and the way that he deals with his Sons, and his inner wisdom which causes him to wait and wait, for the return of his son.
On the other hand let’s not forget why Jesus told this parable; it was to answer the misgivings of the so called Legal Eagles of the Jewish Law, as they watched Jesus, and the company that he was keeping, not only in this instance, but most of the time.
The Father knew his boys, like most people do who are involved with the formation of their children. Sometimes we can predict what they are going to do, which may not be to their benefit, and there is that distinct desire to save them from it. On the other hand, there is a somewhat more balanced measure taken as we see in this story, and that is to let him go and experience what he needs to know….The story tells us that after he had lost all his worldly goods and reputation, he decided to eat humble pie…in this case, pig food, in order to hit rock bottom, and from that point, he could see more clearly what he still does have, and that nothing could take it away from him; all he had to do was respond positively with a contrite heart.
Notice it says in the story…..’While he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and was moved with pity…’ What an extraordinary expression…..moved with pity! We ask the question: where in the Father’s body did that movement take place? It would seem that there was a similar movement in Jesus when he called his friend Lazarus out of the tomb! The movement took place where we too are moved to tears, moved to laughter, moved to fright and moved to love…….from our guts! That is where true compassion is manifested, and then conveyed through action. Compassion….com, means with, passio means suffering….Compassion is the ability to suffer with someone. The Father did exactly that!
So often when dealing with our Teens, and with adults, it can be right on the tip of our tongue to say to them…’I told you so….you deserved all that you got.’ Not here; we see the Father so absorbed in compassionate loving forgiveness, he knew that his son had learned the hard way. It would not have entered the Father’s mind to say….anything; the Father’s hug was the sign of forgiveness, and the beginning of celebration!
Finally, let’s have a brief look at the older son; the complete opposite to his father; filled with anger, he could not get over that almighty speed hump of his arrogance and pride. So filled with self importance, and being a goody-goody, his reservoir of compassion had a concrete slab over it. If anyone could melt his arrogance and pride, it was his Father…..” My son, you are with me always, and all I have is yours, it is only right that we celebrate and rejoice, because your brother has come to life.” Question: Where are we in this evergreen story? Food for Thought!