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 log on to:- https://realhomilies.wordpress.com/
Then you will 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. 🙂 Thanks, Fr.Kev
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
Psalm: Ps 29:2. 4-6. 11-13
- 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.
A realhomilie from Fr.Brian Gleeson C.P
DESPERATE SEEKERS AND BELIEVERS: 13TH SUNDAY B
Along the road of life we become aware of many desperately-seeking persons. How do they deal with their desperation? Over and over again we have learned of asylum seekers e.g., so desperate to escape from poverty and persecution that they risk their lives by paying people-smugglers and climbing into overcrowded leaky boats heading for lands of freedom and opportunity. So they are seeking something good for themselves and their families. But another group are hell-bent on seeking hurt and harm to others. For instance, recently an Australian sporting hero got so fed-up with his marriage, that he went to the races, drank all day, came home drunk and angry to his wife and children, and there before their eyes set about wrecking their home and furniture, including his wife’s most precious personal possessions.
In the gospel today we meet both a man and a woman in two situations of such acute personal pain that they desperately seek from the great person of Jesus, life, hope and healing. Jairus, the synagogue official and loving father of a ‘desperately sick’ twelve-year old daughter, is convinced that if only Jesus would place his hands on her ‘to make her better and save her life’ she will surely recover. The unnamed woman, suffering for twelve years from a gynaecological condition for which she has spent her life-savings on one doctor after another, has one last hope. She is convinced that ‘if she can touch even his clothes’, surely she will ‘be well again’.
The moment this suffering woman touches the clothes of Jesus, she senses that she is cured of her condition. But she is not allowed to slink away into the crowd. Turning right around Jesus asks, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ Clearly he doesn’t want to be treated like a magician or a mobile relic. His question and his look bring the woman forward. Frightened and shaking, she falls at his feet and tells him the whole truth. Jesus insists on meeting her face-to-face, not to humiliate her, but to praise her for her faith and send her on her way relieved and at peace.
While Jesus is still speaking, messengers come to tell Jairus that his beloved daughter has died. Jesus overhears this, and immediately says to this grieving father, ‘don’t be afraid; only have faith.’ Taking with him only his inner circle of disciples, Jesus goes into the house where he finds mourners weeping and wailing at the top of their voices. When he tells them that the child is not dead but asleep, their mourning turns into mockery. They are no help at all. So he throws them out. Then, accompanied by the child’s mother and father and his three close friends, Jesus goes into her room. Supported by this little community of faith, Jesus takes her by the hand, and prompts her to rise up. When she does so he adds the touching words, ‘Give her something to eat.’
It’s worth dwelling on the details of Mark’s two stories because they give us valuable insight into the character of Jesus. They tell us of someone who feels acutely the desperate pain of others, and who does not disappoint those who approach him for help. There are mothers and fathers e.g., who keep grieving for their dead children long after others have forgotten or have moved on. To Jesus these children are just as precious as the daughter of Jairus. As the Risen Lord he will come to awaken them. We firmly believe that. That’s why Jesus keeps saying, ‘don’t be afraid; only have faith.’
Of course there are many who mock our belief and hope in life after death. They claim say that death destroys us, wipes us out, and does not lead anywhere. But there’s no place for that attitude among us. After all, we are Christians. We believe strongly in Jesus as the ‘Resurrection and the Life’, and in his reassuring words, ‘don’t be afraid; only have faith’.
All of us are wounded persons – more or less. The woman who came to Jesus was deeply and even desperately wounded. But people can be wounded without showing it. They can carry such invisible wounds as feelings of rejection, failure, guilt, worthlessness, loneliness, bitterness and hostility.
All of us need healing, and all of us can be ‘wounded healers’ too. Our lives are continually touching those of others. With a little sympathy we can heal a wounded heart. With a little care we can ease a troubled mind. With a little time we can ease another’s loneliness. So every now and then let’s stop and ask ourselves, ‘What goes out from me through my words, my deeds, and my relationships? Am I hurting others? Or, under God, am I actually healing?
A realhomilie::: by Fr Kevin Walsh
Dear One and All,
Every day when we switch on the Television News, we see something about sporting heroes. Years ago, the Sport part of the News was left to weekends, but nowadays, Sport is played nearly every day of the week. So often, we see and admire, the lengths that Athletes will go, to be a Number one Golfer, in the world; or a fantastic Football player who is unstoppable once he has the ball in his hands, and is close to the try line. The question often comes into my mind……why do they do it? What keeps them going at it? 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, and those people who have a burning desire to make a difference in our world; look at Pope Francis! Then we have the quiet achievers whom we know in our communities and suburbs; they too, have a good dose of optimism and ‘drive’ which we call ‘faith’, namely insight! In this context, let’s look at faith as ‘insight’ i.e., the ability to see within a situation, goal, or in a person, who inspires them that the unstoppable drive within them, urges them on; hence the possibility can become a reality of reaching the desired outcome! The end goal is what they can see! In terms of faith, this produces an inner thrust which drives us toward Jesus, the human face of the Father. Look at the ‘drive’ within the Synagogue Official; no one was going to stop him getting to Jesus. Look at the woman who had the bleeding complaint; she was determined and went as far as touching Our Lord’s garment. She could see the saving hand of God at work, in Jesus. 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. If I were preaching ‘live,’ you would easily understand what I am driving at. Sometimes while I am writing these Homilies I get very frustrated with myself, because I am more of a speaker, than a writer 😦
Let’s keep all that in mind, as we look at today’s Gospel from St. Mark. For a start, Mark and his community, assembled three short sequences, according to a literary process similar to that of a slow dissolve, used in film montages 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 is a way of developing a kind of ‘movement forward’, not only does it enliven the narrative, but also it 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; namely what faith can drive a person to do! It is a very clever way of a smooth linking, of these vital images together, to underline a special theme, in this case it is faith! I use the word vital here on purpose, because the end result is the fullness of life for the readers and listeners, and it is an exposé for the hearers, to make up their own mind on the important evangelical question: – Who is Jesus for me, and for you? Do I see the saving hand of God at work in Jesus? If so that that drive me on to give life and receive life from other people? Food for thought, eh?
There are a number of important symbols used in these three stories of the montage. Let’s have a look at Jairus. While I was taught many, many years ago by Fr Robert Crotty CP, the person par excellence, who inspired me in Biblical understanding, always instilled in us Students, to be deeply curious about the Scriptures, and to develop a kind of Sherlock Holmes approach, so that we can dig deep to find the hidden treasures, found continually within God’s Word. So, let’s be curious: 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, and how that name is acted out!
Jairus is a synagogue official who had obviously heard about Jesus, or he may have 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. 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 his daughter to rise to new life. In other words, Jairus sees the saving hand of God at work in the Lord, and hence experiences salvation for himself, his daughter and for his whole clan! How good is that? Even more; the ground on which he prostrates himself before Jesus within his conversation, becomes ‘Holy’ due to the salvific interaction with Jesus who calls him to rise up!
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 of the woman who had been losing blood for a long time. 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; the message is clear……Fear is a normal consequence in us, 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, and it 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; this will be manifested in the raising up of his 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! There is something else! Could we say that the Synagogue Official is a vehicle of Intercessory prayer for his daughter? Let’s not forget that it is on his faith-response to Jesus, which already is ‘at work’ in him and will meet his little girl, in Our Lord’s time. Even when the people at the home hurried back to Jesus telling him not to come, because she is now dead! Jesus then speaks to the Official again, ‘Do not be afraid, only have faith!’ Then Jesus, accompanied by Jairus keep going to the House; they are met by laughter, when Jesus says that the little girl is asleep! Remember last week in the Gospel, there was another commotion in the boat because the disciples thought that was asleep, seeming that he did not care about the crew? What was Our Lord’s comment to his disciples…..?? ‘Where is your faith????’
We do need to remember that Mark’s Gospel was the first Gospel written between 60 and 70 AD; and that was a long time after Our Lord’s Resurrection, and therefore the Gospel community is looking back, with the filtered glasses on all that had happened, within the fledgling church till that time; consequently these experiences of ‘being saved’ or ‘salvation’ are shown as paradigms or examples for our own experiences, of the saving hand of God in our life.
Now let’s get back to the little girl. Jesus accompanied by the Official, his wife and disciples, then see Jesus take her by the hand, and call her to get up! In Biblical understanding…to RISE UP! 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 not only a changed person forever, but that her encounter with the saving hand of God, had given her life to the fullest, meaning Salvation had come not only to her, but to her household…the clan of Jair, 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, blood was a rich symbol for ‘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 come to its fruition. In her travel towards Jesus, she, like Jairus was driven unstoppably. Seeing in Jesus the saving hand of God, nothing would hinder her contact with the one who had already contacted her….. (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 life giving experience? No doubt, the experience for the people gathered around her would have seen with their own eyes, and in their conversations, they would be answering the same question as the main theme in Mark’s Gospel….Who is Jesus? We do that too, don’t we? When an uplifting experience happens in us, and deep within us we know, without scientific proof, that the Lord is with us….we tell everyone. Now the next part of the same story has to be taken very carefully; we need to understand the Biblical 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 in Jesus, that all people should live, and have life to the full! This is where the first reading links in…..this desire of God that all should “live” is part of the Lord God’s wisdom! Its opposite is 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 for all to hear!
So there we have it for today! We are called to be instruments of salvation for others…being other ‘Christs’ as expressed when we are anointed with the Oil of Chrism in Baptism. We are called to be other Christs…..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 on 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.
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.
- 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
- That people of the world not ridicule those who live in faith. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
- That those whose life is ebbing away from illness or lack of faith, be touched by Jesus’ presence. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
- That our community will reach out and touch others in need. We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
- 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.
- The Cross
ALL WE SHALL TAKE IT.
- The bread……………
ALL WE SHALL BREAK IT.
- The pain
ALL WE SHALL BEAR IT.
- The joy………………
ALL WE SHALL SHARE IT.
- The Gospel……………
ALL WE SHALL LIVE IT.
- The love…………
ALL WE SHALL GIVE IT.
- The light……………
ALL WE SHALL CHERISH IT.
- The darkness…………….
ALL WE SHALL PERISH IT. Amen.