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21st Sunday in ordinary time Year B, 2015. The Reading and Responsorial Psalm and Gospel for the Sunday. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from Iona Abbey.

21 Aug

21st Sunday in ordinary time Year B, 2015. The Reading and Responsorial Psalm and Gospel for the Sunday. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from Iona Abbey.

Bread and wine Mosaicmass-and-worship

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First Reading: Joshua 24:1-2.15-18

Joshua 1thGL8R28KU

Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem; then he called the elders, leaders, judges and scribes of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to all the people: ‘If you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’

Schecham 2

The people answered, ‘We have no intention of deserting the Lord our God who brought us, and our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery, who worked those great wonders before our eyes and preserved us all along the way we travelled and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed. We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’

Psalm: Ps 33:2-3. 16-23

Bread and Wibe with green

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the Lord at all times,

his praise always on my lips;

in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.

The humble shall hear and be glad.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked

to destroy their remembrance from the earth.

The Lord turns his eyes to the just

and his ears to their appeal.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

They call and the Lord hears

and rescues them in all their distress.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;

those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Many are the trials of the just man

but from them all the Lord will rescue him.

He will keep guard over all his bones,

not one of his bones shall be broken.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Evil brings death to the wicked;

those who hate the good are doomed.

The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.

Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel: John 6:60-69

Jesus speaking with disciples

After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?

‘It is the spirit that gives life,

the flesh has nothing to offer.

The words I have spoken to you are spirit

and they are life.

‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’

For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.

Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’

THE MAIN POINT TO CONSIDER:

In the first reading from the Old Testament, we will hear Joshua calling on the people to make a choice….are you for God or not? Make a decision now! This theme will be taken up in the Gospel, when Jesus asks His Disciples, do you want to stay with me or leave me? We will hear Peter speaking up from the group, and for us….” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”

A realhomilie from Fr. Kevin Walsh

Kevin Walsh in Car

In the first Reading from the Old Testament, Joshua, who was the Leader of God’s people after Moses, had called all the tribes of Israel together to commemorate their common past and to renew it! It seemed that they needed to be reminded of the covenant that had been initiated by the Lord God, back at Sinai, and a commitment to the Decalogue (The Ten Words/Commandments and associated guidelines).

10 commandments th

In the act of gathering the Assembly at the Holy place of Shechem, the tribes of Israel acknowledge their belonging to a people who owed their existence to God’s initiative. They are in a real way, the children who recognise their God, and who state their resolve to remain attached to the one who gave them life. In a very real sense this is a ‘memorial’ a ‘thanksgiving’ Liturgy; Eucharistic in its overtones, and very much Sacramental. You might ask how? Well the short answer is, that the Liturgy at Shechem was especially ‘making present’ within a community, through Gathering, sharing their common Story and hearing the Word; and then a collective response which consolidated them, and re awakens their identity and mission as a People.

The first Reading describes a primitive form of Liturgy….a Covenant Renewal Ceremony. This Liturgy was just not presided over by the Priests or Leaders, and the people standing in humble silent submission! No, everyone in this Ceremony was a participator; and that is real Liturgy. In contrast to going through the mechanics of cold Rituals. It is the full and active participation of all, which make it a ‘work of all’ a real Liturgy. Notice that the Liturgical action in the Holy place of Shechem was in itself an INVITATION from the Lord God, through His spokesperson, Joshua! The overall RESPONSE was: We will serve the Lord, our God!

The Gospel today takes up the theme of commitment to the Lord and his ways. This theme was a very real problem for the early Church around 100 AD; but it is also a timeless problem. However the response to this problem has also been seen throughout Biblical History, and Church History as a pivotal issue which must be addressed by the faithful in their time. The personal and community renewal, and re commitment is ongoing, and this is actualised in our time when we celebrate the Eucharist.

Once again, God’s Word is calling us to check our personal and community response as the Living Body of Christ, and the responsibilities that go with it. We can so easily slip into a mode of frequent Mass, and even mentally check it off our TO DO LIST! But, due to our human nature, we can either rest on our laurels and be comfortable, or see it has part of our mind, body and Spirit, which needs to be re visited, and understood that it is an important issue of the now! Or if we see it as an activity which needs to be done, and not allowing ourselves to be challenged by The Word, and awake to the deeper implications of our actions; it can become a routine, and robots can do that. Today, we are asked once again to check out our faith response, and its authenticity and realness.

Mass thU20B12MJ

Do we leave our Sunday celebration, from say, 9.00am till 9.45am just for Sundays? Do we go through the ritual of the Eucharistic celebration, and stay apart from the Liturgy? (That is a very subtle difference, and worth exploring) Do we think that the most important aspect of our Sunday gathering is to receive the Eucharist, and then go home? Do we regard our weekly celebration like going to fill up our Car with fuel at the Petrol Station? Or is it a personal habit to reflect upon our Spiritual development when we get moments to do so? Do we look for the saving hand of God at work in our lives, and the lives of others every day? How have we been touched by the Lord today in prayer, through insight, His Word, and in our sisters and brothers? If these questions become part of us, we have much to bring to the community Celebration of the Eucharist in our Parish Family on Sundays. Food for thought!

Bread of life 1

PS: In the READINGS tab on the HOME PAGE of this blog, you will find four short Essays which I have written on the Eucharist. You will need to scroll down about half way according the slide on the right side of the page. https://realhomilies.wordpress.com/

                 OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………

Family photo

Leader: Sisters and Brothers in Christ, one of the loving duties of the faithful Disciple is to pray for the needs of the world. Let us remember all those who most need our intercessions.

For those whose lives are endangered: for those who live in the path of war; those who live within a world of suspicion because of no virtual freedom; for those who lack the necessities of life.  Lord hear us. Lord hear our prayer.

For the Church of God: For our Pope & Bishops, Pastors & Deacons and Religious, that their ministry will always be driven by the Holy Spirit’s energy.  Lord hear us. Lord hear our prayer.

For those who have lost their homes, and loved ones, due to natural disaster, and those who homes and lives are victims of war: May people of love and justice, do all they can to embrace their own, and their enemies, and may compassion by the focus of all good works.  Lord hear us. Lord hear our prayer.

For the sick, for those who struggle with life in general; emotional illnesses and addictions: May loving supporting people walk with them on their road to recovery.  Lord hear us. Lord hear our prayer.

That our departed loved ones; those recently deceased, and those whose anniversaries occur about this time, will one day welcome us into the Kingdom of the Father.  Lord hear us. Lord hear our prayer.

Leader: Good and Gracious God, hear the prayers of your people, may we continue to learn from the Apostles who acclaimed that in Jesus, the Words of everlasting life are made real. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.

images Celtic Cross

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
    1. ALL        WE SHALL TAKE IT.
  • The bread……………
    1. ALL        WE SHALL BREAK IT.
  • The pain
    1. ALL        WE SHALL BEAR IT.
  • The joy………………
    1. ALL        WE SHALL SHARE IT.
  • The Gospel……………
    1. ALL        WE SHALL LIVE IT.
  • The love…………
    1. ALL        WE SHALL GIVE IT.
  • The light……………
    1. ALL        WE SHALL CHERISH IT.
  • The darkness……………. 
  1. ALL        WE SHALL PERISH IT. Amen.

Salvidor dali last supper

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