Category Archives: Mariology

28th Sunday Year B 2018. A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh Sydney Australia. Fruit of Biblical Wisdom: SEE, JUDGE & ACT!

Today’s Gospel gives us Jesus’ teaching on the dangers of attachment to riches, and he speaks about the rewards awaiting those who put him and his message before their earthly ambitions, of building up their wealth on earth.

28th Sunday year B Rich young man 3

The first obvious thing in today’s gospel is that the young man seemed to be a very good person. He was most respectful to Jesus, and he was honest in his search for eternal life. He had kept all the commandments since his youth, and Jesus looked on him with love. To all appearances, he was an ideal person. Yet, without condemning, Jesus just had to show him something about himself of which he may have been very unaware. He was too dependent upon his wealth, and therefore without knowing it, he was not truly free! Jesus invited him to freedom, but the cost was too much for him. So, what did the young man lack in his life seeing that he had seemingly led a pretty good life? The answer is in the first reading today. So, let’s have a look at it. Wisdom 7:7-11

28th Sunday year B Wisdom

The author of this Old Testament Reading speaks about an interior value that supersedes a fat wallet, and millions of $$$$’s in the Bank Account. Notice that it is a feminine characteristic of God…..WISDOM. Well, what does Biblical Wisdom mean? Firstly it is a Spirit filled Gift which we need to ask for….Wisdom is somewhat like a nice Red Wine….it matures with age. However, it needs good intentions from the one who wishes to acquire it. As Biblical Wisdom matures, it enable us to discern what is of lasting value, what is of temporary value and what is rubbish! In fact, according to the Scriptures, God-given-Wisdom is the most valuable spiritual possession one can have in this life. If it becomes part of our bone marrow, Wisdom will guide us, challenge us and strengthen us. In order to engage the Gift of Wisdom, a simple rule of thumb can help us….SEE, JUDGE AND ACT! This motto was the core of a Youth Movement which I belonged too as a teenager, and I have never forgotten it.

The response to the Psalm 89:12-17 Fill us with your love, O Lord and we shall sing for joy. The Prayer sentiments in this Psalm are a great community response to the first Reading…..if we took on board the prayer in this psalm…..our only response would be: – Fill us with your love, O Lord and we shall sing for joy.

28th Sunday year a divided heart

Now, let’s hang on to the SEE, JUDGE AND ACT trio; you might find it handy as well. Let’s apply it to the young man in the Gospel story today. Mark 10:17-30. Let’s ask the obvious question: Why did he go away from Jesus sad? Most probably because he lacked Wisdom to discern the all-embracing gift that Jesus was offering him. He couldn’t see it! So Wisdom might have a great deal of meaning when it comes to seeing someone, who is the saving hand of God at work in Jesus. It could well be said to be the 1st cousin of faith! Food for Thought! So let’s get a balance in Our Lord’s view on wealth.

14th Sunday year A Mother Teresa

There is nothing wrong with wealth, or with being wealthy. Some of the world’s greatest people, who have given much of themselves to others, have been very wealthy people. So it’s all about our attitude and inner secret attachment or detachment that matters, which gives us the freedom to embrace the Gospel fully, or due to enslavement to riches we can walk away sad!

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Well what kind of poverty is Jesus speaking about when he says that we should have a sense of detachment from things in order to be truly free? The answer is ‘poverty of spirit’ which is a spiritual gift. It is that genuine thirst for God and a hunger to seek God, and in living that spirit, our attitude towards material things and people take on a new meaning. Poverty of spirit enables us to be open minded to what God asks of us. It flavours our life so much that we are deeply appreciative of our inner gifts, and can tune into the richness within other people without being jealous or envious of them. Poverty of spirit is an inner truth which sets us free to use the gifts that our world provides with a sense of appreciation and moving on, and not wanting to cling on to what we have got as a source of true identity and self-esteem. After all, when it is all said and done, a burial shroud has no pockets! Something to think about! When I was clothed in the Passionist Habit in 1968, we had no pockets because it was a black burial shroud! However, very inconvenient what you felt a sneeze coming on and one could not get to the pockets in our trousers under the habit to get a handkerchief, or hanky as we used to call them.
We give thanks to God who alone is good, for his Son, Jesus Christ. By handing over his body and blood for us, Jesus gives us everything; and turning on us his look of love, he says: ‘Do this in memory of me.’

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28th Sunday Year B, 2018. A Reflection on the Readings from Fr Brian Gleeson CP, Melbourne Australia. RICHES GETTING IN THE ROAD.

A questionnaire was once distributed to a class of high school students. It asked: ‘What would you like to be?’ Two thirds answered: ‘A celebrity!’ Not an answer Jesus would have given!

Mark, today’s gospel storyteller, tells us that Jesus is setting out on a journey, when this young man – he is not named – comes running up to him. All enthusiastic, he asks Jesus what he must do to make the most of his life and time on earth. What he is wanting is a greater closeness to God and a greater sense of fulfilment. It’s true he has already been walking the right path for any good young Jewish man. He hasn’t killed anyone, cheated anyone, or robbed anyone. He hasn’t fooled around with another man’s wife. He has always shown his parents love and respect. But right now this doesn’t seem enough to feel completely at home with God and completely at peace with himself. There must be more that he can be, and there must be more that he can do. ‘What is it?’ he asks Jesus.

28th Sunday year B Rich young man 3

Jesus takes a shine to this rich young business man for his evident honesty, sincerity and good will. But Jesus wants to free him from his addiction to possessions and to help him share more with others. Looking him straight in the eye Jesus puts to him one massive challenge: ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’


Let’s hear Jesus saying that to us 21st century people. What would we think? What would we feel? What would we do? Let’s hear Jesus, then, asking any one of us to give up every single thing we value and treasure. My family! My friends! My home! My garden! My kitchen with its new cupboards and appliances! My air conditioner! My computer! My smart TV! My smart phone! My IPod! My iPad! My digital camera! My swimming pool! My Jacuzzi! My secure job and pay packet! My superannuation! My pension! My gym subscription! My holidays! My concerts! My books! My movies, my videos, my CDs and DVDs! My restaurant meals! My motor car! My football! My cricket! My tennis! My squash! My basketball! My health insurance! Just imagine Jesus asking us to give up just about every possession, every pursuit, and every hobby we have that gives meaning to our lives and makes life worth living!

3rd Sunday after Easter Year A decisions

And all for what? To keep walking with Jesus along those dusty roads of Palestine? Not being sure of having a roof over my head on any night you care to name! Never being sure of where, when or whether my next meal will be coming! Being exposed to the jeers and sneers of the enemies of Jesus! Travelling light all right, unbelievably light!

If, then, like that rich young man we did meet Jesus on his journey and he were to look steadily at any one of us and say: ‘Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor . . . then come, follow me,’ it would be very understandable, perhaps even predictable, that our jaws too would drop, and we too would walk away sad, sad because we would probably be thinking and feeling: ‘Jesus is asking too much of me. The cost is too great. It’s beyond me. It’s unreal. I can’t do it.’

13th Sunday of Year A Pope John Paul and Mother Teresa 2

Jesus, in fact, knows that what he asked of that young man is quite beyond the great majority of human beings. ‘For mortals,’ he comments, ‘it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’ He is speaking, surely, of the special grace of God, and of the power of that grace given to particular individuals, who all through history have literally left everything to follow and imitate Jesus. St Francis of Assisi is a striking example. In 1206 Jesus crucified spoke to him three times from the crucifix in the church of San Damiano. ‘Go, repair my church,’ Jesus said. (He was speaking of his church community). So at the age of 25 Francis completely renounced his inheritance, stripped himself of all his fine clothes and all his possessions, and consecrated himself totally to God. From that day he began to live the teachings of Jesus as literally as possible. He put all his trust in God as his one and only source of security.
The amazing thing is that from that day on Francis found more joy in living than in the entire first twenty-five years of life. It can be done, then, but not by everyone.

Where does the gospel story leave you and me? Right now we can’t pack up the bare necessities and hit the road. For most of us that would even be irresponsible. But let our gospel remind us that we can let our lives get too cluttered and too complicated by too much stuff and too much attachment to what we have. It’s not that possessions are bad in themselves. But they can become a terrible hindrance if they start to possess us and block our minds and hearts from what matters most – surely our freedom to be loving persons to family and friends, but also to those poor people not far away without even the basic necessities of life. What matters most of all is our relationship with Jesus. He was calling that young man of the story into his company. He keeps calling us too to share his company – to spend time with him and to share our lives with him. Let’s do just that, then, in the rest of our Eucharist together today!

Brian Gleeson special photo

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23rd Sunday of the Year B, 2018. A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh – Sydney Australia ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening’

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Today we hear a story about Jesus healing a deaf and dumb man. Was this to be a one off story or is it perhaps a never-ending story, which can be lived out today? Let us have a closer look at the words and actions of Jesus.

Jesus with deaf and dumb man

The story begins with a prayer/action of intercession. Others brought the man to Jesus. We don’t know who they were, but they obviously believed that Jesus could do something for this man, just by laying his hand on him. This situation appears frequently in the Gospels, when the person concerned is unable to get to Jesus, or, in this case, is unable to speak for himself. So other people take the prayerful initiative in walking with the man to Jesus. Such prayerful actions are always pleasing to the Lord. Remember the story of the lame man being lowered down through the roof and his stretcher being placed in front of Jesus? Jesus marvelled at their faith, and he healed the man. Each week in our Parish Bulletin we have a list of people that we are invited to pray for who are ill or deceased. Maybe you might know one or two of the people who are sick; why not make some contact with their family and perhaps visit them and let them know that you are praying for them. Let’s never forget just how important it is to pray for the sick, because often the sick person will feel a special comfort, which is the fruit of our prayers. For our deceased relatives and friends, our prayer is an act of faith, hope and love.

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Jesus takes the man aside in private; this is most certainly an act of trust by the deaf and dumb man in Jesus. This man would have been very careful in what company he kept. The man was obviously on the right page. Trust is the first requirement for healing! Jesus touches the man’s ears and his tongue, and with a sigh, or a groan, which itself is a prayer from the Spirit within Jesus, enables the miracle to take place. In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans Chapter 8: 26-27, He tells us, ‘…through our inarticulate groans the Spirit himself is pleading for us’. As part of this inner groan and looking up to Heaven, Jesus says ‘Ephphatha’ which means ‘Be opened now!’ And it happened: The man could hear and speak clearly? What could he hear? He could hear the saving and healing Word of God. What could he say? That in Jesus the saving, healing hand of God is at work!

God's Word

There can be levels of deafness in our ability to really hear the Word of God. It is a ‘graced moment’ to really hear God speaking to us. So often when we are chatting and listening to people, our mind goes somewhere else! We can become distracted and not listening…when we come to our senses, we then try to work out what the other person’s story is all about. Listening to God in His Word, within the Sacrament and face to face with His people is a ‘full on focus’ of not only our ears, but our whole person. We have to be deeply engaged in the process, if not, our minds can easily wonder off thinking about what we will be having for Lunch today, or do we have enough petrol for the motor mower. Mary had this grace of ‘listening’ in abundance, she was a great listener to God’s Word. Remember the part in the Gospel after Simeon had received baby Jesus in the Temple, that Mary treasured all these things in her heart. That does not mean that she put that memory in a box within her heart!

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To treasure something is to savour something. That means prayerfully going over these treasured words and then letting the words speak within in the inner silence. These treasures can be revisited any time that we like. She was ‘full of grace’. It is a free gift, but only to those who want it, receive it. Let us ask the Lord today to touch our ears and tongues, and to free us from any blockages of deafness and dumbness.

22nd Sunday B 1The Pharisees and the Herodians Conspire Against Jesus

What about the dumbness? This can so often cause us to be silent when we should speak. At times in can be moral cowardice. Being freed from this dumbness enables us to speak out against injustice, to give a word of praise, or to proclaim the message of Jesus. Speech is a wonderful God given gift. People can be built up by words of encouragement and praise, just as they can be destroyed by words of sarcasm and criticism. We live in an age of social media which floods our iPad and iPhone. There are lots of really comments and photos, but there are a lot more negative comments and cruel photos. Our society seems to thrive on negativity. Just imagine if we could turn that negativity into positivity, I’m sure that we would be happier, more graced and more productive people. We can do well to examine ourselves on this issue. So let us conclude with this little prayer which we might like to savour from time to time.

Open my ears Lord help me to hear your voice,
Touch my heart and tongue O Lord, so that I may speak
Your words of love, compassion and forgiveness. Amen


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The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don’t know how it first came to be celebrated.
Its origin is lost in those days when Jerusalem was restored as a sacred city, at the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337). By then it had been a pagan city for two centuries, ever since Emperor Hadrian (76-138) had leveled it around the year 135 and rebuilt it as <Aelia Capitolina> in honor of Jupiter.

For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.
After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem. One of the memories about his mother centered around the “Tomb of Mary,” close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived.
On the hill itself was the “Place of Dormition,” the spot of Mary’s “falling asleep,” where she had died. The “Tomb of Mary” was where she was buried.

At this time, the “Memory of Mary” was being celebrated. Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.
For a time, the “Memory of Mary” was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the “Falling Asleep” (“Dormitio”) of the Mother of God.
Soon the name was changed to the “Assumption of Mary,” since there was more to the feast than her dying. It also proclaimed that she had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven.

That belief was ancient, dating back to the apostles themselves. What was clear from the beginning was that there were no relics of Mary to be venerated, and that an empty tomb stood on the edge of Jerusalem near the site of her death. That location also soon became a place of pilgrimage. (Today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary stands on the spot.)

At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that “Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven.”
In the eighth century, St. John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. At the Tomb of Mary, he expressed the belief of the Church on the meaning of the feast: “Although the body was duly buried, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay. . . . You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth.”

4th Advent Mary and the Angel

All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption. The central mystery of her life and person is her divine motherhood, celebrated both at Christmas and a week later (Jan. 1) on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) marks the preparation for that motherhood, so that she had the fullness of grace from the first moment of her existence, completely untouched by sin. Her whole being throbbed with divine life from the very beginning, readying her for the exalted role of mother of the Savior.

The Assumption completes God’s work in her since it was not fitting that the flesh that had given life to God himself should ever undergo corruption. The Assumption is God’s crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.

The feast days of the Church are not just the commemoration of historical events; they do not look only to the past. They look to the present and to the future and give us an insight into our own relationship with God. The Assumption looks to eternity and gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended.

The prayer for the feast reads: “All-powerful and ever-living God: You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory.”

In 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution <Munificentissimus Deus>, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic Church in these words: “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven.”
With that, an ancient belief became Catholic doctrine and the Assumption was declared a truth revealed by God.

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Prayers of Intercession
Leader: In the assumption of Mary into heaven,
we see the glory that God calls us to share.
As we celebrate the mighty deeds
that God’s love accomplished in her,
we confidently ask God to hear our prayers.
1. That the church, like Mary,
will rejoice to share Christ’s victory
over death,
let us pray to the Lord:
2. That world leaders
will ensure that their countries’ might
and wealth
are used for peace and not for war,
let us pray to the Lord:
3. That those who lift up the spirits
of the poor, the homeless, and the oppressed
will never lose hope in the saving power
of God,
let us pray to the Lord:
4. That we who celebrate this Eucharist
will imitate Mary’s example of trust and love,
let us pray to the Lord:
5. That those who have died,
especially ___________ and ___________,
will find everlasting joy in God their Savior,
let us pray to the Lord:
6. Let us remember our own intentions.
[pause for silent prayer]
For these, let us pray to the Lord:
Leader: Mary’s God and our God,
you have blessed us with the gift of your beloved Son
and his most-holy mother.
Look with favor upon our prayers
for your continued blessings.
Grant that we, like Mary,
proclaim your greatness in all that you accomplish for us.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Researched by Fr Kevin Walsh Sydney Australia


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19th Sunday Year B, 2018. A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh – Sydney Australia. FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY.


Jesus speaking with disciples

In the Gospel reading today, Jesus takes off the gloves, as it were, and he confronts his listeners with the stark truth of why he has come, and what they must do to benefit from what he offers them. Most of today’s gospel has Jesus speaking, as if he has listened to their debating and rationalising long enough. However, it is very important to remember that the fourth Gospel was written at least some sixty years after the Resurrection of Jesus, hence it would seem that today’s Gospel is a pretty good reflection on how ‘the Way’ ( the first name given to followers of Christ) were understanding the Christ of Faith by the time that this was written.

Loaves and Fishes plate images (1)

A couple of weeks ago we saw the miracle of the loaves and fish, which paved the way for an understanding of the Eucharist. It would appear that Jesus had got their attention and their interest. They asked him in last week’s gospel, ‘What does God want us to do?’ and they seemed interested enough to listen to the answer. But in today’s story, once again Jesus began to speak about a personal God, a God among them, a God who was no longer in the Holy of Holies within the Temple or in the burning bush; but the people closed their ears, and became inflexible once more. Again we hear the echoes of Ps 95 Verse 8 ‘If, today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.’ This Psalm was well known by the people of Israel. We in modern times pray that Invitatory Psalm most mornings.


Jesus got straight to the point when he said that he was speaking about pure gift. Even the desire to come to him, to listen to him, to respond to him was a gift from the Father. It had nothing whatsoever to do with religious practice of the time, it was a whole New Covenant, and compared to the inflexibility of the Old Covenant they had inherited, this was a radical change! Jesus had come in person to teach them, to lead them, to nourish and save them. They had a decision to make. They were either for him or against him.

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Before we move on, we must pay attention to the implications of what Jesus said in the opening part of today’s reading, because it gives us a deeper understanding of another underpinning statement made by Jesus which really got their shackles up. Jesus said, “I am the bread that came down from Heaven.” We can easily miss the direct import of the words, ‘I am’. In the Greek text we would know exactly what the implications are, so not to hold you in suspense any longer….’I am’ is the Divine Name. In other words…YHWH. The Bread; what does that imply? Manna for sure, but what is the translation of the word MANNA? God’s Mercy and Goodness. Jesus, the human face of the Father! Wow! Now look at the claim of Jesus and why this caused such a response among His critics? But we must not forget that this Gospel was written about 100AD; therefore plenty of time had been given to the question, who was Jesus Christ?

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As we look back through history and explore the varied responses to the all-powerful Word of Jesus, we can easily say that the faces have changed but the message remains the same. We see here in this teaching from Jesus that by and large it was falling on deaf ears. What caused this? Was it the humanity of Jesus, ‘the son of Joseph’ which automatically closed off the creative options in their minds, because it was too good to be true? It would seem that fixed minds have been the stumbling blocks for many people throughout the ages, and they still are today! So fixed, that even the greatest miracles do not enable a flexible response, and in this case, it was directly to Jesus the Word made flesh. Together with fixed minds goes blindness; the inability to see God’s power to save, linked with judgements based on helplessness. The end result; many walked away from Jesus! As John’s Gospel later tells us, many of them rejected it, walked away, and no longer followed him.’ John 6:60-61.

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We probably do not walk away from Jesus, but we can easily be so comfortable within inflexible mindsets that we can run the risk of not being fully open to the Lord through prayer, in response to His Word, and the consequences of receiving Holy Communion. Sometimes my mind quivers somewhat when I hear and see instances where some Leaders in the Church are so black and white, with a touch of arrogance when dealing with greyish human problems. It can be comfortable and tidy to think that one has the whole truth, rather than listening to the truth in humility as manifested in ‘the poor of the Lord’.

Job 1

Within this deep Gospel, there is something else which the First Reading from the Old Testament reminds us…..namely the need for food and nourishment for the journey. As we saw in the First Book of Kings……Elijah while on his journey was famished! He said……’Lord, I have had enough and he wished he were dead’. Oh my goodness, I bet that we have all felt like that in our Christian Journey………..however, fortified by the bread and water, Elijah woke up to a new day and kept going.

14th Sunday year A Harbour hotel

There is another speed hump in believing that Jesus is The Word made flesh, dwelling in His Spirit among us…….and that is Lethargy! Many people could not really care less about God, or God’s Word of the presence of God in our world. Our commercial, high tech’ living can rob us of the time to ‘be still and know God.’ Over the many years of Ministry in and among God’s people, Death and the Funeral can be the stopping point! It can be so terribly uncomfortable for many, because Death involves and will involve all of us. The ‘be still and know God’ moment often happens prior to a loved one dying, at death, and then in the Funeral. These days we can easily take death for granted; we see in nearly every night on the Television News. Death, killing and horrible suffering sell ratings. However, when the sting of death, enters us, it has the power to make us STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN to what is life all about.

Over 45 years I have heard more Eulogies than I have had Baked Lamb Dinners! I have often wondered if the person in the Coffin had in their life time heard one quarter of what had been said about them. Just as it is vitally important to reflect back to people while they are alive of their wholesomeness, so it is also vitally important to ‘be still and know God’. To be open and wanting to listen about Jesus who is not some distant person walking around the district of Palestine. No, it is about tuning it to the frequency of the mystery of God’s presence and influence on us. To know from human experience that ‘in death, life is changed, not ended.’ To be aware that many animals are also aware of the death of their loved ones, and upon reflection knew instinctively that their ‘beloved’ has gone to God’s embrace. Just as we are on the ‘look out’ for the new iPad or iPhone and can’t live without it…… to if we had that energy for Jesus our Bread of Life and desperately wanting to know everything our high Teck’ gadget can offer us, as we listen meditatively to God’s Word and digest it……we would have more ‘healthy spirituality’ to walk with our sisters and brothers every day.

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Hence we can be like the people in today’s Gospel. God is always doing a new deed, hence we are invited to ‘Go and be Jesus, and live what we have heard, seen and partaken at the Eucharistic table.’

Our Prayers of Intercession

World 2
Leader: We turn now to our God in heaven who hears all our prayers and grants our needs.

+For all members of the Church to come to know Jesus better through their participation in the Eucharist. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

+For all peoples of the world that they seek God with all their hearts. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

+For those whose lives are characterised by grumbling and murmuring, that they might experience joy in coming to know God. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

+That each of us here may give to others the gift of our self-giving. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

+For the poor and suffering people on the Indonesian Island of Lombok; grant that neighbouring Nations will come to their help. We pray to the Lord. : Lord, graciously hear us.

+ For our Island nation, Australia, grant that the Drought be broken very soon, and that fellow Australians will continue to support, love and befriend our people in this sun burnt country. We pray to the Lord. Lord, graciously hear us.

+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, graciously hear us.

Leader: God in heaven, you draw us to yourself and desire that we have eternal life with you: hear these our prayers and help our unbelief. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Corpus Christi Year B, 2018. A Reflection by Fr Brian Gleeson CP, Melbourne Australia. EUCHARIST MEANS MISSION.

Corpus Christi Chalice

In all our Catholic churches, the main way we pray together is the Eucharist, the Mass. From start to finish, Jesus Christ is active and alive in us who are parts, indeed limbs and cells, of his risen body. The climax, the high point of our celebration, is when we receive him in Holy Communion. There he gives himself to us in love and nourishes our relationship with him. There he wants to sets us ‘on fire’ with his ‘powerful love’ (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, #10). So, from our intimate sharing with him in communion, we are meant to go back to our homes and neighbourhoods with a new heart, a new spirit, and a new commitment. In other words, Jesus sends us out from his table to nourish others with our body and blood, i.e. with the gift of ourselves, our love, and our lives. He sends us out to bring to others a love like his – a love that is unselfish, caring, forgiving, generous and constant.

Jesus washing feet thT00NU9P6

At the very the end of Mass Jesus has one final word to say to us. Through our priest or deacon he commands us in this or similar words: ‘Go and announce the gospel of the Lord.’ His intention is ‘[that] each [of us] may go out [from his table] to do good works, praising and blessing God’ [General Instruction of the Roman Missal 2002, #90c].

We cannot, in fact, truly share the consecrated bread and wine without also sharing the daily bread of our personal and community resources of one kind or another. Communion with him is essentially defective, and even an empty sham, if we ignore or neglect him in our poor and needy sisters and brothers.

Long ago St John Chrysostom had something to say about this that is particularly strong, sharp and challenging. Here are his words:

Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do you not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad. He who said: ‘This is my body’ is the same who said: ‘You saw me hungry and gave me no food; and ‘Whatever you did to the least of my brothers [and sisters] you did also to me’ … What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother [or sister] is dying of hunger. Start by satisfying his [or her] hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.1

In a nutshell, our Holy Communion with Christ requires us to identify with poor, suffering, troubled and afflicted persons all over the world: Did not Vatican II say: ‘The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well?’
[‘The Church in the Modern World’, #1]

Bread and wine Mosaicmass-and-worship

Our whole Mass is a matter of remembering, celebrating and joining in Christ’s wonderful work of liberating and transforming human beings. So our celebration is meant to send us out to liberate oppressed and struggling persons from all that is not of God, from all that crushes or inhibits their dignity as his sons and daughters. This is so true that until Jesus Christ comes back to the earth at the end of time, the strongest sign of his presence and self-giving in the Eucharist is our life-style afterwards. It’s meant to be a life-style of service, of binding up wounds, of reaching out to persons in need with caring, unselfish, and generous love in dozens of different ways, all the ways that Jesus himself reached out to others during his days and years on earth.

The Eucharist, then, means that we are people sent out on mission, and people who find in the Bread that is Christ and the wine that is Christ our nourishment and strength to reach out to others. A beautiful ecumenical document known as the Lima Statement puts it this way: ‘The Eucharist is precious food for missionaries, bread and wine for pilgrims on their apostolic journey’ [Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, E26].

Last Supper untitled

The truth is that shared prayer and shared life before and after prayer go together. This is particularly true of the Eucharist. For it is there that we remember, celebrate and encounter the presence and person of Jesus Christ giving himself in love to God the Father, and giving himself in love to human beings.

Jesus walks on the water thL24LHJLV

So, to sum up my message to you on this Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, one of the quite special meanings of the Eucharist, but one that is too often overlooked or neglected, is that it is about ‘going out to make a better world’ (Christiane Brusselmans).

1 John Chrysostom, In Evangelium S. Matthaei,hom, 50:3-4; PG 58, 508-509. Cited by John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia [Encyclical Letter on the Eucharist in relationship to the Church],

Brian Gleeson

Bro Vicente CP with Fr Brian Gleeson CP


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THE LITURGY OF THE WORD. Helpful hints from Fr Kevin Walsh – Sydney Australia

God's Word thBV613COL

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.

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