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Category Archives: New age religion

2nd Sunday Year A, 2017. A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh, Sydney Australia. Transfiguration as it was and as it is……

 Transfiguration as it was and as it is……

 2nd Sunday of Lent year A 8

Today’s Gospel is about the Transfiguration of Jesus. We have heard it so many times before but it contains an evergreen meaning for us every time we reflect upon it. At a glance, we see in this story that the veil was lifted very slightly to give the apostles a fleeting glimpse into the nature of Jesus. He was of course, human and therefore, until now, their only experiences of Him had been within that human context. However, this was different!

Peter, James and John were close friends of Jesus, and it appears, that they were the ones who seemed to accompany Him. At the human level, they would claim to know Him well, to know how He thought and to be familiar with His actions. In this situation however, there was something different. In the presence of such a sacred experience, the natural human reaction of the apostles was to be afraid … even terrified … to the extent that they covered their faces. The face of Jesus became like a mirror, reflecting back the glory of the Father to them. The appearance of Moses as the Lawgiver, and Elijah as the Prophet, was enormously significant, because Jesus had announced that His mission was to fulfil the Law and the Prophets.

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Being afraid in the presence of the ‘Sacred’ was not an uncommon experience. Remember when the Lord God in Exodus, chapter 3 asked Moses to be the instrument and leader in the deliverance of the chosen people from slavery? Moses was not exactly over the moon about the prospect; in fact, he too was afraid. Then, on Mt. Sinai, Moses hid his face while in the presence of God during that precious moment when God initiated the great Covenant/Marriage Contract with his people … ”I will be your God and you shall be my people.” Again, remember when Our Lady received a surprise visit from the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation? She too was disturbed and afraid. However, the Angel sensed her agitation and calmed her by saying … “Do not be afraid, you have won God’s favour”.

Image: Saint Mary Annunciation of Angel 12 صورة

There are times in our own lives when we have experienced a special closeness to God and it is not unusual to be afraid. So, when this happens, let us remember that we are in “good company”. It has happened to others before, and it will happen to lots of others in the future.

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Let us now go back to the Mount of the Transfiguration. When the vision was over and Moses and Elijah had gone, and the brilliance was dimmed, the apostles opened their eyes (and these words are powerfully significant) and they saw no one but only Jesus. Jesus and His companions had to come down from the Mountain where mystically they would wish that the experience continued forever. However, the Life and Mission of Jesus and His Disciples had to continue, leading to the Cross and Resurrection.

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We are not finished with what happened on Mt.Tabor yet……We must remember that the Apostles were not watching the Transfiguration on a stage! They were right in it; this moment wrapped them within a mantle of ‘awe, wonder, fright and thanksgiving’. Now, let’s be deeply curious, let us re-enter those moments in our own lives when we have been within a moment of wonder! A moment of transfiguration, may I say? The nuances within Matthew’s Transfiguration are as real in the here and now, as they were back then. Let’s go deep sea diving into the Scriptures! Throughout the Scriptures, Mountains are places of Revelation, they are the place of ‘wonder moments’ they are the places where the reality of Heaven is gently meshed into the reality on Earth. This experience, in Celtic Spirituality is often called a ‘thin moment’ or it happens in a ‘thin place’. The Celtic name for this experience may be new to you, but the experience, I’m sure is not. Let’s think it through; Have you had experiences in your life where unexpectedly, you have been gently caught up in moment in which you may have felt a bit terrified, but then you slowly warm to the moment as the moment warms to you; and then you ‘know’ that the Lord, an Angel, or a departed member of your family is very close to you? Please think back in your life to such moments of a ‘glimpse’ or eternal rapture. You might ask, in what part of your body did you feel this? It would seem, according to Celtic tradition that we feel these things in the pit of our stomach…….called a gut feeling! The moment might not be long, in terms of seconds or minutes, but the result within us stays forever. Like the Apostles in today’s Gospel, they wanted to contain that experience when Jesus was transfigured and they too, may I add, were transfigured. They suggested in building places to guard and acknowledge that hollowed place and experience. For us too, we would like that holistic experience to continue. The truth is, that it can continue, whenever we ‘still ourselves’ and re member and re visit that experience.

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Moments of Transfiguration for us do happen, and they are part of the mystical experience of Christianity. Christianity is a mystical religion! It is not just the following of rules, and the acting out of rituals and rubrics. We as a community, act out mystical experiences in and through Liturgy; the Celebration of the Eucharist is the summit and source of community worship.

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What do Transfiguration moments, or thin moments do for us? It seems that one of the deepest results is the deepening of our faith; in this instance, I use the word faith meaning INSIGHT! That is, the ability to see the saving hand of God at work! This happened for the Apostles, this happened for Jesus while in prayer, this happens for us as well. I also might add, that while we pray The Lord’s Prayer, especially where we say ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’ it is a statement about our Christian Mission, namely in bringing Heaven to Earth! Transfiguration moments or thin moments make present the Kingdom here but not yet complete, in short, and Eschatological moment.

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During this time of Lent, let us make time to go up our own Mountain and enter into stillness. Let God’s powerful Word speak to our hearts … in the loving silence of our room, church, garden, or in the ‘bush’ or by the sea. May those moments be times of re-transfiguration, giving us energy and understanding of our mission in the here and now. In doing this, we will all be journeying together in our earthly Pilgrimage to the Father, cherishing glimpses of thin moments when we brush against the membrane, which gently separates us from Heaven.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS / PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS.

    • How would you define prayer in one sentence? In your own words perhaps you could start like this….I think that prayer is……..
    • Do you feel that your way of praying has changed as you have grown older and wiser? If it has, would you like to tell us?
    • From your past and perhaps even now, would you like to talk about what your prayer is based on? e.g. Love, Thanksgiving, Praise, Fear.
    • Jesus found it necessary to go off into quiet places to pray: when do you feel the need to pray?
    • What are some of your difficulties in trying to pray?
    • When was your first Transfiguration experience? Where was it and what happened? What did that experience mean for you and do for you?
    • Where have you experienced ‘thin’ moments? Was it on top of Mt.Sinai? Was it when you were close to the tomb of a Saint? Was it in the central White Tower of London, in the Chapel of St.Peter ad vincula where the bones of hundreds of Martyrs are plastered in its walls?
    • Other mystical Religions also have ‘thin’ moments and places; have you experienced some of those? 

 

Fr Kevin Walsh

Sydney. Australia

Email: kevin.w3@bigpond.com Web:https://realhomilies.wordpress.com/

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2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR B. A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney, Australia

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It hardly seems a week since we celebrated Easter Sunday! The Scripture Readings during the week have been highlighting the Resurrection appearances of Jesus and also linking them to Pentecost. Today we are faced with the meaning of faith, as demonstrated by ‘Doubting’ Thomas. Maybe we see something of ourselves in Thomas … and that may not be such a bad thing. But we’ll come to that later!

Unlike Thomas, we haven’t seen, but are asked and expected to believe … at least that’s what it looks like on the surface. However, in reality, it’s not like that at all! We have all the proof that anyone could need, that Jesus is alive and well, and living in us, so long as we ourselves are alive and well – and living in him! We live two thousand years later; Pentecost has happened, and the message of the Gospel, and the Person of Jesus, have been debated and written about in almost every language in the world. What further signs do we want? What further signs do we need?

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Faith requires a generous dose of humility, and a large amount of common sense. Whenever we buy a car, or undergo surgery; every time we board an aircraft, we are making an act of faith in someone or in something. Without faith, we would all end up doing nothing! I remember many years ago when I was preparing to take my first Vows as a Passionist at the end of the Novitiate, I had doubts galore. I was looking for some kind of proof from God that this was the correct path for me. So I gingerly went along to the Novice Master, and laid bare my thoughts in this regard. So, he said to me, ‘Kevin what kind of percentage of proof are you looking for?” Not wanting to appear to be too exacting….I responded by saying…”Well, maybe 75%”. He just looked at me with a bit of a smile on his face, and then asked me….” What percentage did your parents have on their wedding day that this was the right path for them?” That stopped me in my tracks, and I remember saying: “well they were in love”. He then responded to me….”Are you in love with the Lord?” “We can be 100% sure that He is in love with us.” Then the Novice Master continued by saying to me…..”Go away and think deeply about this for a week, then come back and tell me your thoughts”. That was one of the most powerful and moving weeks for me. So, like Marriage, Religious Life, Priesthood and with any kind of commitment, if people didn’t have faith in themselves – and in each other – through the love that binds them, and a deep faith, and love of the Lord……no one would make any commitments.

Faith is always accompanied by doubt. Where there is certainty, there is no need for faith. Jesus compares faith to a tiny grain of mustard seed that continues to germinate and grow, eventually to become a large tree. But just as the mustard seed needs moisture, nutrients and sunlight to bring it to fullness of life, our faith needs nourishment, light and the fine mist of life-giving love, to bring it to fullness. Remember the story in the Gospel about the sick man who was lowered down through the roof by his friends, so that Jesus could heal him? Jesus healed the man having ‘seen THEIR faith’. The faith of the community can be so contagious, and can be the means of intercession for others, which can lead to a faith response; this was wonderfully experienced during the Easter Ceremonies at the Benedictine Abbey, Jamberoo, New South Wales, Australia., and I am sure in your own Parish communities throughout the world. It is also seen daily whenever two or three people gather together in the Christ’s name to share life and Eucharist. Through the experience of faith, we get insight; that is, the God-given grace to see the saving hand of God at work within life-situations, Liturgies and prayerful stillness.

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Let’s get back to the Gospel for today…..Notice that the Easter responsibility in response to the Lord’s Easter peace is Mission…..’As the Father sent me, so I am sending you’ somewhat a daunting and responsible task? But let’s not miss out on what Jesus then did to the assembled group….He breathed on them! Now to breathe on someone, you can’t do that from a distance….it is an intimate sign of closeness. Who has breathed on you in your life? See, these are times of real closeness. In this action of breathing, which incidentally the Father did to Jesus at the moment of His Resurrection. (The Resurrection is about the resuscitation of the sleeping Jesus, by the Father, who then became the Christ of life!) New life is breathed into us, and we become new, at Baptism and Confirmation. In fact within any experience of Christ in our life; new life is infused into us and it changes us from timidity to loving boldness. You might like to spend a few moments just checking out those kinds of experiences in your own life, and re visit that Sacramental moment in the broadest meaning of the word. Notice that the ‘re-membering’ of it can energise you now…..this is a worthwhile Spiritual exercise which can do us allot of good as time passes.

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Finally, like Thomas, we are all called to enter into the brokenness of Christ in His people today. When we dare to enter into the wounds of God’s people, it is then we can say not only from our hearts, but also from every fibre of our being: ‘My Lord and My God!’ When this happens, we are truly within the holiness of a sacred moment.

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kevin.w3@bigpond.com

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EPIPHANY. YEAR C, 2016. A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh, Sydney Australia

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Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. Another name for this Solemnity could be, the ‘Revelation of the Lord’. Here is a small and simple example of what it means: Sometimes on a dull, cold winter’s day, a break appears in the thick cloud cover, and through it we catch a glimpse of a radiant sun. All too soon, however, the break is covered up, and the sun disappears once more. But that short glimpse of a brighter and warmer world can do wonders for us. The mere memory of it can work its magic on our spirit.

Daily life is full of little epiphanies for those who have the eyes to see and the minds to reflect. They slip in through the cracks in our busy lives, either through an unexpected moment of peace, beauty, love, forgiveness or sincere goodness.

The Magi (The three Kings from the East) caught a glimpse of the radiance of the Christ-child. Others, such as Herod looked at the Christ-child as a threat! All these people had the same eyes, yet they did not see the same things. It was faith, which in this case means ‘insight’ that God given grace, which enabled the Magi to penetrate the veil and ‘see’ the reality beyond. But, like the clouds covering the sun, the Magi had to return to their own lands; one would hope to believe that their visitation to the Crib would have made some permanent difference to their understanding of Salvation. They followed a star and traveled a long distance, and found the Messiah! Do we have to travel long distances to catch a glimpse of Christ? The Lord is as close to us as the person sitting next to us! The Lord speaks to us continually through His Word and Sacrament, inviting a response of love and insight into the continued saving Hand of God ‘at work’ in our lives, and in our community. As the song goes; ‘Open my eyes Lord, help me to see your face; open my ears Lord help me to hear. Open my heart Lord; help me to love like you. I live within you, rest now in me…’ (Jesse Manibusan. Published by OCP Publicatons. Used with permission Licence Number 1375E)

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord be gracious to you.
May the Lord’s face shine upon you and your loved ones. Amen. Happy New Year!
Fr.Kevin Walsh.

Kevin Walsh's photo.
 

The Most Holy Trinity. Solemnity. Year B 2015. Sunday Readings, and a realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney Australia www.realhomilies.com

The Most Holy Trinity. Solemnity. Year B 2015. Sunday Readings, and a realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Sydney Australia  www.realhomilies.com

The Most Holy Trinity. Solemnity

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One of the iconic works of Renaissance artThe Holy Trinity with the Virgin and Saint John and donors (1428) can be seen in the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella, in Florence. Like many paintings produced during the Renaissance, it is both religious and secular: it depicts the Trinity of God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost (symbolized by a white dove), and also functions as a commercial portrait of the donor or patron. The work is believed to have been commissioned by Domenico Lenzi and his wife, as a mural painting for the family remembrance chapel at Santa Maria Novella. However, the feature that makes it one of the greatest Renaissance paintings of the 15th century, is its use of single-point linear perspective to organize its composition. Its 27-year old creator Tommaso di Giovanni Masaccio (1401-28) was to Early Renaissance painting what Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) was to architecture, and Donatello (1386-1466) to sculpture.

This feast, was first celebrated in monastic communities in the ninth century, as an expression of praise, to the triune God, was extended to the entire Western Church in the fourteenth century. It celebrates the mystery of God’s self-revelation, through the experiences of the people of Israel, the disciples of Jesus, and the Christian people since Pentecost.

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 that you use the Blog alert for you to go back to: – www. realhomilies.com

And view it in the way in which 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,  Fr.Kev

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THE LITURGY OF THE WORD.

Helpful hints

It is very important for us to read God’s Word slowly and reflectively. We are not reading it just to get information or to answer questions; we must enable God’s Word to enter into us just like liquid polish enters timber flooring which 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, Lent, and Solemnities 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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First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34. 39-40

Moses said to the people: ‘Put this question to the ages that are past, that went before you, from the time God created man on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything ever heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you heard it, and remain alive? Has any god ventured to take to himself one nation from the midst of another by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors – all this that the Lord your God did for you before your eyes in Egypt?

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‘Understand this today, therefore, and take it to heart: The Lord is God indeed, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other. Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today so that you and your children may prosper and live long in the land that the Lord your God gives you for ever.’ The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

(Let’s PAUSE and reflect upon this reading, and let us ask ourselves the two questions stated above. That is our PERSONAL response to the Word. This might take a few minutes, try not to rush it. The Psalm and Antiphon is the COMMUNITY response to God’s Word, a bit like a short and sweet Text Message)

Psalm: Ps 32:4-6. 9. 18-20. 22

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  1. Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

The word of the Lord is faithful

and all his works to be trusted.

The Lord loves justice and right

and fills the earth with his love. R.

By his word the heavens were made,

by the breath of his mouth all the stars.

He spoke: and they came to be.

He commanded; they sprang into being. R.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,

on those who hope in his love,

to rescue their souls from death,

to keep them alive in famine. R.

 

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.

The Lord is our help and our shield.

May your love be upon us, O Lord,

as we place all our hope in you. R.

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Second Reading: Romans 8:14-17

Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son and daughter of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory. 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… 🙂

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Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

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The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’

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, Second Reading, and the Gospel? After that, we are then ready for what is to follow…..

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DEEP SEA DIVING INTO THE SCRIPTURES

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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’ and 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.Kev

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. With such a Feast as this one, we might be tempted to think … ‘Well, it’s all a bit of a mystery, and far too deep for me, and I’m not sure where to start in trying to understand it; so perhaps I’ll come back to it another time’. Yes! It is indeed difficult … and mysterious … having provoked some of the greatest thinkers in the world to offer explanations. In reaping the benefits of their efforts, we come to realise the immeasurable depths of our creative, redeeming and sanctifying God. The Trinity as such, is a very helpful way in understanding the complexity of God. Let’s look at the helpfulness of the Trinity, and not get bogged down in the mystery, to the point of saying…as I said earlier, “let’s put it in the too hard basket!” No, it is absolutely necessary as with all parts of Scripture and Theology, to be as equally curious about the Trinity, as we are about the Incarnation. We need to have the daringness and curiosity of Explorers who, in going to any part of the World, Moon or Planets; nothing is out of reach for them!

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Let’s briefly look at God’s Word. The First Reading talks about the power and glory of God, who nonetheless, entered into a close and loving relationship with his people Israel, and of the obligations and blessings that flow from that relationship. This reading stresses the oneness of God.

In the Second Reading this relationship is taken deeper; we are not just members of God’s people, but related members as in God’s wider Family and living in a Marriage covenant initiated by the Lord God. We are also reminded that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, and has made us co-heirs with Jesus. This reading makes clear reference to the three persons in one God.

The Gospel also makes reference to the three persons of the Blessed Trinity.  Jesus, who has total power over the whole universe, now empowers his apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world. He also highlights for them that they, and the Church, (the new Israel) will never be left as orphans, but will be accompanied by their Risen Lord.

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Now, let us look deeper and with curiosity into the mystery of the Trinity. By acknowledging God’s loving outreach to everyone; ‘WE’ are called through Baptism to continue the Lord’s Mission, empowered by the Holy Spirit, which is given to us by the Father, and promised by Jesus.

Another angle to reflect upon in the celebration of our Triune God, is the defining of the Creative, Redemptive and Sanctifying God Head, who in Jesus, calls us to follow suit. Thus these three aspects are really the inner core of the Christian, and the outer fabric of the community, whose mission to the world is God’s mission! Through the constant incorporation of the Word of God into us, as individuals and a community, through prayer and sacred listening, we become creative instruments in continuing to fashion the Kingdom of God here; but its completion will happen till Christ comes again.! This is done in the simple and profound ways of being ‘in Christ’, and Christ for each other; a challenge, yes, but a real experience impelled by the love of God in us, and for us.

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The human experience of salvation which is truly Sacramental, i.e., entering into the Holy Mind of God, and taking hold of those moments, which unexpectedly arise, where the Lord uses us, or we respond to the Christ in our community. Within those moments; the saving hand of God is seen, felt, experienced and expressed using signs and symbols. That is an experience of Salvation! Now, let’s get down to the grass roots of this. There was a wonderful Song called, ‘You needed me’ and it was sung by Anne Murray, and it’s in her Album called, Let’s keep it that way’. Let us have a look at this song:

I cried a tear, you wiped it dry,

I was confused, you cleared my mind,

I sold my soul; you bought it back for me,

And held me up, and gave me dignity,

Somehow you needed me.

YOU GAVE ME STRENGTH TO STAND ALONE AGAIN

TO FACE THE WORLD OUT ON MY OWN AGAIN

YOU PUT ME HIGH UPON A PEDESTAL

SO HIGH THAT I COULD SEE ETERNITY

YOU NEEDED ME, YOU NEEDED ME.

 

And I can’t believe it’s you, I can’t believe it’s true,

I needed you, and you were there,

And I’ll never leave, why should I leave, I’d be a fool,

‘cause I’ve finally found someone who really cares……..

 

You held my hand, when it was cold,

When I was lost, you took me home,

You gave me hope, when I was at the end,

And turned my lies back into truth again,

You even called me friend.

Looking back over your life, as there been a special person(s) who have been the HUMAN FACE OF GOD to you? Who was this person? Alternatively, who were the people, and what was it about them, that mirrored the face of Jesus for you?

Let’s briefly look at what I am talking about….I cried a tear……..who wiped it dry????

I was confused, who cleared my mind?

I sold my soul….who bought it back for me??

And held me up, and gave me dignity!

Somehow, you needed me….so the point is that the one who is coming to the rescue, needs the person who is being rescued…….remember Mary of Magdala? Jesus need her, and was an example to others to do the same and be instruments of salvation!

What can our response be, when Salvation is happening to us?

Possibly, the only response to those moments, is like that of Thomas himself, when he was invited to enter into the woundedness of Christ….’My Lord, and My God!’ However, that was not an academic response!!! It was a full bodied response; hence a changed life because of that salvific experience.

Moments like these can arise daily, and ‘out of the blue’ and they are often experiences of ‘Salvation’. They call a response from us with spiritual curiosity and a changed life! Those times become ‘sacred’ ‘holy’ ‘sanctifying ‘experiences and it happens on holy ground.  Experiences of Salvation call us to be creative, redeeming and sanctifying, as we continue to become causes of Salvation in other people. I am not saying that these events only happen in Church; no way! Wherever the Lord is, and  Salvation is experienced, the ground, the place, the people, are ‘holy’.  I would like to use the word, holy in these cases as wholesome! Remember in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 3, we see that when Moses was invited to come closer to the Burning Bush, the Angel of the Lord said that it was holy ground, hence take of your sandals!  But there is more to that than meets the eye; the action of Moses taking off his sandals without someone keeping guard because in the process of taking off the sandals, it is not like kicking off one’s slippers or shoes…..for Moses, it would have taken some precious minutes to be fully engaged in undoing the platting of the leather thonging. (Wide strands of leather or twine which not only held the sandal on, but it is connected to the leg for support. You can’t undo this kind of foot ware in a hurry!)

Sandals

The taking off of one’s sandals is always done as part of the hospitality ritual that an Adult would do in the presence of their host, and then the washing of the guest’s feet completes the ritual. For Moses, and the meaning behind and within this story, is that of a profound act of trust which had to be made by him as a response to the Angel of the Lord’s invitation. Hence, the conversation and the actions are in a way Sacramental and the place becomes Holy – Ground. So with all that in mind let’s have a further look at our mission!

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Jesus announced that the kingdom is here within us, but not yet complete, and it is the constant love of the Father, which draws us on. Jesus’ message is life, which invites us to seek the Father. Its demands, which the Spirit makes known to us, are always new, surprising and life-giving. ‘The Spirit will guide us into all truth which comes from the Father’: John 16:13. Jesus shows us the way to the Father and the Spirit guides us on our journey.

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If the Feast of the Ascension reminds us that we must take the Lord’s work into our own hands, Pentecost assures us that because the Spirit is with us, such a mission is possible. The Feast of the Blessed Trinity teaches us that we must be creative, redeeming and sanctifying in our commitment to God, and to one another, and to the Mission of the Church!. Hence, we must be mindful that our God is a God of surprises, inviting us to trust, to follow, and be daring in our Gospel living, and loving outreach. We must rid ourselves of doubts, which tempt us to cling on, and immerse ourselves within insecurities, which cripple our ability to live as a truth-seeking community. We are called to speak the truth in love! However, I believe that the precursor to being able to do that is, listening to the truth in humility. We are called to proclaim the Gospel with loving boldness, knowing that we can do all things through Him, who gives us the strength. (St. Paul). If we cling with all our might to paltry security, how can we be in solidarity with human suffering, and love?

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 If we are not imaginative in our ways of exploring, expressing and listening to God, our spirituality and life will stagnate.  We then would we  uninspiring, lacking life and totally pessimistic about most things, and to top it off, very sad and lifeless people. The Mission of the Church does not necessarily start in Rome; it is ever alive, and it can happen everywhere, when there are Christians allowing themselves to be of ‘the Spirit’ and being excited about the Mission. So often when I have presided at the Sunday Eucharist, a lot of the people and some Priests look like ‘death warmed up’. This is not all the people’s fault! Sometimes the Priest, Deacon, or Prayer Leader looks as though they are in pain, and need to go to the Emergency Unit in the Hospital. Looking in appearance and demeanour of being ‘over solemn’, ‘over pious’ and unable to communicate positively with the community, does not inspire people, it alienates them. This all might sound pretty strong from me, but I have been at the wheel for over 40 years, and thanks to our fantastic Pope Francis, it’s all about ‘being real and authentic, wholesome and humble Ministers of the Gospel, who truly inspire others, and can lift them up, because it is the Lord who is doing the heavy lifting in us.

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Today’s Feast invites us to give thanks and praise to our God, and there is no better way of doing this, than through the Celebration of the Eucharist.

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: to God who is, who was, and who is to come. Alleluia!

God Bless you and your families, and may we never forget each other in prayer. Fr.Kev

PLEASE PRAY FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY:

The Church reminds us especially at this time of the year that the Priestly Prayer of Jesus in John 17:21 ‘Father, May they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you.’ Is still in the process of being answered. We must do all that we can to promote unity, firstly through prayer, flexible attitudes, and finally by openness to what unites us more than what divides us. Do try and pray this prayer around the family table each day this week.

PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

O God, holy and eternal Trinity,

We pray for your church in the world.

Sanctify its life; renew its worship;

Empower its witness; heal its divisions;

Make visible its unity.

Lead us, with all our brothers and sisters,

Towards communion

In faith, life and witness

So that, united in one body by the one Spirit,

We may together witness

To the perfect unity of your love. AMEN.

untitled Ecumenism

(Prayer of the Fifth World Conference on Faith and Order 1993)

FAMILY PRAYER AROUND THE WORD

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Leader: On this day as we celebrate the Holy Trinity, we are mindful that God created us to live in harmony with one another, to care for each other and to pray for each other.  Let us place our prayer before our God.

  1. For harmony in the world’s most troubled place: for peace where there is war for love where there is hate. LORD HEAR US. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
  1. For harmony within the Church: for dialogue among those who disagree; for those who are satisfied, and those who yearn for change. LORD HEAR US. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
  1. For harmony within families and communities: for an increase in kind deeds and gentle speech; for tenderness with children and affection among friends and family members and not forgetting the elderly. LORD HEAR US. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
  1. For those living in difficult financial situations: for courage instead of fear, for confidence instead of helplessness, for mutual aid and support instead of isolation. LORD HEAR US. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
  1. For those living with the unease of illness: for those who cannot be with us today, and long for companionship; for the comfort of those who are in pain. LORD HEAR US. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
  1. We remember those who have died especially all our loved ones: May the Blessings which were part of them, grow in us. LORD HEAR US. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
  1. 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 and issues, locally and in our Global village who need our prayers? We pray to the Lord: LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Leader: O God we give you thanks for listening to our prayers, the ones that we have spoken, and the ones which lie deep in our hearts.  May we always turn to you, in thanksgiving and praise, for all that you are to us, through Christ our Lord. Amen

Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.

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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 SHARE IT, IN THE NAME OF  JESUS THE LORD. AMEN

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