Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Catholic Reflections 612 : Homily Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A. - Sunday, June 25, 2017

Homily Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A.  - Sunday, June 25, 2017


First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13

Psalm: Ps 68:8-10. 14. 17. 33-35

Second Reading: Romans 5:12-15

Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33


Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A.  - Sunday, June 25, 2017 by clicking this link here:   https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-12th-ordinary-a
Poor Jeremiah,   he was only doing God’s will…..  and awful people were doing everything they could to close him down.   Jeremiah was speaking God’s message  - calling for Justice, and faithfulness, and repentance and obedience to God’s law….. and this got him immediately offside with those who were personally benefitting from BEING unjust and selfish.  So, instead of listening to his message, Because it was hard and challenging and required a mindset change….   they did what people have done throughout the generations….. they took the easiest option and tried to shoot the messenger…..    Jeremiah’s enemies did everything they could to abuse him, contradict him….   lie about him so that he would be discredited, laugh at him and attack him……..    the wonderful thing is…. jeremiah just kept telling his message, he ignored the attacks and the lies…..(although it hurt him and got him down)…… and he put his faith in God and kept going…… 
Jesus is the ultimate example of this complete faithfulness…… his enemies knew that there was only one way they could stop him proclaiming and living his good news message of inclusion, justice and love… and that was to destroy him… to kill him and discredit him…….  But the Word of God in Jesus cannot be silenced… and it rose up again…..   showing once and for all that the opposing forces of lies, injustice and violence… were real, but ultimately empty threats…
Saints and real heroes …are people who can endure any hardship, bear any indignity, face any danger, (even death)… not because they think they can’t be hurt….   no…. but because they know that what they struggle for is the TRUTH… and it is RIGHT…. and it is REAL….    and that they know their souls are safe   -
(and Jesus knew this perfectly….    do not be afraid of those who can harm your body……    rather fear the one who has power over your very soul).
Of course, Jesus had a right to fear physical harm…  there were people out there trying to kill him……   but he believed in something much bigger that physical safety in this lifetime….
Jeremiah had people trying to kill him…. he was right to be concerned….   for us today, the dangers are often not physical…  although occasionally in this country.. and in others places its more common….   there are people still risking their lives and freedom for the cause of justice and truth…… 
but for many of us.. the dangers we face are more subtle…  often spiritual… 
When we have everything that we need, then we can be wordlessly tempted to think that we do not need God. When we look at our world today, we see that the richer nations believe less. We must be careful not to generalize, but that surely looks like the trend.
Jesus preaches a very different Gospel. Jesus tells us that real happiness comes from belief in God, from seeking the will of the Father, from giving to others, from sharing what we have with those who do not have, from respect for marriage, from praying and from forgiving.
Jesus does not invite us to have absolutely nothing, but always the challenge is there: What are you doing with what you have? Are you loving God and loving one another? What are you doing in your daily life? Are you seeking only your own pleasures or are you seeking the Kingdom of God?
So often we long for material pleasures, reassurances and the delights of this world! Jesus invites us to recognize that there is another world in which the values do not exclude pleasure and delight, but in which other values are much more important. When one persons sins, others are encouraged to sin. When one person chooses to live according to the will of God, others can begin to grasp that there is another world. Jesus had a remarkable gift of convincing others of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is God, of course, but He invites us also to share His life and share that gift of convincing others of the Kingdom of God by our manner of living.
Okay, we may not live in a world where people are trying to kill us…..   but…  there are so many ways of ‘neutralising’ a person…. the most insidious of all is forms of aggression that seem to have been perfected in this modern world…..   we can destroy a person with our words…..    with lies and distortions…. how easy is it to say something about another that makes others think less of them,….  killing their reputation with either outright falsehoods… or even more insidious, by subtle innuendo…..   this is another way people try to remove those who threaten  them….. 
But Jesus assures, us….   things spoken in the dark will be brought into the light….   things whispered … will be shouted from the rooftops….   I believe that the truth will often be revealed eventually….   but not denying the damage that can be done in the meantime….   and in any case, Jesus, our role model… assures us not to ever be spooked by the power of lies and threats…..    he showed us to keep going, keep trusting and keep living and proclaiming the truth… and that those who try to oppose.. are doing so because they are threatened by the truth….  but, ultimately,  they will not win. (but let us make no mistake… enormous damage might be done in the meantime… so we need strength, grace and love…to persevere…
I have a saying, and I truly believe this… whenever you are doing a thing that is right and good… inevitable someone will come along and tell you to “Stop!”    - we must ignore them,…..    or… as Jesus did…   see their opposition for what it is….  fear and threat… and keep going…
May we love the Lord our God and may the way we live show forth clearly that theKingdom of Heaven is in our midst, especially in the face of opposition or criticism. May we live now in such a way that gives testimony to the love of God and to life everlasting. May we have no fear!

(adapted and taken from Monastery of Christ in the desert,

and also 2008 A Book of Grace Filled Days,

and also additions by Paul Kelly).

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Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A.

The Lord be with you.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
option two on the cards/ Have mercy on us, O Lord./ For we have sinned against you./ Show us, O Lord, your mercy. And grant us your salvation.
Memorial Acclamation

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
        Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
        Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
     May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.


Euch prayer two p.56

Go in peace.

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