Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Catholic Reflections 680 : Sixteenth Sunday of the Year B - Sunday, 22 July 2018

Homily Sixteenth Sunday of the Year B  - Sunday, 22 July 2018



Jeremiah 23:1-6. The prophet gets the true measure of the custodians of the nation, and it's not good news.
Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6. God alone is the true shepherd of those who seek peace and prosperity. “
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.”
Ephesians 2:13-18. Peace to those far and near is achievable in Christ, who is the one true peace.
Mark 6:30-34. Jesus is never too tired to exercise compassion for those who seek him.

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Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Sixteenth Sunday of the Year B - Sunday, 22 July 2018 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/16b-faith-hope-and-love-ep-105
 (EPISODE: 105)
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In today’s First Reading, we hear God speaking through his prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.” (NRSV).  God looks very seriously upon those who have been given the responsibility to lead and protect his beloved people and who end up harming them instead. God commanded them to be selfless shepherds and to put their needs first. God is surely saying to those who have in this modern age abused their position and harmed his little ones.  “Woe to those who have destroyed and scattered….and have driven them away….  I will attend to your evil doings, says the Lord!”   It is fitting that we look very carefully at the harm done by priests, religious and others in places of authority and power, particularly to children and vulnerable adults. God never gave anyone permission to ignore his call to protect and care for his people.  In the light of the recent Australian Royal Commission into Abuse within institutions, The Brisbane Archdiocese has released a new Safeguarding Strategy and so it is timely to listen to this message from Brisbane Archbishop, Mark Coleridge. This would be a consistent message with policies throughout the world:  


Message Launching the new Safeguarding Strategy for the Archdiocese of Brisbane:
From Archbishop Mark Coleridge. Archbishop of Brisbane

 
Pope Francis has laid out a clear message for the Church when it comes to the crucial question of safeguarding.
 
He puts it this way: “The Church loves all her children like a loving mother, but she protects with a special affection those who are smallest and defenceless. Now the duty that Christ himself entrusted to the Church is exactly this, the Church is especially vigilant in protecting children and vulnerable adults.”
 
These words drive our Safeguarding Strategy in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
 
This strategy sets our approach and our priorities around safeguarding until 2020. The strategy applies to all church personnel including bishops, clergy, religious, employees, contractors and volunteers across all parishes, ministries, agencies and services. It’s for everyone.
 
Our safeguarding commitment is this:
 
The Archdiocese of Brisbane holds that children and vulnerable adults are a gift from God with an intrinsic right to dignity of life, respect and protection from harm. The Archdiocese does not tolerate abuse by Church personnel or others involved in its ministries and services.
 
Therefore, the Archdiocese of Brisbane is committed to:
 
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Protecting all involved in our ministries and services from abuse;
 
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Promoting the wellbeing and best interests of children and vulnerable adults in the delivery of all ministries and services; and
 
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Responding effectively where disclosure, suspicion or allegations of abuse arise.
 
The safeguarding commitment is underpinned by our three Ps of safeguarding. We want safe PEOPLE, safe PRACTICES and safe PLACES.
 
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Having safe people means that Church personnel are appropriately selected, recruited and trained in safeguarding and that they accept their safeguarding obligations.
 
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Having safe practices means applying safeguards to all Archdiocesan activities, ministries and services to prevent abuse.
 
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And, having safe places involves applying safeguards to all properties and locations in which Archdiocesan activities, ministries and services are conducted to minimise the risks of abuse occurring.
 
This Archdiocese has established an Office of Safeguarding Services. And the Archdiocese works with the Australian Catholic Church’s new Catholic Professional Standards body. This body, set up following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has established National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.
 
These standards take into account the guidance of the Royal Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission. They form an important basis for how our Archdiocese approaches safeguarding.
 
Our Safeguarding Strategy has a foundation principle – ‘safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility’.
 
This principle serves as the foundation for safeguarding functions within the Archdiocese. It calls all Archdiocesan church personnel, regardless of their position, to embrace safeguarding and their duty to care for and protect others from abuse, especially children and vulnerable adults.
 
Pope Francis has called for zero tolerance when it comes to sexual abuse.
 
He’s right. We must do all we can to safeguard our smallest and our most defenceless.
 
Our Archdiocesan Safeguarding Strategy aims to do that.
 
With your help, we can achieve this.
 
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
SAFEGUARDING ALL PEOPLE. ESPECIALLY CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS.

For more information, please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXMMM03Pttk
This is the Brisbane Archdiocesan Safeguarding policy. For areas outside of Brisbane, please contact your local Diocesan office.



Fr Paul’s Homily:

There is a beautiful line in the second reading that one could spend the whole week, a whole lifetime contemplating the meaning of:
 “Jesus is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall ........, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace “
 This is really fascinating...
 So, peace is not just a state of mind or body...,
And Reconciliation and forgiveness is not just something we do or do not do......
"Peace" is actually a person,
"Forgiveness" is a person,
...and that person is Jesus, who is the Lord of Peace, the Prince of forgiveness...
the writer and poet Alice Camille, tells of an incident in her life that brought this personal dimension of peace, home to her: she writes:
 “There was no way I was going to speak to that guy who offended me again. NO WAY!!! I repeated this mantra several times to fortify my resolve. I was outraged. I was hurting. As I rehearsed for the twentieth time the righteousness of my position against my enemy who had offended me. Then I remembered, peace wasn’t something that was mine to give or deny. Jesus is our peace. Jesus is the WAY of peace... unity with him is unity with peace and reconciliation. To withhold reconciliation is to withhold Christ and what Christ can do...”
The balance between reflection and action, prayer and good works, work and rest, comes into focus in this weekend’s Gospel. It is often hard to get this balance right in our lives. So many demands on our time, many good projects that can call to us, and so the balance of work/rest, prayer/action is quite challenging. Jesus knew this balance and whilst he had to respond and be flexible and even change his plans when situations unexpectedly arose, but at the same time there is a deep sense about Jesus that he kept that balance within his heart and so was able to be peaceful and loving in response despite the many demands.

Jesus knew the benefit of taking some time to get away from it all and revive, rest, pray and have time to nourish ourselves, in body and soul,.
He showed that care for himself and his disciples, (even in the midst of the demands of his ministry), and the crushing needs shown by countless people who came to see him, hear him and to touch him…..
 
Among the natural benefits of taking some time out: namely renewal and physical and spiritual recuperation…. there is also a valuable chance to 'stop, take a breath and look at where we are, where we are heading and what we are trying to achieve…"….
If we constantly respond to the urgent… we may miss getting a chance to weigh up whether it is also 'important'……
A thing can be urgent, but not necessarily important……… and some of the most important things in life may never present themselves to us as "urgent" but (if neglected) could cause major difficulties and cause us to lose sight of the things that really matter…

 
Also, we believe that our God can be encountered in the silence and the stillness….
I am impressed by a quote from Saint Teresa which says "Settle yourself in solitude… and you will come upon him in yourself."
Another really striking thing about today's gospel passage is that, although Jesus knew he needed to get away from it all and give himself and his disciples time to rest and pray and gain renewal and focus………

His attitude towards the needy crowds when he saw them is really inspiring……
He gets to the place he was heading for a well-deserved rest… only to find the crowds have found their way here too……
We could be forgiven in some way if in exasperation we reacted by saying… " Oh go away.. I am too tired…. leave me alone…."…… but Jesus reaction is one of compassion and inclusion…… He did not see the crowds as if they were nothing to do with him. These needy crowds were not disconnected from him…… he identified himself with the people who were there…. he and his disciples were not a case of "them and us" when it came to relating to the crowd…… So…. it seems as if Jesus' compassionate reaction to the crowd was because, although he was not denying his needs and his disciple's needs for rest and prayer and reflection; when he came across the crowds he recognized their needs as also important…… So … for Jesus it was always a case of "not them and us" but "us and us"…….His needs and the needs of the disciples were as important as the needs of the crowds and the crowd's needs were as real and important to him as his own. He solved the slightly conflicting needs by responding in compassion to the lost and desperate needs of those he encountered…

 
 I am sure he then went off and gave himself and his disciples the space they needed……. afterwards..


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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly



Quote from Alice L. Camille. Reflection in PrepareTheWord.com. PrepareTheWord.com, ©2012, TrueQuest Communications, LLC.



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Scriptures are from the New Revised Standard Version: © 1989, by the national council of Churches of Christ, USA. , //adaptations to conform with Catholic liturgical norms, © 2009, by the same.
 [{selected psalms } - ***Psalm verses are (also) taken from “The Psalms: A New Translation” ©1963, The Grail (England), published by Collins.. **]


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{ “Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin” -published 2011, Composed and Sung by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski
Featuring the….Gloria, The Creed, The Kyrie, The Mass parts, Psalms:
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May God bless and keep you.
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Sixteenth Sunday of the Year B

(Sunday, 22 July 2018)

(EPISODE: 105 )

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (or/ The Lord be with You)

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Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you came to reconcile us to the Father and to one another: Lord, have mercy//You heal the wounds of our sin and division: Christ, have mercy// You intercede for us with the Father: Lord, have mercy//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
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Memorial Acclamation

Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

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Sundays Ordinary VIII

Euch prayer II

Communion side. pwk: RH
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Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

 



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