In the fine biographical movie, ‘Temple Grandin’, we follow the emergence of Temple from being a child confined by her autism to her becoming a woman able to use her autism as a way to interact with and change her world. Her mother had a profound influence on her but what a journey it was for that woman. Continually her hopes for her daughter were challenged, dashed and sometimes transformed. In spite of pain and difficulty, she never gave up hope. Ultimately this hope was rewarded but never would have she dreamt that her daughter would make her name as a prominent abattoir designer! At the heart of the Easter mystery is the transformation of people’s hope in God. All the people in the Gospel story had their hope in God challenged: Pilate and the religious authorities, the soldiers, the people taunting Jesus, the disciples, the women who came to the tomb. All had certain beliefs about God and how God should act in the world. These in turn affected how they understood Jesus. Those who were rigid in how they thought God would act missed what was happening. Those prepared to be challenged through their pain and confusion came to see and recognise the risen Jesus. We, too, have our hopes and when they are challenged by reality, we need to remember that the reality of God’s love was shown in the crucified, abandoned one, who chose to rise quietly from the dead. As we seek to embrace that reality, our hopes will be transformed – into what we do not know – but we do know that we will be transfused by love.
Taken any risks with your faith lately? My own tendency is to think that faith is something that should make us feel safe and with a well-developed faith we look to God for protection. But a genuine trust in God can make us act in other ways, ways that can led us to risk all that we have, even if it appears to be little.
The leper in this Sunday’s Gospel was an outcast. Yes, he had a skin disease but the people of his time understood this not as an illness but as a sign of his sinfulness. I can imagine him sitting destitute and despised on the fringes of his society, not allowed to come any closer than two metres to anyone, wondering what he had done to deserve this. Was he such a greater sinner than all his family and friends? Out there wondering, he well could have gone to the wild places of the spirit that questioned the interpretation of the law that had caused his situation. Hearing of this healer, Jesus, he would have pondered long and hard. Healing a leper was considered almost as great a feat as raising the dead. Then he came to his decision: he took the risk; he came back into society and found Jesus. What was truly amazing is that he did not ask Jesus for a cure. His words: “If you want to…” imply that he believed Jesus to have divine power. Sitting on the margins, taking the risk of coming back, had loosened his mind and heart to be open to the person of Jesus in a way that those comfortable in society were not.
Our parish community has been extremely generous in supporting the LAP team but unfortunately, due to the pandemic restrictions, we will not be able to hold our planned fundraising collection at Masses in November. If you are in a position to make a once-off donation to enable the LAP team to continue their work, If you can help, could we please encourage you to make an electronic contribution using the following parish bank details:
Australian Mother and Child Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday This Sunday 5th July, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday will be celebrated with a theme chosen to respond to the current challenges we face as a community – Together in the Spirit. Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday is usually celebrated during NAIDOC Week, however, due to COVID-19, NAIDOC Week has been postponed to November. “Greetings from the Antipodes – painted by James Charles Nuttall circa 1908” by Aussie~mobs is licensed under CC PDM 1.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/70994841@N07/48833943358
When Jesus says that he offers us an easy yoke we may well object given that a yoke was used on animals and slaves to do hard and difficult work. The image appears, at first, demeaning. Be that as it may, let us leave aside this first emotional reaction to the image and ask just what a yoke does. A yoke was a device, usually put around the neck of an animal, or even a person, to enable them to perform a task that was usually beyond them. No animal is ever going to be able to plough a field using only their hooves or their brute strength. A man yoked to a plough is far more effective in preparing a paddock for planting than trying to do it with a spade. Essentially, a yoke was not only a labour saving device, it was something that enabled a far superior job to be done. Still that leaves the issue of its use being demeaning to a person. The yoke most often used in Jesus times (click red text for a picture of an ancient yoke) was a double yoke – one in which two beasts or people dragged the plough or load. When Jesus calls on us to take up his yoke and says that it easy, his burden light, it is because he is there alongside of us. Jesus fully recognises how hard and difficult our lives may be at times. We may well feel like beasts or slaves caught in situations beyond our control. He, too, has not only lived our life and died our death, he desires to be yoked to us sharing our burden and strengthening us in bearing our load. Sr Kym Harris osb
Father Kevin McIntosh was ordained to the Priesthood on 23rd May 1970. He is the eldest son of Wal and Mary McIntosh and he grew up with his brother Frank in Rene Street East Preston where they belonged to Holy Name Parish. His parents were very active parishioners. Father Kevin began his schooling at Holy Name School in the 1950’s. He served as an altar boy with Father Tony Cleary and Father Barry King and has fond memories of the altar boys picnics. Father Kevin Kincade was an avid bushwalker and Father Kevin recalls trips up to various parts beyond Whittlesea. Father Rod Pitts also lived in Rene Street, six houses apart from Father Kevin. They grew up together with Father Rod taking him to school. As a youth Father Kevin was influenced by the liturgical and ecumenical interests of Father Tony Cleary. Following a calling Father Kevin commenced his studies for the Priesthood in 1963 at Corpus Christi College Werribee together with another school friend. He was ordained by Archbishop Knox in 1970 in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. His friend from his childhood, Father Rod Pitts, designed his ordination vestment. He was appointed assistant priest at Ormond, Bennettswood, Greensborough, Moreland and Scoresby. In 1986 Father Kevin was appointed the first parish priest of St Thomas the Apostle in Greensborough North where he spent the next nineteen years. In 2005 Father Kevin was appointed parish priest of the Sunbury parish which also takes in Bulla, Clarkefield, Diggers Rest and Wildwood. Under his leadership there was a Review of Worship Space and a Renewal Week where the goals for the parish were set: To be inclusive and welcoming Involving youth Where the aged are cared for Good liturgy, good music, and good facilities.
Both parish churches were extensively renovated. Our Lady of Mt Carmel in 2007 and St Anne’s in 2009. The third parish primary school, Holy Trinity, opened in 2019. Father Kevin has met the challenges of preparing for the future in an ever growing town and parish. Parish Neighbourhoods were set up helping parishioners feel a sense of belonging. Father Kevin has been actively involved in the Sunbury Inter-Church Council. As well as his parish commitments he sits on the Marriage Tribunal and is a member of Community for a Better World. He is in regular contact with his fellow Seminarians. As a member of the parish Historical Committee he had been a great support and part of the writing team of the parish history book “Led by The Spirit”. His interest in history is often shared by little snippets of interest in the Bulletin. When visiting England he visited William Wardell’s church in Chiselhurst which is very similar in design to our church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. Sick parishioners appreciate his visits. Major milestones of the parish which Father Kevin has celebrated with us include: 150 years – Our Lady of Mt Carmel School in 2010 150 years since first public worship in Sunbury also in 2010 Blessing of the new Bell Tower to house the 1911 bell in 2010 Centenary of the Parish 2011 Centenary of the Presence of the Sisters of St Joseph in Sunbury in 2016 40th Anniversary of St Anne’s School in 2018. Father Kevin is tireless in his support of matters of parish and parish education. We were truly blessed when Father Kevin was appointed to our Sunbury Parish.