‘Go preach the Gospel to all nations!’ That directive is given to you and to me as much as it was to those disciples standing on the mountain in Galilee. Personally, the directive worries me, and I’m fairly sure it worries you as well. How are we, in a society cynical of religion, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How are we to preach Good News to people who seem to enjoy bad behaviour? How are we to preach life to a ‘culture of death’?
The clue to how we are to do this comes when Jesus tells us to base all we do on him, his preaching, commands, authority and presence, and to baptise in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is not our work but how we work that reveals what animates us. Quite simply we have to regularly enter into ourselves and ask: how central Jesus is to our lives? There, we must be honest, for dishonesty in the heart is the worst dishonesty of all. Jesus himself will not force change. But if we are truly focused on him, we will then allow his teaching to shine in the ways we relate. Jesus’ ways of relating will led us into the life of God, the loving community of the Trinity. There is an integral resonance between how we relate to each other and to God. On these relationships lies our ability to preach the Gospel to the people we meet.
In the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, the elderly pastor, John Ames, in musing over his life, notices how the word ‘just’ can mean something depreciative or something affirmative – depending on how one views the situation. ‘There I was, with just you!’ Here ‘just you’ can mean ‘only you and what good was that to me?’ Not nice. Or ‘just you’ can mean ‘what more could I have wanted, you and you alone fill me with joy!’ In the first stance, the speaker betrays begrudging acceptance, the second, openness to mystery, joy, abundance.In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus states that the Spirit will teach us ‘everything’. This is an extraordinary statement. I am very conscious of what I don’t know, about the world, about people…and especially about God. And I’m sure you feel the same way too. Does this mean that the Spirit isn’t teaching me or you? This is how I get my mind around this conundrum: sometimes I wonder about how the ants in our garden view us. If one of us tried to teach an ant and the ant was just interested in its own anty world, it isn’t going to learn anything. But if the ant is interested in more, then it will find what little it learns ¬would be just marvellous. The Spirit is trying to teach us. But if we try to conform the Spirit to just what we want, we will be disappointed – the Spirit will not be tamed. But if we are open to what the Spirit wants, we will be just surprised by joy, time and time again.
A reflection on this Sunday’s Mass by Sr Kym Harris osb and also very apt for Mothers Day. As is the image by Arthur Poulin. Downloaded from http://www.prayasyoucan.com.au
Soaking up being loved by God isn’t easy. We want to justify our existence therefore, before God, we focus on our concerns in a myriad of ways. We want to be busy about our own anxieties, even if they are our own sins, or worse the sins of others. But over and over, Jesus commands us, even pleads with us: ‘Remain, abide in my love!’ Yes, all our concerns do need to be dealt with but if we think we can do them by ourselves or with even a little help from God, we are crazy. We have to ask ourselves whether our ways of praying and doing aren’t paying lip service to the reality of our utter dependence upon God’s love. The true way to love ourselves and each other is to abide, remain in God. It is a good practice to begin each day, resting, abiding, remaining in the love of God for just a few minutes. The radio can wait, as can the TV and internet. The troubles of the world will still be there. But resting in the love of God for those few moments can be a source of the richest grace to live and love throughout the coming day.
Sunbury Neighbourhood Kitchen will be restarting in the next couple of months. Do you want to join our team of volunteers???? We need friendly, active and motivated people who want to make a difference and help others in need. 18 years and over. Volunteers required on Mondays 9am to 8pm Thursdays 9am to 1pm Do you have interest in any of the duties below, if so, we need you to volunteer. Cooks, front of house, back of house, setting up the dining room, drivers with current drivers license, for collection of food supplies (usually on Thursdays), fundraising, committee management roles, promotions, website and social media. Some criteria required:
Must be 18 years and over
Must have a current Working With Children Check Registration night** Monday 10th May at 7pm Ball Court, Macedon Street, Sunbury. Please email your RSVP is by 6th May 2021, due to COVID requirements. email@example.com
MASSES GOING TO 100 PARISHIONERS. THANKS FOR ALL THE PRAYERS
The 4 square metre rule stops us from going to higher numbers
The fine print will be sorted on Monday between the DHHS and the Archdiocese and we will know any details shortly afterwards. Meanwhile the following instructions will need to be adhered to: ……
There will be NO bookings for Masses and 100 will be the limit. The church will be open half an hour before Mass, and all Registrars and Ushers must be there when the church opens. All participants must be at the church at least 10 minutes prior to Mass starting. Parishioners will need to be registered by name and contact phone number. Sanitiser and Masks will be mandatory. An usher will seat each person/family who must remain in that seat until receiving Eucharist. Then return to that seat after Communion. In receiving Eucharist, please extend your arms as far as possible to allow for correct social distancing. Communion will only be in the hand. We will need to clear the church immediately after Mass. Each Mass will require the correct number of volunteers, if not Mass cannot go ahead. Please consider what role you can play in the celebration and phone the Parish Office with your offer.
Volunteers needed are: Set-Up, Lector, Musician, Singer, Registrars x2, Minister of Communion, Ushers x 4-5, Cleaners x 4
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
It was great to finally be able to celebrate a Mass on Sunday after many weeks. Fr John Papworth was our celebrant. Thanks to all who made it possible. The health regulations mean that it takes more volunteers for just 20 participants than we normally need any previous Sunday. And that’s without a collection…