Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Liturgy of the Eucharist Preparation of the Gifts Part 7


ABOUT THE MASS SERIES

THE MASS:  ABOUT THE MASS SERIES.


LORD GOD, WE ASK YOU …’.

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One of the private prayers that entered the preparation rite during the Middle Ages is the ‘In Spiritu  humilitatis’. Its text is:

‘We now have no leader, no prophet, no prince, no burnt offering, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense, no place where we can make offerings to you and win your favour. But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit, be as acceptable to you as burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, as thousands of fat lambs: such let our sacrifice be to you today, and may it please you that we follow you wholeheartedly, since those who trust in you will not be shamed’. (Daniel 3:38-40)
It was prayed by Azariah who, missing the sacrifices of the temple, realised that it was the spiritual sacrifice which best pleases God.  

The prayer used in the Mass today is:

‘Lord God, we ask you to receive us 
and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you 
with humble and contrite hearts’.

The prayer was made obligatory with the Missal of Pius V (1570).  Being a private prayer of the priest, it is usually recited inaudibly or sotto voce (in a soft voice). The priest bows and says this prayer:
In other words, the priest requests that the future offering made in the Eucharistic prayer, animated by the spiritual sacrifices of the heart, be favourably received by God.

We can join the priest as he offers this prayer by making it our own.  We can offer our own pain and difficulties of life to God.  The prayer stance of the Publican ‘Lord be merciful to me a sinner’ (Lk 18:13) could also provide us with further reflective thoughts when linked with this prayer



Monday, August 19, 2019

The arrest of Jesus Mk 14 43-52


GOSPEL OF MARK SERIES.

The Bible: Gospel of Mark icon.

During 2019, each week, I will write a weekly post about the Gospel of Mark, as I review and explore each of the 16 chapters and how it may be applied in our daily lives. If you are following this series for the first time, you will find this series under Scripture- New Testament- Gospel of Mark. 

Click here to read the first post in the series. I have written this series in different years (2012, 2015, 2018) with some irregularity, but am determined to complete this series this year since I am more than half way through this Gospel.
My goal is to understand and pray the Gospel of Mark. I hope you will join me on this journey as we travel through the liturgical season.  In today's post we explore chapter 14:43 -52 which is called The Arrest of Jesus.

THE ARREST OF JESUS.
Jesus is ready and His testing begins at once.  Judas, one of the twelve, as Mark repeatedly notes, comes not with disciplined solders nor with temple police but with a mob of men armed with knives and clubs.  When Judas hand Jesus over to His enemies by a kiss of friendship, Jesus remains silent.

After Judas, the unfaithful disciple, is introduced, no one is named in this present episode except Jesus.  It appears that in this manner Mark wants to focus our attention fixedly on the person of Jesus.

When someone makes a show of violence to defend Jesus and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s slave, Mark does not directly name this individual as a disciple.  Already the disciples are facings from our view.  They are mentioned no further in Marks account of the passion.

The words of Jesus, which Mark records, draw our attention to the infidelity, malice, and violence which surround Jesus at this moment.  They do not threaten or accuse anyone, but make clear what is really happening, as God see things.  They point to the trust which Jesus feels towards God, despite the apparent victory of evil and injustice.  God foresees the evils that come to His faithful servants as part of the achievement of His divine plan for the world, as scripture makes clear (14:49)

What is the meaning of the young man, whom Mark’s gospel alone mentions?  Historically, it is not at all clear who this person many have been.  Its symbolic meaning may be more important.

It could be a symbol of Jesus Himself as the one who escaped from the shroud of death (15:46) to appear in the shining robe of resurrection (16:5).  We may have here an early symbol of Christ faith in Jesus as the one saved by God out of death into the glory of the resurrection.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS.
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In our journal and/or our discussion group we may wish to reflect on this passage as follows:

  • Name the key points that you have learnt about the person of Jesus in this passage of scripture?
  • Imagine that you are the disciples- What do you see and hear and feel. What can I learn from this?

  •   Imagine being the one of the men  arresting Jesus. What questions do I want to bring to Jesus?
  •  What is reading the Gospel passage with the eyes and ears of disciple mean to me?
  • How does Jesus make clear His teaching to me in this passage? 
  •  Consider a situation in your life today where the teaching of Jesus needs to be applied. 
  • Consider how much my faith means to me and what does my faithfulness/unfaithfulness to my church/parish mean to me and others?
  • What are the areas in my life I need to bring to Jesus in the light of this teaching?

  • Am I willing to look into myself with honesty and ask how much do I grasp what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus in the light of this teaching? 
















Sunday, August 18, 2019

Collect for 20th Sunday of Year.


COLLECT SERIES

THE MASS: COLLECT SERIES ICON.

 COLLECT

O God, who have prepared for those who love you
Good things which no eye can see,
Fill our hearts, we pray, with the warmth of Your love,
So that, loving you in all things and above all things,
We may attain Your promises,
Which surpass every human desire.
Though our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You in unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS


  1.      What are the good things you hope that God has prepared for you?
  2. .      How is my relationship with God currently? What areas need to change?
  3.      What does God’s love look and feel like to you?  
  4.     What areas in our lives can we emulate God’s love? 
  5.            How will I love God in all things and above all things this coming week?
              ( Name at least one way I can do this with the grace of God helping me).
  6.     What are the promises of God which surpass every human desire?

GOSPEL REFLECTION

Today's Gospel from Luke 12:49-43 is another one of those Gospel's that should make us sit up and take notice. Why because in a good proportion of his Gospel, he speaks of peace.  However, Jesus is telling his disciples (and us) that peace comes at a price/ a cost.  It has to be gained and it can be anything but peace.   

Standing up for what is right and holding out when the popular opinion cries something else is often very difficult for people to do. Sometimes they lack courage, they fear what will happen to them. They may be ostracised for their beliefs from those whom they love most and those whom they thought would support them. No, they stand alone it seems.

Even though a stand for the right takes courage, the good news is that Jesus is always with us.  Yes, we may be ostracised, fearful, lack courage and yet, if we know in our hearts that we need to stand up for the truth and/or for the right, we need to, for the sake of our souls, speak up. We cannot allow injustice to have free reign.

In most occasions, we do not have to speak out on the world stage- if that is our calling, then Jesus will give us the courage to fulfil our destiny. However, battles are lost or won in the day to day-in the family, at work, in the parish, even doing grocery shopping.  

Where ever we are, we need to stand up for what is right and be prepared to take the consequences in the full knowledge that we know we have Jesus on our side.  We can then know that we are not alone, that we will have the courage, the words and the disposition to speak up and out when it is necessary not only when it is convenient or will not cause us any harm. 

Be at peace in the battle of what is right 
because we have Jesus to support us.





Saturday, August 17, 2019

I live in You


REFLECTION AND PRAYER SERIES.

My reflection and prayer series is about sharing reflections and Prayers which have impacted upon me and have provided food for thought. I hope that they will also nurture your soul and spirit.

My Scripture reflection is 


''I will sing to the Lord all my life
I will sing p praise to My God as long as I live”’ 
(Psalm 104: 33)


Christ The Redeemer.


My post is called:

                                                        I live in You

In times of exaltation,
In simple quiet moments too,
I live in celebration, Lord,
Because I lie in You.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

No 109 In the Kingdom, what authority did Jesus bestow upon the Apostles


COMPENDIUM SERIES.

JESUS THE TEACHER: COMPENDIUM SERIES ICON.

 

No 109 In the Kingdom, what authority did Jesus bestow upon the Apostles?


WHAT DOES THE COMPENDIUM SAY?

Compendium states:
Jesus chose the twelve, the future witnesses to His Resurrection, and made them sharers in His mission and of His authority to teach, to absolve from sins, and to build up and govern the Church.   In the college, Peter received the “keys to the Kingdom’’(Mt 16:19) and assumed the first place with the mission to keep the faith in its integrity  and to strengthen His brothers.

What does this mean for me?

1.            I can thank God that Jesus chose twelve future witnesses to His Resurrection and that, through them, the Church is able to carry out the mission of Christ.
2.            I can be thankful for the gift of priesthood and support priests in whatever way I can. (check out Year of Priest series).


Questions to consider.

1.      How do I contribute to the mission of the Church and in my parish?
2.      How do I build up the Church – what contribution do I make?
3.      What are the keys to the Kingdom for me and when I do receive them?
4.      How do I keep faith in its integrity in order to strengthen other people?
5.        



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Liturgy of the Eucharist Preparation of the Gifts Part 6


ABOUT THE MASS SERIES VOL 2

 

THE MASS: ABOUT THE MASS SERIES.

PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS PART 6 

The mixing of the water and wine is an ancient practice in both eastern and western liturgies. Historically, because of the wine’s heavy texture, it became customary in secular and religious usage to dilute the wine. It has now become a symbol of the union of Christ with his people: just as the wine receives water, so Christ takes our sins and us to himself.  The eastern interpretation was that the wine and water represent the divine and human natures in Christ.

This rite was given a prayer whose text was taken from an ancient Christmas oration expressing both symbolic meanings cited above. We hear an abbreviated version of this prayer, which is as follows:
‘By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity’.

The mixing of the water and wine, recalls for us that what was initiated in the Incarnation is realized in the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood.  Through the Eucharist we share in the divine dignity of Christ who became incarnate for us. Keeping in mind this simple, yet significant rite in the Mass, recall also, scripture which recounts the soldiers piercing Christ with a lance: ‘One of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water’. (John 19:34)

At Mass, the wine becomes Christ’s blood for us. Christ shared our humanity in every way except sin.  The mixing of the water with the wine rite can easily pass our attention, or we can rejoice in the divine, which lives within each one of us.         


Monday, August 12, 2019

The Prayer in Gethsemane Ml 14 32-42


GOSPEL OF MARK SERIES.

The Bible: Gospel of Mark icon.


During 2019, each week, I will write a weekly post about the Gospel of Mark, as I review and explore each of the 16 chapters and how it may be applied in our daily lives. If you are following this series for the first time, you will find this series under Scripture- New Testament- Gospel of Mark. 

Click here to read the first post in the series. I have written this series in different years (2012, 2015, 2018) with some irregularity, but am determined to complete this series this year since I am more than half way through this Gospel.
My goal is to understand and pray the Gospel of Mark. I hope you will join me on this journey as we travel through the liturgical season.  In today's post we explore chapter 14:32 -42 which is called The Prayer in Gethsemane.

THE PRAYER IN GETHSEMANE.

 Jesus and His disciples arrive at Gethsemane, which means an oil press and suggests a farm planted with olive trees.  He takes with Him Peter, James and John, the three who were with Him on the mountain when He was names His Son by God (9:2)
Before He prays, Jesus is seized by fear. The words used by Mark express the strongest and deepest human feelings.  Jesus loses His usual calm and strength and becomes restless, troubled and confused.  He cries out to the three disciples accompanying Him that He is drowning in a sorrow like death.  He appears weak and seems to look to His disciples for human support.

Yet it is clear that it is Jesus in His weakness and confusion who is really the strong one and that the three disciples in their inability to watch are the ones in need of help.

‘’Abba’’ my own father papa, or some similar intimate name which sons and daughters use of a father within the family, is the word Jesus uses. He prayers he may be spared the cup of suffering and condemnation.

Jesus may have once hoped for success but now He sees His mission as doomed to human failure.  Yet the centre of His prayer remains His mission from God, what God wills, and His own weakness and fears.  His inner spirit is willing but His human flesh, like His disciples’, is weak.  The commitment of Jesus to His mission contrasts starkly with the weakness of His human fears.

The approach of Judas, the one who will hand Him over, is the visible sign that the hour of testing has come.  He summons His disciples face with Him this testing.

The prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane invites us to share the experience in Jesus Himself of faithful service in interior suffering and pain.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS.

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In our journal and/or our discussion group we may wish to reflect on this passage as follows:

  • Name the key points that you have learnt about the person of Jesus in this passage of scripture?
  • Imagine that you are the disciples- What do you see and hear and feel. What can I learn from this?
  •  Imagine being the one of the disciples listening to Jesus and watching His fear yet His commitment to His mission. What questions do I want to bring to Jesus?
  •  What is reading the Gospel passage with the eyes and ears of disciple mean to me?
  • How does Jesus make clear His teaching to me in this passage?
  •   Consider a situation in your life today where the teaching of Jesus needs to be applied. 
  • Consider how much my faith means to me and what does my faithfulness/unfaithfulness to my church/parish mean to me and others?
  • What are the areas in my life I need to bring to Jesus in the light of this teaching?

  • Am I willing to look into myself with honesty and ask how much do I grasp what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus in the light of this teaching?