Sunday, August 9, 2020

Collect for 19th Sunday of Year.

 

COLLECT SERIES

 

The Mass- Collect series icon.

COLLECT

 

The Collect for the 19th Sunday of Year reads as follows:

 

Almighty ever-living God,

Whom, taught by the Holy Spirit, we dare to call Our Father,

Bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts

the spirit of adoption as Your sons and daughters,

That we may merit into the inheritance which You have promised.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God for ever and ever.

 

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

In making this prayer tangible for during the week the following reflection questions emerged:

1.    What is my relationship with God Our Father? 

2.    What is my relationship with Holy Spirit?

3.    How do I acknowledge in my daily life that I am a son/daughter of God? 

4.    How am I preparing to receive my inheritance in Heaven? 

5.    If my focus has been on myself rather than God,  what decision will I make and what steps will I put into place to change that focus this coming week? 

6.    Examine my spiritual life- take a stock take in my prayer life, my attitude towards God i.e. Is God no 1 in my life, my top priority or is He not even on my list in my life, my reception of the Sacraments, knowledge of my faith and my commitment to share my faith with others.  What do you discover and what needs to change? Develop an action plan.


GOSPEL REFLECTION

Today’s Gospel takes place on the sea of Galilee.  It is important to take into consideration that the disciples were fishermen so were well acquainted with the water. The other point to remember about the sea of Galilee is that it can be calm but it can become stormy quickly.  However, Jesus did not send the disciples out on a stormy sea. It was calm at the beginning of the story.

The first part of the Gospel shows us that Jesus, as a human being felt the need to pray, to be alone and be with His Father to pray.  When we hear this part of the Gospel, what is our reaction?  Do we sit up and take notice, even though we are standing?  Does Jesus ask us what is our relationship with Him, with Our Father and how we communicate with Him in prayer?  Is prayer a daily occurrence in our lives or something we do only when we are afraid or in need?  It also shows us the importance of being alone with God.  Community prayer through the Sacraments is necessary and important but we need to develop our own relationship with God through prayer, through being faithful to a time, a place to be alone with Him. 

 

The second part of the story highlights our need to trust.  Peter believed in Jesus and when he trusted Jesus and looked straight at Him, whilst he walked on water, he did not sink. When he looked down and took his focus from Jesus, he lost faith, lost his trust and panicked.  So what happens when we trust Jesus and keep our focus on Him? Do we do more through His grace than we expect is possible?  What happens when the focus is removed from Jesus and we focus on ourselves?  What happens when we no longer trust Jesus and try to live our lvies in our own strength?

 

In this time of pandemic, we may wish to reflect on our world.  Many people have turned their back on Jesus or worse still, thumbed their noses at Him, living lives with every known sin possible. As Catholics, we may not have thumbed our noses at Jesus blatantly, but we may have become lukewarm, tepid or taken Jesus for granted.

 

Now is the time to review our lives and put Jesus as no 1.  If He is not no 1, turn to Him through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Do not worry how many years it might have been, even if it is since the ice age since you last received the Sacrament.  Make an appointment to talk to a good holy priest and he will help you turn back to Jesus.

Take a stocktake of our spiritual lives.  Consider our prayer lives.  Turn to Mary our spiritual mother and ask her intercession.  If you have not prayed the rosary in years, find a pair of rosary Beads and make a start.  If you find 5 decades too much at first, start with reciting one decade well prayed.  Then be faithful to that one decade and ask Mary to help you in your spiritual life.

 

On a personal note, I have to say that as a regular cradle catholic, most people would think my spiritual life was fine.  However, it was not.  When I took a stock take during the first lock down, I realised where the gaps were  my spiritual life. I realised that Jesus had slipped from first priority and I was no longer on fire for the Lord.

I know many people have suffered considerably through this pandemic in many ways. I have as well, but I have to say it has been a time of true blessing for me spiritually.  I took the stocktake and decided to take action. Attending Mass online has been a true blessing for me because although I have not been able to receive Jesus sacramentally, I have been able to receive Him spiritually and this time of pandemic and not being able to receive Jesus has given me a fresh hunger for Jesus. It has also brought me closer to understanding and appreciating the Mass more.  My attitude is one of attending Mass online not watching Mass online.  Attending Mass means truly active and present whereas watching can become a passive activity and not really a praying moment. There have also been many other wonderful changes too.  I could share with you all these changes.


However, if we consider today’s Gospel, it invites us to trust Jesus, to let us know that we can do impossible things if we keep our focus on Him and when we fail and take our eyes from Him, we can call out to Him who is always there to take our hand and help us up.

Who will I choose this coming week as my no 1 priority?

Will I turn to Jesus and ask Him to come into all areas of my life?

Will I trust Jesus this coming week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

God's Grace

 

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 

 


''God is able to make all grace abound to you”’   
2 Corinthians 9:5)

 


Christ The Redeemer.

 

 

My post is called:

 

God’s Grace.

 

Nothing of the word can ease

My emptiness or give me  peace.

Only You, Lord, can replace

Life’s barrenness with warmth and grace.

 

Friday, August 7, 2020

11th Promise: Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.

 PROMISES OF THE SACRED HEART

Sacred Heart of Jesus


 

In this series called Promises of the Sacred Heart, which I began in January 2019, there will be posts on the Promises of the Sacred Heart on each First Friday. However,  I was unable to complete the series last year in November and December since I was in hospital.  

I wish to complete the series over the next 2 first Fridays as I am up to 11th Promise on this first Friday in August. You may wish to check out previous posts in the series under the Category Promises of the Sacred Heart.

 

When I commenced the series I suggested:

 There are 12 months to the year and 12 promises.  Why not join me in praying for each promise to made manifest in our lives during 2019. Apart from our own personal needs, there are many needs- The Church itself, our own parishes, families, friends, people in the world we do not know but need our prayer and so on.  We could take a different need/ group each day in the month as we consider the promise.  You may be able to do this in your family or parish too.  If you do not wish to focus on the promise every day, then why not choose to focus on it on Fridays of the Year.  Whatever you decide, choose something that works for you.

  

As I recommence this series on this first Friday in August 2020, let us consider the 11th Promise:

 

 

DEVOTION OF THE SACRED HEART.

 


THE PROMISES OF OUR LORD.

"I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment." 

 

 

11th Promise: Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.

 

When we consider this 11th Promise, Jesus is calling us to action.  Obviously, we must love Jesus first with our heart and soul and mind and strength (to the best of our ability). However, our Catholic faith is not only private experience between God and myself. It is also community based since humanity is a social being.

 

Consider for a moment something natural that you love in your life.  It might be your spouse, your boyfriend/girlfriend or some special activity such as a hobby you like to talk about with others. You share your experience of ‘love’ with others. Perhaps your spouse gave you an unexpected gift which helped you to appreciate Him/her even more.  In some cases, you might even fall in love all over again. Perhaps you have taken up a new hobby and you are so excited about it that you just have to share this news with your friends, family, parishioners, work colleagues and so forth.

 

How passionate are we when it comes to making God known, to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ with family, friends, parishioners, work colleagues and other people whom we meet. Many Catholics shy away from sharing their faith with others thinking that is a personal relationship or that they have nothing to offer or that people may think they have some mental illness or people might think they are holy. So many Catholics sadly stay quiet.

 

The challenge of the 11th promise to propagate this devotion comes with the guarantee from Jesus of the reward He will provide. If we truly love Jesus, then surely, we will want to share Jesus with other people and help other people know the love He has for them. It is out of love that Jesus has for us that we want to share the Good News.  It should not be out of our love for Jesus foremost in our minds.

How much does Jesus love you? 

Enough to:
1. Come down from Heaven and become one of us.

2. Lve on this earth 33 years, experiencing all the difficulties and trials and joys too we do in our daily lives but is without sin, For example did you ever think of Jesus learning carpentry from Joseph, His foster father?

3. Leave us with the Eucharist- His very body and blood so that we can receive Him every day at Mass.

4. Suffered the worst possible death available at the time by crucifixion

5. Rose from the dead so that the gates of Heaven could be reopened and then if that was not enough,

6. He ascended into Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to be our constant guide and friend so that we are never alone.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

1.    Bring the family together for a meeting in how each individual and as a family may put this into practical application for this month. Obviously, the discussion needs to be age appropriate Consider what family members might say/feel so that you, as the driver for the discussion can ensure the emotional and spiritual safety of the family when having this discussion.

2.    Ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways that you can fulfil this promise during this month.

3.    Remember to get each member to be specific so that the process of practical application is viable and able to be managed.

4.    Think about how you might apply this promise not only In your own life and family but in your parish and extended world.

5.    If you live alone, then you can reflect on it yourself first and decide on how you may carry out/live the promise during the month. Discuss it too with Jesus. He wants to know how you feel about this promise.  There may be opportunities during the month to discuss it with other people in your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, August 3, 2020

The Hound of Heaven- St Dominic

ST DOMINIC



Many of us have our favourite saint.  My favourite saint is St Dominic, who has a very special place in my heart. His feast day is today- 3 August in Australia, whilst the universal church celebrates it on 8th August. You might wonder why his feast day is different from the universal church. Mary McKillop's feast day falls on the 8th August in Australia.

This year is very different from other years of course with the coronavirus.  I will attending Mass online at my parish church where there will be the priest, the reader and the camera operator.  As a parish we normally celebrate our patron saint on the weekend closest to St Dominic with Mass and BBQ. Of course, this has not occurred either, like so many other parishes unable to celebrate their patron saint as well.

Last year, I had the pleasure of celebrating the feast interstate- not just a short holiday but to celebrate the ordination to priesthood of one of the Dominican friars. I am in a Dominican parish so it is always my greatest delight to see the young friars reach ordination. It was extra special because the ordination was on the Feast of St Dominic- how beautiful is that.

Why do I love St Dominic?

St Dominic for me is ‘’my man in heaven’’- that trusted friend whom I can share the ups and downs of life- when I am elated with joy, when I am feeling average or even a little blue, when I need a park, don’t know what to do about something I can ‘’talk it over with him’’.  He is definitely my friend in heaven.

Obviously, He does not and would not want to replace my relationship with God. Obviously, that would be totally out of whack.  However my friendship with him started when I was 6 when I had given up praying to St Martin de Porres (another Dominican saint) who had the gift of bi location.  I thought in my childish way how wonderful it would be if I could be at home and at school at the same time and how efficient time wise that would be.  I spent my whole prep year praying to him. Alas  the gift of bi location was not given and still hasn’t. So I gave up praying to St Martin and I discovered St Dominic. What a find that has been. Because He has been and still is a friend for life.

I never tire reading and finding out more about Dominican saints and of course darling St Dominic.   I recently watched a programme on EWTN 'woman of Grace' which had a series on Dominican saints. The guest of this series was Kevin Vost   who wrote a book called Hounds of the Lord.

So the challenge I ask you is  

  • How are you being a hound for Heaven?

  • How are you barking for God  as His hound of heaven?  

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Collect for 18th Sunday Year A

COLLECT SERIES


 The Mass: Collect Series Icon.

COLLECT

 

The Collect for the 18th Sunday of Year reads as follows:

 

Draw near to Your servants, O Lord

And answer their prayers with unceasing kindness,

That, for those who glory in You as their Creator and guide,

You may restore what You have created,

And keep safe what You have restored.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God for ever and ever.

 

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

In making this prayer tangible for during the week the following reflection questions emerged:

  1.  What is my attitude towards God?   
  2.  Do I accept fully that I am created by God and not the Creator?  
  3.  Do I believer that God always answers my prayers  with unceasing kindness? 
  4.  Consider a prayer/desire/longing that I prayed for with great need and seemingly did not receive.  Can I look back and realise how God answered my prayer in another far better way and/or saved me from a lot of pain.  
  5.  Do I truly desire God my Creator to restore me? 
  6.  What are the areas in my life that I need God to restore? 
  7.  How does God keep safe what He has restored in me?

 

 GOSPEL REFLECTION

Today’s Gospel from St. Matthew 14:13-21 is the miracle of the five loaves and 2 fish when over 5000 people were fed and there were 12 baskets full left over.  It also shows Christ’s loving kindness and thoughtfulness since He saw the people's need - it was late for them to return to their homes and they had had nothing to eat all day - and He worked a miracle to provide for this need.  It was interesting to note the contrast between the loving kindness of Christ and the reaction of the disciples. They were wanting to send the people to the villages to buy for themselves or for them to go home. They did not see a way forward with the little that they had for such a number.  We might ask ourselves how might we respond with the little we have? Are we willing to share it with other people in need?

The Galileans were grateful to Him for providing so kindly and so thoughtfully for their needs. The miracle also helped to convince the people of Galilee - the news spread around quickly - that He was the expected Messiah, but especially it prepared the way for the announcement of the greatest miracle of all - the miracle of the Eucharist.

As St. John tells us Jesus referred to this miracle the next day in order to introduce His promise of the heavenly bread which He would give them and which was to be His own body and blood, under the form of bread and wine. The bread He miraculously multiplied that day to supply the bodily needs of the Galilean multitude was but a foreshadowing of that heavenly food which He was about to give as spiritual nourishment to the millions who would become His followers down through the centuries until the end of time.

We might ask ourselves How much more grateful should we not be for the miracle by means of which He has left us Himself to be our daily spiritual food? Do we receive Jesus fully present in the Eucharist at Mass without any real desire, without any preparation or without any thanksgiving? 

We can also pray for countries in the world where attending Mass is impossible or where governments have forced Catholics to listen to a gospel that they have written and taken out parts of the Gospel which do not fit with their ideology, where they have banned children/young people under 18 from attending and where they are persecuting priests and lay people who do not obey their regime and a whole lot worse.  Let us think of them when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. Pray for our Catholic brothers and sisters deprived of their faith and let us cherish our ability to freely attend Mas whilst we still have it.

Has the closing of the churches during covid 19 and attending Mass online increased our hunger for the Eucharist?  Has it made us reflect on how we have received Christ truly present in the Eucharist at Mass in the past and made us resolve to be truly thankful, long for Him and allow Christ to reflect Him in our world?

Though invisible to mortal eyes, He is as truly present on our altars as He was that day in Galilee, when He miraculously fed the multitude. He is present under the form of bread and wine — so that we can partake of Him as spiritual nourishment during our earthly life. Could love go any further? He Himself said: "A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends" (Jn. 15 :13). Yes, once a man has given his life, he has given his all; there is nothing more he can give. But Christ was more than man. He was God as well, and, therefore, He was able not only to lay down His human life for us, but was able and willing to remain with us after death under the Eucharistic species: to be our strength and nourishment until we join Him in the promised land of heaven.

When we compare our own unworthiness with this, almost incredible, love and thoughtfulness of Christ for us, we may wish to think and pray more fervently and with grate desire:

 "Lord, you know I am not worthy for you to enter under my roof  and to receive you, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed..

 

 

 

 


Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Price of My Salvation

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 trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation”’   
(Psalm 13:5)

 


Christ The Redeemer.

 

 

My post is called:

 

The Price of my Salvation

God doesn’t see me as small or unworthy-

To Him, I’m not hopeless or lost…

Jesus my Saviour behold me 

with grace that enfolds me-

To Him, I was worth Calvary’s cross.

 

 

 


Friday, July 31, 2020

No 120. How is Jesus’ offering expressed at the Last Supper?

COMPENDIUM SERIES


JESUS THE TEACHER:  Compendium Series Icon.

 

 

No 120.   How is Jesus’ offering expressed at the Last Supper? (CCC 610-611,621)

 

WHAT DOES THE COMPENDIUM SAY?

Compendium states:

‘At the Last Supper with His Apostles on the eve of His Passion, Jesus anticipated, that is, both symbolized His free self-offering and made it really present “This is My Body given for you ( Lk 22:19), This is My Blood poured out ( Mt 26:28). Thus He both instituted the Eucharist as ‘the memorial’ (1 Corinthians 11:25) of His sacrifice and instituted the Apostles as priests of the new covenant.’

 

What does this mean for me?

1.    In honour of Jesus’s free self-offering and making Himself truly present, I resolve to appreciate the gift of the Mass and receiving Jesus in Holy Communion more by making a better preparation for Mass and a sincere thanksgiving after Communion.

2.    Because Jesus instituted the Apostles as priests at the Last Supper, I can make every effort to appreciate my pastor/parish priest and to be thankful that through his ministry, Jesus is made truly present at Mass.

3.    I can make a commitment to pray for priests every day but especially my pastor/parish priest who acts in the persona of Christ at Mass and the sacraments.

 

Questions to consider.

  1. .     What has been/is my attitude to receiving Jesus in Holy Communion at Mass? How have I received Holy Communion in the past and currently?  Do I believe that Jesus is truly present when I receive Holy Communion?

  2. .       Do I ask for the graces of the Eucharist to be poured upon me?

  3. .      In the light of Coronavirus and our parish churches closed, how can I continue to stay close to Jesus and remain faithful? 

  4. .      In the light of the Coronavirus and parish churches are closed, how has it changed my attitude to receiving Christ through a spiritual communion?

  5. .      How do I experience God’s divine love every day?

  6. .      In what areas of my life do I need conversion of heart and need personal reconciliation with God?

  7. .      Are there people in my life that I need to be reconciled?  What actions am I able to make to enter into a process of reconciliation?