Category: Parish News
22nd SUNDAY. “Get behind me Satan”. 3rd September 2017
When Jesus told his disciples that he was going to Jerusalem and would suffer grievously there, and be put to death and then rise again, they must have been confused and distressed. Impetuous as ever, Peter remonstrated with Jesus, saying that this could not be true. Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. In turn Jesus then described the essential condition of being one of his followers, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me’ (Mt 16:24).
For the disciples, this teaching must have seemed incomprehensible. Even today, many people resist the idea of having to embrace suffering in order to live like Christ. Yet dealing with suffering is at the root of the Christian life. Recognising … Read More »
21st SUNDAY. “JESUS –THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD”. 27th August 2017.
The people who knew Jesus, including some of his disciples, believed him to be a great prophet, or one of the other prophets. But, when asked by Jesus to offer an opinion about his identity, Peter said: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Mt 16:16).
Jesus made clear that this was a particular grace from God which allowed Peter, from among all the apostles and disciples, to discern the true identity of Jesus. In this way, Peter announced his belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah who had come to deliver God’s people from the bondage of sin. Jesus was much more than a prophet, and Peter was divinely inspired to acknowledge this truth.
The public manifestation of Peter’s faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed … Read More »
20TH SUNDAY. “FIGHTING FOR HER CHILD” 20th August 2017
Gospel Reflections for the Year of Matthew.
She was a woman like many. She would fight for her child, so she took on Jesus, the best known religious figure around. Like someone taking on the minister for health or children over a medical card for a chronically ill child, and not letting them off the hook. Jesus was testing her. He saw faith, but he wanted ev¬eryone else to see it. So he told her she didn’t fit into the local re¬ligious sphere because she was foreigner, like an asylum seeker or a refugee. She knew she fitted into the heart of Jesus simply because she was the mother of a sick child and believed he could help.
Even if he would cure everyone, maybe he would come back to her at the end. … Read More »
19 TH SUNDAY. “JESUS WALKS ON THE WATER”. 13th August 2017
▼ A most strange gospel story – Jesus walks on the water. It’s the type of gospel that suits a decision time, challenging us into deep trust and not to be afraid. It’s about trusting in Jesus, when there is nothing else.
In time of death, the call is to trust in God’s promise, because he is the way and the truth. Old age can be the same, or times in life when we just don’t know what the future will hold. It sounds unusual, but what Jesus does in this situation is very human. He doesn’t lecture or say a prayer, he just holds hands. There are times when we just need to hold on to God in trust. On another occasion Peter would jump into the lake again – … Read More »
16TH SUNDAY. BATTLING WITH EVIL 23rd JULY 2017
TODAYS GOSPEL is from St. Matthew 13:24-43. Today’s parable is Christ’s answer to the question so frequently asked: “Why does God permit evil to triumph so often in this world, why are the wicked allowed to prosper?” The triumph of the wicked is short-lived, the reward of the Christian who suffers from their wickedness is everlasting. The very wickedness and injustices of evil-doers are one of the ways that God uses to perfect his elect. It is only on a battlefield that a true soldier can be proved. In the parable, the weed does not destroy the wheat. It only makes it more difficult for the wheat to grow to maturity. So it is with the Christian. No one can take his faith from him, but living up to it is made more … Read More »
15TH SUNDAY. SOWING THE SEEDS OF FAITH 16TH JULY 2017
▼ GOSPEL REFLECTION. Mt 13 -‘Jesus described four types of listeners, three of whom were not listeners. People who either failed to hear him at all, or those who heard him but had their hearts somewhere else. The hard-surface types were perhaps like the religious people who thought they had no need to listen to Jesus, because they already had the truth, and we’re not going to allow him to change their minds, especially if it meant changing their privileged status… Yet we do not have to be pessimistic about ourselves; we have all of the failings which are represented by the hard surface but we can have hope, because God who chooses to use us. He is the miracle worker who even with our hearts’ poor soil can bring forth … Read More »
13TH SUNDAY OF YEAR. COST OF DISCIPLESHIP. 2nd JULY 2017.
▲ Rocketing divorce rates and the now widespread practice of cohabitation in preference to marriage are two examples among numerous of the difficulty, especially in western societies, of people making lasting commitments to one another. Even many couples who claim to love each other are reluctant to make vows that bind them for life. This apparent inability to make definitive commitments has also affected the priesthood and religious life. Jesus was very clear about the commitment that he expects from his disciples: ‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me.”
Christians are called to put Christ first. Total commitment, nothing less, will do.
In the scale of relationships, then, Christ is unquestionably first. Not even … Read More »
12TH SUNDAY OF YEAR. “Faith dispels fear.”. 25TH JUNE 2017.
Jesus knew that this message, when preached and lived by his disciples, would not always be welcomed. The disciples would frequently be ridiculed and rejected, as he had been. Discipleship would indeed be costly because it would require humility and sacrifice. Jesus says the same to us. The apostles were not living in easier times than ours. Yet they willingly suffered for the faith, never making excuses to dilute it or compromise its principles. Neither should we, believing that God loves and supports us in every crisis.
As committed disciples, we are duty bound to proclaim the gospel fearlessly and confidently. This is our baptismal obligation. We are required to be prophetic people by speaking the truth at all times will frequently experience opposition and alienation because of our Christian beliefs and … Read More »
CORPUS CHRISTI. THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. 18th June 2017
The celebration of this Solemnity goes back to the thirteenth century. Pope Urban IV instituted it in 1264 for the entire Church. In this celebration we proclaim our belief in the Real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We also proclaim that same Jesus lives within each one of us who are baptized into His Body, the Church. In the Holy Eucharist we receive the Divine Host whom we carry in procession. Through our Baptism he has taken up residence within each one of us. We carry Him into the real world just as we carry the monstrance into its streets today. Let’s grasp the presence of Jesus within us
INTER-CHURCH MID WINTER MEAL. Simon Tipping writes “We look forward very much to having the St Patrick’s congregation with us … Read More »
ASCENSION SUNDAY. “MAY THEY ALL BE ONE”. 28TH MAY 2017
►Ascension Day is one of the earliest Christian festivals dating back to the year 68 CE. According to the New Testament in the Bible, Jesus Christ met several times with his disciples during the 40 days after his resurrection to instruct them on how to carry out his teachings. It is believed that on the 40th day he took them to the Mount of Olives where they watched as he ascended to heaven.
Here in New Zealand this year it marks to start of Church Unity Week – 28th to 4th June. It is an opportunity for further reflection on our local interchurch relationship and what efforts each one of us is making in growing together in faith in Christ and good works. Our forthcoming use of the Presbyterian Hall for winter … Read More »