july 7th 2019

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Contents:

  1. Parish Bulletin for Holy Family
  2. Newsletter for St Benedict's
  3. This Sunday's Readings
  4. Sunday Reflection

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St Benedict's Newsletter is not available

This Sunday's Readings

First Reading                      Isaiah 66:10-14

Rejoice, Jerusalem, be glad for her, all you who love her!
Rejoice, rejoice for her, all you who mourned her!
That you may be suckled, filled, from her consoling breast,
that you may savour with delight her glorious breasts.
For thus says the Lord: Now towards her I send flowing peace, like a river,
and like a stream in spate, the glory of the nations.
At her breast will her nurslings be carried and fondled in her lap.
Like a son comforted by his mother will I comfort you.
And by Jerusalem you will be comforted.
At the sight your heart will rejoice, and your bones flourish like the grass.
To his servants the Lord will reveal his hand.



Second Reading               Galatians 6:14-18

The only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God. I want no more trouble from anybody after this; the marks on my body are those of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.



Gospel Reading                Luke 10:1-12.17-20

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit.

He said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, "Peace to this house!" And if a man of peace lives there; your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, "The kingdom of God is very near to you." But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, "We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near." I tell you, that on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.'

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. 'Lord', they said, 'even the devils submit to us when we use your name.' He said to them, 'I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.'


Sunday Reflection 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

"The quality of vision is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven."

Please forgive the plagiarising of Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice' (Act IV, Scene I). True prescience, a gift of the Holy Spirit, enables the Baptised person, with a firm faith and a commitment to love God, to discern more of the limitless depth in God's revelation.

The Scripture extracts for this 14th Sunday come from Isaiah (66:10-14), Paul (Galatians 6:1418) and Luke (10: 1-12, 17-20) Each, in their individual and time-distanced roles of prophet, apostle, evangelist, shares with us aspects of the individual revelation each received so long ago; revelations which they perceived both as relevant to their time and having a bearing on the future. Isaiah was relaying God's message of hope for his chosen people whose repeated infidelity had brought them deportation and enslavement. Paul, from a distinguished Jewish background, reinforces the collegial decision that baptism is the point of entry into the Body of Christ, not circumcision. Luke recalls Jesus' instructions as to how missionaries were to conduct themselves.

What neither Isaiah, nor Paul nor Luke could have known was how future Christians, in each era over the centuries and living in completely distinct circumstances, would be able to find support and encouragement for their journey of faith by drawing upon these ancient writings. How true, then, the words of Paul in his letter to the Hebrews: "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (12:4)

God's Word pulses with his life but is that how it is perceived in our communities today? Is that how we receive the Word when we hear it read or when we, as the reader, proclaim the Word? The essence of loving God, for each Baptised person, is in bringing his Word alive both within themselves and for those with whom they share life's journey. In other words, we are to have the Word enthroned in our hearts so that, being continuously conscious of its living presence, we welcome the Word's guidance in daily life. To this end, Matthew (22:34-40), Mark (12: 28-31) and Luke each recall how a lawyer stood up to question Jesus:
"Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.[a] "Teacher," the lawyer said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" The lawyer answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself." And Jesus said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live." (Luke 10: 25-28)

To love God with all our mind and with all our strength is an act of the will requiring constant reapplication. It is not like a switch that we turn on and forget. The partners in the Sacrament of Matrimony need to give fresh expression, daily, to the love they have committed to one another, "till death do us part". Unless that love is continuously re-expressed it is as alive and as vibrant as the Creator intended. So, too, our love for God.
So, too, God's love for us. Were God not to love us, even for an instant, we would cease to exist. So, the taking of my next breath, the next beat of my heart, proves to me that God loves me. We can amplify this to embrace God's creative will for the world in which we live. All that exists is because God wills it. While this is not a new revelation it is an aspect of the Truth of which sight can be lost among all that is deceptively dazzling and supposedly new.
So, God's Word this Sunday is not only for each recipient but also for those whom each recipient will accompany in their daily life now as well as in the future. God's word is alive and active; its 'bbd' (best before date) is the end of the world. God's Word living within us may prompt a thought that is incorporated in an essay, a lecture, a composition, a painting or sculpture, an email, a telephone conversation or a decision that may become life-changing for that person or for another.
It therefore becomes of significant importance how we each needs to predispose ourselves to receive God's Word. For example, the dedicated concert or opera aficionado will have researched, beforehand, the history of the piece he or she is to hear and possibly have a copy of the score to hand during the performance. By contrast, it is all too true that we, as the Baptised and adopted of God, can assemble with casualness and a lack of preparation to receive his word which has within it The Word of Life. At the present time, Satan appears to have won the attention of the majority of peoples with his deafening noises that attempt to drown out the call of the Spirit of God. In some ways, it is reminiscent of the era when the Soviet Communists blocked transmission of the Free World's radio broadcasts to the nations imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain.

How each person, who is open to receiving the Word of God, pays attention to it and receives it this Sunday, either directly, or through the medium of a family member, friend or work colleague, can be life-changing. The realisation that, as the Baptised, we are each part of this network of The Word of Life, which is God's love, and must surely have an impact on the quality of our preparation to listen as well as the quality of attention we give in our actual listening.

Grandparents are more engaged with childminding these days. What a golden opportunity they have to read God's Word to those in their care. The grandparents' own love for what they are reading will reach the depths of those young minds and hearts as much as the words they speak. The embedded Word of God will come to life in God's good time, maybe when the grandparents have gone to God. Equally, with so many people living longer but often with diminished sight, hearing, speech and movement, there is an increased need to bring God's Word to them. What is crucial is the genuine holiness of the bearer of the Word.

How vital it is for the Baptised to be aware that, at Mass and on other occasions when the Word of God is celebrated, their presence will enable the Spirit to imbue them so that they, in their turn, will be willing bearers of the Good News for others.