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I did a funeral last week for a person who was the co-founder of “Reiki Training” in Australia and New Zealand. He used to travel to give classes around Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and New Zealand. Lots of his students attended the funeral. There was a beautiful choir from a charismatic prayer group which his wife is also a part of. When I came home from the funeral I received a text message from a person expressing her unsatisfactory concern about the content of some parts of the “eulogy” done by the deceased’s students. She said: “It is inappropriate to advertise Reiki during a funeral”. Reading the text message, I tried to recall those eulogies at that funeral. I did not recall any form of advertisement of Reiki. The main point of their sharing was about the deceased’s tenderness and love as the focus of the Reiki. He has touched hundreds of hearts with his tenderness and attentive heart.
Reading this weekend’s gospel, I am confronted with the fact that we might not see any good result or progress of the mustard seed in terms of decreasing number of Catholics in Australia as well as the number of Catholics practicing their faith (weekend mass attendance). However, I am gladdened at the same time with the way of life of people that touch lots of hearts like the deceased person I mentioned above. A young married lady who was not allowed to work by her wealthy husband experienced great loneliness. Every day she takes her dog to comfort dying cancer patients at St Vincent Hospital. She can escape from loneliness by comforting the dying. She has touched the hearts of many of the dying. I am glad to see that the mustard seeds have given fruits to the world by loving people around us, because the kingdom of God is not just measured by the number of people going to Mass, but also how people experience love and share love with others.
I may quote from Sunday Missal book concerning our theme today:
“The church is nourished in its growth by the Eucharist and the word of God (Mass). The church is like a growing tree, already bearing fruit and giving comfort (touching hearts of our world)”.
There will be another Mass following the one you attend. Can you take time to:
• place hymn books in the holders at the end of each pew (two books at either end)
• take the parish bulletin with you, or return it to the foyer of the church
• place the laminated mass sheets in the containers at either entrance to the church
• check that you have taken all your possessions with you.
Your co-operation is appreciated and will ensure our Church is tidy and ready for other masses, funerals etc
We would like to invite you to join us at the Sydney premier of Border Politics on Sunday 1 July, 4.30-6.30pm.
Directed by Rymer Childs, the film follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside as he traverses the globe examining the harsh treatment of refugees metered out by most Western democracies.
Please join the House of Welcome and RACS at this special event, where there will be Q & A with Julian Burnside and MC Tom Ballard.
Your ticket will include a donation to assist in providing legal advice, case work, employment support, emergency food parcels and financial assistance to people in Sydney who are seeking asylum and have no access to government support.
We will be at the Ritz Cinema Bar from 4pm and would love to meet you! Look out for the RACS & HOW T-shirts. See you there!
Lyn Harrison & The team at House of Welcome.
You are invited for a 14-day Holy Land Pilgrimage (Jordan & Israel) lead by Catholic Priests featuring Petra, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea, Jericho, Masada, Mt Carmel, Mt Tabor, Mt Nebo & Jerusalem all inclusive price of $5190. This fare includes The above price includes Return Economy Airfare ex-Australia + Twin/Triple Sharing Room in 3 or 4 Star Hotels + All Meals+ Local Transfers in AC Coaches + Catholic Priest + Professional English Speaking Guides. For enquiries & bookings call 0406 760 680 or 1300 721 561 or email email@example.com.
Quote this bulletin piece and get further $200 discount for August group.
Fr Peter Carroll, Chaplain at Long Bay Correctional Centre, is looking for volunteers to deliver meals to the inmates at the Downing Centre Sydney. Training and support will be provided for volunteers. If you would like to learn more about this ministry please come to our information session after the 11.30 Mass, 8th July at St. Mary’s Church 21 Swanson Street Erskineville.
Join the Sydney Catholic Youth Team to raise funds for CatholicCare Sydney’s HOPE program in this year’s City2Surf. We’re aiming to raise $75,000 to help vulnerable young mothers and their babies. Challenge yourself and run for HOPE! Register online at https://fundraise.catholiccare.org/city2surf and join the Sydney Catholic Youth Team today! For further information please contact Ashleigh Green on 0419 954 839 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week on the Journey Fr Steve Varney reflects on the Gospel of Luke. Sr Hilda shares her Wisdom from the Abby about “The Sun is rising”, Pete Gilmore reminds us to “Be Still” in his Living the Gospel God spot and Bruce Downes, The Catholic Guy, talks to us about “Overcoming Busyness”. We have some great music this week, creating a show about faith, hope, love and life. Go to www.jcr.org.au or www.itunes.jcr.org.au where you can listen anytime and subscribe to weekly shows by email.
The readings this weekend might help us reflect on the theme of family (our own families and our community as family).
The first creation family broke down in the first reading from the book of Genesis due to their desire to become more than what they were created. They were disobedient to God, meaning not listening to God’s will. Jesus came and proclaimed a new family which focuses on God’s will: “Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.”
We would be in a much brighter situation if only we let God be God, and let ourselves be who we really are. We would be living in a much easier and happier life if only we let God be the centre, the ultimate judge, and we the creatures of God, subjected to God’s boundless embrace of love. We, as judges, haven’t played the role very well. That’s why we experience and see endless wars, divisions, conflicts and violence.
Similarly, in family, if we put our egos in the centre, there would be fighting, separations, tensions, and possibly, violence. Ronald Rolheiser OMI says in one of his recent articles on marriage that one of the signs for a good marriage is spouses being like the body of Christ, being food for others. This can apply in family as well. A sign of a good family is everyone being able to give themselves up for others to be nurtured and nourished. This is the sign that we are listening, not to our egos, but to God’s will revealed through the person of Jesus.
In order to live a self-giving attitude in family life (and in any other life), I think one needs to contemplate on the image of the crucified Christ on Calvary, which we were reminded of on Friday, the feast day of the Sacred Heart:
“When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.”
Are we willing to let our hearts be pierced like that so that whatever inside can be revealed? Are we able to let our egos be broken down so manifesting our real selves? Are we letting God’s power to grace us to do that?
Let us pray for one another so that we may be able to live it day by day, in our families and parish family.
Br Khoi msc