This weekend (26-28 June 2015) I am conducting a retreat for the Catholic Indonesian Families (CIF) in Brisbane. I came to Brisbane on Thursday 25 June and was picked up by a couple whom I did their wedding some years back in Indonesia. The man is an Australian and his wife is an Indonesian. We had a good chat on Thursday night before going to the retreat venue on Friday. One of the stories of the man was his experience of visiting an island in the north of the Sulawesi islands where his Indonesian sister-in-law resides. To get to the island they must travel by boat upon the open seas. On this occasion, the ocean was a little rough and he could hear some passengers screaming with the words that he couldn’t understand and yet he was guessing that they were mentioning God’s name. It was amazing that he still remembers that words in foreign language.
Last Sunday we heard the disciples screaming when they called Jesus for help in the middle of a storm. They thought that Jesus was asleep but in fact their hearts ‘were asleep’ for not acknowledging the Lord’s presence. The disciples of Jesus had been with Jesus for many years and yet their hearts were still numb in his presence. Today’s Gospel illustrates this by discussing the faith of Jairus, the synagogue official. There is something different in this man compared to the disciples of Jesus. He did not live with Jesus and was not one of Jesus’ followers. Furthermore, as a devoted Jew he would not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. However, at that time Jairus was searching in desperation for anything that would help save the life of his ill daughter. Despite refusing to believe in the messianic healing of Jesus, he decided to approach Jesus and plead for him to help cure his daughter. This occurred at great risk for Jairus as his friends mocked him. In normal circumstances, he might not undertake this kind of desperate action that was against his beliefs. However, in the middle of a ‘storm’ like this, his heart was awakening him to some other thing.
The man who picked me up in Brisbane told me another story of a priest who was once a chaplain for the Australian Army. Apparently he said mass in their parish church and shared his experience after coming back from Iraq. That story had synergies to the story of Jairus whereby many soldiers were faced with difficult situations in Iraq that were impacting their lives both mentally and physically. The priest had mentioned that soldiers who were extremely skilled at their job, courageous and strong were sometimes searching for some other thing in their time of crisis. The priest had mentioned that the familiar saying ‘there are no atheists in a fox-hole’ often became apparent when the soldiers were faced with a life-and-death situation. Essentially, like Jairus and the disciples travelling with Jesus in the storm, we are sometimes asleep in the presence of Jesus and only awaken upon the emergence of death.
Fr Alo is away this weekend giving a retreat in Brisbane and will be back on Monday.
In the last two months we started a youth band which consists of ten members. Last weekend we recorded the song “Amazing Grace” in a studio for Br James, in gratitude for helping us to establish the band and share our gifts with one another. Thank you to all the members of the youth band and thank you Br James! If you would like to join the youth band please contact Snez on 0434 620 346.
There will be no Holy Hour in July. We look forward to seeing you on August 6th.
Come along with your little ones to“TODDLER TALES” every Wednesday from 9.00 – 10.30am commencing 15th July in the KidsChurch Room (along the walkway, next to the top playground). Fun with storytelling, craft & music!
Virginia Black, Family Educator, OLR Primary School Further information please contact Virginia on 0402 315 700 or email@example.com.