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The next meeting of the Mission & Outreach Group will be held on Wednesday 4 November at 7pm in the Rosary Room. All welcome.
In 4M this term we are looking at the unit of Advent to Christmas: A Time for Journeying in Hope. This unit explores the concept of journey. We learn about the journeys of people of the Old Testament and God’s faithful relationship with them. The unit also examines the New Testament journeys of Mary and Joseph and the Wise Men. During Advent we focus on our preparation for the journey towards Christmas and the second coming of Christ in glory. We focus on ways we can respond to God-with-us on our journeys of faith and life.
The November Remembrance Book and Mass Offering envelopes are available in the church. Parishioners are asked to write the names of their deceased family and friends in the Remembrance Book and Mass Offerings can be dropped off at the parish office, left on the collection plate or given to Fr Alo. The November Mass Book will be available in the church for the month of November.
The story of blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timeus, in today’s gospel echoes the cries of people throughout human history who’ve yearned for basic human needs. Like those in Jesus’ time, sometimes we feel bothered/annoyed with people who be moan their problems publically and would like to rebuke them to be silent. In some countries, people are forced to keep silent as their acts can be seen as causing trouble or disturbing the order of society therefore deemed illegal. In most countries, it is the poor and the little ones who have the least/weakest voice. In Australia, we are lucky to live in the society where every person has rights under to the law. I am even impressed with parishioners who write to politicians about issues that they believe need addressing and immediately receive a response from them. This does not happen in most developing countries. In these countries, even religious or priests also have no right to voice (in churches) what they think and feel about justice issues affecting people. In these places blind obedience is imposed. Those who are courageous enough to voice their aspirations verbally or in writing are either ignored or taken to task by those in authority.
In today’s gospel, Bartimaeus was determined to get Jesus’ attention. He was persistent in the face of opposition. Jesus could have ignored him and kept his focus on addressing those gathered around him. But Jesus never let the opportunity to help someone in desperate need, take second place. He asks Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” and he immediately replies: “Master, let me receive my sight” (Mark 10:51). Jesus swiftly moves into action and restores Bartimaeus’ sight. Bartimaeus not only received physical sight but also spiritually insight (experiencing God action/healing). He was indeed a happy man.
In some ways, like Bartimaeus we are all blind. Therefore we need to ask our Lord to have our sight restored so that we may clearly see the needs of others, but also the marvelous works of God, present in our midst every single day. We can ask that we may also learn from Jesus how to help restore the dignity of others especially those marginalised, by fostering/creating opportunities for them to grow.
This Sunday we have our third group of children from OLR Primary School receiving their First Holy Communion. We pray that they may become like Jesus who was attentive to the needs of others, and for us, that we may create ways that will help our children see Jesus and his works in their own life.
The PPC at its meeting on 7th October discussed issues raised by various groups that serve our Parish.
1. The Liturgy Core Group is organising a Parish celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life at weekend Masses in the near future. We hope to hear then from members of the religious communities we are blessed to have in our Parish.
2. The Building Committee has been reviewing a range of options to address the relatively poor condition of the Parish House and fill the other needs of the Parish community. As these options take further shape, the Parish will be kept informed.
3. In 2016 our Parish is 110 years old and our Church 90. There will be Parish events to celebrate but nothing is clear as yet. All ideas are welcome.
4. The PPC was pleased to note the recently completed Rosary Room is in high demand.