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All are warmly invited to Mass with Bishop Terry Brady to celebrate Labour Day and to pray for workers and their families. Thursday, 8 October 2015 at 6.30pm – St Peter Julian’s (641 George Street Sydney).
Presented by Bishop David Walker at The Centre for Christian Spirituality, 14 Frances St Randwick. Dates: Wednesday’s 14,21,28 October & 4,11 November 2015, 7.00-8.30pm. Course Cost: $50 Limited Spaces- Bookings Essential. To register: http://trybooking.com/IVKR or Ph: 9398 2211.
Today’s gospel reminds me of an experience I had of visiting a rural community in the Philippines. I was expected at a home where people were gathered to celebrate the liturgy of the word. Since there was a traffic jam, I couldn’t reach the home on time. Those were pre-mobile phone days and the people were not sure whether I would be there or not. So they started the celebration of the liturgy of the word led by the catechist. After the reflection on the word of God, and the prayers of intercession, I arrived. I was approached immediately by the catechist to give another reflection. I said “no” because I knew that he had given one before I arrived. He then continued: “Father, please you give another reflection on this passage of the gospel. Indeed I have done it, but I am only a catechist. People prefer to hear from a priest, not just a catechist”. I then explained to the community that I was not going to give another reflection. Instead, I asked them about their understanding of the scripture passage. Many of them quoted the catechist’s words. I was surprised and said to myself: “The catechist’s reflection must have been deep and applicable. The reflection I was planning to give was a theological one and it would have been a bit harder for them to apply it to their own lives. Indeed, the Spirit had had a hand in what transpired that day.”
The arrogance of the disciples of Jesus is very clear in today’s gospel. They thought that they were the only ones who could perform miraculous deeds since they had been given special authority to. So they stopped other the person performing miracles because he was not one of them (Mark 9:38). Jesus expressed serious disagreement with his disciples. So he taught them how the Spirit works. Indeed the Spirit cannot be limited to a group like the disciples, a group physically (and hopefully, spiritually) close to Jesus (Mark 9:39-40). In fact we can assume that the reaction of the disciples is a clear sign of the work of the bad spirit. Why? Because they approached the man with jealousy and envy. And we know that envy and jealousy are not fruits of the good Spirit. On the other hand, an act based on love would have moved the disciples to rejoice in the good works of the other person.
Years ago, I was involved in inter-religious sharing and discussions. I used to use phrases like: “he is a Muslim BUT he is good”, or “he is a Jew BUT he is good”, or “he is an Indonesian BUT he is good”. On getting to know these people better, I changed my use of “BUT” to “THEREFORE”. For example: “he is a Muslim “THEREFORE” he is good. So let us be open to the work of the Spirit outside the confines of our own “Catholic/Christian” environment or “clerical mentality”. The Spirit doesn’t just work through a priest or Catholics but also through simple catechists in rural areas and even Muslim mums and dads who love their children and work hard to feed their families. We must always remind ourselves that the Spirit can never be confined.
For more than ten years Frank has led the music and singers at the 9.30am Mass after carefully selecting hymns which are appropriate to the Mass of the day. He has nurtured and encouraged numerous singers and young musicians and although OLR is not his home parish he has faithfully attended every Sunday and feast day. Today, Frank steps down from this role and the parishioners owe a great debt of gratitude to him for his dedication, perseverance and reliability. You will greatly missed Frank. Thanks and God bless you!
We are hoping to enrich all our liturgies by involving as many of our parishioners in various ministries. We are appealing for people to volunteer to be readers, narrators, special ministers of the Eucharist and the music ministry.
As you are aware after many years of faithful service leading the music in our parish Frank Reid is retiring from his role due to health concerns. We need someone to lead and guide the musicians and choir at the Sunday morning mass and are also looking for any musicians or singers who can help provide music at the other parish masses.
We will provide training and support for all those involved in the liturgies so please feel free to offer your services in whatever way you can – our parish community will be strengthened and enriched if we can all contribute some of our time and talents.
Please put your name on the sheet at the back of the church or speak to Fr Alo or members of the liturgy core group if you would like to be involved.