Latest Entries »

Support our parish … and win cash prizes!  WIN – WIN!

Spring 2014 Minor Art Union.

St Elizabeth’s Fete is on today!.

Annerley Ekibin’s Parish Newsletter for this week can be found here: This week’s parish newsletter.

Just a reminder that all posts for Annerley Ekibin Parish will now be posted on the parish’s blog/website: http://annerleyekibinparish.com/

You can sign up for email updates over there, and never miss a thing!

First Saturday Mass & Devotions

2nd August, 2014

9am Our Lady’s, Everton Park

Confessions and Rosary from 8am

Celebrant : Fr Michael Grace

Contact: Mrs Lucy Robinson
Opus Angelorum Inc.
0431 875 741

Saturday 26th July 2014

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father P. Chandler

+++

Sunday 27th July 2014

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp (Solemn Mass [English])

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Find our Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

The time has come for the parish to have it’s own site!

The old archives will remain here, but all new parish newsletters this year will be found at: http://annerleyekibinparish.com/newsletters/2014-parish-newsletters/

Don’t forget to sign up for email updates at the parish site!

 

Year A - 16th Sunday (OT)Homily for Mass – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

(Saint John Fisher Church, Tarragindi: Saturday 6:00pm;  Sunday 9:00am)

1/20 July 2014

(Readings: Wis 12:13, 16-19; Ps 85; Rom 8:26-27; Mt 13:24-43)

As we gather in prayer [tonight] we can’t fail to recall the terrible tragedy and loss of life in the Malaysian airliner attack. We pray for the eternal repose of the souls of all who have lost their lives … and we pray for their families, loved ones and friends, and all who mourn following this dreadful event. We pray for resolutions to the conflicts in that part of the world – and indeed in any other places too – facing war and strife at this time. We think also of the continuing troubles in the Holy Land, and pray for peace there.

The first parable of Jesus that we hear in today’s Gospel has an important lesson: the wheat and the weeds grow up together. The darnel that Jesus speaks of was a weed that looked just like the wheat. I’m not a great gardener, but from the little bit of gardening I’ve done over the years, particularly when growing plants from seeds – I’ve always been amazed how certain weeds will appear that look just like what you’ve planted. You can’t tell at first, and you can’t pull them out straight away, because you’re not quite sure if it’s what you planted or if it’s a weed. You have to wait and see.

Jesus says that in this world we can expect that weeds will appear along with the plants that are meant to be growing. Alongside those who truly are trying to live the way God wants, there will be others who are blocking God’s grace. Wherever Christ makes advances, drawing souls to himself, the devil tries to thwart this goodness.

The Church herself is at once holy, and yet always in need of purification. The church never lacks problems and is wounded by the sins of her ministers and the failings of other members. Within our own hearts, even though we make progress in our human and Christian maturity, we can still suffer the weakness of sinful tendencies. —we know well that the wheat and the weeds grow up side by side.

In a sense, this situation is an example of God’s mercy. The book of wisdom in our first reading says that God is lenient to all, … governing us with great lenience … giving his sons and daughters the good hope that after sin He will grant repentance. The weeds aren’t ripped out straight away just in case they aren’t weeds at all. And while plants can’t change, people can. God grants the grace of repentance: someone might in fact be an enemy of Christ today, but after conversion and repentance, they can become one of his greatest followers. We think of Saint Paul.

There is a temptation to think that if we are following Christ, then everything in our lives should go smoothly. In fact, many people loose faith when troubles come, because they wonder how God could permit bad things to happen in the lives of good people. But to think that everything should go smoothly just because we believe in Jesus is to miss the point somewhat: and we need to hear Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel.

St Faustina, the Polish nun chosen by Jesus to promote devotion to the Divine Mercy described how her own prayer life was plagued by weeds among the wheat. She wrote in her diary: “In prayer I always find light and strength of spirit, although there are moments so trying and hurtful that it is sometimes difficult to imagine that these things can happen in a convent. Strangely, God sometimes allows them, but always in order to manifest or develop virtue in a soul. That is the reason for trials.”

It is part of life that we will experience things that are “trying and hurtful.” The wheat and the weeds co-exist. It’s good to be realistic about this.

So while it is trying and hurtful to see divisions in the church, we can realize that when we try to build unity and communion between people, the Evil One will try to damage that work. It can be very disheartening when we see priests and other leaders in the church fail, and cause great scandal by their actions. And yet, Jesus warns us that the wheat and weeds grow together. To have this realization doesn’t make the weeds any less weeds – but if we realize that the weeds will be there, we can be more realistic and courageous in facing up to challenges.

If we just think about ourselves: while we try to live good lives and do what God wants, we shouldn’t throw in the towel if we sin. We can’t just give up and say, “well clearly I’m not meant to do what’s right.” No, God permits the wheat and the weeds to co-exist for a time – so that it can be clear which are truly the wheat – and so that the wheat may triumph, and the darnel, the weeds, safely removed at the end and destroyed.

As St Faustina suggests, God allows these trying and hurtful things to show or develop virtue in a soul. When we see what appears to be weeds, when we see what appears to be wrong, we can choose all the more to live as God wants. And I think one very practical application of this is that if God is patient enough to allow the wheat and the weeds to co-exist, we need to show a certain leniency, mildness and mercy as well.

This means a certain patience to ourselves – not to be overwhelmed by disappointment when we sin and fail – but to open ourselves to God’s mercy and forgiveness, and to try again. And this patience needs to be extended to others too. If we grant to ourselves the possibility of repentance, we need to allow others this possibility too.

As we worship God today, and receive Jesus who brings us God’s mercy, may God turn and take pity on us, and may He help us to become more and more people of mercy and compassion, as He is.

 

This week’s parish newsletter:

2014 07 20 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

=======================================

Find previous Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

 

Saturday 19th July 2014

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler (Low Mass -Extraordinary Form [Latin])

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 20th July 2014

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler (Low Mass -Extraordinary Form [Latin])

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Find our Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

Year A - 15th Sunday (OT)Homily for Mass – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

(Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley: Sunday 7:30am, 9:00am & 5:00pm)

13 July 2014

(Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11; Ps 64; Rom 8:18-23; Mt 13:1-23)

A commentary I read some years ago on today’s Gospel always sticks in my head. The writer pictured the scene: Jesus gets into a boat because of the crowds. The people all stand on the beach, and Jesus talks to them. From Jesus’ vantage point, quite possibly he could see a farmer in the field, sowing seed. That sight becomes the springboard for what he says.

With our modern ears, when we hear of sowing seed, we probably imagine a machine doing the job with great accuracy. Modern farmers can probably even give you data on the number of seeds planted, and the success rate. But what Jesus saw was more likely a man carrying a bag of seed over his shoulder, walking along the field, throwing the seed out. We might say, almost wastefully, not seeming to care where it goes.

Such an image naturally gives rise to the parable that Jesus tells: with all the different things that happens to the seed when thrown out in such a way as that. Jesus says that this is how God sends out the word of His kingdom.

There is a lavishness, a generosity, to some minds a “wastefulness” in the way God sends out his word to the earth. Jesus says elsewhere that his Father causes the sun to rise on good and bad people alike; and the rains to fall on the just and unjust. We see in this God’s desire for all people to be saved. For all people to turn to him. And yet, as Jesus points out, the reality is that many are called, few are chosen.

God sends out his word to the earth liberally, generously, freely. Just imagine that seed been thrown out into the wind. And yet, where will it land? On what type of soil. And this is where our contribution comes in. God’s word is always full of power, always effective IF it has some opening to get into our hearts.

God is the greatest respecter of our freedom. Just look around! God doesn’t force. Pope Benedict said in a homily on this Gospel: “It is necessary that each person freely accept the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth, and love as well as truth never impose themselves: They knock on the door of the heart and mind and, where they enter, bring peace and joy. This is the way God reigns; this is his plan of salvation.” … Love as well as truth never impose themselves.

Jesus told us that he and the Father wish to make their home in us. We’re reminded that Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks. St Ambrose writes: “Open your heart, meet the sun of eternal light that enlightens every man. That true light indeed shines on all; but if anyone has closed his windows, he will rob himself of the eternal light. Christ too is shut out if you close the door of your mind. Although he is able to enter, he does not wish to rush in uninvited. He does not wish to force the reluctant.”

And so we have the parable of today’s Gospel. The state of the “soil” of our heart and soul play a part in whether God’s word is able to bear fruit in us, and to what extent.

I think a wonderful piece of Good News is that the sower of the seed of God’s Word doesn’t stop sowing. That seed is constantly being thrown out. Even if we might have blocked the seed of God’s word in the past, even if it might have been carried off because we didn’t understand it, God gives us time to cultivate the soil of our hearts. God’s word is continually being presented to us … the sacred liturgy opens up the treasures of the scriptures. God’s word comes to us in the teachings of the church, faithfully interpreting the Word of the scriptures and the living tradition of faith.

There’s no reason why God’s word can’t produce the fruit in us that God intends: thirty, sixty even a hundredfold. But God doesn’t force us – He respects our freedom. Jesus doesn’t rush into our hearts uninvited or force himself on the reluctant. We need to till the soil of our hearts. Sunday Mass, frequent reception of Holy Communion and the other sacraments especially the Sacrament of Penance. Our daily prayers. Our reading of scripture, our learning the treasures of our faith. Our daily practicing of Christian virtues – all of these things prepare our hearts and minds to receive the seed of God’s word, and prepare the conditions for that seed to take root, and to bear the fruit God intends. May our celebration of Mass tonight encourage us on this journey and help each of be the saints of the current day that God calls us to be.

 

 

This week’s parish newsletter:

2014 07 13, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

=======================================

Find previous Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

 

Saturday 12th July 2014

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father P. Chandler

+++

Sunday 13th July 2014

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp (Solemn Mass [English])

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Find our Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

Jesus come to meHomily for Mass – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

(Saint John Fisher Church, Tarragindi: Saturday 6:00pm;  Sunday 9:00am)

5/6 July 2014

(Readings: Zech 9:9-10; Ps 144; Rom 8:9, 11-13; Mt 11:25-30)

Today in Australia we celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, and today marks the beginning of NAIDOC week. 2008 will long be remembered as the year our Prime Minister made the national apology to the Indigenous people of our land, thereby acknowledging the harm that had been done by policies and practices of former times. Saying Sorry is an important step in the ongoing work of reconciliation among all peoples of our country. Today it is more than appropriate, then, to acknowledge our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, and especially the traditional custodians of this land on which we gather; we offer prayers today for all of us who call Australia home, that we might always work together in respect, seeking the good of all.

In our Gospel today Jesus promises something that I’m sure all of us would like: rest for our souls. I’m sure we know, in our lives, the opposite of what Jesus speaks about: restlessness. When we look back over our lives we can probably see those times when we were rest-less: when we hadn’t found where we were going, when there wasn’t a peacefulness in our hearts. When we haven’t found our place in life – or when through the choices we make we know we aren’t on the path we should be on – there can be an agitation in our hearts; we feel that things aren’t right; we know we need to do something about it.

Jesus issues an invitation: COME TO ME he says, and you will find inner peace … your soul will rest – it will be calm, not agitated, not restless. LEARN FROM ME, Jesus says, for I am gentle and humble.

I think this is an important part of the Gospel that we need to hear and be reminded of. Christianity is often characterized by action: Christians are known for their ACTIONS, what they do … we think of key Christian actions of LOVE, FORGIVENESS, SEEKING JUSTICE. To be Christian is to DO or not do things. Christianity is expressed in practical action.

But prior to any action, and after any action, to be a Christian is to be in a living, personal relationship with our Master, Jesus Christ. And so Jesus’ invitation through St Matthew is vitally important: COME TO ME! LEARN FROM ME! Especially if we are burdened, weighed down, restless, searching … we must come to HIM whose yoke is easy to bear, and whose burden is light.

In our second reading today St Paul encourages us to reflect on our lives. Paul knows that sometimes our interests are not in spiritual things at all. So many things can clamour for our attention – and so many things can come to rule our lives – things which don’t need to be obeyed at all. St Paul reminds us that the Spirit of God is living in each of us, and that Spirit wants to lead us to true life – to the things that really matter.

The invitation is always held out to us that we will become more aware of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. And amidst all the many things that call out for our attention in life, and that draw us to follow them, we’re invited to hear again, or perhaps for the first time, the VOICE of Jesus, speaking personally to each of us: COME TO ME, LEARN FROM ME.

When we hear that voice, and when we try to discover what Jesus wants us to DO in our lives, then we find a peacefulness – a restfulness in our inner selves – a peace that can only come from listening to the voice of the Lord, and learning from him.

The more we draw closer to Jesus, the more our lives will be transformed – the more the Spirit can give life to us. Imagine: if all hearts drew near to Jesus, then the prophecy of Zechariah in our first reading would come true: the weapons of war would be gone; and peace would come for all nations. What a wonderful thing to imagine: the empire of Christ, who is gentle and humble in heart, his empire stretching from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth!

We must start with ourselves. Today Jesus says to each of us: COME TO ME … LEARN FROM ME. The tools have been given to us … our personal prayer, our reading of scripture, the Mass and the Sacraments of the Church; and the support and encouragement we give to and receive from other followers of Jesus.

The heart of Jesus, filled with love, draws us to himself. Let us come to him, and let us find the peace, and the restfulness, that we can only FIND by going to him, by learning from him and following his ways.

 

Oratory logoIf you would like to keep up-to-date with news from the Brisbane Oratory in Formation, sign up to our email list here.

The Saint Thomas Catholic Community have been celebrating their patronal feast day over the last few days at Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley.  This community is part of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.  Most people are familiar with the more “common” Latin Catholic Church, but the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Roman Apostolic See.

It is certainly an eye-catching sight to drive along Ipswich Road right now!

Congratulations and blessings to the Saint Thomas Community on your feast day!

IMG_1944See the full Flickr set here.

=======================================

Find previous Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

Shirley is away later in the week, so we have an early newsletter this week:

2014 07 06 Newsletter, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

=======================================

Find previous Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

 

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler (Low Mass -Extraordinary Form [Latin])

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler (Low Mass -Extraordinary Form [Latin])

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 3:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father L. Yanga (Sudanese Community Mass)

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Find our Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

pier giorgioAll are invited as we anticipate the feast of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, patron of Frassati Australia and co-patron of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation, with Solemn Mass in the Ordinary Form, at Mary Immaculate Church, 616 Ipswich Road, Annerley, on Thursday 3rd July 2014 at 6:30pm.

Link: Spiritual Visit to Bl. Pier Giorgio’s tomb

frassati australia logoOratory logo

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father J. Gillen SM

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler (Extraordinary Form [Latin])

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father J. Gillen SM

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Find our Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

Shirley is away later in the week, so we have an early newsletter this week:

2014 06 29 Newsletter, Sts Peter and Paul

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

=======================================

Find previous Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

 

corpus christi 2014Homily for Mass – The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) (Year A)

(Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley: Sunday 7:30am, 9:00am, 5:00pm)

22 June 2014

(Readings: Deut 8:2-3, 14-16; Ps 147; 1 Cor 10:16-17; Jn 6:51-58)

I commend to your prayer the Litany of the Most Holy Eucharist, composed by Saint Peter Julian Eymard which you’ll find on the newsletter insert this weekend. Perhaps you might pray it as a thanksgiving following Mass today before you go home. It’s an opportune moment to also commend to you the practice of making a thanksgiving after holy communion. Many saints attest that the easiest time to pray is in those minutes after holy communion when Our Lord is sacramentally with us. And so we should make the most of that opportunity to linger in prayer, both when we get back to our seat after Communion, and also in those few minutes after the end of Mass. (At the 9am Mass: and I must add that it is beautifully startling to see almost the entire congregation at this Mass kneel down after the final hymn to make a thanksgiving!)

Also, on the reverse side of the Litany you’ll find some reminders of our Eucharistic disciplines, which we should all be aware of. But just to add a couple, if you are not kneeling to receive Communion, we remember that we make a bow of reverence to Our Lord as we approach Him just before receiving Communion from the minister. Also, if we are receiving Our Lord in the hand, it is the ancient custom of the Church that we make a throne for Our Lord, with one hand cupped under the other. It’s also good to remember that in the new Mass, the English Mass, the communicant has the choice to decide if they wish to receive Communion standing or kneeling, or on the tongue or in the hand. We also note that if you are at the old Mass, the Extraordinary Form, Communion must be received on the tongue, and Communion is also received whilst kneeling, unless you can’t kneel.

Today is the 750th anniversary of the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi – the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Today’s feast gives us an opportunity to reflect on the awesome mystery inaugurated on the first Holy Thursday, when Christ was at the supper table with his chosen band, and having taken bread and wine, gave to them not bread and wine, but his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, and commanded them to renew what he himself had done until the end of time, in memory of his parting hour.

For two thousand years, in obedience to Christ, Christians have gathered to celebrate the eucharist in memory of him. Through his very words – words from heaven – the bread and wine become heavenly gifts … food for our earthly pilgrimage.

The first reading today recalls how God led his people for forty years in the wilderness, feeding them with manna from heaven. In our own wilderness, our sojourn here below, the Lord continues to feed us with bread from heaven … the very Body and Blood of His Son.

In the Psalm we note that the Lord feeds us with “finest wheat” and he also feeds us with his word which he has sent out to the earth, making known to us his laws and decrees. God’s word is nourishment to us. That is why the Liturgy of the Word is such an important part of the Sacrifice of the Mass. God nourishes us with his Word, and he feeds us with the Body and Blood of His Son, who was his Word made flesh for us. The Word and Eucharist are inseparable, for they are one. The Son of God made flesh was the Word of the Father, and so we receive this Word with our eyes and ears in the Scriptures, but also as food in Holy Communion. The Word precedes the Sacrament because Christ gave himself first in words and actions, and then later gave himself as Sacrament, under the form of bread and wine. One of Psalms naturally has us sing, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!”

The collect of today’s Mass prays that we will always experience in our lives the fruits of redemption. One of the fruits of being redeemed is that our participation in the offering of Christ of himself to the Father leads us to live a life of self-emptying love. The prayer over the offerings reminds us that one of the fruits of the eucharist is the gift of unity and peace. As we gather at the one altar, and pray over the one bread and one cup, we are led to be the one body of Christ, united in his love so that we truly become, one body, one spirit in him.

Participation in the Mass is such a blessing to us. It is of inestimable value for us. That is why the Church enjoins on us to participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Further, whilst not being obligatory, we have the possibility of participating in Mass and being nourished by this heavenly food on weekdays. You might consider trying to go to Mass on some weekday in the week ahead and in subsequent weeks. The best thing we can ever do on any day is to participate in Mass, and unless prevented, to receive Our Lord sacramentally in Holy Communion.

Saint Augustine challenged his hearers, when reflecting on their reception of Communion, he said, “Be what you receive.” So let’s ourselves reflect on what effect receiving Jesus in holy communion has on us. With Him coming sacramentally into us, how can we be what we receive?

O Sacrament most holy! O Sacrament divine!
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!

 

 

This Wonderful Sacrament: A great message for today’s Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

 

This week’s parish newsletter:

2014 06 22 Newsletter, Body and Blood of Christ, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

Find previous Parish Newsletters (and other parish news) here:  http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/category/annerley-ekibin-parish/

Follow the parish on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annerleyekibinparish

Follow the parish on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnerleyEkibin

 

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp (Solemn Mass, English)

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

trinity aHomily for Mass – The Most Holy Trinity (Year A)

(Saint John Fisher Church, Tarragindi: Saturday 6:00pm)

14 June 2014

(Readings: Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9; Dan 3:52-56; 2 Cor 13:11-13; Jn 3:16-18)

Of all the feast days of the Church year, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity is quite unique. Unlike Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, the Ascension and Pentecost, we are not celebrating an “event” in this feast of the Trinity. This feast day, also, was not known to the early Church. In fact it didn’t arise until the year 1323, by which time the Church had taken centuries to reflect on the nature of God.

It’s also no accident that the feast is celebrated today, the Sunday after Pentecost. The Easter season is the high-point of the Church year. From Easter day until Pentecost Sunday we reflect on the central mysteries of our faith … the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the acceptable sacrifice which brought peace and life to the world; his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Spirit, bringing to birth the community of the Church, a community charged with the task of continuing the mission of God in the world until the end of time.

Having celebrated all of that, on today’s feast we step back for a moment, and ask the question: who is the God who did all this? We needn’t be worried if we struggle to answer that question quickly and neatly, because it took the Church centuries to be able to articulate it. Only in sustained contemplation, prayer, and reflection are we able to put the pieces together. Today all of us are invited, just for a moment, to be theologians and contemplatives, as we reflect on: who is the God who has done all this for us?

Saint John tells us that this God is the God who loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. “On the Cross [of Jesus] we see the Holy Trinity for what it is” (1). There we see the Son’s sacrificial love; his complete obedience to His Father; offering his life to the very end for the salvation of the world, the purpose for which he was sent, out of the Father’s goodness and mercy. We see the Son’s offering received, and the Father raises His Son from death to life and glory.

But then, we see the power of Christ’s sacrifice being poured on the disciples of Jesus in the first Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit – that is, the love of the Father and the Son, is given to the Church coming to birth, a loving power which is ceaselessly made available to the Church, again, until the end of the world.

The God who is “behind all this” is self-communicating, self-giving divine Love. God is Love. God is perfect relationship.

When God made human beings, they shared this perfect love. Before the fall, our ancestors knew God, and enjoyed this love. In the Garden of Eden, the enjoyment of the love of God was unspoilt. However, the first people were deceived, and used their freedom as God had told them not to, and so the enjoyment of the love of God was spoilt. The coming of God among us in Jesus Christ had as its purpose to return us to paradise; to return us to that state so that we can fully enjoy the love of God.

The Church’s mission is to help this come about – to cooperate with God the Father’s work of reconciling the world to Himself in His Son, in the love of the Holy Spirit. Our lives, having been baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Christ, our lives are to mirror the life of the Most Holy Trinity. The life of the community of disciples, the Church, is meant to be an image of the life of communion of the divine persons of the Trinity. Saint Paul urges us towards the perfection that is found in God; he says, “help one another,” “Be united; live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

We are called in our lives to reflect the inner life of God, “a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness.”

As we take a moment on this feast of the Most Holy Trinity, to reflect on the God who is behind everything we profess and believe, let’s pray that we will be more and more caught up into the divine Love of the Blessed Trinity; that the Love which is God will be the ground of our lives, and that we will be filled with that Love and share that life and love more and more with others.

=== +++ ===

(1) Aidan Nichols, OP. Year of the Lord’s Favour, A Homiliary for the Roman Liturgy, Volume One: The Sanctoral Cycle, pp. 205-209.

 

 

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler (Low Mass)

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father J. Gillen

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Saturday 8:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father A. Sharp

Saturday 6:00pm Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father A. Sharp

Sunday 7:30am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

Sunday 9:00am Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler (Low Mass)

Sunday 9:00am Saint John Fisher, Tarragindi – Father J. Gillen

Sunday 5:00pm Mary Immaculate, Annerley – Father P. Chandler

This week’s parish newsletter:

2014 06 15 Newsletter, Trinity Sunday, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

School holiday movie event

School holiday movie event July 2 20142014 Holiday Movie Flyer 2

First Saturday Devotion Pamphletour lady of fatima image and text may 13 1917

corpus christi procession 2The 2014 Corpus Christi Procession in Brisbane will be held on Sunday 22nd June at Nudgee Junior, Kate Street, Indooroopilly, at 2.00pm, with Procession, Sermon and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

2014 06 08 Newsletter, Pentecost Sunday, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

pentecostHomily for Mass – Pentecost Sunday (Year A)

(Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley: Sunday 7:30am, 9:00am, & 11:00am)

8 June 2014

(Readings: Acts 2:1-11; Ps 103; 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13; Jn 20:19-23)

Today’s Solemnity of Pentecost brings the fifty days of the Easter season to its conclusion and pinnacle. Today’s feast, we say, is the feast of the birth of the Church. The whole mystery of Jesus coming among humankind, the second person of the Blessed Trinity – the Son of God – taking flesh … living among us; coming to his Passion, Death and Resurrection – through which we are saved – all of this reaches its pinnacle today, when the third person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love which had existed from all eternity between God the Father and God the Son, when that Spirit is sent on the community of Christ’s disciples.

This is what makes the Church different from any other human organization: not just different in its purpose, its activities and its organization, but it was on the Church that God Himself descended and remains: the eternal Spirit of Love. It’s the Holy Spirit, which we have received in Baptism and Confirmation, which is the living force of Christians. It’s the one Spirit of God that makes us the one Body of Christ, the Church. It’s the Holy Spirit which is the living force of the Christian community; the Spirit who has sustained the Church, generation after generation, keeping believers true to Jesus Christ; it’s the Spirit who guides the Church to deeper fidelity at each moment of her history. If the Spirit hadn’t been sent to give birth to the Church, then the followers of Jesus would just be a disparate group of individuals: enthusiasts in a club, bound together only by common ideals and interests.

But instead, we are told that we are the Temples of the Holy Spirit. God Himself, the third person of the Blessed Trinity, has been sent and dwells in our hearts. That living, eternal Spirit of Love in us is what allows us to be the community of the Church.

Something we sometimes say is: isn’t it good that God didn’t make us all the same! What a boring place the world would be if we were all identical! And so it is when we look at all the disciples of Jesus. Saint Paul explains that the Spirit of Love in us inspires different gifts in different people, but all these manifestations of the Spirit are for a good purpose – they all work for the good of the whole body.

When we look at the Saints of the Church, they are the ones who have allowed the Spirit dwelling in them to truly shine forth; they’ve been so open to the guidance of the Spirit that their lives become beautiful with the glory of God. We think of Saint John Paul II, the great evangelist of his times; Blessed Mother Teresa, overflowing with the Spirit who heals and comforts; Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, pioneer of the faith in our own land.

The story of the Saints is what we are called to. We have received the same Spirit as they did in Baptism and Confirmation, and just as the Spirit was given to them for a good purpose, so the Spirit is given to us for a good purpose. Sometimes when we think of the Saints we mistakenly think that for us to be like them we need to go and do something else, be someone else, in some other place. But that’s not right. It’s exactly where God has put each of us that we are called to be saints.

We are called to be so aware that the Spirit is living in us, that the Holy Spirit of Love is able to guide all our actions, so that we literally glow with the fire of God’s love as the Saints did. And we do that in our families, in our marriages, at school, in our workplaces – wherever you “are” right now in your life.

One of the beautiful things is that every Mass is like a new Pentecost … at every Mass we pray that the Holy Spirit will descend and change the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. And so the Spirit of God is present and active in the celebration of the Blessed Eucharist. And so when we participate in the Mass, and especially when we receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, the Spirit is at work in us: enlivening all the gifts that we received in Baptism and Confirmation; fanning into a strong flame that Spirit we have received. Why would we ever want to stay away from Mass when we realize what God is doing for us and in us!

And so as we offer Mass this morning, and receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, let’s be grateful for the gift of the Spirit which Jesus promised to his followers. May that living force who is God Himself give us life, and all His gifts; may He keep us one in unity, and may He keep us faithful to Jesus all the days of our lives.

 

 

Going on retreat

It’s come at just the right time … thanks be to God.

 

Tomorrow afternoon I will go on ‘spiritual retreat’ until Friday morning.  The retreat, organised by the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, will be led by Bishop emeritus of Armidale, Luc Matthys.

I will remember all those who have commended themselves, or been recommended, to my prayers.  In your charity, please pray for those on retreat this week.

I will not be taking my computer, and my phone will be off!  All things that can’t wait until Friday can be directed to the parish office on 3848 1107.

ascension2014Homily for Mass – Ascension of the Lord (Year A)

(Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley: Sunday 7:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm)

1 June 2014

(Readings: Acts 1:1-11; Ps 46; Eph 1:17-23; Mt 28:16-20)

When the Son of God, the eternal Word of the Father, took flesh and came among us as Jesus of Nazareth, one of the reasons for this was so that we would be able to know God the Father. Jesus said to Saint Phillip: to have seen me is to have seen the Father. And so Jesus was a living, breathing, talking, walking icon of what God the Father is like (1). His human presence with us was to help us to reach the Father, to come back to Him, and to stay with Him forever.

This presence with us didn’t end with his crucifixion. After his death, Jesus rose again and continued to be with his followers: teaching and instructing them; helping them to understand what God had done and still wanted to do.

And then we come to the mystery that the Church celebrates today: the Ascension of the Lord, when that physical presence of Jesus departs. No longer would his disciples see him with their eyes as they had, or hear his voice in the same way; no longer would they have that time with him to watch him interact with others, to heal and forgive, to preach the kingdom of God.

We could well ask: why didn’t Jesus just stay behind as he was? Just think: if he hadn’t ascended into heaven and was still in the world in the same way, he could have had Facebook and Twitter; he could upload the latest videos of himself to YouTube; we could even Skype him! And yet, God, who could foresee all these eventualities, had a different plan.

When the physical presence of Jesus ascends to heaven – as difficult as that is for us to comprehend – we are given a glimpse of our destiny. We, with our physical, human existence, are destined for life with God in heaven … and Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, that man with the same physical and human existence as us – has already gone there. That’s a message of hope – because where he has gone, we hope to follow. And while our mortal minds, trying to grapple with space and time, have difficulty comprehending this, it is a mystery, nonetheless, that gives us hope.

Another important aspect of this mystery of the Ascension is contained in Jesus words to his disciples before he goes. As he prepares to leave them he says, “And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” It seems like a contradiction: his farewell words before going are “I am with you always.” What this means is that his presence with them changes from that physical, visible presence, and passes over into the sacraments. It’s in the sacraments that Christ is with us until the end of time. He who once gave his body and blood at that Supper table on the night before he died for us, now continues – until the end of time – to give his body and blood to us at the Eucharistic supper table, the altar of sacrifice. The sacraments transcend time and space, and so when the young people come today to the altar to receive Holy Communion for the first time, its exactly the same as when Christ’s apostles received his Body and Blood from his hands at the table of the Last Supper. The eucharist, above all, is the sign we have that Jesus is with us until the end of time, as he said he would be.

Another thing the mystery of the Ascension shows us is the importance of the Church which Christ instituted, because at his ascension he gives a command to those disciples present: Go, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. We have in that sentence the whole reason the Church exists; and we have in it the mandate Christ gave to his Church: to make disciples, to baptize, to teach people to observe all the commands he gave us: and this is what the Church continues to do, 2000 years later … to teach the people of today to observe all that Christ taught us: not just bits of it, but all of it: the fullness of the truth.

This weekend, as the young people of our parish who were Confirmed last week make their first Communion, they are now – sacramentally – full members of the Church. They share fully – with us – that mandate that Christ gave to the first members of the Church … to make disciples of all the nations, to baptize, and to teach all the commands he gave us.

Now, whilst their sacramental initiation is complete, it’s quite obvious that their Christian formation is not yet complete (and in fact it never is, for any of us). And just as the parents of the children completing their initation this weekend aren’t going to remove their children from school on Monday morning, but rather see that they have another ten years of education, so too the children’s Christian formation must continue: by fidelity to the command to keep Sunday holy with participation in Mass; by daily prayer; by attentive listening to the Sacred Scriptures, both in the liturgy and in personal reflection; by celebration of the sacraments, especially frequent Confession; by learning the teachings of Christ as handed down through the ages by the Church; and by actively putting into practice the way of living that Jesus gave us, to avoid sin and to practice virtue.

This formation of the young people of our parish is the job – not just of their parents, who have the first and primary job of doing it – but of all of us. And we do that through our encouragement, and above all by our own example of faithfully trying to live the Christian faith as we know God wants us to.

And so, we gather on this day to celebrate the mysteries of our faith because those first disciples were faithful to the Lord’s command: they went to the ends of the earth, baptizing, making disciples, teaching others to observe everything that the Lord had taught … and then, in turn, Christians throughout the past 2000 years have also been faithful to Christ’s command, and so we have received this same inheritance of faith. May we, in our turn, be faithful to Christ. May we, in our day, observe all that the Lord has commanded and teach others to do the same, so that all people will come to know and love God, and to live in communion with Him.

+++ +++ +++

1. http://torch.op.org/preaching_sermon_item.php?sermon=5807

 

 

 

If you have not yet booked to attend the fundraising dinner for Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated on Saturday 7 June 2014, please note that there are still places available.

 

PCI FUNDRAISING DINNER

SATURDAY 7 JUNE 2014 – 6.30 PM

MARYMAC COMMUNITY CENTRE, 616 IPSWICH ROAD ANNERLEY

 

KEYNOTE GUEST SPEAKER:  EMERITUS ARCHBISHOP HICKEY

 

Cost:  $55; Concession: $35; Special family prices

 

To book for the dinner telephone: 1300 777 777 or email:  pci777@bigpond.com

 

FAMILY MASS  9:00am Saturday 7th June 2014.
Our Lady’s Catholic Church, Halle St, Everton Park.
Celebrant Fr Adrian Sharp. Reconciliation from 8am & after Mass for as long as needed. Includes First Saturday Marian devotions, morning tea & children’s activities.  ALL WELCOME.  Sponsored by Opus Angelorum Inc.  Contact Lucy 0431875741.

Oratory logoI thought I’d put a little update up about some of the happenings in the Brisbane Oratory in Formation (BOF).

Since the blessing of Casa San Girolamo (CSG), the residence of the members of the BOF, back on Ash Wednesday (at which the four priest members of the community were present), all five members of the community were able to gather at CSG at the end of April.  Brother Shawn Murphy, our seminarian, was home in Australia during the summer break in Toronto, where he is currently nearing the end of his first year of formation.  The gathering of the whole community was a blessed and happy time, since it is rare at this stage for us all to be together.  With the exception of Father Paul Chandler and myself who are living in community in Annerley Ekibin Parish in Brisbane, the community is still scattered geographically.  Our time together was also fruitful, and our meeting times enabled us to more clearly articulate the process we will follow as we discern with the men who indicate a desire to join our community.   We were able to catch up on other items of business and administrative issues.  Even at this preliminary stage there is plenty to be done.  Brother Shawn gave a presentation to the community based on his first year of formation which he has undertaken at the Toronto Oratory.  We hope to get that uploaded to the Oratory website shortly.

At our gathering in April we also received the Oratory lapel pins which Father Andrew Wise had arranged to be made.  They are a good conversation piece: I wear mine most of the time.

Much time was spent in recent months, especially by Father Paul and the organizing committee, in preparation for the inaugural Vallicella Dinner, which was held last Saturday evening.  The night was a wonderful success, bringing together supporters and friends of the Oratory for a very enjoyable social occasion.  A panel discussion during the evening helped explain the purpose and objectives of an Oratory, and this aspect of the night was appreciated by many.  One of the goals of the evening was to raise funds to pay for the formation of our seminarians, and we were very pleased that we seem to have raised in the vicinity of $30,000, which will pay for two seminarians for one year.  This was a wonderful achievement, and we are most grateful to our benefactors and friends for helping us achieve this.  The formation of priests for the Church is certainly a worthy cause which many are pleased to be able to assist.

Part of the fundraising on the evening was various auctions.  Auction items included three zuchetti (skull caps) which had been worn, respectively, by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, Cardinal Pell, and the newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, Bishop Robert Byrne, who at the time of his election to the episcopate was a priest of the Birmingham Oratory.  He is the first Oratorian Bishop in England in 140 years.  The zuchetti generated much interest, and also generous bidding!

Father Adrian Sharp, Father Andrew Wise, Brother Shawn Murphy, Father Paul Chandler (the identy of the fourth priest member is not yet able to be released)

Father Adrian Sharp, Father Andrew Wise, Brother Shawn Murphy, Father Paul Chandler, taken during the community’s time together in April (the identity of the fourth priest member is not yet able to be released). Brother Shawn is wearing the distinctive Oratorian habit.

With the dinner concluded, one of the next things the community will be deciding is who will be sent to begin their formation in Toronto in September, the beginning of the academic year in Canada.  We have about seven men in varying stages of discernment at the moment, and several are close to the point of submitting a formal application.  Please keep all our enquirers in your prayers;  and also the community as it makes its decisions about who to accept at this stage.

Archbishop Coleridge continues to work on the matter of the Oratory’s eventual home.  This is also a matter that needs much prayer, because the proper venue and arrangement for the Oratory house is crucial.

All the members of the community will be travelling to Rome in January for the five-yearly International Clergy Conference jointly organised by the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States.  We will, of course, be making visits to important Oratorian sites in Rome, not the least of which is the tomb of our Holy Founder and Father, Saint Philip Neri.  After our stay in Rome, we will be going to stay for some days at the London Oratory.  There we will be meeting up with Fr Michael Lang who was appointed by the Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri as our liaison person with the Confederation, to assist in the proper establishment of the Brisbane Oratory.

So there is much happening in our community.  Please pray that all our efforts to establish the first Oratory in Oceania will be surrounded with God’s blessing and protection.  Saint Philip Neri, and our other patron saints, pray for us!

http://brisbane-oratory.org/

https://www.facebook.com/brisbaneoratory

https://twitter.com/BrisbaneOratory

2014 06 01 Newsletter, The Ascension of the Lord, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

2014 05 25 Newsletter, Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

5eaHomily for Mass – Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

(Mary Immaculate Church: Sunday 7:30am, 9:00am & 5:00pm)

18 May 2014

(Readings: Acts 6:1-7; Ps 32; 1 Pet 2:4-9; Jn 14:1-12)

In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks of his “Father’s house” in heaven. There’s only one other place in Saint John’s Gospel when Jesus speaks of his “Father’s house” – and that’s in the episode when he cleanses the temple, turning over the tables of the money-changers and driving out those selling animals: “Get these out of here,” he says, “stop turning my Father’s house into a market place.” The Temple on earth was meant to be an image of the “Father’s house” in heaven. The Temple in Jerusalem was a “sign of the Lord’s presence among his people” just as in heaven “God is ever present to his people.” The “Jerusalem Temple was failing to live up to its role as a sign of heaven” and that’s why Jesus had “to cleanse it of its commerce and profiteering.”

The image of the “house” appears in our second reading today as well. Saint Peter tells his hearers to “set yourselves close to [the Lord] so that you too … may be living stones making a spiritual house.” The Jerusalem Temple was made of stone. But the temple of heaven is, of course, not made of stone, it is made up of the “living stones” of God’s people.

The Church – as the people of God – is therefore the image of the spiritual house of the Father in heaven. The Church, therefore, shares in the perfection of the Father’s house, but because it is made up of the living stones of God’s people, it also bears the weakness, frailty, and even sinfulness that still beset the “living stones” whilst they live on earth.

Being an image of another reality is central to the dialogue between Jesus and Philip in the Gospel. “To have seen me is to have seen the Father,” Jesus says to him. Jesus Christ – his words, his actions, his way of life – he is the embodiment of God’s desire to express Himself among people. Jesus is the perfect embodiment of the will of God.

This idea of one thing being an image of something else, which is so present in our Readings today, invites us to reflect on various things. First, for ourselves individually: Saint Peter says that we are to be living stones of a spiritual house just as Jesus is the living stone. And so it should always be in our minds: if we have put on Christ in baptism; if we have been baptized into the mystery of his life, then we should always be asking ourselves if our life is truly an image of Christ’s life? Would we be able to say –to paraphrase Jesus’ own words – to have seen me is to have seen Jesus?

But further than just the individual level, there is the level on which, together, we are the living stones making a spiritual house – which in turn is an image of the Father’s house in heaven. We can’t be the image of the house on our own – any more than a single brick is a good representation of the whole building. We are living stones together with all the other living stones, making a spiritual house. And so our life as the Christian community is significant.

Saint Peter tells us that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praise of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” In his homilies in recent days, Pope Francis returned to a familiar theme of his: you can’t be a Christian outside the Church. It’s only when the living stones are together that they make up the spiritual house – otherwise they’re just stones.

And so just as we ask ourselves individually: when others see me do they see Christ? We also need to reflect on our communal life: when others look at the Christian community of Annerley Ekibin, do they see “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who” calls us out of darkness into his wonderful light?

Individually, if our lives are marred by sin, then people won’t see Christ in us. The image will be blurred. There was no sin in Christ. Sin is unrecognizable in him, and it makes his image in us less recognizable. And it’s true of our communal life: if it’s marked by factions, gossiping, power-plays, back-biting, then we’re not going to be a very good image of the Father’s house of heaven.

This people that God has called us to belong to – to be living stones of – is a community that for two thousand years has constantly shared with people the presence of God; that has offered a life of brotherhood and fraternity to others; a community that has led people achieve communion with God, with the saints in Heaven, and with others in this temporal life; a community that has shared the saving love and mercy of God for all people; a community that has offered an explanation for the true meaning of all that happens in our lives; a community that has sought to reveal to every reality its true meaning and purpose in the plan of God.

In order for any of this to be true, we must keep our hearts fixed on Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. May this be our prayer as we worship and praise the God who has made us His people. May our participation in these sacred mysteries shape us and help us to be the those living stones making up the spiritual house of God.

=== +++ ===

1. Father Benjamin Earl, O.P. http://torch.op.org/preaching_sermon_item.php?sermon=5805&ref=lit

 

 

2014 05 18 Newsletter, Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

Screenshot 2014-05-15 15.52.34 (2)From May 23rd to May 27th Matthew Arnold of Pro Multis Media in the USA will be in Brisbane.

Matthew is well known for his audio, video and print materials for St. Joseph Communications, Lighthouse Catholic Media, Ignatius Press, and others, along with speaking, and hosting his weekly radio program Shield of Faith on the Radio Maria Network.


He is the guest speaker at the Brisbane Oratory’s Vallicella Dinner on Saturday, May 24th.

He will also speak on:

Monday, May 26th, 12:30-1:30pm, at the Francis Rush Centre, next to the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, Brisbane, on Our Lady of Good Success: Consolation for Our Times.  Entry by donation.   Facebook event page.

He will speak later the same day, from 7:30pm at the Marymac Community Hall, 616 Ipswich Road, Annerley, on Overcoming the New Age and his own conversion story.  Entry by donation.  There is some off-street parking accessible from Ipswich Road outbound.  Holy Mass will be offered in the adjacent Mary Immaculate Church in the Extraordinary Form at 7:00pm, prior to the talk.  Facebook event page.

Pro Multis Media

http://www.matthewarnold.org/

 

 

The Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in Australia, the US, the UK, and Ireland invite English-speaking clergy and seminarians to the second international clergy conference in Rome in January 2015.

SeminariansSeminarians 2

http://www.ccc2015.com/

 

The Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in Australia, the US, the UK, and Ireland invite English-speaking clergy and seminarians to the second international clergy conference in Rome in January 2015.

ClergyClergy 2

http://www.ccc2015.com/

 

4eaHomily for Mass – Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

(Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley: 7:30am, 9:00am & 5:00pm)

11 April 2014

(Readings: Acts 2:14, 36-41; Ps 22; 1 Pet 2:20-25; Jn 10:1-10)

Today brings together a collection of observances. Because of the readings at Mass it has become known as Good Shepherd Sunday. It is also the world day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. And I’m sure, even higher up the list in people’s minds is that its Mother’s Day. So, happy Mother’s Day to all the Mums here this morning!

On the day of Pentecost, when Peter preached to the people, his words ‘cut them to the heart’ and they were moved to repentance and to seek baptism, which they did in large numbers. In these days, having so recently contemplated the passion and death of Jesus, and then his glorious resurrection, we too can be cut to the heart when we think of what Christ has done for us.

If we contemplate the Son of God before He became man. Imagine him in the glory of heaven, surrounded by the praises of angels. Think of him: all powerful, all knowing, all present – with no need or limitations.

Then contemplate that this same Son of God chose to come among us in perfect obedience to the Father. Contemplate him emptying himself and taking on human flesh. As man he would experience hunger, weariness, fear, loneliness and temptation. He whom the angels had adored allowed himself to be insulted, threatened, hated, tortured and nailed to a cross. Can we imagine the love that moved him to do this?

This is the love that we think of when we consider him as the “shepherd and guardian of our souls.” His was a self emptying and sacrificial love – a love that completely eschewed thought of itself, and gave itself for the life of others, that they would have life in abundance, to the full. When we think of the vocation to motherhood, and the vocation to the priesthood, and the vocation to the consecrated life: are they not calls to exercise the same self-emptying, sacrificial love?

In Jesus’ time a sheepfold usually consisted of a circular wall of stones attached to the house or located out in an open field. Several small flocks were brought into the sheepfold at night to protect them from predators: whether thieves or wild animals. Sometimes the shepherd himself slept over the opening to the sheepfold: he was the gate. Anyone wanting to get at the sheep had to pass through him first.

“I am the gate of the sheepfold” said Jesus. Only through Jesus does one approach the sheep. Those who would lead the sheep, therefore, only do it through, with, and in Jesus … they must have the same heart of Jesus, the same love, that is self-emptying and self-sacrificing. Anyone who tries to approach the sheep in some other way – apart from the way of Jesus – is a thief and brigand, not intent on the full life of the sheep, and the sheep rightly run away, not recognizing the voice of the true shepherd.

For the sheep, Jesus is the gate to safety and to pasture: he is the gate leading to salvation. Through Jesus we come into the safety of the Church, a sheepfold which is meant to protect us, to nurture us. But we don’t just come in, we go out through the gate into the world. And it’s so important to remember that, just as we come into the sheepfold through Jesus, we go out through him. It’s only when we go out in the way of Jesus – when we live as he has shown, following the commandments – that we will truly find life in the world. As we contemplate the Risen Jesus as shepherd we are consoled by the fact that we are not left alone in the world. Our shepherd goes before us, he is with us. He wants us to build our relationship with him: to listen to his voice in the Word of God; to stay close to him in the sacraments he has given us; to celebrate the Eucharist he has given us, at least every Sunday.

The Good Shepherd calls each of us to follow him in a unique way – according to the gifts that he has given us. Today we pray for those who follow him in the path of motherhood … recognizing the unique and irreplaceable way that mothers are called, and are able, to share the love of God with their children. We pray as well today for those whom God calls to follow him as priests. The priesthood shouldn’t be seen in some functionary, bureaucratic, or utilitarian manner … the priesthood is the love of the heart of Christ made visible. Priests should be the living embodiment of the Good Shepherd in our midst. We need to pray that this will always be so.

The sheepfold that Jesus is ultimately the gate of is the sheepfold of heaven. He is the gate of heaven: through him we have found the path to eternal life with God. In this easter season, and as we live in the midst of the world, this is what gives us joy. Let’s rejoice, that he, the Good Shepherd, is with us until the end of time, seeking us out and leading us safely home to God the Father.

== +++ ===

(1) The Word Among Us: Daily Meditations for Easter 2014.
(2) 365 Days with the Lord, 2014.

 

 

2014 05 11 Newsletter, Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

Karol_The_Pope_The_Man_

3eaHomily for Mass – Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

(Saint John Fisher Church, Tarragindi: Sunday 9:00am;  Mary Immaculate Church: Sunday 5:00pm)

4 May 2014

(Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 15; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Lk 24:13-35)

In the beginning of today’s Gospel we see two disciples who haven’t yet grasped what had happened in the whole “Jesus” event. Their mood is perhaps best summed up when they tell the “stranger” walking with them, “Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free.” Our own hope had been. The clear sense of that statement is that that hope is past tense. They had hoped for that … but they hadn’t seen its fulfilment. In fact, all they see are bits and pieces of the story – but they don’t “get” it. They leave Jerusalem – the Holy City – and they set off, alone, for their obscure village. They walk, and discuss all these things, with their failed hopes, their disappointments, and confusion.

It is suggested that we can see in this pair of disciples an image of those who have walked away from the Church; those who have lapsed from the faith, who “have given up on the power of the Church to bring us Jesus” (1). Those two disciples on the road to Emmaus were “scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day” (1). In a similar way we know the fact of all those people “who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church – their Jerusalem – can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Perhaps the Church appeared [to them] too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas, perhaps the world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions; perhaps the Church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age” (1).

There are real risks for the Christian faith. If the faith is only superficially lived, then there is a danger that it only superficially embraces life, with the effect that the “experience of faith in the Crucified and Risen Jesus fails to illuminate the journey of life.” There is a danger that “today’s disciples of Jesus drift away from the Jerusalem of the Crucified and Risen One, no longer believing in the power and in the living presence of the Lord. The problem[s] of evil, sorrow and suffering, the problem of injustice and abuse … seem to attack what we are, [and] prompt Christians today to say sadly [like those disciples on the road to Emmaus], we [had] hoped that the Lord would deliver us from evil, from sorrow, from suffering, from fear, from injustice” (2), and it appears he hasn’t.

Those of us who remain in the Church are challenged by the Easter event to truly be witnesses of Christ’s death and resurrection. For those who have gone away sad and disillusioned, we must be convinced that Christ “is the only road that will lead to wholeness and salvation.” To reclaim souls for Christ we must “preach the truth in love” and live a sincere, authentic way of life (1).

Those two disciples on the way to Emmaus came alive because they allowed themselves to be taught by Jesus. This text can be an encouragement to us to listen to and to love the Word of God “so that it may warm our hearts and illumine our minds [and help] us to interpret the events of life and give them meaning” (2). After this, the story reminds us that “it is necessary to sit at table with the Lord, to share the banquet with him, so that his humble presence in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood may restore to us the gaze of faith, in order to see everything and everyone with God’s eyes, in the light of his love” (2). We are invited to “stay with Jesus who has stayed with us, assimilating his lifestyle, choosing with him the logic of communion with each other, of solidarity and of sharing” (2). We can begin to “stay with Jesus” when we prolong our visit to the church by sitting with Jesus in prayer before the tabernacle. We know Jesus in the “breaking of bread” – in the actual celebration of Mass – but we have that perpetual gift of his Eucharistic presence in the Sacred Host, always in the tabernacle, and sometimes exposed for our worship and adoration. He wants us to “stay with him” because He has truly chosen to stay with us.

The story of the Gospel today highlights to us the importance of the Word of God, the Eucharist, and our communion with each other in the Christian community. These elements are essential if we are to live the Christian faith at a meaningful level – if the faith is truly to give meaning to our lives; to provide an answer to the questions we have.

At the end of the gospel, after these two disciples have realized that they have seen the Risen Lord, they immediately returned to Jerusalem to witness to what has happened. They desired to strengthen the faith of the others who might have been confused and saddened like they had been. All of us who have known the presence of the Lord at times when perhaps we least expected – who have had experience of the Lord changing despair to hope, and sorrow to joy – we need to share that Good News with others – to give others hope and strength. We mustn’t be “gloomy Christians!” But rather, we must radiate our own experience of Christ bringing light into the midst of darkness.

May we always be Christians who testify by the way we live that Christ is alive – that He is with us – that he has won and will win over every sadness and suffering. May our whole lives proclaim that he is risen!

=== +++ ===

(1) http://www.hprweb.com/2014/04/homilies-for-may-2014/
(2) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20110508_mestre_en.html

 

2014 05 04 Newsletter, Third Sunday of Easter, Year A

(In some browsers a pdf file will not open properly.  Look for the option to click to open the document in a different viewer).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,392 other followers