Jun 30 SUN: THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

 

1 Kgs 19: 16b. 19-21 Elisha would have understood the significance of Elijah throwing his cloak or mantle over him as a form of anointing or claiming him to follow in his footsteps; in his ministry as prophet. Later we will hear Elisha request a double portion of Elijah’s spirit indicating a full commitment to the ministry of prophet even allowing for the fact that he would have been aware of the difficulties and sufferings it would bring as well.

Jesus, when you call there is always an element of suffering involved – following you means the exclusion of so much else and even other persons in our lives. Help me to be willing to make the sacrifices you call me to make in my life.

Gal 5: 1. 13-18 Freedom is a very slippery word and has many conflicting meanings. Americans think they are the guardians of true freedom but I question what they mean by this. It is imperative that we see freedom along the lines of being free to act for what is true and right and not just freedom from any sort of constraint. It is not a true use of our freedom when we choose the path […]

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June 29 Sts PETER & PAUL AUTHORITY IS ESSENTIAL Mt 16:13-19

One of the things that young people today seem to be rejecting today is any sense of external authority. Our lives are becoming more and more individualistic and we relate with others only when we have to or when it pleases us to do so. That is, we want everything to be on our own terms. While this is a bit of an exaggeration, it is not far from the truth! Less and less are people looking for authoritative advice – we want to make up our own minds regarding whatever the matter may be. This may sound all right at first; however, on a closer examination we will discover that there is something fundamentally wrong in this attitude! What is it?

 

If the world is not to descend into some sort of anarchic state where everyone does as they themselves please, there has to be some sort of external measure by which we can judge right and wrong. The Church has always affirmed this truth and taught that all human beings are required to act within the bounds of the Natural Law, that law which is inherent in our beings as human. To be human means to […]

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June 28 LORD, I AM NOT WORTHY Mt 8:5-17

The above words of the centurion, ‘Lord, I am not worthy’ are words that have echoed through history in the lives of all those who have come to know Christ. There are no truer words than these and if we truly want to take up a life of discipleship, we will have to humble ourselves thousands of times over and repeat them until the truth of them is firmly set in our hearts without any doubts! Yesterday I reflected upon building our spiritual lives upon a firm foundation. Today we are given the very basis of the foundation itself – namely, it is God’s work, not ours; we are not worthy but God, in his infinite love, has chosen to work through each us even though we are weak and fragile vessels for his message of love.

In realizing the truth of our unworthiness we can either fall into despair or praise and thanksgiving for the mercy of God. Obviously, the latter is the correct response though it can be difficult to maintain it through the difficulties and trials of life. Despair is something we should always try to avoid, as it is a pit that is very difficult from which […]

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Becoming Fire Part 3 – Turning away from sin

Fr Ken Barker continues his series based on the book ‘Becoming Fire’. In this week’s talk he addresses the need to turn away from sin so that we can experience a

true conversion. It is a call to be aware of the state of our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to bring about the transformation that we need.

Listen Now

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June 27 THE AUTHORITY OF A LIVING WITNESS Mt 7:21-29

I find it important to reflect upon today’s Gospel regularly in terms of looking at my life to see whether I am a man of action or just a man of words. The words are important when articulating my way of life but what will speak most to people is the witness of my life. Actions do speak louder than words in this situation.

Jesus illustrates this teaching with a parable about a house needing to be built on a proper foundation or it will collapse when the weather turns nasty. Similarly our lives, unless they are built upon the will of God, will falter and devolve into chaos and disaster. The image is one that we can easily relate to as we know the importance of having a sturdy home to provide security and protection for our families. Without a home we are left open to the vagaries of the weather just as if we fail to build our lives upon the Word of God we will be left vulnerable to the temptations of sin and the lies of Satan.

The final line in the Gospel also catches our attention as we reflect upon the power […]

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June 26 WHO ARE THE FALSE PROPHETS TODAY? Mt 7:15-20

It is always a bit controversial to name those one believes to be the modern day false prophets. There are probably as many opinions as there are people! Jesus gives us a rough guide as to one of the criteria to look at when trying to judge whether or not the person speaking is a true or false prophet. This criterion is whether or not the prophet’s life is bearing good fruit.

 

We must take the responsibility upon ourselves to determine the answer to this question. We can rely upon others’ judgments but this may be a dangerous thing unless you know the person very well and trust their ability to discern such matters. It is a case similar to the consumer’s “Buyer beware” principle! If we fall under the spell of a false prophet it can be quite difficult to extract ourselves. The simplest solution is to avoid the false prophets in the first place.

 

One of the reasons that Christ instituted the Church and its authority in matters of morals and doctrine was precisely to assist us in this area of our lives. We can always look to the Church for an authoritative discernment concerning matters of doctrine. If the […]

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June 25 THE NARROW GATE TO SALVATION Mt 7:6, 12-14

There is no doubt about it that we prefer to walk upon broad and well lit streets than the narrow and winding ones. There is something about a narrow street that seems to repel us. Maybe it is the closeness with which everything seems to be pressing in from around you. I do not know, but I do know I like the wide and open path rather than the narrow and constricted one!

 

Jesus tells us that the path to perdition is wide and spacious and the one to salvation is narrow. Maybe it is time for me to reassess my priorities and begin to like a different sort of path! I do not think that this is the intention of Jesus. What Jesus wants to impress upon us is that the easy way in life will often lead us into trouble and that it is better to confront the difficulties we are going to face up front rather than allow them to sneak around behind us and creep up on us from behind our backs.

 

Simply put, I suppose Jesus is warning us not to expect an easy life if we are going to live the life of a disciple to […]

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Jun 24 Mon: NATIVITY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Is 49: 1-6            God has a plan for everyone of us, exactly what it is up to you to discover! As we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist we can wonder what it would be like to have God for our first cousin if we like but it will be far more productive for us to seek to hear what God has to say about his will for our lives than focus on something that has more to do with someone else than ourselves.

 

Jesus, may the life of John the Baptist inspire me to become a better disciple by listening more closely to your words for my life.

 

Acts 13: 22-26                        Even though Jesus is his first cousin, John acknowledges his preeminence in saying that he is not worthy to undo his, Jesus’, sandal. This humility is important for us to reflect upon as it is the basis of every sort of obedience in our lives. Without humility it will not be possible to be a disciple of Jesus. Without humility we will never be willing to even listen to the will of God for our lives.

 

Holy Spirit, teach me the path of humility and help me to grow in […]

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July 24 THE IMPORTANCE OF ROOTS Mt 13:1-9

Planting a garden may seem to be a very simple matter but, depending on where you are working, it can be well nigh impossible! There are many factors that need to be considered including the depth and type of soil, the prevalence of birds who may eat the seeds and the availability of the right amounts of water and sun. When all of the conditions are there in the right abundance then the job can be relatively simply. If one or more is lacking or in over supply, then there is likely to be any number of difficulties that could easily result in failure.

Sometimes as a priest I have wondered at the difficulty of realty training young people to be disciples of Jesus. I have come to the conclusion that it is like trying to plant a garden, however, a little more difficult as it is also dependent upon the decisions of others ad not only your own commitment. As mentioned above, it only takes a problem with one aspect of the process to send the whole project awry.

This can be extremely frustrating and lead to despair if one takes it too seriously. I am not in control of the […]

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Jun 22 Sat: Ordinary Weekday

2 Cor 12: 1-10 Paul is referring to his own conversion that occurred fourteen years previous to the writing of this letter. It seems that there was a period of time that Paul underwent formation in the Gospel before he became one of its greatest preachers. Who prepared him, where and how is not known to us, however, the indications support the idea that we all need to place our lives under the grace of the Holy Spirit in order to be formed well if we want to live out a full Christian life.

Jesus, help me to always have the humility necessary for me to accept the need for formation in my spiritual life. I want to be the best disciple possible.

Mt 6: 24-34 Today we celebrate two of the martyrs of the Catholic Church in England. They refused to renounce their allegiance to the pope and thus paid for their faithfulness with their lives. We live in a world becoming more and more hostile to Christian principles. It is important we know what the Church teaches so that we do not compromise our Christian and Catholic witness to the truths of the Gospel and our faith!

Holy Spirit, help me […]

By |June 22nd, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments