• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 20 July 2018 18:23

16th Week in Ordinary Time - 2018

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD

 

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150There is much talk in the Catholic Press these days about the up-coming Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia in 2020.  We are being reminded that it is an occasion for us to be renewed in our faith and to deepen our commitment to living out that faith.  Today’s short gospel suggests two important ways in which we might do this.

The first verses tell us about the return of the apostles from the mission that Jesus had sent them on.  They came back full of excitement and joy.  In Jesus’ name they had healed the sick, preached the Kingdom of God, and experienced the power of God in their preaching.  Jesus knew they needed to do this – to share their experience of God working through them – with one another.

This sharing of the way God has worked in our lives is needed for all of us in order to deepen our faith and our commitment to serve God.  As a seminarian I often heard the stories of our SVD missionaries who were on home leave or just passing through.  I found myself getting excited as I listened to their excitement at what they found that God had been doing through them while they were on mission.  They told remarkable stories about bringing healing, new life, peace and joy to the people they served.  It made me want to be a missionary like them.  And I am sure it re-energized them.

After I was ordained I was introduced to the Cursillo Movement.  The week-end experience of taking this “Short Course in Christianity” was an exhilarating experience.  But one of the follow-up tasks for those who completed the week-end experience was an on-going sharing on a regular basis of how God worked in their life in their service of others.  This deepened their faith and commitment to live out the Gospel.

Then when I came to Australia twenty-seven years ago I was introduced to the movement known as the “Team of Our Lady”.  It was a movement that began in France towards the end of World War II.  Several couples came together to help develop within themselves a pirituality proper to them as married people.    There are several tasks that these couples are asked to do, but the one that always impressed me is what is called a “sit-down”.  The couple is asked to take time to talk with one another about how God is working in his or her life.  Time needs to be set aside for that because the topic would not come up in ordinary conversation.  But the “sit-down” allows them to share with their partner how God is active in their life.  This deepens their faith and arouses their excitement about how active God truly is in their life.

A second suggestion comes from the closing verse.  Although Jesus and the disciples were tired from their many activities and needed rest, they were moved by the needs of the people who were like “sheep without a shepherd”, and so they taught them and walked with them.  In today’s Church we too need to be people who are always willing to help no matter how tired we might be.

In 1961, before Vatican II, I spent three months in a poor suburban parish in Grenoble.  I was there to learn French.  However I soon discovered that as a young priest I had so much more to learn from the remarkable Parish Priest and his parishioners.  Our Church was a two-car garage.  We lived in wooden houses with outside toilets.  Already then we were saying Mass facing the people and most of it was said in French.  The Parish Priest had a relationship with his people that I had never experienced before.  These people who were relatively poor took me often into their homes for meals and would patiently help me to improve my French.  When I visited the parish fifteen years later I said to the Parish Priest: you have always been way ahead of the institutional Church in caring for people; what should I look forward to?  One of the things he said was: the Church must become a “welcoming community”.  He said there were times when the main task of the Church was to be the organizer, or the teacher, or the disciplinarian.  However, in our modern times people will often feel lost or lonely or confused.  The Church, he said, must give a warm welcome to everyone.  In this way, we will be showing the compassion that Jesus always showed.

Last modified on Friday, 20 July 2018 18:32

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