Jesus continues to prepare his disciples for trials to come in the future. He encourages them to be faithful to their Christian commitment and to their faith in Christ as Lord. When we publicly acknowledge Jesus as Christ and Lord, Jesus too will acknowledge us as his faithful disciple. Of course, it will be difficult during times of abuse and persecution but they must always be ready to acknowledge their allegiance to Jesus. To deny that allegiance may win them a reprieve in this life but not in the next. “He who saves his life will lose it,” as Jesus said on an earlier occasion. The word for ‘deny’ here is the same word used in Peter’s denial and disowning of his Master (Luke 22:34 and 61).
34 YEARS OF CARING
Park Mount Care Home in Macclesfield is situated in beautiful grounds, it is purpose built and was opened on the 7th December 1984.The site has been the charitable bequest of the late William Goldman. The home was registered for twenty residents in single en-suite rooms, and the first three residents arrived on the 15th December 1984 and by Christmas we had nine residents living here. The home was officially opened and blessed by Bishop Gray on 5th May 1985, by which time it was full with twenty residents. Day care had already begun on 25th March 1981 at premises adjoining St. Albans Church they then moved to Parkmount in 1985.
Day-care was run by Sr. Anne McCoy with the help of volunteers and drivers three days a week. Now day-care is available every day and our visitors can enjoy our facilities a walk in the garden, a meal with a loved one and we can also offer personal care to ensure their regular carer’s and relatives get a well-earned break.
Prisca Kyemi, although in a Maasai dress she is not a Maasai. She is a young talented woman, of the Nyaturu tribe from Singida, Tanzania in East Africa, who was dreaming to see Rome and St. Peter's Basilica.
“… so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples…”
People are being trampled underfoot and Jesus begins to speak to his disciples!? That seems a very odd response to an apparently extreme situation. Why isn’t Jesus jumping into the midst of this and setting things straight?
St. Luke, by El Greco
2 Timothy 4:10-17b; Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18; Luke 10:1-9
Today’s feast and its attendant readings offer many places to focus reflective attention. Just considering the contribution to the Church of the man we call St. Luke is important. Luke is the only known Gentile among the group of writers whose work made up the New Testament Literature. He is the author of fully a quarter of all the verses of the whole New Testament (more than all of Paul’s uncontested letters, for example) and, as a friend of both Paul the Apostle and of many of the original Twelve, he is a remarkable figure who stands at the intersection of the Church as Jewish Sect becoming Church truly catholic in its outreach and its membership in the latter years of the First Century. The thematic emphases of forgiveness, justice and love for the poor and marginalized, and healing of the sick endear many to Luke’s portrayal of Jesus. From Luke alone we have a moderately systematic outline of the spread of the earliest Church throughout the Mediterranean Basin. But what struck me about the feast and the readings chosen for its celebration, is the importance of being a friend that one can find “writ large” across the readings.
Holy Spirit, I ask you
for the gift of Wisdom to better know You and Your divine perfections,
for the gift of Understanding to clearly discern the spirit of the mysteries of the holy faith,
for the gift of Counsel that I may live according to the principles of this faith,
for the gift of Knowledge that I may look for counsel in You and that I may always find it in You,
for the gift of Fortitude that no fear or earthly preoccupations would ever separate me from You,
for the gift of Piety that I may always serve Your Majesty with a filial love,
for the gift of the Fear of the Lord that I may dread sin, which offends You, O my God.
* Pope Saint John Paul II was taught this prayer by his father, kept it on a handwritten note, and prayed it every day for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:18-25; Psalm 1:1, 1-2, 3, 4+6; Luke 11:42-46
Today’s readings are easy to skim, but hard to read carefully. When we scan the first reading, we can see a list of things Paul tells the Galatians to avoid.
“Immorality, impurity, licentiousness.” We might be relieved to cross those off our mental list of sins.
“Idolatry and sorcery”: Nope.
“Drinking bouts, orgies.” We can start getting complacent, maybe even smug at this point because isn’t it obvious how good and noble we really are?
But, … what about those things on the list we skimmed over?
Today we hear very often about the need for frequent hand washing as a deterrent to the spread of swine flu. I could not help but think of this as I read the gospel message for today. The washing of hands provided the occasion for controversy between Jesus and the Pharisee.
Just as the washing of hands is today viewed as a way to cleanliness and as a deterrent swine flu, so in the days of Jesus the washing of hands was intended to promote cleanliness. The Jewish people knew that the washing of their hands was both important and necessary. Since many of the people spent most of the day outdoors they got their hands dirty. But for the Pharisees the washing of hands also signified ritual purity before God. And it is on the matter of ritual purity that Jesus confronts this Pharisee.
Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31-5:1; Luke 11:29-32
Our readings for today challenge us to look at the legitimacy of who we are and what is expected of us because of that. We are people of “the promise.” While Abraham has two “sets” of descendants, it is only those deceased from Isaac who have the legitimacy to be free as a result of the covenant with God and Abraham. The miracle of Isaac’s birth to a barren mother was a sign of the covenant – a promise made good. Paul is emphasizing that similarly, following Christ also sets us free. The other part of that original “deal” was to live according to God’s rules – we haven’t been so good about that. . . We want to have the benefits of the legitimate son (Isaac) and the promise but want to live by our own rules. So now Paul is telling us, we have the opportunity to be “free” again because of the promise of this Son. But . . . we must “stand firm.”
Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11; Hebrews 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30
Let us have a look at the dynamic of this conversation the rich man has with Jesus.
The first thing Mark makes sure to tell us is that this encounter interrupts Jesus ‘setting out on the way’ (v17). It is not a teaching moment, but the man is concerned enough to find the Lord, kneel before him and ask him the question that troubles him, even when Jesus has other things to do. So, it is highly unlikely to be a challenge to his authority or an attempt to trick him.