Catholic in Yanchep

Go out into the deep.

Leave a comment

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C | The Spiritual Equivalent of the Rich Man


Christ Blessing Children (detail), Pacecco de Rosa, 1600-1654, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

“I will say to my soul: ‘My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink and have a good time.” (Luke 12:19)

If we are not particularly well off, it might be easy for us NOT to identify with the man in the parable in today’s readings.  Or if we are, say, a priest, we might feel that we’re immune from being compared with the rich man in the parable.  But I think Jesus wants us all to have a good hard look at how attached we are to worldly comfort, rather than storing up treasure for ourselves in heaven.

For instance, would it be right for a priest to say, “I offer Mass every day, and I pray the Divine Office,  meditating on every word, so now I can relax and enjoy the other worldly comforts of my life”?  In fact, it is easy for Priests to be somewhat removed from the realities which confront their ordinary parishioners.  No matter how poorly a priest might carry out his job, he receives a guaranteed income from the Archdiocese.  His parishioners who might be running businesses or working for the public or private sector, understand that they only hold their jobs if the business is profitable, or if they are meeting key performance review criteria.  And a business will only be profitable with the dedicated hard work of the employees.  Employers who sit back and cream off the profits created by the efforts of their workforce, breed resentment and will not grow their enterprise with integrity.  When the workers know that the employer doesn’t have any interest in hearing their input, attending to their concerns or being, so to speak, a shepherd to them, they will have little loyalty to the company and will readily seek for employment elsewhere.

So it is, that in our parish life, there are several things that pastors are supposed to be doing to store up their treasure in heaven and to build parish life.  If a pastor says he only has time to say Mass and pray the Divine Office, he has seriously misunderstood his role and responsibilities.  I would ask such a pastor to meditate and reflect on Canon 528 and 529 about the duties of pastors.  It is important for pastors to be aware that parishioners will vote with their feet by walking away to a different parish (or if their faith is wavering, even leaving the Church altogether) if they feel that the pastor is inward-looking, not outward-looking, defensive when questioned, prone to report parishioners who have genuine concerns to the vicar general  for correction, instead of dealing with their concerns courageously and honestly, and with a genuine spirit of humility and self-examination.

When God makes a demand for our souls, will we truly be able to say that we have stored up treasure in heaven and addressed the duties outlined below in our pastoral area?  What example are we setting in the wider community?  Do people see us as a clique turned in on itself, or as people filled with the light of Christ who bring a message of hope, help and outreach to Yanchep, Guilderton and Lancelin?

Here are some excerpts from the duties of pastors according to Canon Law:


Can. 528 §1  … He is to make every effort, even with the collaboration of the Christian faithful, so that the message of the gospel comes also to those who have ceased the practice of their religion or do not profess the true faith.

Can. 528 §2 … The pastor … is bound to watch over [the parish] so that no abuses creep in.

Can. 529 §1.  In order to fulfil his office diligently, a pastor is to strive to know the faithful entrusted to his care.  Therefore he is to visit families, sharing especially in the cares, anxieties and griefs of the faithful, strengthening them in the Lord.  With generous love, he is to help the sick, particularly those close to death, by refreshing them solicitously with the sacraments and commending their souls to God; with particular diligence he is to seek out the poor, the afflicted, the lonely … and similarly those weighed down by special difficulties.  He is to work so that spouses and parents are supported in fulfilling their proper duties and is to foster growth of Christian life in the family.

Can 529 §2 . A pastor is to recognize and promote the proper part which the lay members of the Christian faithful have in the mission of the Church, by fostering their associations for the purpose of religion.

Let’s all pray for our Pastoral Area, that it will be able to carry out its mission with greater faithfulness and zeal for the people of our area to encounter the love of God.

Today’s readings:

Word format: Year C 18th Sunday 2016

Pfd format: Year C 18th Sunday 2016




Leave a comment

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B | Work for food that endures to eternal life

Manna, illuminated manuscript, 1244 to 1254, The Crusader Bible, MS M.638 (fol. 9v), Pierpont Morgan Library of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, New York.

Manna, illuminated manuscript, 1244 to 1254, The Crusader Bible, MS M.638 (fol. 9v), Pierpont Morgan Library of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, New York.

In conversation with atheist friends and colleagues, I have asked them, “What gives your life meaning?”  Typical of the answers I have received are comments like, “I don’t care about meaning.  I just want to pay the bills every week.”  “I just want to be able to buy my children nice things.”(And in case you’re wondering, these comments came from people earning the average wage or higher.)

Is that all?  No wonder there is such a high rate of suicide and depression!  Christ came to give us so much more:

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

In today’s readings (see end of page), Jesus tells the crowds following him,

Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’ (John 6:27)

Once you start attaching yourself to Christ and his teaching, your whole life will change from one of shallow materialism and selfishness to one of abundant life, joy and self-giving.  Materialism and self-gratification can only lead to a callous disregard for others.  As an example, the atheists I know, including close relatives, are all “pro-choice” when it comes to abortion.  They hold that the freedom of the choice of the mother trumps the rights of the child.    The fruits of this lack of respect for the most vulnerable of human lives has been supremely illustrated over the last few weeks by the secretly recorded videos made by the Center for Medical Progress.  Only a few of the videos have so far been released, but they reveal the gruesome nature of the abortion industry and its profiteering from trade in the body parts of murdered children.  Bishop-elect Robert Barron comments:

While they slurp wine in elegant restaurants, the good doctors—both women—blandly talk about what price they would expect for providing valuable inner organs, and how the skillful abortionists of Planned Parenthood know just how to murder babies so as not to damage the goods. One of the doctors specified that the abortion providers employ “less crunchy” methods when they know that the organs of a baby are going to be harvested for sale. Mind you, the “crunchiness” she’s talking about is a reference to the skull-crushing and dismemberment by knife and suction typically employed in abortions. For me, the most bone-chilling moment was when one of the kindly physicians, informed that the price she was asking was too low, leered and said, “Oh good, because I’d like a Lamborghini.” (The Death of God and the Loss of Human Dignity)

This issue is so important, I am posting links to all the videos that have been released so far:


A second undercover video shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Medical Directors’ Council President, Dr. Mary Gatter, haggling over payments for intact fetal specimens and offering to use a “less crunchy technique” to get more intact body parts.



Dr Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Services: “It makes a huge difference, I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.  We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.And wit  h the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex, so if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”


Dr Savita Ginde, Vice President and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood, Rocky Mountains: “We’d have to do a little bit of training with the providers or something to make sure that they don’t crush” [fetal organs during 2nd trimester abortions].  I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

Getting back to my first point, how is any of this “food that endures to eternal life”?  Far more likely that it will result in eternal damnation.  Pray for these people and for anyone that supports the ‘pro-choice’ lie, that their eyes will be opened to God’s light and love and that they will turn away from evil.

Readings for this Sunday:

Word format: Year B 18th Sunday 2015

Pdf format: Year B 18th Sunday 2015