Catholic in Yanchep

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year A | The Virgin will conceive

ghent-altarpiece-virgin

The Virgin Mary, Retable de l’agneau mystique (the Wedding Feast of the Lamb) detail, 1430-32, Jan Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium.

Some of my Facebook friends like to joke about people who believe that a virgin can conceive a child – and a male child at that!   Not even parthenogenesis is capable of that.

If God is God, then I’m not sure how mere humans can define what he is capable of doing.  (But I suspect that they think they’re God, which is an even more unfortunate delusion.) Having a planet capable of supporting life is miraculous enough.  Dr Hugh Ross has compiled a list of 322 variables showing the probability of their ‘just happening’ to be the correct value to support life.  He comes up with a probability for the occurrence of all of these parameters simultaneously of approximately 10 -388.

In The Goldilocks Enigma, Paul Davies describes how “many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life.”

Some physicists solve the enigma of the fine-tuned universe by saying that of course we live in a multiverse – our universe just so happens to have the cosmological and other dimensionless physical constants at the right value for the support of life.  All the rest are duds, it’s just that at present we haven’t figured out how to detect them.  To me this is about as likely as a virgin birth.  Oh, but wait.  We’re not supposed to believe in things that are that unlikely.

So apparently it’s OK to believe in something as unlikely as a multiverse, but not OK to believe in a virgin birth.

As for me, I’ll keep praying the Rosary, because the gentle and obedient Virgin has been such a help and companion, leading me into a deeper communion with her Son.  And no matter how much some – not all – philosophers try to avoid the possibility of miracles, there’s nothing that has the power to teach like the everyday surprise of effectual prayer.

For some great reflections on today’s readings, try these:
Dr John Bergsma: Letting God In
Bishop Robert Barron: History is going somewhere, and it rhymes
Father Ted Tyler, parish priest of Upper Blue Mountains, diocese of Parramatta, has compiled an e-book of reflections for every day of Year A and you can download it here.

Today’s readings:
Word format: year-a-advent-4th-sunday-2016
Pdf format: year-a-advent-4th-sunday-2016

 

 


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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A | Jesus Christ: Go where the evidence leads

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St John the Baptist in Prison, Juan Fernández de Navarrette, 1565-70, Oil on canvas, 80 x 72 cm, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist has been flung into prison, because he has dared to say that King Herod’s marriage to his brother’s wife is adulterous.   Persecution has a way of throwing one’s mind into turmoil and confusion.  It’s reassuring to know that even a person as courageous and committed to his mission as John, is now attacked by doubts about whether he has interpreted his task correctly – or indeed whether Jesus has interpreted his task correctly!  He sends his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to expect someone else?”

This makes us wonder: what was the nature of the long-awaited Messiah that the Jews were expecting?  Was it a King who would bring about the restoration of Israel and liberation from the Roman occupation, or were they expecting God Himself to arrive – or was it a bit of both?

We know that swirling through the air of first century Judaism was a fever of expectation.  That is why ‘all of Judaea’ (Mt 3:5) had been so willing to go out to the desert to see John the Baptist and prepare the way of the Lord.  What made the Jews so convinced about the timing of the coming of the Messiah?

According to the prophecy in the book of Daniel, the kingdom that would be ushered in by the Messiah – the Anointed One – would arrive in the midst of the fourth empire after the Babylonian deportation.  In Daniel’s prophecy the empires are represented by the parts of a statue.

The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet part iron, part clay.  While you were gazing, a stone broke away, untouched by any hand, and struck the statue, struck its feet of iron and clay and shattered them.  Then, iron and clay, bronze, silver and gold, all broke into pieces as fine as chaff on the threshing-floor in summer … and the stone that struck the statue grew into a great mountain, filling the whole world.  (Dan 2:31-36)

These four empires were, successively, golden-headed Babylon, silver-chested Medo-Persia, bronze-thighed Greece and finally, in 63 BC, with Pompey’s capture of Jerusalem, iron-legged Rome marched into the Middle East.  And it is into the Roman Empire that Christ comes, proclaiming the Kingdom.  Yes, the Roman soldiers were clad in iron, but God has a way of using small stones to bring down giants, and the Jews remembered their history.

Not only that, but the Jews could even calculate the approximate time the Messiah was expected.  This is why small communities of Jews such as the Essenes of Qumran had set themselves apart, purifying themselves to hasten the coming of the Messiah.

Daniel 9:25 prophesies:

Know this, then, and understand:
From the time there went out this message:
“Return and rebuild Jerusalem”
to the coming of an Anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks …

The message that the prophecy refers to, is the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile.  You can calculate the dates if you understand that the weeks are “weeks of years”, i.e. seven year periods.  Then the seven weeks and sixty-two weeks add up to 69 weeks of years, i.e. 69 x 7 = 483 years.  Jerusalem’s walls were restored by Nehemiah in about the fourth decade of the fifth century BC, “the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes” (Ne 2:1; 5:14).  So, if we use the Babylonian method of reckoning years as 360 days, we arrive at the coming of the “Anointed Prince”, just about at the time of the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry in AD 28.

In this fever of expectation, we have John asking in today’s Gospel, “Are you the one who is to come?”

And Jesus says, “Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor; and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me” (Mt 11:4-5).

Jesus is saying, “Look at the evidence!  Look at how I am not only doing miraculous things, but simultaneously fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 35!”

In fact if we read the chapters prior to this, Matthew has just spent the whole of chapters 8 and 9 preparing us for this point by describing a series of miracles that Jesus has performed:

The blind see Cure of the two blind men (Mt 9:27)
The lame walk The centurion’s servant (Mt 8:7); The paralytic (Mt 9:2)
The lepers are cleansed The man with the skin-disease (Mt 8:2)
The deaf hear The dumb demoniac (Mt 9:32)
The dead are raised to life Jairus’s daughter (Mt 9:24)

The fact that these miracles occurred long ago, is no reason for them to be deemed unconvincing or just fables.  Jesus’ miracles are well attested even by non-Christians such as Josephus, who said “For he was one who performed surprising deeds” (Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63).  Then there’s the Babylonian Talmud, (a Jewish text and therefore not pro-Christian), which described Jesus thus, “He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a).  That is, he did things that are, humanly speaking, impossible.

If you’re interested in other ways Jesus fulfills prophecy, Taylor Marshall has come up with a comprehensive list in his book, The Crucified Rabbi.  There’s a list here: prophecies-fulfilled-by-jesus-christ.

I realise now that I haven’t really answered my original question, which was about whether the expected Messiah was understood to be divine.  In fact, he was, and if you want more on this, please read Brant Pitre’s, The Case for Jesus.  (I have a copy of this and The Crucified Rabbi if any of you would like to borrow them.)

In this science-obsessed age, it’s a wonder that more people don’t bother to ‘go where the evidence leads’ where Jesus is concerned.  Blessed indeed are those who do not find Him a cause of falling.

Today’s readings:
Word format: year-a-advent-3rd-sunday-2016
Pdf format: year-a-advent-3rd-sunday-2016

 

 


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2nd Sunday of Advent | Filled with the knowledge of the Lord

It’s such an encouragement to the faithful when we see young men willing to step up and give themselves to the priesthood.  Last night I had the joy of attending the ordination to the diaconate of four young men from the Perth Archdiocese.  Many of you will know Mariusz Grzech who has been serving at our ‘parent’ parish of St Andrew’s, Clarkson, for the past year (if you didn’t know, Yanchep was part of St Andrew’s parish from 1994 until about 2001).  Ordained with him were Konrad Gagatek, Joseph Laundy and Tung Vu, whom you can read more about here.  I thought that I’d share with you some photos from the Ordination Mass …

This first photo shows the Promise of the Elect, where the Deacons make various promises about their new role (discharging the office of Deacon with ‘humble charity’, proclaiming the faith in word and deed, remaining celibate, deepening their prayer lives – especially by praying the Liturgy of the Hours – and conforming their lives to the example of Christ).

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Promise of the Elect

The Deacons lie prostrate to receive the Lord’s blessing while our prayers fly to heaven in the soaring, otherworldly Litany of Supplication.  (You can view this on the Record’s FB page.)

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The Litany of Supplication

Next comes the Prayer of Ordination and the Laying on of Hands, where we bring to mind those first seven Deacons, appointed in similar fashion in Acts 6:1-7.  This prayer has some beautiful words …

Send forth upon them, Lord, we pray,
the Holy Spirit,
that they may be strengthened
by the gift of your sevenfold grace …

May there abound in them every Gospel virtue
unfeigned love,
concern for the sick and poor,
unassuming authority,
the purity of innocence
and the observance of spiritual discipline.

(Excuse the blurriness of this photo, but my hands are not as steady as they used to be, I didn’t want to use a camera because of the shutter noise, and tablets are notoriously wobbly for still shots!)

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The laying on of hands and the Prayer of Ordination

The Deacons are vested by their nominated priests, assisted by their families, with the Diaconal Stole and Dalmatic.  Here Mariusz is helped by Fr Conor Steadman and his brothers.  If you’re interested in the history of church vestments there is quite a nice article here, with illustrations, which calls the Dalmatic a garment with ‘festive origins’.

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Investiture of the Diaconal Stole and Dalmatic

The Deacons receive the Book of the Gospels from Archbishop Costelloe.

Receive the Gospel of Christ,
whose herald you have become.
Believe what you read,
Teach what you believe,
and practice what you teach.

… says it all, really.

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Handing on of the Book of the Gospels

Here the Archbishop makes his final address, where he conveys the Deacons’ messages of thanks to their families and all who have helped them get to this point.

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Final address from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe to the new Deacons, from left Mariusz Grzech, Tung Vu, Joseph Laundy and Konrad Gagatek.

This morning, it being the first Saturday of the month, I made the trip down to Clarkson and was pleased to be able to hear Mariusz’s first homily – which as a Deacon, he is now able to deliver. Appropriately enough, the Gospel was about asking the Lord of the harvest ‘to send labourers to the harvest’ (funny how God does that!)  It also happened to be the memorial of St Francis Xavier, the most effective evangelist in history.  So Mariusz’s homily was about St Francis Xavier, and also about our own role in mission – we don’t have to go overseas to go on mission – our mission field is Australia, our mission field is Perth, our mission field is our own Parish, our mission field is our family.

I must say I was pleased to hear it, as this blog is part of what I see as my mission … to whoever might read it.  For example, what I write here is shared to my profiles on various social media platforms, one of them being LinkedIn.  Now LinkedIn connects me with all my contacts in my capacity as Company Director.  And LinkedIn is telling me that 30 of my business associates read my entry for last week, the First Sunday of Advent (and that’s not including FB or other platforms).  I find this quite extraordinary – I have no idea who they are, but those people are quietly discovering the way prayer makes a difference in my life – and the Holy Spirit is waiting to invade, with his powerful presence, the lives of any of them who might be open to Him.  Only this week, I discovered an extraordinary coincidence between a prayer uttered fourteen years ago, and the results now bearing fruit (but I will have to save that story for another time.)  It’s a shame that many people are afraid to talk about their faith today (because we receive so much ridicule from secularists), but if we don’t toughen up and become unafraid to admit to following Christ, how will other people hear the kerygma – the message of the Gospel and the gift of eternal life?

Almost forgot … here is the Mass leaflet for today.

Today’s readings

Word format:year-a-advent-2nd-sunday-2016

Pdf format: year-a-advent-2nd-sunday-2016

 


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First Sunday of Advent, Year A | Prayer and Promptings

saint-michel-daiguilhe-chapel

Chapelle Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe, (Chapel of St Michael of the Needle), Le Puy-en-Velay, Auvergne, France.

Last week I said I would talk more about how God speaks to us.  This is one of the fascinating aspects of Christianity, because it is primarily in Christianity (and to some extent Judaism) that God presents Himself to us as a loving Father, who pays us the unexpected compliment of desiring communion with us, his children.

Once, we dive into Christianity with minds and hearts obedient and open to receiving, then God can start having a conversation with us.  ‘Conversation’ is my word of choice, because it conveys better the trust and openness required for spiritual progress.  Prayer is much more than petitioning for things. That conflicted genius, Oscar Wilde, once said: “Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence.”  No doubt this facetiousness was Wilde enjoying the sound of his own voice.  For my part, prayer actually is largely correspondence:  I like to write down my prayers, often in front of The Blessed Sacrament, and re-read them a year later to see how God has directed me.   As I get older, I am increasingly on the receiving end of an impression that God is steering me almost despite myself.  Perhaps Wilde was alluding to the fact that prayer is not an activity directed at someone who is an equal, but rather someone infinitely higher than ourselves, whose ways are not our ways.

Often God’s promptings come in the form of a ‘still, small voice’.  I’m not talking about the usual stream of consciousness that we all experience as a background to our thoughts; neither am I talking about a voice that seems to come from some other, as in schizophrenia, but rather an inner suggestion which comes with a certain insistence and often makes me respond, in turn, ‘Oh, that’s just ridiculous!’ to, eventually, ‘Well, if you think that’s possible, maybe I should try it and see where it leads.’

It is this ongoing conversation with a loving Father that helps me navigate through my day.  Sometimes He answers my prayers before they’ve even arrived fully formed on my lips.  Yet when the answers come, I am struck by how appropriate they are to what I might have prayed if only I had got around to it.  Just this week, by way of a small example, I have been thinking about my misgivings concerning a study we are about to do at Bible Study on Prayer and Prosperity, and God has answered my concerns with a randomly selected podcast from John Bergsma on “The Upside-Down Kingdom”.

Another incident this week seemed a clear example of a ‘steering’.  On Friday, I went to Adoration at St Andrew’s Church as usual between 3 and 4 p.m.  I was all set to leave, but everyone else had made off and I was the only one left.  Fortunately I wasn’t in a hurry –  I had had some space freed up by what I thought was my decision (and now believe was a prompting from God) on the previous day to take advantage of a free offer and do my shopping online.  Just as well I stayed, for suddenly the church was invaded by a riot of St Vincent de Paul workers, unloading 43 newly-packed Christmas hampers for the needy.  I’m sure they were doing the Lord’s work, but they were completely oblivious to the presence of Christ exposed on the altar, and chattered in loud voices as they debated whether they should store the hampers in this corner or over there, with one woman even wanting to walk across the sanctuary.  Suddenly, I felt as if Jesus (on the altar) and I were two people in possession of a secret: and the secret was that the Lord of the Universe was physically present in the room and no-one knew it!  It was as if the Queen of England had arrived incognito to dinner, and everyone at the table thought she was the woman brought in to do the washing up.  Strangely, this experience gave me a heightened awareness of Jesus’ real presence in the Monstrance, perhaps in the same way that one becomes even more convinced of the Divinity of Christ when a stupid or thoughtless person uses His name with great disrespect.  I spent the rest of my time at Adoration just enjoying the Companionship of the Holy One and not leaving him alone and disregarded on the altar.

Then there’s the sort of prayer that is ‘asking for stuff’.  Well, God is such a loving and trustworthy Father that he will not give us anything that isn’t good for us (unless, paradoxically, he wants to teach us that it’s not good for us).  (He has done this a few times in my life!  Ouch!)  Very often, God doesn’t give us what we ask for straight away.  Often we get an answer only after quite a journey of improvement.  This is one of the reasons I like praying to ‘Our Lady, Undoer of Knots’.  She helps us undo one snag at a time.  I had quite a dramatic demonstration of this when I was praying for reconciliation in the family of a Christian couple I know whose son was refusing to talk to them.  Now, the father was actually someone who had divorced and remarried (something the Lord clearly calls adultery).  Anyway, when I took this situation to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, the first thing that happened (in the same week!) was that the father’s first wife died suddenly.  It seemed to me that what God was saying to him was, ‘Your adulterous situation is blocking your prayers for reconciliation.  Perhaps now you can have another look at what you did, and first come to me with a repentant heart before you pray about your son.’  Interestingly, it was at the first wife’s funeral that the opportunity arose for this family to resume some conversation with each other, and things have been moving along, knot by knot, ever since.

For a more dramatic example of God’s roundabout methods of answering prayer, let’s go back to Oscar Wilde.  His poem E. tenebris was written in 1881, when he was only 27, long before his troubles and his trial.

Come down, O Christ, and help me! reach thy hand
For I am drowning in a stormier sea
Than Simon on thy lake of Galilee:
The wineof life is spilt upon the sand,
My heart is as some famine-murdered land
Whence all good things have perished utterly,
And well I know my soul in Hell must lie
If I this night before God’s throne should stand.
‘He sleeps perchance, or rideth to the chase,
Like Baal, when his prophets howled that name
From morn to noon on Carmel’s smitten height.’
Nay, peace, I shall behold before the night,
The feet of brass, the robe more white than flame,
The wounded hands, the weary human face.

Sure enough, if this was a prayer, God took Wilde seriously, and after a tortuous journey involving his trial, imprisonment, exile in France, impoverishment and finally being struck down with meningitis, Wilde came back 19 years later to the faith he had toyed with throughout his life.  In the words of the Passionist priest, Father Cuthbert Dunne, who attended him on his deathbed,

As the voiture rolled through the dark streets that wintry night, the sad story of Oscar Wilde was in part repeated to me… Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional baptism, and afterwards answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying. As the man was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious… Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last Sacraments… And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition, Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me. (Wikipedia)

How wonderful are the words of Isaiah in today’s first reading, for approaching prayer according to the heart of God:

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob
that he may teach us his ways
so that we may walk in his paths …

Today’s readings

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year C | Loving Our Mother

Visitation Clyde Monastery

The Visitation, mosaic, nave of Clyde Monastery, Missouri, USA.

No time for writing much today, as I’ve had to do my Christmas shopping! Others have done a much better job so I will point you in their direction:

  1. John Bergsma explains why the Catholic veneration of Mary is completely scriptural, based on today’s readings.
  2. Bishop Barron has a homily for today which asks us to look at our part in God’s theo-drama.  (Didn’t you know you are an actor in a great play and that it’s not all about you?  Best to get in touch with the Director, so that you can understand your part!)
  3. And even National Geographic realises that Mary is the world’s most powerful woman!

The readings for today are here:

Word format: Year C 4th Sunday of Advent 2015

Pdf format: Year C 4th Sunday of Advent 2015

For Christmas Mass times, go here.

And a very happy 21st birthday to Alistair Mungo Fleming (16th December) who may well be the first person in the Yanchep to Lancelin Pastoral Area to have been baptised here as a baby and still be an active member of our Pastoral Area at the age of 21.  Well done, Alistair!


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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C | Unwavering Joy!

Daughter-of-Zion-600px

Statue of the Smiling Virgin Mary, Cathedral of Santa Maria de Toledo, Castile-La Mancha, Spain.

The third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, reminds us to rejoice!

(The thoughts below are distilled from a 2003 homily by Bishop Robert Barron.)

I wonder how many of us associate God with joy?  God, by his nature, is joy.  The Father empties himself in love for the Son.  The Son empties himself in love for the Father.  The Holy Spirit is the empowering love shared by the Father and the Son.

How do we obtain real joy?  It comes from the act of letting go of oneself.  God created us, not because he needed us or needed created things, but out of the sheer intensity of his joy.

The 5th century Syrian philosopher, Pseudo-Dionysius said: “Goodness is diffusive of itself.” There is a natural inclination in all good things to spread their goodness to others.  That is what God is like.  Jesus makes this clear when he says, “I came that you might have life, and have it to the full.”  He didn’t come primarily to give us the law, not primarily to judge us, but to give us joy.  The minute you put anything other than joy at the centre of the Christian life, you have misconstrued it.

When we think of God primarily as judge, as someone who is brooding over us, it’s a sign that we’re caught in sin.  When you run away from the Divine Love, you run to the far country of sin, that’s when God seems distant.  It’s not that God has moved, but that you’ve moved.  When God seems difficult and overbearing, that’s not because he is, but it’s because by closing yourself in, you have made yourself the enemy of God.

The moral life begins with joy.  Law, virtue, obligation only exist to serve joy.

Christ’s purpose is to baptise us in the Holy Spirit.  Baptism in the Holy Spirit means to let God live in you in such a way that you experience the very joy which is the inner life of God.  In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist says, “he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  Fire is that passion, enthusiasm and sense of purpose, that the Holy Spirit gives you.  Purposeful people are joyful.  When the Holy Spirit is in you, you know what to do!  You know where to go, your life is on fire!  That’s what Jesus has come to do to you!

John also says, “His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.”  Uh-oh – this sounds like bad news.  On the contrary, this is very good news!  The winnowing fan is like a rake that tosses the wheat up into the air, so that the wind can blow the chaff away, allowing the good grain to fall to the ground.  When Christ is in your life, when you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit, it means that Christ is now going to work in you, separating out all that is evil and dark and dysfunctional, from all that is in the Image of God.  When you let Christ work in you, then your hatred and your violence and your selfishness and your self-absorption and your division – he will throw these up into the air so that they might be blown away!  This is very good news.  When Jesus lives in you, this is the process of transformation that happens, and it is conducive to joy!

Joy is something we can be commanded to experience: in the Second Reading, Paul says, “I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord.” or “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!”  It is an action.  If you just sit around waiting for something to come and make you joyful, then you’re not going to be joyful.  Paul continues: “Everyone should see how unselfish you are!”  God is joy because God is a communion of love. Paul is commanding us to be like God in being unselfish.  You are joyful in the measure that you forget about yourself and look to the other, in love.  It’s not that complicated.  Hard to do?  Yes it is, for us sinners, but not that complicated to describe.

Let me give you a hint.  When you find yourself depressed, listless, hopeless, desperate … perform a simple act of love.  What’s love?  It’s willing the good of the other – nothing grandiose, it doesn’t have to be.  Just a simple act of caring for someone around you.  And believe me, Christians are surrounded by people whom we can love.  When you find yourself depressed, act, act, be selfless.  And that’s where joy comes from.  Paul goes on, “Dismiss all anxiety from your minds.  Present your needs to God in every form of prayer, and in petitions full of gratitude.”  What did Jesus say?  “Perfect love casts out all fear!”  The opposite of love is not hate.  The opposite of love is fear.  Where does anxiety come from?  Anxiety comes from the conviction that we are in charge of our lives.  I worry and fret because I’ve got to make things right.  I’ve got to determine how things go.  No, dismiss fear from your mind when you hand your life over to God, and you say, “Lord, you are the Lord of my life.”  What does God want us to do?  He wants us to ask him, “Lord guide me, Lord give me direction, Lord show me the path.”  He wants us to turn our lives away from our own obsessions and anxieties and to turn to him.  This is true of all the saints.  At some stage they said, “My life is not about me.  It’s about Him, and I’m going to let God run my life.”  In that moment and in that measure we find joy!

Listen to Bishop Barron’s homily here.

Today’s Readings (Australia):

Word format: Year C 3rd Sunday of Advent 2015

Pdf format:  Year C 3rd Sunday of Advent 2015


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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B | Make a straight way for the Lord

Baptism of Christ, altarpiece, triptych, oil on wood, Gerard David, ca 1507, Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Belgium.

Baptism of Christ, altarpiece, triptych, oil on wood, Gerard David, ca 1507, Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Belgium.

Apologies for not posting last week: Saturday was spent preparing Christmas Cards!  The readings for this weekend can be downloaded here:

Word format: Year B Advent 3rd Sunday

Pdf format: Year B Advent 3rd Sunday

Need some inspiration for Advent?  Listen here: Click-here-to-listen

 

And what exactly is the Good News or εὐαγγέλιον (Greek: euangélion)?  Jesus is not just a ‘wise teacher’ or a guru.  Find out more here …