Liturgy

'GOOD NEWS' for 17th Sunday in 'Ordinary Time'

“Ask, and it will be given to you.”(Luke 11:1-13)

The reflection is part of Fr Richard Leonard's homily on this Sunday's gospel and is printed here, with kind permission. Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the Director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting, is a member of the Australian Catholic Media Council and is author of Preaching to the Converted, Paulist Press, New York, 2006.

Did you know that Lincoln's Gettysburg address was 250 words long? The man before Lincoln spoke for over an hour. The man who followed Lincoln spoke for even longer. No one remembers today what they said. Lincoln's two and a half minutes, by contrast, changed the USA's history and the mentality of the western world.

This call to brevity is always a good challenge to preachers too!liturgy-220716-a.jpg

Luke's version of the Lord's Prayer, which has 38 words, is another example of how a few sentences have changed history.

Around 50 years after the death of Jesus, Luke's Gospel was written for the Christian community in Antioch, which was the political and cultural capital of the Roman Province of Syria. There are six major themes running throughout this Gospel: prayer, hospitality, compassion, forgiveness, the common life and care for the outsider. Most of them are expressed in the 38 words of this prayer.

We declare that we belong to God in the most intimate of ways, as members of God's family, and therefore we belong to each other. We pray that God's Kingdom will come here and now, and, through our gratitude for God's generosity and forgiveness, we can be saved from evil.

I think Christians should keep saying this prayer with great urgency. In most western countries today there are political movements who say they are for Christ or that they want our country to return to ‘Christian values’, but these policies are irreconcilable with the Lord's Prayer. Indeed one politician I heard recently argued that the Immigration Act should be reviewed so that only Christians are allowed to settle here. There is little of the Gospel's hospitality, forgiveness, compassion, common life and care for outsiders in the views of these groups. These people, of course, have every right to publicly state their views on any subject they choose. Morally, however, they must also accept responsibility for what they say and its implications.

It is so easy to allow our faith lives to become compartmentalised. For some, religious belief and practice fits into a nice little box that has no discernible influence on the rest of their lives. Coming to Church is a privatised affair. This may be many things, but it's not Christian. What we celebrate here each Sunday is supposed to have an affect on all areas of our lives, every day. Though we can try to make ourselves feel better by turning religion into a weekly spiritual bonbon, that is not what Jesus and the martyrs of our faith gave their lives for….

… Often Catholics argue that the Church's teaching should be more publicly proclaimed and obeyed. In its social teaching, the Church tells us that we should support political parties which best represent these key values in the Gospel. The Church has also taught us about refugees, immigration, gun control, violence, capital punishment and the rights of minority groups. All Catholics are called to hold true to these teachings.

Some Catholics complain that the Church should not speak out on political issues. It is, however, precisely the role of the Church to help people form their consciences and to declare what it sees as evil, sinful or harmful in society. Christ expects nothing less of all of us. And where the Church has not done this, history has judged it very harshly, as in the Church's relatively recent condemnation of slavery.

The old line goes, ‘Be careful what you pray because you might just get what you ask for.’

Let's join then with all Christians and be worthy of the one prayer which unites us and, in the spirit of these 38 words, pray fervently that all people everywhere will become one – in Christ – under our one Father in heaven.  

© Richard Leonard SJ

SACRAMENT PROGRAM

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The College Sacrament Program, aligned with Archdiocesan policy, is 'Family-focused, Parish-based and Catholic School supported'.

Families of children in Years 3, 4 and 6 are preparing to celebrate, respectively, the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation in their own 'home' parish.

The knowledge component is also covered in the Religion Curriculum of those classes.

Local Parishes

Some parishes, located near the College, have supplied calendar details for their Sacrament Programs. This information can be accessed via the link to the College website.

Further Information?

COMMUNITY LITURGY

All are welcome to join the College community in celebrating the Eucharist each Friday morning. Next Friday, 29 July, will be doubly special as Year 8 and Year 9 students combine to prepare the Mass. Families are especially welcome! For those able to stay, the celebration continues after Mass with coffee in the Café.

Advance notices:
1. Thursday 4 August we will come together for Community Mass, with Loyola House, to celebrate the Feast of Ignatius of Loyola. Loyola House will prepare this Mass. (This is in lieu of the Friday, when we are off campus for the Kevin King Cup).
2. Friday 19 August the College celebrates John XXIII Day, beginning with Mass in the SLSC at 9:00am. There will be NO separate 8:00am Liturgy on that day.

If you have any queries about Community Mass please contact Mary-Anne Lumley: Lumley.mary-anne@johnxxiii.edu.au or 9383 0513.

When: Fridays in Term Time
Time: 8:00-8:30am
Where: College Chapel