Liturgy

'GOOD NEWS' for 19th Sunday in 'Ordinary Time'

“See that you are prepared?(Luke 12:32-48)

The reflection for this Sunday’s Gospel is part of a homily by Rev. Prof. Michael Tate. Fr Michael Tate is currently a Parish Priest in the Archdiocese of Hobart and is Catholic Chaplain to the University of Tasmania where he is an Honorary Professor of Law, lecturing in International Humanitarian Law.

The Gospel and the Commonwealth 

The Jewish Jesus of Nazareth lived in a remote part of the Roman Empire under the rule of a political and religious elite collaborating with the oppressors. The majority were peasants or fishermen eking out an existence, or day labourers. Their plea was from the stomach: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’

One of the few ways in which redistribution of wealth could occur was by voluntarily giving to the poor. Jesus inherited the Jewish tradition which was especially concerned with the fate of widows and orphans, those without a male breadwinner to protect them. It is in that sort of society that Jesus instructs his followers: ‘Sell your possessions and give generously to those in need.’

We live in a very different society. The full title of this nation is: ‘The Commonwealth of Australia’. The Common-wealth, a rather extraordinary and wonderful title. No doubt it has various levels of meaning, but one must surely be that the wealth of this nation, its people and resources, are meant to be directed to the common good. We are a common-wealth.

We are indeed fortunate. We do not live under the boot of an occupying army. We live in a democracy which is itself a shared privilege and common responsibility. For Australians at least, it seems that democracy and sharing and common-wealth are inextricably linked. And so, when working out how we might respond to our Lord’s command: ‘Sell your possessions and give to the poor’, we can do so in ways very different to what was possible in his day.

We have a compulsory taxation system. We are forced to give up some of our possessions, some of our wealth to the common-wealth. To distribute that wealth, the political parties put forward various policies in the fields of social security, medical and hospital care, education and so on.

Bringing these two together, taxation and social justice policies, helps fulfil Our Lord’s command to give up some of our possessions to create a society more humane, more civilized, more decent than anything remotely possible under the Roman Empire.

And that would please Our Lord. Why?

Of course, in part because those in need are helped. But, perhaps in greater part, because it makes us different people, larger hearted people: If your treasure is self-centred, that is how you may end up for eternity: a hellish existence.

Our Lord wants us to be people whose hearts are expanded and have room for others. We have to arrive at the moment of death with a heart so capacious, so spacious that it can include the billions of people we hope inhabit heavenly existence. And Our Lord says that one indication of our being prepared is: ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’

© Michael Tate

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

Thank you to Fr Vincent Glynn, who presided at this morning’s Community Mass, with students and families from Loyola House. Among Fr Vincent’s many roles, he is on the College Council as the Archbishop’s representative, so it was lovely that we could celebrate our weekly Eucharist with him.

Next Friday 12 August, Ward House will prepare the Mass. Families are especially welcome!

For those able to stay, the celebration continues after Mass with coffee in the Café.

Advance notice:

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

EXCEPT: Friday 19 August, John XXIII Day – no Community Mass.