Liturgy

'GOOD NEWS' for 20th Sunday in 'Ordinary Time'

"I have come not to give peace, but discord." (Luke 12:49-53)

The reflection for this Sunday's Gospel is by Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ and is reprinted here with his kind permission. Father Andy is a Jesuit, a theologian and, among his other roles, the Media Officer for Jesuit Social Services.picture1.jpg

In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus' promises that families will be divided every which way. That is already some people's reality and surely other people's nightmare. So what does Jesus mean?

His words come within a section of Luke's Gospel that deals with our attitudes to wealth, to time, to our anxieties and relationships. In each case the attitude he proposes is radical but he is realistic about the consequences. If we follow Jesus in not worrying about making money or looking after the future, we may find ourselves less successful, less busy and unsure about what the next day will bring.

Today he invites us to reflect about close relationships. Our decision to follow Jesus may lead to conflict with family members who do not agree with our priorities. When Luke wrote his Gospel, it could be divisive and dangerous to become a follower of Jesus. For Jewish Christians it could cut their social connections with family and townspeople and lead them to be ostracised. As a result, their family members could be embarrassed by them and cut them off. Their decision could also lead to prosecution, torture and death for adhering to a false religion. That was a lot for family members to adjust to!

The question the Gospel poses is how to deal with this division. It is less acute now in Australia than it once was. Once anyone who changed church allegiance might risk being disowned by family and friends and having to leave town. That rarely happens now, but to own your faith publicly can still lead to some prejudice and exclusion.

If we meet hostility or contempt, we may respond by feeling superior to people who have other values and other beliefs. We can be tempted to break off relationships with people different from us before they break off relationships with us. At Jesuit Social Services, for example, many vulnerable people grow up in dysfunctional and bitterly divided families. They can judge them harshly for their faults. If they grow to want to connect with society, too, they can feel alienated from former friends. It is very easy for all of us to build walls and patrol them.

That is why Jesus speaks so often about not judging people from whom we differ. Division in families and in society are part of our reality. But Jesus' own mission was to break down boundaries and to reconcile people with God and with one another. So Jesus' words in today's Gospel are not the end of the matter but the start of a mission of reconciliation.

© Andrew Hamilton SJ

SACRAMENT PROGRAM

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

Our next Community Mass is on two weeks' time, on Friday 26 August, and will be prepared by Year 12s for the last time. Families of Year 12 students are particularly welcome to pray for and with the students during these final weeks. Similarly, all members of the College community are welcome to join this Community Mass with Year 12s. For those able to stay, the celebration continues after Mass with coffee in the Café.

Next 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 next Friday.  

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.