Liturgy

GOOD NEWS for 23rd Sunday in 'Ordinary Time'

"All who do not renounce their possessions cannot be my disciples." (Luke 14:25-33)

The reflection is part of Fr Richard Leonard's homily for 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.

For the earliest Christians a choice for faith in Jesus could be stark and dramatic: families split up and sometimes people who had loved each other turned their brother or sister, mother or father over to martyrdom. This is the context in which Luke's community produced this Gospel.

It is always good for us to recall that for some of our brothers and sisters beyond these shores the perils of public belief are still like those of Luke's community. Luckily for us the threat of death for our faith is only a very remote possibility. The power of this Gospel is that even if we are not faced with physical death, there are many other 'dying's that see us share in the cross of Jesus and follow in his way.

The verbs in this passage tell an interesting story: 'carry', 'follow', 'estimate', 'lay foundations', 'plan' and 'give up possessions'. It is a very tough list of things to do. Whatever our situation in life, this Gospel advocates that we figure out our priorities and live them out. In other words, we 'say what we mean and live what we say'.liturgy-020916.jpg

We often think we could never live without most of the things to which we have become accustomed or attached. But we can. We know from people who have lived through some of the worst events of last century that there are very few things that are essential to a happy life: human dignity; meaning and purpose; love of others; a sense of security. These are the essentials. Each person has a right to them and we have obligations to do our bit to see that they enjoy them. Everything else, as good as it might be, is icing on the cake. The problem is that we 'want our cake and eat it too!'

As Christians we cannot have it both ways. We cannot say we are baptised into the life and death of Christ and not be prepared to sacrifice anything. If material riches come our way, with them come an even greater obligation to share with the poor. If we have talents and energy, we are called to put them at the service of improving the world in any way we can. If we want the hope of the resurrection, we have to first carry the cross. So riches, a better world and hope come with a price.

Many of us, however, do not need to be reminded about all this because we carry crosses every day. For some it comes through mental, physical or spiritual ill health. For others it can be in our homes where we have to deal with illness, dysfunction or violence. It can be in our places of employment where we are overworked, undervalued or bullied. Whatever our particular crosses may be we are one with all those who have 'gone before us marked with the sign of faith' and who found Christ in the midst of their suffering. This Gospel promises us that Christ walks beside us bearing the burden of the struggle.

© Richard Leonard SJ

SACRAMENT PROGRAMliturgy.jpg

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

Next Friday, 9 September, Community Mass will be prepared by Pilgrimage students. Families of pilgrims and past pilgrims are especially welcome. If you have not previously attended Mass, you will find it 'user-friendly' (responses on PowerPoint) and a joyous celebration - with singing led by our own Chapel Choir and Primary Singers. For those able to stay, the celebration continues after Mass with coffee in the Café.

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