Liturgy

'GOOD NEWS' for 33rd Sunday in 'Ordinary Time'

"Your endurance will win you your life." (Luke 21:5-19)

The following is part of a reflection for this Sunday's Gospel by Fr David Barry OSB, and is reprinted, with kind permission, from School of Philosophy & Theology, University of Notre Dame, Pastoral Liturgy, Volume 46, 3. A member of the Benedictine Community at the New Norcia Monastery, Fr David Barry is a distinguished scholar and liturgist.liturgy-111116.jpg

We are fast approaching the end of the Church's liturgical year, its year of worship, and the end of the civil or calendar year… Other important endings are being faced by thousands and millions at this time - very significant being the end of the school year for teachers and students, the end of school for those looking forward to entering the work force, beginning tertiary studies or having a 'gap' year, the end of the academic year and the end of their course of studies for many university students, the end for some of a term or contract of employment, perhaps with no immediate prospect of moving soon into a new job. And steadily and inevitably, each day sees the end of life on earth for hundreds of thousands of our fellow travellers on this generally fascinating journey through life we are on.

What I am pointing up is a world in transition. At this time, believers in Jesus are urged to look forward seriously, but always with hope, to the end: the end of the world as we know it, the end of our own personal life in this world. Keeping the end in mind, even if it is not yet in sight, will help us to see our life in perspective, progressively free of the distortions that our not yet fully educated, not yet fully integrated emotions or feelings bring about in our attitude and behaviour - those loves and hates, desires and dislikes, those joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, that despondency and anger that keep us ever on the move, ever restless, in our search for happiness.

A biblical term commonly met with for the kinds of crises I'm talking about is 'the day of the Lord'. In a very summary way we could say (with the Glenstal Bible Missal): 'The day of the Lord came when Jesus came: it will come again when Jesus returns: it comes today each time grace visits us. The day of the Lord is always a judgement: it exposes wickedness and exalts justice.' We will need to have meditated often and deeply, and prayed over Jesus' words about the end of Jerusalem and its temple, and the end of the world, if we are to be able to stand firm in faith and hope in God, and love for God and neighbour, when the trials and tribulations Jesus has warned his followers about creep up on us or fall suddenly upon us - with the suddenness of an earthquake or a lightning bolt, or the gradual build up of a cyclone, drought or famine, the outbreak of war and armed conflict, or being caught in the crossfire of organised crime's 'turf wars' or within range of a suicide-bomber's vest.

And it needn't be as dramatic as the things I've mentioned. Numbers of people continue to die suddenly of a heart attack or a cerebral haemorrhage, and there is the ever-present risk of a fatal road accident. My friends, we live in a world in which the advertiser's promise of 'absolute security' is a myth, not to be relied on. Call it what you like: national security, social security, economic security, job security, home security, personal security, it can never be absolute. The only absolute security is to be found in the only Absolute - God - and in the deliverance and salvation - the security - he offers us in Christ his Son, and through our faith and hope in him.

The opposition to Jesus was led mainly by two quite different groups: by the Scribes and Pharisees on the one hand, and on the other hand by the Sadducees, who were a clerical party. This last lot was religiously and theologically conservative; they only accepted as Scripture the Pentateuch, the five books that were thought to have been written by Moses. They would not allow for any further revelation by God, or any growth in understanding of all the implications of the first revelation. They were dead set against the airy-fairy teaching about the dead rising again. They knew that once you're dead, that's it. You can only continue to live on in your children, in their memory of you and in other people's memory.

So while Jesus is in what they consider to be their territory - the temple - they approach him with a question they think will show up just how ridiculous is Jesus' teaching on this matter, which is rather like that of their populist opponents, the Pharisees. It's a hypothetical question … seven brothers being married successively to the same woman, all dying without issue, and the woman dying last of all. Whose wife will she be in your supposed resurrection? In reply Jesus points out that this teaching does not involve simply returning to the kind of life we live now, which ends in death and for most folk involves aiming for a kind of immortality by marrying and having children.

In that future life, in that other world, those found worthy of a place can no longer die, so there's no need for marriage and procreating children. There we are children of the resurrection, children of God… In that existence we shall be in full possession of the Goodness and Truth our minds and hearts were made for, and that we long for and aim at in all our human activity, often without being reflexively aware that that desire empowers all we do deliberately, even when we are mistaken and misguided.

© David Barry OSB

SCRAMENT 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.

Updates from local parishes are noted below:

Holy Spirit, City Beach
- Sacrament enrolment day: Thursday 24 November 4pm - 5pm.

Our Lady of Grace, North Beach
- Sacrament enrolment day: Monday 6 February 4pm.

Further Information?

COMMUNITY LITURGY

November is the month in which our Church especially remembers our "loved ones who have gone before us". At our Community Liturgy each Friday we will especially pray in hope for our loved ones who have died. You are invited to write their names in the Book of Remembrance, which is located in the Chapel. Feel free to come in at any time when the Chapel is open - for example, after 'drop off' or before 'pick-up'.

Next Friday our Community Mass will be prepared by Year 7 students. Families and friends of Year 7 students are especially welcome. Although prepared by various year groups/Houses, all students, staff, parents and friends are always welcome to all our community liturgies. Afterwards, join us for 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