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27th May 2018 - The Most Holy Trinity

posted 25 May 2018, 06:42 by Veronica Yarwood

 

H.B. & Hw.

 

Affirmation! We need to affirm one another.

We need to be affirmed by one another.

Affirmation underpins personality.

Unaffirmed we can disintegrate as persons.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity is a feast -of

affirmation.

 

The principle of personal affirmation is as

ancient as the Godhead. The principle of

personal affirmation is as new as the most

recent human birth. Our God is after all,

persons in relationship. The Lord of the

universe is after all, revealed in personhood.

 

We are no strangers to this profound secret of

life. We are part of it, a most intimate part of

this mystery of life and living. "Happy

(indeed), the people the Lord has chosen as his

own." (Ps. 32 v 12) We are his very image.

We are divine lookalikes. We look like the

Lord. We feel like the Lord. We are with,

through and in the Lord.

 

Hence the non-sense of an epoch of the

privatised, the individual, the anonymous and

the isolated. It is not natural. It is certainly

not supernatural. It is the denial of everything

we are and are meant to be. We are meant to

be persons in relationship, a relationship of

love, like Father and Son and Spirit; identical.

 

"You received the spirit of Sons (and

Daughters) and it makes us cry out, ', Abba,

Father,". (Rom: 8.15). We can't help

ourselves! "Children of God, heirs and co‑

heirs with (the very) Christ." (Rom: 8.17). Our

nerve endings tingle with the sensation of our

God given personhood.

 

Hence the popularity of the "Glory be to the

Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as

it was in the beginning is now and ever shall

be world without end". We proclaim that this

is how it is now, always has been and will be

forever for all of us.

 

And the best service we can offer is to go to

our brothers and sisters and make them

disciples, educate them in the mystery of life

and reality, and tell them that they are persons

in a relationship we call love, in the image and

likeness of Father, Son and Spirit.

 

In this is the joy of living. In this is eternal

happiness. So let us get our act together,

recognise who we are, what we are for and

how to live life to the full. Let's be conscious,

consciously aware of our loving relationship

with God and each other and the whole

creation. We know it makes sense.

 

20th May 2018 - Pentecost Sunday

posted 17 May 2018, 06:23 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

Today is a festival of grace and gratitude. Today is a celebration

of abundance. We celebrate abundance of life in the Spirit. We

celebrate this abundance of life in the Spirit in I our Mass and

Eucharist.

 

In the Spirit our faith becomes an affair of the heart. Not just the

head. In the Spirit we no longer follow an overly patriarchal

religion. A men only religion! We freely admit the feminine

enrichment of our thinking, speaking and acting.

 

With life in the Spirit our asceticism and mortification takes on

positive quality. No self-hatred and mutilation but rather

development of physical sensibility. Our disciplines are directed

creativity. Like the musician who practices to produce great

music. Like the athlete who trains to win. In the Spirit we even

rejoice in our God-given passions, directing them blessedly.

 

Our Spirit-filled God is Father, Mother and child. All things to all.

Our sufferings are but the birth pangs of the universe. Never

divine retribution. Death even, in the Spirit, is but the prelude to

rebirth. Informed by the Spirit, our holiness is openness and

hospitality to life and persons, places and things. Never negative.

Never withdrawal, introversion and individualist, save—my—soul

spirituality. Our quest together is for ever greater perfection an

innocence. Hence our thirst. Our thirst for the Holy Spirit. That

we may grow, expand and be ever young at heart. Ever more

nearly all we are meant to be.

 

 Our story begins and ends with the Spirit. Our history opens with

God's creative energy and original blessing whom we call the Holy

Spirit. Hence our extrovert spirituality which looks in wonder

upon the cosmos, God's creation and universe. Our prayer feed

on this vast inspiration. So far from seeking signs we live with the

miracle of existence. "It is good (wonder-ful) for us to be here.”

 

Ecologically sensitive, cosmically aware, so far from fearing the

sciences we recognise our debt to the scientist who teaches us

about our creator. We are not "either/or people". We are

"both/and people", welcoming body and soul. So far from

despising ourselves, we befriend ourselves. Not tightly controlled

selves but yielding to the Spirit of breakthrough, ecstasy and

spontaneity.

 

We are hopeful, not pessimistic. Dancing to the rhythm of creati

we are not elitist but one for all and all for one. Our Spirit-filled

Christ, after all, is the cosmic Christ. The Universalist, our Lord

Jesus Christ, is through, with and in all. And with his gift of the

Holy Spirit, this Pentecost he calls us to our divinity, to fulfil our

potential. We can but repeat in joy and trust, "Come Holy Spirit

fill the hearts of your faithful."

13th May 2018 - 7th Sunday of Easter B

posted 12 May 2018, 13:29 by Veronica Yarwood

HB & Hw.

 

"We must choose one of these to be a witness to

his resurrection with us" The replacement of

Judas is a matter of urgency. The replacement

must have the knowledge, the knowledge of

Jesus from public ministry to resurrection And

indeed, Matthias the chosen replacement can

witness to Jesus' teaching, his life of love, his

service to those in need and his presence in the

faith community. Matthias was there!

 

So with the choice of Matthias the tradition is

safe. And we know for certain that not only is

God love, but as Christians we become one with

God when we love one another. The circle of

love is unbroken, God, Jesus, us, others.

 

The visible reality of God in our world is the

love we have for one another. Jesus is our

model. We have his life as a paradigm,

example and pattern for our loving service of

others. And his love in action is faithful,

generous, forgiving., compassionate, healing,

tender and merciful. To love in this way is to

live in God. This is the knowledge. This is

the tradition, the Apostolic Tradition, vital to

humankind's very salvation. And Matthias

completes the founding twelve, protectors of the

revelation, its formulation and communication.

 

So God is love. The foundation of our

Christian life is mutual love. Living in love

means that rules and laws are not enough.

Regression, oppression and restrictive mandates

have no place among us, the faith community

guided by love. Openness, listening, dialogue,

trust and respect are the necessary qualities that

should define our life in the Church of the

Apostolic Tradition, all less secure seemingly,

than obeying rules and regulations, but it ensures

our growth and human maturity. As the

mystics remind us, and St. John of the Cross in

so many words, we will be judged on love.

 

And that all leaves. us squarely in our world of

today. We witness to and communicate our

faith, the Apostolic Tradition in the everyday

moments of our lives, in family, work, school, or

ministry. We search a deeper understanding of

God's will for us in Christ in our different

situations. A contemplative approach to life,

the knowledge of Scripture and Tradition and

our commitment to an appreciation of the full

range of human experience are essential for our

witness to God's love. Speaking the truth in

love, communicating the truth in love, if you

like, provides us with a definition for the

dialogue that must continue in our Church and in

our world.

 

Pope Benedict links dialogue with solidarity and

peace and goes on to say, "I am confident that

serious efforts to promote, these three steps will

assist the media to develop soundly as a network

of communication, communion and cooperation,

helping men, women and children, to become

more aware of the dignity of the human person,

more responsible, and more open to others

especially the neediest and the weakest members

of society."

 

6th May 2018 - 6th Sunday of Easter B

posted 6 May 2018, 10:31 by Veronica Yarwood

 HB & Hw.

 

The Cornelius story teaches us that our

relationship with God is not about nationality.

Its not about culture. God is bigger than all the

cultures and nationalities put together. The only

race that makes sense with God is the human

race. God is the common root of all human

kind.

 

So the unique and single condition of our

relationship with God is believing in God and

doing what is right by our fellow humans. Note

we do say "unique and single condition". Not

two conditions but one We believe in God by

doing right by others. One condition!

 

We worship God by good human behaviour.

And we take the point. All human beings are

made in God's image and likeness. All human

beings are infused with God's Spirit. As it says

in Genesis 2.v.7., "The Lord fashioned man of

the dust of the soil. Then he breathed into his

nostrils a breath of life and thus man became a

living being." So even before we have heard

the Good News we are already acceptable to

God. And when we behave according to God's

will for us we are accepted.

 

So our love for one another should model and

actualise the Father's love for us when he gives

us his Son and when Jesus gives himself for us.

This means that there can be no limit to our love.

There can be no limit to our practical will for the

happiness of one another.

 

This "one another" refers to the local Church

and the universal Church, but our love cannot be

exclusive or sectarian. What we are talking

about is God's own love for the whole world.

Its directed to all human beings.

 

So this love beginning as the Father's free gift of

Himself in his Son and reciprocated by the Son,

is finally reciprocated by true believers and

thereby we become friends of Jesus, friends of

the Father and friends of one another.

 

Friends of God we are at the high point of

Christianity and into the essence of Christian

life. This is the life willed for us by the Father

and the Son, fellowship with them and

membership of their family. If we do not

regard and act towards all others as our "friends"

our Christian life is imperfect. We can never

divorce our relationship with the Father and the

Son from action.

 

Even our prayer and contemplation is active and

directed to the service of others. Nor is our love

for our fellows limited to their material need. It

includes their total destiny. Created in God's

image and likeness they too are drawn to enjoy

God's life fully.

 

So we are not talking utopia, mirage or

unattainable ideal. We are talking true

brotherhood, true sisterhood. It is the reality to

which we are all invited. It is the reality to

which God destines and calls the whole of

humankind.

 

15th April 2018 - Third Sunday of Easter B

posted 14 Apr 2018, 07:47 by Veronica Yarwood


 

Messy and ugly. No other words for it. Jesus dies a

messy, ugly death in a messy ugly place. There is

nothing glamorous about Golgotha. There is no

glamour on Golgotha. Imagine the stench There

must be a stench about the place. The stench of

violent death. The stench of triumphalism. The

stench of despair. An aw-ful, bloody place!

And Peter? Peter blames ignorance. "Neither you

nor your leaders had any idea what you were really

doing." The same goes for us. Blame our

ignorance. We had no idea what we were really

doing.

And Jesus rises. Jesus rises in triumph. Out of the

mess and the ugliness, the death, stench and violence.

Out of the corruption and despair Jesus rises, in

triumph, in glory, victorious. Note his post‑

resurrection body. It still bears the scars. And

Jesus says to US, "See my hands and my feet."

So our Risen Lord is no phantom. Our Risen Lord

is no ghost. The Jesus who rises is the Jesus who

 

has died on the cross on the cross. So we note and

note well, because it is crucial: our Christian faith is

founded on historical fact. Christianity is an

historical religion. It happened, is happening and

will continue. Our religion is no dream ticket. Our

religion is historical and it is for real.

A necessary part of God's plan the cross was no

emergency measure when all else had failed. The

cross is the reality, the really real reality of God's

eternal love for us. On the cross we see the reality,

of God's eternal love for us and everyone and every

thing.

In a messy, ugly place God's love shines through. It

was the scars on Jesus' body which helped the

disciples recognise him. They must be the

identifying marks of Our Lord for us. Because

sometimes our world can be a very messy, ugly

place. There is, after all, very little glamour in

broken relationships, addiction, poverty, abuse,

suicide and despair. These Golgothas leave scars but

these very scars can become badges of victory.

These scars can become signs of encouragement and

hope, signs of resurrection.

 

The disciples leave the upper room enthused,

confident and full of hope. So may our trials keep us

strong, our sorrows keep us human and our failures

keep us humble. May our hope keep us happy and

our enthusiasm keep us looking forward. May our

faith banish depression, our wealth meet our needs

and our friends give us comfort. And may we have,

in the Risen Lord, determination to make each day a

little better than yesterday.

 

 

8th April 2018 - 2nd Sunday of Easter B

posted 8 Apr 2018, 06:46 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

Brothers and sisters, "United heart and soul",

says the Acts. So we cannot say, "What I do

with my money is none of your business."

Brothers and sisters, "United heart and soul",

says the Acts. So we cannot say, "What I do

with my body is none of your concern."

Brothers and sisters, "United heart and soul",

says the Acts. So we cannot say, "My lifestyle

is not your concern."

We cannot say these things when the Acts

push us to shared prayer, shared study, shared

table, shared material goods, "shared duties

and responsibilities". We are a sharing people

because we are an Easter people, brothers and

sisters of the risen Lord. No longer just

disciples we note but named brothers and

sisters by the risen Lord himself. (Mat?)

Our sharing is our Easter faith in action. Our

sharing reveals the risen Christ. And the risen

Christ may not be divided, only shared by his

brothers and sisters.

 

So through with and in the risen Lord Jesus we

belong totally to God. Just as our world and

all that's in it belongs to God, all space and all

time. All of his/hers! We are entrusted with

our life and our world. So our lifestyle does

matter. Our investments do matter. Our

consumption does matter. They all affect

others and every variation of other, especially

the weakest. As Pope Paul VI says, "If you

want peace in this world, work for justice."

Jesus' mission is to bring well-being to our

world. Jesus is well-being in person. Jesus is

us as we are meant to be. It is well-being

based on justice, solidarity, community and

respect for the whole cosmos.

Big themes, overworked words but the very

stuff of the kingdom we pray for when we say,

"Thy kingdom come." So we accept the rights

and the needs of others, persons, places and

things. We forgive ourselves and we forgive

others, prone as we are to disconnect, to evil,

sin and selfishness.

We accept God's gift of the Spirit who

strengthens and empowers us for the

 

establishment of God's kingdom of total well‑

being. We accept the being and backing of the

unseen God who is always through us, with us

and in us to support and help us. This is life as

God wills it and it will be achieved.

Success is guaranteed by God. "You cannot

keep a good God down." It is writ large in

Christ's victory over all the horror, evil and

corruption of sin and death. This is the reason

for our Easter joy. This is the reason for our

Easter celebration. We are well-being bound.

The well-being pattern is present in all and the

pattern will out, total well-being through with

and in the risen Lord Jesus.

 

 

1st April 2018 - Easter Sunday

posted 30 Mar 2018, 14:01 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

Easter is God's total involvement in our lives. Our

daily lives reveal the divine dimension. There is

nothing insignificant in life therefore, be it ever so

plain, be it ever so ordinary. It is a glimpse of divinity

and we call it the Paschal mystery.

 

Peter claims to be a witness to the Paschal mystery of

God's reality with us, through us and in us. Mary

Magdalen and the disciples experience the Easter

impact, never really previously appreciated. And we in

our turn can only corroborate the Easter meaning of life.

"This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes."

 

This Easter moment is very special. It is an experience

that gives us new insight  into the meaning of our

precious lives. Our Easter moment transforms us,

transforms us to such an extent that nothing can ever be

the same again. We touch the beyond.

 

New insight dawns, insight beyond all previous

experience. It is the Easter experience, obviously

special to Easter. It is the basis of faith. It is challenge

to spiritual growth and it is the rediscovery of our

personal vocation. We believe in this new reality. It is

our motivation in all we think and say and do. The God

of universe is totally invested in our every living

feature. Easter is the meaning of our every breathing

moment. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will

come again. The glorious mystery that is ours to live

every day, every hour, every moment now and forever.

 

25th March 2018 - Passion Sunday B

posted 23 Mar 2018, 01:25 by Veronica Yarwood


(Palm Sunday)

H.B.& Hw.

 

Real experience of our humanity and our

weakness has the power to lead us to total

reliance on God, to let go and let God. Then

we conform to the lifestyle of Servant and

Christ. So God's word informs our speech and

our actions.

The God-gift of humility empties us of self so

that we are overtaken by God's love and grace.

Then we live with the belief that we are being

raised with Christ and we are entering into

glory despite all appearances, now.

Struggle and challenge, success and failure are

the seed bed of our growth in this belief. We

find ourselves doing a Peter and even a Judas

when we abandon Jesus the poor and the

needy. We deny the Lord when we withhold

love. Our commitment lags when we refuse to

stand on the side of justice. With Peter we can

but weep for our sins and capitalise on our

failure by repentance, and reconciliation.

 

In our constant prayer of praise and

thanksgiving, pain and adversity, we accept

God's will with the Lord Jesus. "Not my Will

but Thine be Done", we pray, not in passivity

but in active engagement. Our God after all, is

always with us despite the seeming emptiness,

abandonment and loneliness and we keep on

keeping on in faith, utter faith, blind faith, just

like the Lord Jesus, with him, through him and

in him.

 

18th March 2018 - 5th Sunday of Lent

posted 16 Mar 2018, 07:39 by Veronica Yarwood

18th March 2018 – 5th Sunday of Lent

 

The Lord says, "Deep within them I will plant

my Law, writing it on their hearts." The Lord

says, "Then I will be their God and they shall be

my people." (Jer.31.31-34.)

 

And when the Lord says these things God holds

nothing back. This is the Almighty's infinite

gift of the divine self to each one of us. And the

infinite gift makes for infinite possibilities, our

sin written off, for example, mercy, kindness,

compassion and cleansing, pure heart, steadfast

spirit, joy and fervour. All ours for the

receiving. The facets of God's self gift to us are

myriad.

 

If we want to see all this for real and in the flesh,

like the Greeks of our gospel reading, "...we

should like to see Jesus." (Jn. 12.20.) And the -

same Jesus says, "Come.. ..come and see."

Come and see what a God-filled man looks like,

thinks like, speaks like, acts like. Gloriously,

that is how he looks, thinks, speaks and acts,

gloriously!

 

So what on earth does that mean? It means, like

the seed, falling to earth and dying and yielding

a rich harvest. Therein lies the glory. As the

letter to the Hebrews expresses it, "Although he

was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering: but

having been made perfect, he became for all

who obey him the source of eternal salvation."

(Hebrews 5.9.)

 

What a way of going on! What a way to run the

universe! Its enough to make one stop the

world and get off. '--...to the Jews an obstacle

that they cannot get over, to the pagans

madness. . . .but to those who have been

called. . . .(this dying and rising dynamic is) the

power and wisdom of God.

 

This is how our glorification works, how we

come to be men and women fully alive.

Forever dying and rising, we grow, mature and

change. We change our priorities, we

 

reorientate our relationships, letting go and

finally even yielding up our spirit.

 

Well, it is the constant theme of Lent. And it is

Christian spirituality to take the risk of letting

go. This way we all keep our date with Jesus in

Gethsemane. This way we walk with Jesus as

he says we should and we are drawn into the

Paschal experience and the glory of God.

 

11th March 2018 - 4th Sunday of Lent B

posted 9 Mar 2018, 06:13 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & 11w.

"Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his

only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not

be lost but may have eternal life." (John 3.16) This is

the most quoted text in the Bible. Why? Because it

says it all. It gives us our 'now'. We are loved so much

by God that we have eternal life now. Salvation is a

'now' condition. It is not an awaited condition,

forthcoming, impending and intended. It is 'now'.

So salvation and life is how it is. And here we are

living a half life, a twilight life, trying to pull ourselves

up by our own bootstraps, like the good Pelagians we

are. Pelagius, we remember, taught that people can

perform good deeds and so merit heaven, without the

aid of God's grace. Whereas, it is grace, all grace. No

one is saved except by grace; saints, scholars, punters

and pontiffs. So what is all the pushing, pulling,

fasting, abstaining, self-denial and indulgence about?

Such are the manifestations of the God-life and

salvation in us. These spiritual exercises and

expressions issue from the grace and God-life in us.

 

"Fear not, I am with you", the Lord says. Whenever we

are about to opt out, find excuse or settle for less, the

Lord says, "Fear not, I am with you". Nothing changes.

We remember well the divine refrain echoing back to

Moses even, "I shall be with you". (Exodus.' 3.12)

That's all. Simply, I'll be with you! Moses' power is

the presence of the Lord. In every religious experience

in the Bible, a person comes to an experience of God

and God says, simply, I shall be with you. I will do it.

Trust me. (Richard Rohr) And that is all we need. That

is all we need to know. That is all we need to believe.

God, very God, Father, Son & Spirit, God is with us.

Just pause and attend to your breathing and know the

life force within who is God. Be still and know that

stillness is the divine tranquillity. We await the

spiritual experience and it is all about us. The silence

which we may bring to consciousness is the sound of

the Triune God. The light that dawns is the one only

universal light, God's illumination, "that enlightens all

men".

We are being transformed in every moment we live in

conscious loving union with God. "Because it is by

grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by

 

anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by

anything you have done, so that nobody can claim the

credit. We are God's work of art; created in Christ

Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had

meant us to live it." (Eph: 2.10)

 

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