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16th Sept. 2018 - 24th Sunday of Year B

posted 13 Sep 2018, 08:19 by Veronica Yarwood

 HB. & Hw.

No quick fix! That is not what is on offer. No

magic! That is certainly not on offer. No jump‑

leads-healing. Only profound hope. Jesus offers us

profound hope, absolute certainty.

 

"Snares of death", "anguish of the tomb", "sorrow

and distress", "stumbling" and "tears", pain and

suffering we all experience. And Jesus offers us

profound hope, which in the Christian book is

certainty.

 

Not ours then to seek and want explanations of

human tragedy. The question, "Why does a loving

God allow all this suffering to happen?" verges on

blasphemy. The loving God suffers all we suffer,

only more so. And in Jesus the loving God offers

us profound hope.

 

But the one thing we do not run away from is

suffering. The one thing we do not deny is

suffering. Jesus does not run away from crippling

individual sickness. Nor do we. Jesus does not

avoid the multitudes starving with hunger. Nor do

we. With him we live in the real world, our world

as it is, with its deep mystery of pain and suffering.

 

And we do not ask, "What did I do to deserve

this?" Even if I can say, "I've always tried to live a

good life." We really do need to eradicate this

petulant attitude. We do not even say, "I am being

punished by God for this or that misdemeanour, sin

or mistake." What kind of God do we make our

God out to be by such attitude and thinking? A

monster surely, which is blasphemy.

 

Nor do we actively seek suffering. As if it were a

virtue. Jesus does not. Nor do we. But what we

must say is, that Jesus understands suffering and

death as the inevitable consequence of his life and

ministry. Seek to release God's power in the

world, seek to love like Jesus and we pay the price.

We get hurt.

 

And we can still join the Lord in his Gethsemane

prayer, "Take this chalice from me". But we must

pray the whole prayer, "not my will but thine!".

This is the prayer that removes the barreness. This

is the prayer prayed in profound hope that takes

away the apparent futility. This is the prayer that

takes us through the triple ordeal of mind and body

and spirit; the threefold failure to resurrection, new

life and joy.

 

"The one who grants me saving justice is near."

Nearer to me than I am to myself. And no

situation, no matter how bleak, is hopeless. The

heart of our faith is precisely that death gives way

to life. We acknowledge the darkness but look

forward towards the light.

 

Even this hope can, very often does, seem far, far

away. But then we remember that Jesus offers no

quick fix; only deep down, profound certainty that

all will be well. Through him, with him and in him

all will be well.

 

 

9th Sept. 2018 - 23rd Sunday of the Year B

posted 6 Sep 2018, 08:49 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

"Courage! Do not be afraid." This is Kingdom speke. Even

during our present tribulation "Do not be afraid." The Kingdom

is coming; ever more fully experienced by each one of us. We

have every reason for hope and our Christian hope is certainty.

Certainty that all will be well. Wholeness, harmony and justice

are ours as Kingdom people. And we are not so much waiting

for a time when God's kingdom will come. The reality is much

more subtle and we are living the life of the Kingdom even now

Look at Jesus' miracles, listen to Jesus' parables of the

Kingdom and see a vision of our world and our relationships

within it as God intends it to be. That is his divine Kingdom.

 

In any case, our God does not need time. All times are present

to God who is beyond time. So the kingdom of God where all is

as it should be is an eternal reality, though usually beyond our

sight. With Christ, however, God's kingdom is presented to us,

brought to us and its nature is shown to us. That is why the

kingdom of God is said to be 'among us' - and indeed, 'within

us'. (Luke: 17.21) We are offered the grace and gift of living in

God's kingdom, even as we continue to live in this world.

 

So this is the miracle. This is the wonder and marvel and

healing worked by Christ's incarnation, his life and his teaching

Jesus is the Good News of the kingdom. Jesus is the cure and

the restoration of all to wholeness and harmony and justice.

Jesus is our food and our freedom. Jesus is our vision, our

restoration and our protection. Jesus is God's Kingdom in

person. If we can only live out our utter dependence on the

Lord, our essential poverty, the Kingdom is ours here and now.

We call it salvation, shalom, total wellbeing. So we praise and

thank God for the healing miracles of Jesus which reveal his

true identity. We praise and thank God for the prophetic vision

of the wholeness and righteousness that we share as Kingdom

people. "Courage! Do not be afraid."

 

26th August 2018 - 21st Sunday of Year

posted 26 Aug 2018, 11:50 by Veronica Yarwood


HB & Hw

Commitment and freedom. Today we are into

commitment and freedom. In our reading from

the book of Joshua we are into commitment and

freedom.

 

The Shechem covenant ratifies the covenant of

our Old Testament fathers in the faith, Abraham

and Moses. This time it takes place in the

Promised Land itself.

 

No easy ratification of the covenant here. The

Shechem ratification demands a people of

maturity and freedom. What is more Joshua

insists on the difficulty of serving the Lord.

Joshua insists on the demands that the covenant

will make on the people.

 

The people plead their willingness. The

people plead their willingness to adopt the

covenant anyway. And so all is signed, sealed

and delivered in written form, with the setting up

of a standing stone and by a sacrificial meal.

 

In our Eucharist we continue to use the language

of covenant. In the Mass we celebrate the

covenant of God's preferential love for us. In

the Mass we renew our free choice and

preference for God. God binds himself-to us

and we bind ourselves to God. We accept the

covenant gift and we accept the covenant

commitment but in total freedom, in the Mass.

 

In our Eucharist we are called to commitment.

Jesus shares his gifts with us and points us

towards a commitment that leads through

footwashing to death on the cross.

You see our hold on the Eucharist is never so

final that we cannot detect the question of the

Lord "What about you, do you want to go away

too?"

 

This morning we stand with Peter. This

morning we stand with Peter and respond, "Lord

who shall we go to? You have the message of

eternal life, and we believe; we know that you

are the Holy One of God."

 

And that is our covenant, and that is our

commitment and that is our freedom.

 

26th Aug. 2018 - 21st Sunday of Year

posted 24 Aug 2018, 07:24 by Veronica Yarwood



    Regret no Bulletin to hand

5th Aug. 2018 - 18th Sunday of the Year B

posted 3 Aug 2018, 11:16 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

So what price our freedom? The, immature person is

willing to sacrifice freedom for an imagined security.

Our freedom is always threatened by our sometimes

preference for an imagined security. "Might it not be

better to die as slaves, but with full stomach than to‑

die in the wilderness.; free but hungry." This is how

the problem expresses itself in the Book of Exodus.

 

That we may enjoy the freedom of the Sons of God

we need to recognise what is on offer. God can be

trusted completely to care for us, his desert people.

And we are a desert people; nothing guaranteed,

except the total care of our God for us. It doesn't

always look like that. It doesn't always feel like that.

But God's care for us is constant and total.

 

We find true freedom in our Lord and God. Trust

that freedom. Welcome that freedom even if the

bondage of materialism, bank balance or beauty

seems more secure. It is God who leads Us through

the wilderness of our world. We do not find our own

way. God in Christ IS the way. Jesus is the way to

freedom.

 

So with Paul we turn our attention to the context in

which we live the Christian life. We are called to

live out the implications of our baptism. This means

we live a life of constant conversion, renewal and

finally transformation. It is constant growth, it is

maturation, becoming less to become more. It is ever

greater freedom from bondage and slavery to

selfishness, sin and dead ends. We are called to a

distinctive Christian identity.

 

So we keep our eyes on Jesus. We look constantly at

the Christ. He is model and focus for all our living.

He is the new man, man as he is meant to be, man

and woman as you and I are meant to be. Each in

his/her own unique way! Christ-like, new and free!

This is us if we but take the hand of the Lord and let

him show us the way to freedom of mind, heart and

spirit. In our Celtic catchphrase we 'let go and let

God.'

 

 

15th July 2018 - 15th Sunday of the Year B

posted 14 Jul 2018, 12:08 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

Word and Kingdom do not permeate our world by

magic. God sends Jesus in the flesh, word made flesh

and Kingdom in person to reveal divine love. It is

always a hands-on mission. We are called to witness to

our brothers and sisters, whoever they may be. We may

have a mission to the powerful, the prestigious. We

may have a commitment to the sick or to those out of

control of their/lives, to show them, whatever their need

that there is another way. That there is infinitely more

to life. Our God calls us to be his\her co-worker(s).

We have to discern the word and what it takes to bring

in the Kingdom in our by now, very different world.

Our mission is a team mission. The team way is the

way to consistency and truth in our witness. Our unity

does after all, witness to a fragmented world. We are

not "lone rangers" and certainly not "loose cannons".

The team keeps us on track, in tune, especially in our

times of great difficulties and uncertainty. Consultation

is the strength of the mission team.

 

We should be known by our poverty and simplicity.

Our poverty is a register of our total dependence on the

Lord in our mission. Our simplicity goes for the

obvious. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty,

welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick

and the imprisoned. Keep it simple!

Our only equipment for our mission is the Jesus-given

authority. It is an authority over evil and a power to

serve. We do not need any other authority. Our

poverty is more powerful than possessions. "Poor to be

free is the message". Nor must we distance ourselves

from folk by ostentation of any kind. We simply insert

ourselves discreetly into each melieu. Thus we assume

our responsibility for word and Kingdom.

So we take the point. Our Christian authority is from

the Lord. We have authority over evil from Jesus. This

authority speaks to people as guest. This authority does

not impose its message. This authority leaves our

listeners free to respond. We temper our way of living

to avoid erecting barriers with our brothers and sisters.

Our ministry is a respectful ministry. And our ministry

is an unlimited ministry.

 

Evil must be challenged wherever it emerges. Be it

hunger, thirst, alienation, nakedness, sickness or

imprisonment, in whatever shape or form. Our mission

is to offer the word of salvation. Our mission is to offer

the fullness of life and the larger life of the Kingdom in

Jesus' name. So we take St. Paul at his word, "Before

the world was made, God chose us." (Eph. 1.4) "Go

prophesy to my people," (Amos. 7.15) the Lord says.

And what began with the Twelve continues with us.

We are people of the word. We are Kingdom people.

And we are such for our world.

 

 

1st July 2018 - 13th Sunday of the Year B

posted 29 Jun 2018, 06:35 by Veronica Yarwood


 

"Death was not God's doing,

He takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living."

 

God creates us to live and to live to the full. The

creation is good. It is of God. It must be good. There

is no room for negativity and disapproval of God's

handiwork. That's blasphemy. Hades, hell and evil,

call it what you will, is not in control. Despite all

appearances. The God-force, the life force is in charge.

Irreversibly so. And we are made to live as long as

God. Made in his image and likeness. That's us.

That's why we are precious. All of us, no matter what

the creed, colour or complexion. No wonder old Nick

is livid! Envy personified. And all those who walk

with him.

 

And if we want all this restated in practical terms?

Jesus is the statement in person. Moving out

immediately to a sick child. And even on the way,

curing a lifelong illness. To touch Jesus is enough to

release life-giving power. Never withheld where there

is faith in his Lordship. He is our wellbeing, our peace

and our freedom. Hence the absolute necessity for us to

present ourselves as we rly are. No kid stakes! So

that even when death itself, in whatever shape or form,

seems to have had its wicked way with us, Jesus can

take us by the hand and bid us rise from our failure, our

disappointment, our disillusionment and our sin And

we can walk tall. Our future restored to us by the Lord

of life. We really must forgo any hesitations about our

Lord. No superstitious piety, no hesitations on the

grounds of so called practicality, no supercilious

smirking at the notion of the marvels the Lord can do

for us. He is alive, active and totally on our side.

 

The least then we can do is to be alive, active and

totally on the side of our brothers and sisters. This is

the only way they will come to know and experience

the generosity of the Lord. He has proclaimed life...

He has proclaimed life through the Good News. We

too proclaim life. We are pro-life because Jesus, our

Lord, is life. His words are spirit and they are life.

Jesus has and is the message of eternal life. Let's not

keep this to ourselves. Let's spread the great Good

News, the message of eternal life who is Jesus. Totally

available to faith.

17th June 2018 - 11th Sunday of Year B

posted 14 Jun 2018, 12:18 by Veronica Yarwood


HB Hw

 

So ultimately Ezekiel refers to Jesus. Ezekiel

refers to Jesus and the Kingdom. It is to Jesus

and his Kingdom that we look for perspective

and encouragement so that we can keep on

keeping on. Not just doggedly but hopefully,

certain of the final outcome of eternal wellbeing

in God's Kingdom.

 

Growth, secret and gradual is the dynamic of the

coming of the Kingdom. We have to be ready

for the long haul, neither expecting spectacular

growth nor discouraged by peoples' slow

response.

 

Men and women respond to the coming of the

Kingdom in many, many ways. Don't knock

their uniqueness. It is of God. The whole

initiative in the evolution of the Kingdom is.

divine. Kingdom communication has a power

of its own. It grows effortlessly in the hearts of

believers, no stress, no strain, no sweat.

 

Our Kingdom building and our observation of

the development of the Kingdom can only be

optimistic, even when all seems to be falling

apart. Remember the mustard seed and lets

remember too who teaches the parable of the

mustard seed. It's Jesus. He speaks of secret

growth. He speaks of small beginnings. It is

Jesus who indicates the great future that grows

from small beginnings.

 

So we are involved in a scenario of small is

great. We need the sharpness of observation

and the sensitivity of heart to appreciate what is

happening all around us. Our future can and

will be great because it is God's work not ours,

though doubtless God will always use us if we

allow it.

We can but pray with the Psalmist,

"It is good to give you thanks, 0 Lord." We

praise and thank God for his plan for each one of

us and for the whole of humanity. Unless our

prayer embraces these two dimensions, the

personal and the universal, we remain

minimalist.

 

And really it is a great big universe out there.

Let's give our God credit for being a great big

God with great big ideas for

"a Kingdom of truth and life,

a Kingdom of holiness and grace,

a Kingdom of justice, love and peace"

for the whole of humankind, albeit from tiny

beginnings like ourselves, working through,

with and in Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

 

 

10th June 2018 - 10th Sunday of the Year

posted 8 Jun 2018, 06:38 by Veronica Yarwood


 

The first reading this morning is yet another mirror. We look into it and see our reflection. We see how we hide from God and how He constantly calls us. It is He who takes the initiative all the time. And even when we finally face Him we try to excuse ourselves for being what we are. We pass the buck and say “it was the woman you put with me”, “I never had a chance with my background”; “they never told me”.

We even blame God perhaps, by our emphasis on the “woman YOU put me with. Or perhaps like Eve we blame the serpent.

 

But as ever and whatever the excuses, God has the last word as He had the first.

The woman’s offspring will crush evil; will beat lovelessness. So that “He who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn and put us by His side.

 

And this is salvation. Not running away from God, or pretending He is not there. No, salvation is in coming clean, admitting our sinfulness, accepting ourselves for what we are. This way God can get at us and the reflection in the mirror changes. We see another Adam, a new Eve given to the service of our fellow men to the point of apparent madness.

We see the “unclean spirit” replaced by the Holy Spirit and this new man seeking only the will of the Father.

We see ourselves identified as Christ’s ‘brother and sister and mother’.

3rd June 2018 - Corpus Christi

posted 1 Jun 2018, 08:59 by Veronica Yarwood


(after Richard Rohr "Radical Grace" (Page 211)
H.B. & Hw.

 

It is the Mass that matters. The Eucharist is,

after all, the centre of our Catholic

Christianity. The central symbolism, the

essential expression of our Catholicism is the

Eucharist. We keep on keeping on giving the

bread of Jesus. We keep on keeping on saying

"The Body of Christ". This is who we are.

We become what we eat. We become and are

becoming Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ.

As Jesus says of the bread, "This is me", so we

say of the bread, "This is us".

 

We are more one, the one body of Christ than

we are many. Our oneness prevails over our

'many-ness'. We are one but we are broken.

This is the mystery we Catholics celebrate

constantly and ceaselessly and try to

understand.

 

So despite all the things we have shared over

the past few months we do not become

Catholics to become mystics, seeking unity

with the deity through contemplation. We do

not become Catholics to get metaphysical,

dealing with the nature of existence, truth and

knowledge. We do not become Catholics to

become transcendent, excelling and surpassing

human experience. We do not become

Catholics to enter some kind of nirvana like

the Buddhists or the Hindus in their pursuit of

holiness. This is not our Catholic way.

 

Our understanding of our Christianity does not

emphasise how to get us in the skies. Our

understanding of our Christianity emphasises

how to get our feet on the ground. Our

understanding of our Christianity emphasises

how to get in touch with the real, with reality.

Our Catholic Christianity tells us how to get

into society, into history, tied to the common

good. Orthopraxis precedes orthodoxy every

time.

 

Our Catholic Christianity tells us how to be

part of the muddiness and fleshiness of it all.

We eat the Body of Christ. We drink his

Blood. We do not just reflect on his ideas.

 

This is fundamental energy. This is original

energy. This energy has the power to

transform us and we are certainly into

transformation. Hence St. John's acclamation,

"Anyone who eats this bread will live (and

will live) forever." And we Catholic

Christians eat this bread and we will live fully

and forever. We are Corpus Christi and Body

of Christ. It is the Mass that matters.

 

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