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19th Nov. 2017 - 33rd Sunday of the Year A

posted 17 Nov 2017, 06:44 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. Hw.

 

There we have it. True wisdom is perfection.

Wisdom is priceless. Wisdom is confidence.

Wisdom is advantage, benefit and value. There

is no negativity in true wisdom. Wisdom

underpins useful occupation, goo ,4work and

positive activity. It is productive and generous.

There is no deceit or emptiness in wisdom.

Wisdom is praiseworthy and is always its own

reward. And today that is what our Proverbs

reading is saying. We are not into a D.I.Y. "how

to be the perfect wife". It is all about wisdom.

 

And what is this wisdom? Or rather who is this

wisdom? It is the Lord and the Lord is our

happiness and prosperity. The Lord is our

fruitfulness and our fertility. So we really do

have to get out of the way. We have to let the

Lord be the Lord. Because We are not into

belonging systems and systems of belief which

leave us saying, "I am right and you are wrong"

to our world, so much as the ways of

transformation.

 

And the ways, of transformation into wisdom,

life and light are present, now and urgent. The

"Day of the Lord" is now, always now. We

cannot afford to waste time on false scents that

lead to a false self of ceaseless thinking and

consequent emotions.

 

Do we realise that 93% of our thinking at least is

repetitive and useless. When we say, "I think",

it is about as meaningful as, "I digest". The- true

self is the watcher who recognises our think

babble for what it is and our consequent

emotions for what they are.

 

The true self is a self of light. We children of

the day, called to consciousness, "do not belong

to the night or to darkness, so we should not go

on sleeping, as everyone does, but stay awake

and sober". (Thess: 5.6).

 

The vast majority of us are unconscious so we

need to get wise to the truth. "Make your home

in me, as I make mine in you, says the Lord".

The Lord invites us to become prayer, the true

self, allowing God to be God in our lives. Just

like Jesus. By letting God be God in himself,

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and the

seat of true wisdom.

 

 

12th Nov. 2017 - 32nd Sunday of the Year A

posted 10 Nov 2017, 04:18 by Veronica Yarwood   [ updated 10 Nov 2017, 04:19 ]


H.B. & Hw.

 

Allan Bloom, author of "Closing of the American

Mind" says, "Fathers and mothers have lost the

idea that the highest aspiration they might have for

their children is for them to be wise... Specialised

competence and success are all they can imagine".

 

When a youngster like Lincoln sought to educate

himself, the immediately available obvious things

for him to learn were the Bible, Shakespeare and

Euclid. Was he really worse off than those who try

to find their way through the technical smorgasbord

of the current school system, with its utter inability

to distinguish between important and unimportant

in any way other than by the demands of the

market?"

 

Perhaps we may be reminded of the well known

words of T.S. Eliot; "All our wisdom is lost in

knowledge. All our knowledge is lost in

information.”

 

And so to the story of the wise and foolish virgins.

The story makes but one point! One point only.

Let's not look for more or allow others to suggest

that there are more. The parable does not describe

the ideal Christian life where the wise should have

the charity to share their oil with the foolish.

 

The one and only point of the parable is

watchfulness. Don't worry about what the oil

stands for. The light refers to watchful waiting for

the coming of Christ. Lamps signify enlightened

minds. And the number five refers to the five senses.

 

So the word today is "Be prepared". "Be prepared"

not "Keep awake". And be prepared not by a

frantic search for signs that the end is nigh. The

Christian ideal, our ideal, is to keep on keeping on,

doing our duty at the proper times by living the life

of the Kingdom.

 

The life of the Kingdom is given us in the Sermon

on the Mount and in the Beatitudes. The life of the

Kingdom is total dependence on God, gentleness,

mourning the absence of goodness, hungering for

what is right, being merciful and pure in heart,

making peace and prepared for persecution in the

cause of right. That is Kingdom living. We are not

into the latest religious fireworks, visions and

wonders from round the globe. Even Pope

Benedict recommends balance in response to such!

Let's face it we can be word perfect in the account

of our faith but without the corresponding lifestyle

we are headed for disaster.

 

So we may all have our lamps. We may all be very

excited about the wedding or the Messianic

Banquet and able to sing, "Lord, Lord", but are we

prepared? Anticipation and endurance is salvation.

This is wisdom. This is the wisdom of the gospel.

And a final thought, "wise" means "prudent". And

the prudent are prepared to risk. The prudent are

prepared to risk all in the name of Jesus, who is the

Christ.

 

 

22nd Oct. 2017 - 29th Sunday of Year A

posted 21 Oct 2017, 00:57 by Veronica Yarwood


 HB & Hw

 

So life is all of a piece. "There is a season for

everything, a time for every occupation under

heaven." (Eccles. 3. 1.) But life is all of a

piece. In its deepest sense, all of it belongs to

God, even when we are busy filling in our tax

returns.

And we are challenged. "Render to God the

things that are God's." The Lord says to us,

"Render to God the things that are God's." Our

secular obligation, like our tax returns, but

whatever, stands under and is judged. by a higher

obligation - to recognise the sovereignty of the

Supreme Sovereign, to give what is due to the

greatest Emperor of all.

 

It is an unexpected way of reminding us of the

first and greatest commandment, "You must do

homage to the Lord your God, him alone you

must serve." (Lk.4.8.) Never mind all our

smart qualifications, mental reservations and

questions! Worship your God from deep; deep

inside.

 

We take the point and it is this, the importance

of worshipping God. The Church to which we

belong is above everything else a worshipping

family, a worshipping community. We reach

our full stature only when we fall on our knees.

We stand straight and walk tall only when we

bow our heads in adoration.

 

The care of the sick, the struggle for justice, the

needs of the poor, the education of the young are

essential to our mission, but our highest function

on earth is the worship of Almighty God. We

are supremely our true selves when we gather to

celebrate the liturgy, especially the Holy

Eucharist. The Mass is the very summit of our

activity, the apex of our life. The spirit of our

Church finds noble expression in hospital, day

centre and school, but it is to this gathering for

Mass we must look to discover the soul of our

Church.

 

So if we are to be a believing community we

must be a worshipping community. We owe a

special reverence to our God and always will.

Our God, after all, brought us into being. Our

God sustains us through every second. Our

God is Lord of the universe. This God loves us

with an overwhelming love. So much so he

sends his Son to save us.

 

It is this Son, Jesus, who reminds us of the

importance of worshipping God. Jesus says,

"You must love the Lord your God with all your

heart, with all your soul, with all your strength."

He teaches us to praise God even as we call him

"Our Father". "Hallowed be thy name", he

says.

 

Mary learns the lesson well. She leaves us with

the ideal formula for adoring God. "... .the

Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is

his name." (Lk. 1.49.)

 

He that is mighty has done great things for us

too. Let's never lose sight of this fact. Let's

never stop saying it, living it and praying it. Let

our community be a worshipping community,

reaching up and reaching out into the cosmos in

awe and reverence. Lets render to God the

things that are God's, EVERYTHING!

 

After Joseph Cassidy: These Might Help.

15th Oct. 2017 - 28th Sunday of the Year

posted 14 Oct 2017, 11:25 by Veronica Yarwood

 HB&Hw

 

Invitation, invitation, invitation and it is all

invitation. We are an invited people. We are

invited to life and the larger life in every

breathing moment.

 

Rich with every richness, and fine with every

refinement, is the life into which we are being

called, which the Lord would have us experience

even now.

 

Rejoicing, life and laughter, exaltation and

salvation must be the qualities of this larger

living. In the words of the prophet we glimpse

the "now" to which we are invited. It is an

eye-hath-not-seen-vision. It is an ear-hath-not‑

heard communication. It is an it-has-not‑

entered-the-heart-of-man condition. This is

where we are.

 

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, saint

and sinner, this is us. Abundance, refreshment,

repose and restoration, kindness and goodness,

eternal homecoming, it is all ours from the heart

of our being who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Have we received the invitation? Are we

receiving the invitation loud and clear? Do we

accept wholeheartedly?

Acceptance is immersion in reality, in the real

self and the spiritual self which we dress in

forms of flesh and blood. It is at this level and

depth that we experience all freedom, joy, peace

and beauty.

 

Acceptance of the Lord's invitation to life and

the larger life takes courage. It is walking on

water. It is letting go all the supports we

normally depend on, persons, places and things,

barns full of things!

 

But when we let go then we really do know that

"The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want."

Ps. 22.

 

Then living and dying and rising again becomes

the pattern of our days. It is always the next

dance and it is the Lord's dance. And we are

invited to come dressed for dancing.

 

 

 

8th Oct. 2017 - 27th Sunday of the Year A

posted 5 Oct 2017, 07:05 by Veronica Yarwood   [ updated 5 Oct 2017, 07:06 ]

 HB. &Hw .

 

Despite all the digging, despite all the planting

and building "Project Vineyard" is a dismal

failure. The vineyard itself is a disaster in the

Old Testament parable. In the New Testament

parable the vineyard's tenants are the disaster.

So what is at stake here? Clearly we are into

fruit in a big way. Another parable, the parable

of the true vine gives us:

"I chose you from the world

to go out and bear fruit,

fruit that will last,

says the Lord" Jn. 15.16.

So we are the issue. Whether we think of

ourselves as vineyard or vineyard tenant, we are

the issue. We are meant to be productive. We

are meant to

"bear fruit,

fruit that will last."

 

And, of course, we are not talking about sour

grapes, or even sweet grapes. We are talking

about spiritual fruit, like charity, joy and peace.

We are talking about qualities of kindness,

gentleness and compassion, patience, goodness,

perseverance. We are talking mildness, faith

and discretion and even continency and chastity.

 

And that cornucopia must leave us asking for a

break from such impossible expectations. But

these expectations are only impossible if we

mistake their origin and their only possible

fulfilment.

 

The God of peace is their origin and fulfilment.

So, as St. Paul reminds us, "There is no need to

worry. If there is anything you need, pray for

it, asking God for it with prayer and

thanksgiving, and that peace of God... .... will

guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ

Jesus." Phil.4.6.

 

That is the secret of "Project Vineyard", the

prayer that lets God be God in us, with us and

through us, with all those divine qualities and

fruits that register as charity, joy, peace and all

the rest.

So, ".. . .go out and bear fruit,

fruit that will last," Jn. 15.16.

for ever and ever.


1st Oct. 2017 - 26th Sun. of the Year A

posted 29 Sep 2017, 04:04 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

"He shall certainly live; he shall not die." We are dealing

with life and death issues. Repentance is a matter of life

and death. Repentance is a root and branch business.

Repentance is radical. Repentance is an about turn, a U‑

turn. Repentance is a change from "I will not go" to "I

will go." Repentance is the response of the tax collectors

and the prostitutes to John the Baptist's call. Repentance

is entry into the Kingdom now, right here and now.

Repentance is total. Repentance is a new way of life.

So we accept the necessity for constant growth and

maturation and repentance. There is no standing still and

marking time in the repentance stakes. Trouble is that it is

all so complicated. There seem to be no black and white

issues anymore. We live a blind-mans-buff existence.

We grope in the dark of a plague of options. We need a

guru. And the Psalmist will do. The Psalmist gives us

the only recourse there really is, a prayer for the Lord's

mercy. Pray for the Lord's mercy and let the Lord sort out

all the complications.

"Lord, make me know your ways.

Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:

for you are God my saviour." Ps. 24.4.

 

The answer to our prayer is instant. KENOSIS. Kenosis

says the Lord, is my way.

"His state was divine,

Yet he did not cling

To his equality with God

BUT EMPTIED HIMSELF

To assume the condition of a slave

And became as men are." Phil 26

Emptied himself and that is Kenosis, the Lord's way. So

there is no clinging to a false self that we imagine to be the

real me. Rather we let go and let God. We do a Jesus,

empty oneself, serve and be holy.

Nor does holiness separate us from others, whoever they

are. Rather it weds us to others, just like Jesus. Christ's

holiness is shown in his embrace of us in all our sinful

imperfection. His holiness is displayed not by distance

from us but by closeness. His holiness is the holiness we

are invited to embrace when we are called to repentance.

Jesus embraces the untouchable, the lepers. Jesus eats

and drinks with sinners. Jesus is sacrificial lamb who dies

on the altar of the cross.

We become a holy, priestly people when we embody

Christ's embrace of us all in our messy lives, with all their

weaknesses and failure. The holiness of the Church, and

that is us, is shown in its inclusion of sinners, not their

exclusion. As James Joyce said of the Church, "Here

comes everyone". Surely our vision of life and our

understanding of holiness must be free of any vestige of

elitism. Our vision and repentant holiness, like Christ's, is

founded upon our intimacy and identification with people

in their struggles and failures. This is the sanctity to

which we are invited when Jesus says, "Repent!" No

clinging to the self. Let it go. Empty the self. Serve!

And the victory is certain.

 

24th Sept. 2017 - 25th Sunday of the Year A

posted 22 Sep 2017, 11:55 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

We are invited into God-think. We are invited to

follow the divine way. So it is compassion and

abounding love all the way. It is justice and identity

with God even now, and there is only the now.

 

St. Paul is breathlessly succinct when reflecting on

God-think, the divine way, compassion and

abounding love. Paul says quite simply, "Life to me

is Christ." So at the end of the day nothing really

matters and everything really matters. "Life to me is

Christ." That is blessing, peace and glory. No more

to be said.

 

So human calculations about who among us is the

most deserving are pointless. Such calculations are

the preoccupation of control freaks, the controllers,

those of the egoic mind, always dividing the field,

"them and us".

 

We are intent on the generosity of God. We do not

"do" envy and jealousy. It is God's world and it is

God's creation, all one vast unity that may not be

divided. All of us are equally dependent on our

creator and redeemer and each one of us is the object

of God's loving freedom who gives as he wishes, to

whom he wishes and in the measure he chooses.

 

The only response to the infinite generosity of God is

gratitude. We accept our place and we accept our

calling in this world of God's boundless generosity.

It is what it is. We do not compare ourselves to

others. We simply acknowledge that what we are

and have comes from God's mercy and goodness and

we thank God. Giving thanks is the basic ecstasy

and "eucharistia" is the Greek word for

"thanksgiving".

 

So measuring what is our due is a non-sense exercise.

God is the source of all gifts and God is glorified and

revealed in his gifts ubiquitously. And it is given us

to glorify God and to serve each other. We are God's

gift to one another. Like Our Lord we come to serve

not to be served, happy with our denarius and ready

to return same or give it away to a needy neighbour.

 

Now that is God — think. This is the divine way. It

is compassion and abounding love, justice and

identity, identity with Our Lord and Master. And

now with Paul we too can say and do say, "Life to me

is Christ."

 

And that is evangelization. And every Sunday is

Mission Sunday. And every day is Home Mission

day. And "Life to me is Christ."

 (Philippians 1.21) (Scripture in Church 151)

 

Untitled Post

posted 15 Sep 2017, 07:04 by Veronica Yarwood

 

17th Sept. 2017 – 24th Sunday of the Year

 

(After Brendan McConvery, CSsR. Scripture in Church No. 139)

 

Radical forgiveness is the hallmark of Christianity.

Radicalforgiveness reaches down into the heart, mind and spirit.

Radical forgiveness wants to transform our enemy into our

beloved friend. Peter is the first recipient of Jesus' radical

forgiveness. Peter learns about forgiveness in a deeply personal

way. Peter experiences the radical, joyful newness-of the Gospel

of forgiveness. Forgiveness liberates the sinner and it liberates

the offended. Radical forgiveness is radical freedom.

We find ourselves invited to a fundamental attitude that exclude

revenge and resentment. Caught in the cycle of revenge and

offence we live a life of bondage. Like Robbie Burns' account

of a woman sitting by the fire awaiting her husband's return

from a night out with friends, 'nursing her wrath to keep it

warm'. It is so easy to nurse our wrath in so many subtle ways,

both conscious and unconscious.

 

Forgetting, exercising a healthy control of one's memory is the

first step to forgiveness. We make room for the bigger picture

by healthy memory control. Neighbour, superior, parent, child,

teacher, pupil; whoever sins against us is set free and we are

liberated by letting the memory go. Life is too short to be

corroded with bitterness. "Remember the last things and stop

hating." (Ecc 'us: 28.7) But apart altogether from issues like

death, judgement, hell and heaven, the fact is that life is just too

short. To live in the shadow of revenge, nurturing slights and

insults, constantly on the watch to get even, is to opt for a

hopelessly limited existence that excludes true joy. Non‑

forgiveness is the ultimate in pollution of mind and heart and

will.

 

Besides, the Gospel note is one of evermore radical forgiveness.

And it is only possible when we are grasped by the mystery of

the Kingdom. We reach into the depths of the Gospel demand

and find a well of forgiveness. The power of healing is release

in us and in our community. We begin to understand the Lord

Jesus when he says, "the kingdom of heaven is like 'a story of

generous forgiveness'."

 

So "Forgiveness is the beginning, the middle and the end of

gospel life. It is the energy of being forgiven that first buoys

up. It is the experience of being forgiven. . . that renews our

flagging spirit. It is profound. (Infinite in positive possibility.)

Forgiveness is the supreme work of God for the recreation of a

things: Nothing new happens without it."
(Richard Rohr: Radical Grace)

SUMMER TIME

posted 16 Jul 2017, 07:23 by Veronica Yarwood

DUE TO SUMMER HOLIDAYS HOMILIES MAY NOT ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE

9th July 2017 - 14th Sunday of the Year A

posted 7 Jul 2017, 14:23 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

 

Messianic expectations are part of the human psyche. The

evidence is in the inspired literature from the Book of

Genesis to the Book of Revelation. And so Jesus enters

Jerusalem on a colt.

Messianic expectations survive both political and religious

collapse. "When your days are fulfilled and you lie down

with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you,

who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish

his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I

will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." (2

Sam. 7:12-13). And so Jesus enters Jerusalem on a colt.

Our Messianic expectations are being fulfilled. The Lord

keeps his word. "The days are surely coming, says the

Lord, when I will raise up for David, a righteous Branch,

and he shall reign as king and deal wisely and shall execute

justice and righteousness in the land." (Jer. 23:5) And

Jesus' powerful victory is expressed through humility.

Jesus' self-description is 'for I am gentle and humble of

heart.' Gentleness and humility are Jesus' Messianic

credentials. We really, do have a Messiah. And Jesus

enters Jerusalem on a colt.

We note Jesus' prayer of thanks for hiding 'these things

from the wise and the intelligent' and having "revealed

them to infants" (Mall. 11:25) "These things" are the

Messianic expectations but it takes a new mind to perceive

1

the meaning of "these things", of Jesus' healing ministry,

whereby the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk. It

means we have our Messiah right here, right now. The

proclamation to the poor and the miraculous deeds are all

the proof we need if we have the mindset for this kind of

evidence. And so Jesus enters Jerusalem on a colt.

As St. Paul reminds us, the earthbound person left to

unaided individual ability will not get the point in a month

of Sundays. Such a one will not so much have Messianic

expectations dashed; he will not even recognise his

Messianic expectations for what they really are. And we

are only liberated from such spiritual insensitivity by the

Spirit herself.

The Spirit indwells the Christian believer and this

indwelling makes all the difference. We recognise our

Messianic expectations for what they really are. We

identify and perceive the Messiah in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Lack of reception of Jesus' Messiahship is the issue today,

as it always has been, both inside and outside the Church.

John spells out the truth for us, "But these (signs) are

written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the

Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you

may have life in his name." (John 20:31). And so Jesus

enters Jerusalem on a colt.

 

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