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11th Nov. 2018 - 32nd Sun of the Year Yr. B

posted 9 Nov 2018, 14:17 by Veronica Yarwood

 

HB & Hw

 

No woman and mother gives her last morsel to

a stranger without a certain attitude of mind.

No widow gives her last few pence away

without a certain attitude of mind. No one lays

down his life for his friends with out a certain

attitude of mind.

 

This attitude says that there is more to life than

the self and self interest. It says that life is for

living. Or, paradoxically, life is for dying in the

sense that our lives are given us to give away.

Not just to end it all, you understand, but to

enhance it all and bring our lives to fullness and

flowering.

 

As the inspired poet puts it:

"Jar of meal shall not be spent

Jug of oil shall not be emptied

Before the day when the Lord sends

Rain on the face of the earth."

 

This is the language of completeness and

fulfilment. This is the language of life upon

life upon life, eternal, indestructible life, life as it

is meant to be. Our Psalmist expresses this

fullness of life as justice full blown, satisfaction

and freedom. Our Psalmist expresses this

fullness of life as understanding, vision and

wisdom. The Psalmist expresses the quality of

a life lived to the full and given away as love,

security and total affirmation.

 

What a mockery, then, to reduce life to long

robes, popularity and pride of place, even if it is

in the name of religion. And what cynicism to

use life to deprive others near or far off of their

just deserts and rights, even if we do spend

hours in prayer.

 

Life and love are not about left overs and spares.

Life and love are about sharing our last crust,

putting in everything we possess, all we have to

live on, laying down our lives. Life is about

total commitment to life. Its about risk and

adventure.

 

Such commitment raises our quality of life onto

a different plain. We excel ourselves. And

there is no man-made measure to gauge such

excellence. We have to admit that" eye hath

not seen nor ear heard" the like. We are into

our supernatural dimension of love and

generosity, of life given away in total

commitment to others.

 

It is unique, never to be repeated, never needing

to be repeated, a release of power and plenty,

this life of total commitment. It is of a piece

with the sacrifice of the Lord which is once and

for all. Our sacrifice feeds into his, is a part of

his once and for all and final offering which is

powerful to eradicate sin and plentiful in

succour, salvation and unending joy.

 

4th November 2018 - 31st Sunday of the Year B

posted 2 Nov 2018, 10:05 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B.&Hw.

The unreserved love of God is the key to infinite treasure,

human resource and abundance. Our exclusive adherence

to the Lord opens us to a God of strength, a 'rock', a

'fortress', a 'shield', a 'stronghold' And at the heart of it

all is love: hence our prayer, "I love you, Lord, my

strength."

 

However, of equal weight to 'love of God' is love of

neighbour. This is the novelty of Jesus' teaching Jesus

amplifies the great commandment and expresses the

complete reality. And it is love of God and neighbour, far

more important, it must be said, than any empty ritual!'

 

So we love God because God loves us first. It is because

God is love that we are enabled and called to love in return.

This is the bedrock, resource, help and strength -that frees -

us to love one another. And here we are, thinking we do it

all on our own! We depend utterly on a deeper word that

must be written in our hearts so that our deeper instincts are

redirected and reshaped in the direction of love.

 

And that word that must be written in our hearts is Jesus.

Jesus is the unique mediator who unites and reunites us to

the God who is love. Jesus makes compassionate love

visible in person. Jesus is heavenly sanctuary and eternal

love offering. In union with Jesus and only in union with

Jesus do we ever make a true offering of love for love to

the Father.

 

As St. Paul puts it: ". . . but you, God has made members of

Christ Jesus and by God's doing, he has become our

wisdom and our virtue and our holiness and our freedom.

As scripture says: 'if anyone wants to boast, let him boast

about the Lord." (1 Cor. 1:30) So this is where we stand.

"We stand with Christ so that his self-offering may become

ours. The new covenant (of love) is received as food and

drink so that, instead of remaining words on a page, it may

be written deep into our bodies, on our hearts."

(Columba McCann, O.S.B.)

 

28th October 2018 - 30th Sunday of the Year B

posted 26 Oct 2018, 08:18 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B.&Hw.

So how do we cope with the massive wreckage of our

cherished world? We return to a deep theology of suffering

as the basis for the construction of new possibilities and

restoration. We think what seems culturally unthinkable.

We think beyond conventional wisdom and well beyond the

apparent permanence of the recent past. We follow the path

through suffering to hope. We turn difficult experiences into

sources of life.

 

And we find a very hopeful Jeremiah speaking to us this

morning. He speaks of restoration, smooth journeys and

abundance. This is "new earth" speke.

 

The Lord is Father of all, on whom he bestows blessing upon

blessing. All a far cry from the doom and gloom we normally

associate with Jeremiah. He enters our English language even

as Prophet Grumpy. Jeremiah then, sees the light at the end of

the tunnel. Exile is not the end of the story for God's people

and we are God's people. Rather, the final outcome. is

complete restoration, "a new earth" to use the apocalyptic

expression.

 

So what bearing does all this have on our present experience?

Just this, that we are a church or community in exile, more

religious than spiritual, it has to be said. We worship the idols

of security, power and certainty and end up in the exile of our

own infallibility. It is the ever recurring experience of idol

worshipping communities.

 

So Jeremiah's word is music to our ears. There is restoration

and things will never be the same again. There is no going

back. And the restoration is a condition of mind and heart and

will. It is restoration to a right mind, a loving heart and

righteous will; a totally new consciousness, now. And we all

have the power to make a difference. A New Earth begins

with a new me.

 

We note the restorer. He is one like us. He even takes our

exiled condition on himself and accepts the consequences of

our egoic idolatry. Jesus accepts our condition totally and

deals with it.

 

In the first place he rejects the security, power and certainty

offered by the Devil or the ego as some would call it and

identifies completely with the Father's will. In this, he

demonstrates where enlightenment and life are to be found.

John has Jesus' say, "I am the Light of the World. . . anyone

who follows me will have the light of life." (John: 8.12). Paul

sums it up differently,". . . Jesus abolished death (all that

false security, power and certainty nonsense) and has

proclaimed life. . ." THE life, the Godhead.

 

It is amazing, marvelous deliverance from bondage to our ego

and our collective ego, something we never dreamed possible.

 And so we are essentially a people of song, joy and laughter,

deep peace and perfect bliss. Even the heathens themselves

say, "What marvels the Lord worked for them." Our

consciousness is being restored. We need only throw off the

cloak of our exile and blindness, have the courage to come to

the Lord Jesus, tell him what we want, believe in him and then

follow him, now, in the power of now.

14th Oct. 2018 - 28th Sunday of the Year B

posted 13 Oct 2018, 07:47 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B.&Hw.

"I prayed and understanding was given me;" (Wisdom: 7.7)

This understanding is a gradual dawning of the truth. We

come to realise the truth by being prayerful. We come to live

in the power of now.

 

Raising the mind to God gives us the advantage of an

irreversible power in our lives. A mind-bending operation

unfolds in prayer. So, for example, we begin to look on

persons, places and life situations in a new light. This light is

a divine light and the true light. And we are being

enlightened.

 

We raise the heart to God in prayer and our whole being is

plunged into divinity. More accurately, we recognise the

divinity that is through us, with and in us.

 

These claims for prayer may seem extravagant. But this is

what we are involved in when we are prayerful. We let

ourselves go in a sacred environment of life and love, Father,

Son and Holy Spirit. Prayer is God business. And even that

needs an apostrophe: prayer is God's business, as Sr. Wendy

Beckett puts it. We come to prayer in an outburst of the

divinity. God's is the initiative always, even when we think

we have chosen to pray.

 

Prayer is common to all World Religions. It is the one

common commitment, eagerly expressed in a thousand

cultures of prayer. Prayer is the spiritual instinct of our

common humanity. Spiritual beings as well as physical,

prayer is the oxygen of our human existence.

 

Prayer is the way to God's pity, love and joy, even in the

midst of total affliction and utter misfortune. The glory,

favour and true success of the Lord are ours in prayer. In

prayer we watch and know that our thoughts and emotions

the stuff of our unconsciousness and ego and false self. In the

sacrament of the now we are true self through, with and in

THE self, the deity.

 

Prayer reveals the mysteries of the kingdom to those of us who

pray out of our utter dependence on the one, true God. If our

prayer is the prayer of the poor in spirit, ours is the kingdom

of heaven. The judgement is now and the kingdom is ours,

now!

 

For the rich young man this is the point of departure. Jesus

leads off and says, "Follow me." Follow me in a life of pray

and complete intimacy with the very Godhead. But the

consciousness-raising of a life of prayer is too much. After

all, it means the surrender of our security, control and

certainty. And that is too much for most and certainly for on

rich young man. Securing the future, the rich young man loses

the present and THE presence and the now.

 

So potential is unfulfilled as is always the case with neglect of

prayer. After all, it means the power lines are down. We are

without the light of life. We are without the warmth of a true

relationship with God and we have no interpersonal

communication with the Father through Jesus in the spirit. We

are in the death zone.

 

This kind of exposure does not make sense in an adventure of

love and that is what our faith is. It is a passionate thing; it is

not a programme of rules and prohibitions which quickly

degenerate into superstition. When the Lord says, "Come.,

follow me", it is for life and the larger life, now. And there is

only the now. 

23rd Sept. 2018 - 25th Sunday of the Year B

posted 20 Sep 2018, 07:02 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

Now there is a promise! "Anyone who follows me will

have the light of life." (Jn: 8.12) But that is what the

Lord says. "I am the light of the world. . . anyone who

follows me will have the light of life."

 

What a promise, what a message, what a word! So

what kind of light are we talking about? What kind of

light is the Lord? Condemnation, shame and death

seem to be what's on offer. . . and resurrection. And

that is light indeed. That is the glory of our Lord, Jesus

Christ. We are called to share this glory and that is

very, very Good News.

 

It takes a paradigm shift in our way of thinking and

perceiving to begin to grasp the Good News for real, to

be moved by the promise of resurrection and glory in

our every living reaction. But it is possible, even for us.

 

The process is called prayer and the activity is raising

the mind and heart to God in season and out of season,

daily and constantly. Little by little it is all change. We

are transformed and we have the light of life. We

plumb the mystery of our being. The truth dawns.

 

We come to know and live with the reality who is

saving God. We experience God's upholding power,

his hearing us and his listening. And the Godlessness

that is all about us in whatever shape or form is

powerless to deflect us. We have very God for helper

and upholder.

 

As Francis Thompson expresses it in his poem, "In no

strange land":

 

O world invisible, we view thee,

O world intangible, we touch thee,

Oworld unknowable, we know thee,

Inapprehensible, we clutch thee.

 

Such is the dimension, the all embracing dimension we

enter through prayer. It is our life's enlightenment.

The Lord spends the night in prayer and becomes the

light of the world. And Jesus says to each one of us and

all of us, "I am the light of the world. . . anyone who

follows me will have the light of life."

So each day we waken to the sound of silence and listen

to divinity. Aware of the stillness, we are conscious of

infinite force. And life reveals the Christ who is light.

Hence abiding illumination throughout the universe. It

is the glory of Godhead. And we do indeed, view the

invisible, touch the intangible and know the

unknowable.

 

 

 

 

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.'

 

 

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