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Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’


The straying sheep you have not recalled; the lost sheep you have not sought. In one way or another, we go on living between the hands of robbers and the teeth of raging wolves, and in light of these present dangers we ask your prayers. The sheep moreover are insolent. The shepherd seeks out the straying sheep, but because they have wandered away and are lost they say that they are not ours. “Why do you want us? Why do you seek us?” they ask, as if their straying and being lost were not the very reason for our wanting them and seeking them out. “If I am straying,” he says, “if I am lost, why do you want me?” You are straying, that is why I wish to recall you. You have been lost, I wish to find you. “But I wish to stray,” he says: “I wish to be lost.”

So you wish to stray and be lost? How much better that I do not also wish this. Certainly, I dare say, I am unwelcome. But I listen to the Apostle who says: Preach the word; insist upon it, welcome and unwelcome. Welcome to whom? Unwelcome to whom? By all means welcome to those who desire it; unwelcome to those who do not. However unwelcome, I dare to say: “You wish to stray, you wish to be lost; but I do not want this.” For the one whom I fear does not wish this. And should I wish it, consider his words of reproach: The straying sheep you have not recalled; the lost sheep you have not sought. Shall I fear you rather than him? Remember, we must all present ourselves before the judgement seat of Christ.

I shall recall the straying; I shall seek the lost. Whether they wish it or not, I shall do it. And should the brambles of the forests tear at me when I seek them, I shall force myself through all straits; I shall put down all hedges. So far as the God whom I fear grants me the strength, I shall search everywhere. I shall recall the straying; I shall seek after those on the verge of being lost. If you do not want me to suffer, do not stray, do not become lost. It is enough that I lament your straying and loss. No, I fear that in neglecting you, I shall also kill what is strong. Consider the passage that follows: And what was strong you have destroyed. Should I neglect the straying and lost, the strong one will also take delight in straying and in being lost.”

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In today’s (13th April) Gospel reading of Saint John 6:1-15 we hear about the feeding of the 5 thousand people. How after a long day the crowds following Jesus were tired and hungry. His disciples asked Jesus how can we feed 5 thousand with just a few loaves of bread and fish or even the money they had wasnt enough. Jesus knew their thoughts and He does know our thoughts too when we are confronted daily with worries of providing daily food and needs. I heard a good homily explanation today about this parable which challenges us to trust that God is here with us, in this present moment, and He will always provide for every need. We fear for what will happen beyond this present moment we are in. We should realise that God is present in every moment and trust in Him that He will help us.

In the reading of the Psalms today at Mass, we find comfort in this message:

Psalms 27(26):1.4.13-14.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
to dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
that I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6:1-15.
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little (bit).”
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

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holy_massI have heard many people complain that they dont like to go to Holy Mass as they are bored or distracted with noise, or just dont like the church and we hear many excuses to not attend! Its too hot to go out, or too cold, or its raining, or the seats are uncomfortable, etc.

The thought came to me in prayer one day – just a few weeks ago – that our church today needs a lot of prayers, every one of us are needed at church today to pray, especially when we are united as a community praying to our Heavenly Father with one voice at church. Jesus said ‘where two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst’.

Think of it – we hear of so many world issues and we feel helpless! But we can help a lot just by praying! God is always listening to our prayers!

It doesn’t matter what catholic church we go to, as long as we give of ourselves, our time, our prayers, united at Mass, praying for the world, the current issues facing the world. Our united prayers are heard. We pray for Our Pope, bishops and priests, religious, missionaries, our government leaders and people working with social justice issues, the sick of our local parish, the grieving, the elderly, the needs of the church, the poor, the homeless, the starving. We pray as a community. We offer these prayers at the Altar of God, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with the intentions of the Priest officiating at Mass. The prayers at the Offertory are offered to God our Heavenly Father.

If we pay real attention at Mass, to the Readings of the day, the Psalms and the Gospel, (lessons for every day life from the writings of St Paul, Psalms), the Offertory, the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, a miracle happening, every minute of every day across the world … God present among us and received into our hearts. What a Blessing, what a priceless treasure!

Its even more beneficial if we prepare ourselves before we go to Mass with full intention of what we are about to participate in. We can prepare by reading over the Scripture Readings of the day – available online or can be downloaded on your mobile app. This alone has helped me to understand and appreciate the readings, what they mean to me – today, this very moment. It also helps if you are unable to hear the person who is reading from the pulpit, or even if you have a hearing impairment or there are children around you.

Our world is in great distress today and in need of a lot of prayers. Our local churches and parishes need our attendance and help even more today than ever, especially our united prayers.  Its also an opportunity to get to know your neighbours and local community at church and join in social activities or even volunteer your time.

“And it is in giving that we receive”.

Let us pray for one another!

 

 

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helping Today I witnessed an incident that touched my heart and I just have to record it! Moments like these are God’s message of hope, love, joy, communion with people. We are all suffering and wounded, but we reach out to one another, wherever we may be. A smile, a touch, a little gesture to show I care, all helps restore our faith in God and brings peace to us and those around us.

Today I was at Mass and Our Lady’s Novena and as usual there are a lot of elderly, sick people at front rows of church, which is usually packed lunchtime. They all love this Novena to Our Lady and they are there with their little prayer books. Today I noticed parents come in front of me with a disabled son, they had their arm around him throughout the service while he knelt. A few of the congregation near to him turned around to smile at him especially and give him a little gift holy card, medal and rosary and say a few words to him, pat him on the back. It was such a lovely moment to feel welcomed as God’s family. Our churches are a haven, oasis of prayer for all. Some people feel disillusioned with life and become hardened, turn away from their faith even, blame people for past mistakes and it makes them bitter internally. But take heart, there is hope in Jesus!

 

 

 

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‘I see clearly that the thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the Church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.’

And how are the wounds of late-modern and postmodern humanity to be healed? Through an encounter with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. “The most important thing, “ Francis insisted in his interview, “is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.”

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