Posts Tagged ‘community’


With so many things going on in our lives, can we stay awake to keep watch over and safeguard our souls? Those of our families, as well as our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ entrusted to us? Is it even possible to this alone with the many distractions, temptations and with evil lurking at every corner? That is why apart from needing Jesus in the forefront of our lives we need one another. That is, we need to belong to a community centred on Him. To affirm as well as help one another in the many challenges we face in remaining faithful and steadfast. When we live not for ourselves but for one another we begin to understand more deeply our Lord’s call to communion. With Him and one another.

Let us then devote our lives to living His Word through steadfastness in prayer, in working hand in hand to build His Kingdom and in glorifying our Lord; By our lives lived in His love for Him and for one another. Amen

St Monica pray for us….

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:1-9 ·You have been enriched in many ways in ChristI, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace. I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.

Gospel

Matthew 24:42-51He is coming at an hour you do not expectJesus said to his disciples: ‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. ‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’


What can we learn from the readings of today? For me I see that you are only a great leader if you actually have people who will follow your lead. No one can lay claim to leadership otherwise. And so a leader must belong to a community. Not one looking from the outside of one, but of being One with the community. Both St Paul and St Barnabas exemplifies what this means that is to be in full communion, one Body In Christ. The same peace, love and encouragement they received from Christ Jesus Himself was shared with their fellow disciples. The message was clear for them as it is for all of us, Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. For Jesus is with us at every step, He is the Way, the Truth, and the life.So sisters and brothers even if we should be brought down to the ground by those with malicious intent. Let us pick ourselves up as we move forward with the peace of Jesus in our hearts. To love and serve the Lord by our lives. Sharing the good news of our Risen Lord with everyone. Amen

First reading

Acts 14:19-28 ·
They gave an account of how God had opened the door of faith to the pagansSome Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium, and turned the people against the apostles. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the town, thinking he was dead. The disciples came crowding round him but, as they did so, he stood up and went back to the town. The next day he and Barnabas went off to Derbe.
Having preached the Good News in that town and made a considerable number of disciples, they went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. ‘We all have to experience many hardships’ they said ‘before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans. They stayed there with the disciples for some time.

Gospel

John 14:27-31
A peace the world cannot give is my gift to youJesus said to his disciples:‘Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return.
If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
I have told you this now before it happens,
so that when it does happen you may believe.
I shall not talk with you any longer,
because the prince of this world is on his way.
He has no power over me, but the world must be brought to know that I love the Father and that I am doing exactly what the Father told me.’


(notice how the possessed man is dressed in this depiction)

We are all very busy people looking forward to the end of day, to unwind a little if possible before retiring for bed. For those with children who are still very young it’s a little more challenging to unwind. This goes on day after day till perhaps the weekend repreive. The thing is where is the Lord our God in all our busyness? There is simply no time? Or not enough time in a day? What about those in need whom can they turn to, whom can they rely on since everyone is too busy? We might say we have no time for our Lord at this point in our lives, yet many can make time for their mobile, computer games, television, netflix, secular books and many other forms of distractions. And yet there is only One who offers and can give us true peace, joy and contentment!

In a sense perhaps we have a dark spirit within us, one which seeks to confuse and distract us from what is truly important. To stop us from growing in Holiness and in our relationship from the Lord our God. Whether or not there is really one such spirit within us, any and all spirits know as we should the Holy one of God! For He is the Lord God almighty above all things visible and invisible. Perhaps we were blinded or have allowed ourselves to be so, but so long as our hearts cry out to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ He will free us from all bondages and sin. So that we can truly live life to the full according to His will for us.

That is why it is so important for all of us to belong to a community of like minded believers in Jesus Christ our Lord, so that we can pray, affirm and encourage one another towards greater Holiness. To keep us accountable and focussed; as we stay awake and alert for His coming or our eventual return into His Heavenly embrace. So let us keep faith burning in our hearts. Amen

St Gregory the Great pray for us….

First reading

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6,9-11 ·
Keep strengthening one another

You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about ‘times and seasons’, since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it.
But it is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober. God never meant us to experience the Retribution, but to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that, alive or dead, we should still live united to him. So give encouragement to each other, and keep strengthening one another, as you do already.

Gospel

Luke 4:31-37
‘I know who you are: the Holy One of God’

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all. Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’ And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.


Can there be no quarrel or disagreements within a community? If there are totally zero quarrels or disagreements then it is more than likely you belong to a pseudo community. For every community struggling to grow in holiness and faith know that each and every member is flawed in some way and therefore our community is made up of sinners striving to be more like our Lord and Saviour each and every day. Some members may exhibit stronger feelings and emotions about something while another may be more opinionated. The important thing is that all of us are open to fraternal correction, in the process of growing in faith and love we grow in mercy and love for one another. This can only come about when the community is a praying one and our Lord Jesus is present in the hearts and minds of all gathered together in His name. Without doubt He is truly present amongst us.

We must strive not only for personal holiness but to lead one another into greater holiness. And there must always be joy in our hearts when doing so. For the Holiness of our Lord must be reflected at all times on our faces, hearts and actions. Failing of which we will always fall short of arriving at our destination. In our lifetime we may never enter into the land of milk and honey but through our struggle and faithfulness we will one day walk with our Lord in His Kingdom.

Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom. Amen

St Maximilian Kolbe pray for us….

First reading

Deuteronomy 34:1-12 ·
Moses dies and is buried

Leaving the plains of Moab, Moses went up Mount Nebo, the peak of Pisgah opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land; Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the stretch of the Valley of Jericho, city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, ‘This is the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross into it.’ There in the land of Moab, Moses the servant of the Lord died as the Lord decreed; he buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but to this day no one has ever found his grave. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye undimmed, his vigour unimpaired. The sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of Moses came to an end. Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. It was he that the sons of Israel obeyed, carrying out the order that the Lord had given to Moses.
Since then, never has there been such a prophet in Israel as Moses, the man the Lord knew face to face. What signs and wonders the Lord caused him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh and all his servants and his whole land! How mighty the hand and great the fear that Moses wielded in the sight of all Israel!

Gospel

Matthew 18:15-20
If your brother listens to you, you have won back your brother

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.
‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.
‘I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.’