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Knowing the Father

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Matthew 11:25-27

As we become one with Jesus Christ in baptism and the life of faith, we are taken into his intimate relationship with God the Father. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we share in the love that exists between the Father and the Son.   We don’t enter this relationship primarily through intellectual understanding. When we adore the Holy Trinity we are caught up in a heart knowledge that is far more simple and profound, and we enter into the relationship and learn far more than we can ever understand intellectually. Through this sharing we become like 'little children', like the 'babes' Jesus talks about, and we begin to experience truths that are far beyond our imagination. 

Heavenly Father, by the revelation of Jesus Chris in the power of the Holy Spirit, draw me into the mystery of your everlasting love. 

Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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Evangelise

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Matthew 9:32-38
 
The Gospel is essentially a message, the kerygma.  It involves us witnessing to the truth that Jesus, who suffered, died and rose again from the dead, is the Lord of history and the Lord of our lives; and that in believing in him and accepting his lordship we are born again, and through baptism we enter into Christian life.
 
The Lord wants to equip us to be effective workers in the harvest field so that we can have the freedom and the confidence to lead others to Christ.
 
Lord, teach me not to be afraid to witness to my faith.  Teach me never to be ashamed of the Gospel but to be proud of the message which can transform not only people’s lives but the whole of culture, society and the world.
 
Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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Collaboration

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Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

Earlier, in Luke’s Gospel Jesus sent out the twelve disciples to heal disease and teach about God’s kingdom. Here he sends out a much larger group, ahead of Himself in pairs to every town and place He himself intended to grow. Being sent in pairs reminds us of the value of team work . In order for communities to grow and flourish the gifts of many are needed. Synergy is needed. This happens when individual talents and harvested and aligned as in the beauty of a choir singing in perfect harmony, or a sports team at the peak of their performance.

Synergy is like a power of the Spirit that rewards collaborative efforts. It is when we can dream and strive for the possibility of things before they happen. Synergy promotes collaboration, not competition or exclusion.

Jesus gathered his followers around him, men and women, who were enthused by his vision. He sends his followers out in pairs so that they can support each other. In all our different roles we too are sent out ahead of him as parents, ministers of various kinds, politicians, educators, social workers, nurses.....

In any team, a parish council, a ministry group, a choir we need a kind of synergy. We are all responsible for our Church, not just a select few. We all have different roles to play, we all have responsibilities. When we promote collaborative teams and strive for synergy, we embrace each others' stories and work for the common good. Then exciting things are possible.

Jane Mellett

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I desire mercy, not sacrifice

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Matthew 9:9-13

What the Pharisess failed to grasp – and we have our moments, too – is that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Despite the grace of baptism we carry the wound of original sin and, rather like soldiers on the front line, we seek healing and repair in the field hospital of Christ.

“I can clearly see that what the Church needs today is the ability to heal wounds and warm the hearts of the faithful, it needs to be by their side.  I see the Church as a field hospital after a battle.  It’s pointless to ask a seriously injured patiend whether his cholesterols or blood sugar levels are hight!  It’s his wounds that need to be healed.  The rest we can talk about later.  Now we must think about treating those wounds.”  Pope Francis

Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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The Holy Trinity

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The greatest mystery of Christian truth is that in the Godhead there are three Persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  Faith allows us to accept this revelation; faith allows us to rejoice in it and enter into it.
 
A famous icon by Rublev depicts the Trinity as three angels around a table with space reserved for another guest.  We are that guest, because by the grace of baptism we are invited to immerse ourselves in the mystery and glory of the triune life of God.

"O Eternal Trinity, God, you are an abyss, a deep sea; you have given yourself to me – what greater good could you give?  By your light you enlighten our minds, as by your light you have brought me to know you."  Saint Catherine of Siena

Chris

(from Bible Alive)

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Christ the High Priest

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John 17:1-2, 9, 14-26
 
Jesus’s high-priestly prayer brings us into the very heart of the Trinity.  The Blessed Trinity is a unity of the union of three divine Persons in one divine God, a divine unity joined for eternity in a communion of profound love.
 
Our Lord and Master focused not on himself but on pleasing his Father and protecting us by his prayer.  He united himself to his Father’s will: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me” (John 4:34).  He submitted entirely to it: “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
 
As we keep Jesus’s word, we shall experience the love of the Father and the Son: “he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him” (John 4:21).
 
The Father and the Son dwell in the hearts of all those who believe and obey Jesus’s word and they dwell in the Father and the Son.  This divine indwelling is given to us by the Spirit at our Baptism.
 

Chris

(from Bible Alive)

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Meditation on Ascension

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I rather liked this meditation by Dr Luigi Gioia OSB; I found it on sayittogod.com:
 
<https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VM5FLg7v3tq5N7JH7l1Fu3oh8bNRVZwtdLSdDkidtdc/edit#heading=h.3be0nja0quwa>
 
God bless
 
Chris
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Jesus and Self-will

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The new creation is established through Jesus’s resurrection.  Jesus himself is the first-born of God’s new creation.  When Jesus died, he took with him to the cross the sin and fallen nature of all of humanity.  
 
Humanity’s fallen nature is that nature in which the self-life has been allowed to rule and control us.  It is a nature that, in the end, cannot have union with God, because the self-life refuses to let God take central place – it is my will that I do, rather than God’s will.  Jesus, throughout his life, revealed a true human life which was completely surrendered to the will of the Father.  
 
However, the cross was necessary because the power of the self-life, and of self-will, needed to be put to death.  It was brought to an end on Calvary.
 
The resurrected Jesus is now the source of a life that is entirely one with the will of God.  For that same life to be manifested in us today, it is essential that we have union with both the death and the resurrection of Jesus.
 
The key element is our willingness to let go of the self-life and the self-will that can so dominate our lives.
 

Chris

(from Bible Alive)

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The Deep End – we will come to them

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In a verse preceeding today’s Gospel the disciples ask Jesus why he will not show the whole world who he is. It’s an excellent question. Surely this whole faith – journey experience and relationship with God, would be far easier if there were fireworks and clear instructions.
 
Jesus’s response to the disciples is ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’
 
These are the opening words of today's Gospel, It reminds us that what is required first is an inner relationship with God, so that God can come and make a home with us: ‘ we will come to them and make our home with them.’ It is there that we discover who Jesus is.

The peace (shalom) that Jesus gives to the discipls has a much richer meaning than we might first think. This ‘shalom’ is not simply a good wish for a nice evening, it is rather a peace which this world cannot offer. It is a peace that comes from a loving relationship with God, a peace of body, of mind and of spirit.
 
Jesus is asking the disciples to be an unending witness to God’s love.

They (and we) must be for others what Jesus has been for them. In this way we and the world will come to see who Jesus really is.
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The Deep End – Love One Another

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‘Love one another’ is the basic principle of Christianity, as Jesus loved. It is simple, yet we can make it so complicated.

Jesus’s love was controversial for some people, because it was love without exclusion. To love as Jesus loved is to love those it is hard to love. This love ultimately leads to Jesus’ death. Jesus loved sinners, tax-collectors, prostitutes, people of other religions, the poor, the unwanted, the sick, the beggar and the leper.

This is is also too much for some Christians today. It is hard to love sinners or fanily members or friends who have hurt us. Yet this is the love we are called to. Once we begin to accept that we are infinitely loved by God, it is like a domino effect where that love is poured outwards in our lives.

We are part of this outpouring of God’s creative love and are called to bring it into places where there is none. In this way we are helping to heal, sustain and nourish ths world.

Let us hear those words of the Gospel more clearly today. ’Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this everone will know that you are one of my disciples.’

Let us dream of, and work towards, a world where this is a reality.

Jane Mellett.

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