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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

St Jerome Memorial

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‘ “Like the deer that yearns for the fountains of water, so my soul is yearning for you, O God." As those deer, then, yearn for fountains of water so it is with our deer: they have come out of Egypt and left the world, they have slain Pharaoh and all his army in the waters of baptism. Now, after slaying the devil, they yearn for the fountains of the Church: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

‘That the Father is a fountain is related in Jeremiah: *They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water:" We read elsewhere of the Son: “They have forsaken the fountain of wisdom." Again, of the Holy Spirit: "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, there will rise up in him a fountain of water welling up to eternal life." Straightaway the evangelist explains that the Saviour was speaking of the Holy Spirit.

‘These quotations clearly demonstrate that the three fountains of the Church are the mystery of the Trinity. The soul of the believer, of the baptised person, yearns for these fountains, and he says: "My soul has thirsted for God, the living fountain." See, what they asked for has come to pass: they have come and stood before the face of God; they have appeared before the altar and the sacred mysteries of the Saviour. Admitted to the body of Christ and reborn in the life-giving fountain, they speak with confidence and say: "I will go to the place of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God." The house of God is the Church, this is the wonderful tabernacle: for in it is the voice of exultation and praise, and the sound of those who keep festival." (St Jerome)

'You who have now put on Christ and follow our guidance are like little fish on the hook: you are being pulled up out of the deep waters of this world by the word of God.’

(St Jerome).

 

30 September 2021 readings: Nehemiah 8:1–12• Psalm 18(19):8–11 • Luke 10:1–12

 

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Who do you say that I am?

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Haggai 1:15–2:9 • Psalm 42(43):1–4 • Luke 9:18–22

image from http://heartsofcompassioninternational.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-hear-from-god-part-1.html

A Chinese proverb says that a person who asks a question is a fool for five minutes, but one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. There are a number of key questions in life which we ignore at our peril. What is the purpose of life on earth? What happens after I die? Is death the end or is there an afterlife?

In today's Gospel reading we encounter another important question, the answer to which sheds light on each one of these existential questions. It s the question that Jesus put to his disciples and continues to put to every man and woman on the face of the earth. He asks you and he asks me: “Who do you say that I am?" (v. 20). The answer to this question is the gateway to unravelling the meaning of life and to solving the mystery of what happens after we die. The answer to this question is crucial for our lives on earth and our eternal destiny.

When Peter uttered his famous declaration that Jesus is 'the Christ of God', Jesus realised that a Watershed had been reached in the disciples' understanding of who he is.  It was  recognition that Jesus is more than a prophet; he is more than a great teacher: he is the Son of God.  What revelation has made known is that Jesus Christ was God made man.  The very Lord, Creator and King humbled himself by becoming a human being: he was made one of us, became one of us, and lived like one of us.

To be able to grasp this truth and allow it to shape our lives requires a grace of revelation – mere flesh and blood, the power of our own reasoning, cannot grasp this most sacred and profound of Christian truths. The following words were spoken by St Augustine many centuries ago, but they still have a tremendous impact today: “[Jesus] was created of a mother whom he created. He was carried by hands that he had formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, he the Word without whom all human eloquence is mute.”

Jesus assumed our humanity that we might become God. (St Athanasius)

 

 
 
Chris
 
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The Sower

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Image from http://www.luciasblog.com/2017/10/the-implanted-word-of-god.html
Man sowing seed by hand
 
Luke 8:4–15
 
The Parable of the Sower is the “parable of parables”.  Jesus taught that understanding this parable is the key, or gateway, to all the others (Mark 4:13).
 
One way of looking at the Parable of the Sower is to understand the soil as our mind.  As the word of God engages with our mind a number of things can happen.  The devil (like a bird picking up seed) may steal away the seed that was sown; or as soon as we hear the Word of God the distractions of the day overwhelm us and it is gone.
 
Or we receive it at first with great joy and happiness but the busyness of the day and the testing of life dissipate it and we do not hold on to it.  The problem is that if we don’t hold on to the Scripture that we have read we fail to mature as Christians and to fulfil our vocation.
 
When the soil of our mind is good, though, receiving and valuing the Word of God, we are able to persevere, riding out the ups and downs of the day and meeting each circumstance with a bold proclamation of God’s truth.
 
Father, by the grace of your Holy Spirit, teach me to be good soil and so to bear fruit for your kingdom.
 
Chris
 
 
1 Timothy 6:13–16 • Psalm 99(100) • Luke 8:4–15
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Love whom?

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First Reading: Colossians 3: 12-17

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins.  The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.  Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love.  And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body.  Always be thankful.

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.  Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom.  With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 150: 1-6
Response: Let everything that breathes give praise to the Lord

  1. Praise God in his holy place,
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
    Praise him for his powerful deeds,
    praise his surpassing greatness.
  2. O praise him with sound of trumpet,
    praise him with lute and harp.
    Praise him with timbrel and dance,
    praise him with strings and pipes.
  3. O praise him with resounding cymbals,
    praise him with clashing of cymbals.
    Let everything that lives and that breathes
    give praise to the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 6: 27-38

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.  To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you.  Treat others as you would like them to treat you.  If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect?  Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect?  For even sinners do that much.  And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect?  Even sinners lend to get back the same amount.  Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return.  You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.  Do not judge and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon and you will be pardoned.  Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’

 

Lord, teach me to love those people in my life whom I struggle with.  Rid me of hate and resentment, which so easily fester in my heart.  Amen

 

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