24th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

Gospel  (Luke 15: 1-10)

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:

‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.

‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’

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Reflection

Cardinal Basil Hume, who died in 1999, once spoke about prayer using today’s parable of the lost sheep.  He said:  “Quite often we simply do not know how to pray, and feel that deep sense of being lost.  I think it is good at such times to see oneself rather like the lost sheep in the parable, caught in the briars, surrounded by fog, and the more you try to escape from the brambles the more you get entangled.  The more you try to rush through the fog the more likely you are to get lost.  When you are in that mood, wait and in your prayer imagine that sheep entangled in the briars with the fog all around. Just wait for him, Christ the shepherd, to come through the fog and disentangle you” (cf. ‘Light in the Lord’,  p 121).

Prayer

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
My sacrifice is a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

(Psalm 50)

SYNOD 2020 TALKS

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As we move to the next phase of our Synod Journey, there will be a series of talks to help us to better understand some of the pressing concerns of the Church and society.  The talks will take place in Liverpool Hope University Chapel.  Tea and coffee from 7.00 pm, talk at 7.30 pm concluding at 8.45 pm.  Optional Night Prayer at 9.00 pm.

The first talk will take place on Monday 7 October.  Fr Gerry O’Hanlon SJ will speak on The Quiet Revolution of Pope Francis: A Synodal Catholic Church.  The talk will address:

Our context: the signs of the times in Church and Society.
Synod as renewal of faith, reform of Church, missionary focus.
Biblical, historical and ecumenical roots of Synodality.
Pope Francis and Synodality – from an ‘era of change’ to a ‘change of era’.
How this might translate on the ground in parishes/dioceses.

All welcome!


23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

Gospel  (Luke 14: 25-33)

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’

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Reflection

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiXnbOORTAU

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare,
will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the pris’ners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

John L Bell & Graham Maude (c) 1987 WGRG, Iona Community.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. One License #A-632722.

SYNOD REFLECTIONS

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Last Monday, 2 September, Pope Francis spoke some wise words to the Bishops of the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church:

“But you underscored something we must not lose: Synod and Synodality, and Holy Spirit. It’s not to advertise but, in the last issue of the “Osservatore Romano,” dated Sunday, but which came out on Saturday, there is a beautiful article on the presence of the Holy Spirit in the synodal journey. Because there is a danger: to believe, today, that to undertake a synodal journey or to have an attitude of synodality, means to carry out a survey of opinions, what does this one think, that one, that other one… and then hold a meeting, and come to an agreement… No, the Synod isn’t a Parliament! Things must be said, discussed as is normally done, but it isn’t a Parliament. Synod is not a coming to an agreement as in politics: I give you this and you give me that. No. Synod is not to undertake a sociological survey, as some believe: Let’s see, let’s ask a group of laypeople to do a survey, to see if we should change this or that or the other… You must certainly know what your laypeople think, but it’s not a survey; it’s something else.

“If the Holy Spirit isn’t there, there is no Synod. If the Holy Spirit isn’t present, there is no Synodality. In fact, if the Church isn’t there, the identity of the Church… And, what is the identity of the Church? Saint Paul VI said it clearly: the vocation of the Church is to evangelize; in fact, her identity is to evangelize.

“Enter this Synod of yours with this spirit, with the Holy Spirit. Pray to the Spirit. Argue among yourselves, as much as you want… Think of Ephesus, how they argued! But they were good… And, in the end, it was the Spirit that made them say: Mary, Mother of God. This is in fact the way. It’s the Spirit, because we don’t want to become a congregational Church but, rather, a Synodal Church. And go on this way.”

Translation by Zenit