23rd Sunday Ordinary Time
Today we reflect upon the story of the healing of a man who was deaf and “who had a speech impediment”. It is one of the many healing stories of Jesus that we have become used to hearing. The irony is that the more we hear them, the more we too easily become “deaf” to them. It is like familiarity breeds contempt. It is so easy for our participation in the Mass to become mechanical; it is as if we fall into a stupor each time we are in this setting so that the message does not get through.
There are many events in our world at the moment that remind us how much our world is in crisis, most especially the refugee crisis that is taking place in Europe at present. In large part it is caused by our being unable to do anything to resolve the war in Syria. There are other nationalities involved such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya to name the ones that stand out. It is tempting to imagine that conflicts can be resolved by military means, but that is not the case; as we can see, the spillover effect is impacting on all of Europe. Prime Minister John Key’s response to this is very weak but in character.
It is noticeable that Jesus in this story appears to feel the pain of this man’s disability. He utters a distinctive sigh. He places his saliva on the man’s tongue before commanding his ears to be opened. It is not without reason that the word “Ephphatha” concludes the baptismal ceremony, that we may hear the Word of God and keep it.
Perhaps the refugee crisis is a good barometer of how we hear the Word of God. Do we see them as a problem to ignore, to find “valid reasons” for keeping them out as they disturb our way of life or, if we take them, that they are seen primarily for the economic benefits they offer us. The plight of the vulnerable reveals us to ourselves. Let us pray that we may hear God’s word more clearly in order to love more dearly.
Season of Creation – September 6 – October 4
Today we gather for Stations of Creation outside under the trees …
before all Masses – Vigil 4.45pm, Sunday 8.15am and 10.15am
POSTPONEMENT: ‘Bring a Grandchild’ organised for this Sunday 6 September, a new date to be advised.
Holy Hour: Praying the Divine Office and Adoration – this Sunday at 5pm
Catechumenate Programme – Evenings of Enquiry and Information
Tuesday 8 September. Ryder Room. If you know anyone who would like to know more about the Catholic Faith please refer them to the parish office ph 2996056.
The Legion of Mary invites everyone to join with them for morning tea in the Rr Ryder Room after 9am Mass this Tuesday 8 September in celebration of Mother Mary’s Birthday.
Where We Gather, Workshop by Liturgical Design Consultant: NEXT Sunday 13 Sept, 1.30 – 4.30 pm, Christ the King Church, 260 Richardson Road, Owairaka. Intended for all and its aim is to deepen awareness, understanding and appreciation of the liturgical principles involved in the design of our places of worship. It will have relevance to all parishes, not only those intending renovation or re-building in the future. See noticeboard. Information: ph Teresa Wackrow 09 360 3042, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALONE AGAIN? Widowed, Separated or Divorced? The Beginning Experiencea well-established programme with the motto “Weekend Away for a Lifetime of Change”. Designed to help people work through their painful loss. Participants find new hope, increased emotional health and renewed energy.
11-13 Sept, Contacts: Bev (09)298-9943, or David 027-440-2105 visitwww.beginningexperience.org.nz
Christian Meditation: How Our Meditation Helps Us to Live The Joy of The Gospel. A retreat-seminar led by Sr Anne Warren at St Francis Retreat House, 50 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough, NEXT Friday Sept. 18 – Sunday Sept. 20. Residential cost $280.
Information: Margaret Ph 269-7515 or email@example.com
Social Justice Week: 13-19 September – The NZ Catholic Bishops Conference gives us Social Justice Week to consider Catholic social teaching on an issue of social justice in New Zealand. This year the focus is Kiwi Families – It’s Our Story. A family brochure that provides questions, action ideas and prayer as an introduction to the theme of family poverty is available at both doors today.
Monday Evening Discussion Group on Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Creation –share in reading Pope Francis encyclical in a friendly relaxed environment. If you would like to discuss its implications for our lives as modern Catholics in 2015, we will meet 7.30-8.30pm Mondays, Ryder Rm – beginning 21 September.
Vocation Day – Sisters of Mercy Sat 12 Sept at St Mary’s Convent, 9 New St, Ponsonby, 10am-4pm. If you are a single woman and are interested in attending contact Sr Kathy Lynch, firstname.lastname@example.org or register on the Sisters of Mercy New Zealand facebook page.
African Mass – Sunday, 13 September at 3pm St Mary’s Church, 2134 Great North Road, Avondale. All people cordially invited, especially those of Africa / African origin. Please bring a plate of an African dish to share and celebrate with our friends.
Ph Remy on 826 0411 or (021) 228 2048, or Fr Mathew on 828 9309.
Married Couples: Revitalise and enrich your intimacy, love and romance in your marriage. Attend the
Marriage Encounter Weekend 18-20 September at Allenby Park Hotel, Manukau Book: ph (0800 362686) or Christine & David Sloan, ph 372-3581 or email email@example.com
More details at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An evening with Rabbi Fred Morgan – Nostra Aetate revolutionised the Catholic Church’s approach to Jews and Judaism after nearly 2000 years. Rabbi Fred will reflect on what has happened in the 50 years since then. He serves at the Australian Catholic University in the field of Jewish-Christian relations. Tuesday 29 Sept, 7pm. St Peter’s College Hall, 23 Mountain Road, Epsom. Lecture by Rabbi Fred; a response by Fr Neil Darragh; Q&A; supper. Sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee for Interfaith Relations