PARISH MASS & HOLY BAPTISM 1000
VESPERS & BENEDICTION 1800
Mass Book 18a
Divine providence is a wonderful thing: God is so generous with his creation (it is human greed that denies some their rightful share). The Kingdom of God is the time and place when this vision will be fully realised, when all who wish may ‘come to the water’, when all who are hungry may ‘eat as much as they want’, when what is left over is still enough for all the twelve tribes of Israel. Our contemplation of the kingdom of God, through the parables and miracles of Jesus, should stir us up to build this kingdom here and now. The miracle of Divine providence is allowed to work when human greed and selfishness give way to the power of the Spirit working within us, and we share all we have with those in need. Our hearts are set on the kingdom of God, where there is corn and wine and milk in abundance.
Martha was the sister of Mary of Bethany and Lazarus. In the West, her feast day comes a week after that of St Mary Magdalene because of the old and probably erroneous tradition that Mary Magdalene was the same person as Martha’s sister.
But at least Martha and Mary both get celebrated somehow. What about poor Lazarus? He deserves our sympathy for being brought back to life by Jesus so as, later, to have to die all over again. What he thought of being brought back to Earth is not recorded. The presence of the incarnate Lord must have made up for the postponement of Heaven, but – where less dramatic circumstances are concerned – we should think of Lazarus when we prepare to make spectacular acts of charity on behalf of people who may not necessarily appreciate our interventions.
Chapter 13 speaks to us about the discourse of the Parables. Following the text of Mark (Mk 4,1-34), Matthew omits the parable of the seed which germinates alone (Mk 4,26-29), and he stops on the discussion of the reason for the Parable (Mt 13,10-17) adding the parable of the wheat and the darnel (Mt 13,24-30), of the yeast (Mt 13,33), of the treasure (Mt 13,44), of the pearl (Mt 13,45-46) and of the dragnet (Mt 13,47-50). Together with the parable of the sower (Mt 13,4-11) and of the mustard seed (Mt 13,31-32), there are seven parables in the Discourse of the Parables (Mt 13,1-50).
Mary of Magdala was healed of “seven devils” by Jesus. She ministered to him in Galilee and was present at his crucifixion. She was in the group of women who were the first to discover the empty tomb, and it was to her that the risen Jesus first appeared.
The Western tradition is that Mary Magdalene is also “the woman who was a sinner” and the sister of Martha and Lazarus of Bethany. There is no evidence either way, and the tradition is tenuous enough for even such authorities as St Ambrose to hold, with the East, that they are three different people. It seems, therefore, that although the Western tradition is to be respected and is a real inspiration, it may not necessarily be historical. This kind of ambiguity is inevitable in a religion such as Christianity, which is founded on definite historical events rather than myths which can be adjusted into logicality. We need not worry about it too much: if it had been harmful to us to celebrate the tradition of heroic penitence, the Holy Spirit would not have allowed it.
Even without the extra tradition, Mary Magdalene is a unique and important character in the story of the Resurrection, chosen by Christ as one of the first witnesses of the event that changed the world.
6TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
PARISH MASS 10am
Back in the 60s some groups “adopted” Jesus Christ as an icon of rebellion, overturning authority and tearing up the rule book – possibly because of the frequent confrontations between Our Lord and the Pharisees. Today’s Gospel, however, shows us Jesus not as rule-breaker, but as rule-fulfiller, bringing an even greater depth to the rule that had guided the people of Israel for centuries. Jesus does not throw out the rulebook – or as the first reading says, He does not command us to be godless! He challenges us in this Gospel to see how far our keeping God’s Law will go: will it just be about the letter of the Law (“I have never killed anyone”), or will it look deeper (“Have I ever been angry? Have I been violent in my thoughts?”). The challenge of the Kingdom of Heaven is to keep the commandments first and foremost from within, so that our outward behaviour conforms to the requirements of God’s Law.
6a Mass Book
THURSDAY WEEK 5 OF THE YEAR
Intention: For the end of Storms
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over the mighty waters.
The voice of theLORD is power;
the voice of the LORD is splendour.
The voice of the LORD cracks the cedars;
the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon,
Makes Lebanon leap like a calf, and Sirion like a young bull.
The voice of the LORD strikes with fiery flame;
the voice of the LORD rocks the desert;
the LORD rocks the desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
All in his palace say, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned above the flood!
The LORD reigns as king forever!
May the LORD give might to his people;
may the LORD bless his people with peace!
LIVE STREAM – MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
Mass 12 Noon
When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.