- Published: Thursday, 28 September 2017 09:09
LITURGY NOTES FOR THE 26th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
I have just returned from Rome this morning but in the interests of getting to some of you who may have been wanting some resources for this coming weekend I have put these together which are somewhat briefer than usual. I am sorry that some did not notice that I said that I would be away for four weeks and were left without any notes. I hope these help today but please be aware that mistakes today could be due to tiredness and onset of jet-lag.
Claude Mostowik msc
Twenty Sixth Sunday of the Year
October 1, 2017
Suggested formula for recognition of indigenous people and their land.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we stand
We pay our respects to them for their care of the land
May we walk gently and respectfully upon the land.
I acknowledge the living culture of the ……..people,
the traditional custodians of the land we stand on,
and pay tribute to the unique role they play in the life of this region.
As we gather today let us acknowledge the local traditional custodians of this land,
and the first people that live in our own respective areas
.........for they have performed age-old ceremonies
of storytelling, music, dance, celebrations and renewal
and along with all Aboriginal people,
hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Aboriginal Australia.
We acknowledge this living culture and its unique role in the life of Australia today
and acknowledge with honour and respect our Elders
past, present and future and pay our respects to those who have,
and still do, guide us with their wisdom.
Finally, we acknowledge with shame that much suffering
still endures to the present generation.
We pray today with faith and hope
for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and ourselves
that God’s mercy and justice will walk
in our lives, our communities and in the heart of our nation.
Homes, not jails Neighbours, not strangers
Readings for the Day
Reading 1 Ezekiel 18:25-28
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14. R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Reading 2 Philippians 2:1-11 or Phil 2:1-5
Gospel Matthew 21:28-32
Christ Jesus, you the Word of God made flesh in our world: Jesus, have mercy.
Christ Jesus, you are the Word of God present in our hearts: Christ, have mercy.
Christ Jesus, you are the Word of God active in this community: Jesus, have mercy.
God of mercy,
you desire life for all your people.
You know that we are weak and fragile
yet keep forgiving us.
May we have the mind and heart of Jesus
so that with him we may say our ‘Yes’ to you
with the deep love of those who have been forgiven
and be merciful to others.
Prayers of the Faithful
Let us pray for the needs of our all our sisters and brothers here and everywhere in the world who are victims of unjust systems. Let us say: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May all members and leaders among the people of God by guided by the mind and heart of Jesus in serving God and people faithfully, we pray: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May we, as we commemorate the International Day of Nonviolence this week, take the difficult road every day of seeking to hear the other and embrace the other as a brother and sister so that we can have a just peace in our families, communities and nation, we pray: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May the leaders of nations learn from the humble Jesus to use their power to serve the common good and work for peace rather than to abuse and destroy, we pray: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May we, as commemorate the end of this Season of Creation and the feast of St Francis, be aware more and more how we show our reverence for God’s revelation in, and gift of, creation by the way we share, consume, and respect all that lives and breathes on the earth, we pray: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May we, despite government controls in the face of terror threats, continue to reach out to one another in respectful relationship with people who are unfairly vilified because of their ethnic, social and cultural background or religious beliefs, we pray: R/Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May we be challenged to look critically at the systems within society that do not bring life and find constructive alternatives that lead to greater social cohesion, we pray, R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May the peoples of Africa undergoing drought and famine receive food, water and basic facilities as the rich nations evaluate the true causes of such events and their responsibility, we pray: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May all who work in the mass media, recognise their responsibility to respect people and the truth so that peace and understanding may be better served, we pray: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May leaders of nations; church leaders; pastors, employers, doctors and nurses, all in their own way be mindful of their responsibilities for the well being of those they serve, we pray: R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
§ May all who are sick: those in hospital, in nursing homes, or confined to home by illness or infirmity, and those who feel forgotten be remembered by their families and friends both in prayer and in loving care, we pray, R/ Guide us by your word, O God.
Prayer over the Gifts
God of mercy,
we bring before you this bread and wine
which will become for us the body and blood Christ.
May our offering express that our willingness
to enter into his dispositions
of total loyalty to you by service to all people.
Prayer after Communion
God of mercy,
your Son Jesus has broken for us
his bread of peace as a friend at table,
and spoken your word of forgiveness.
May we show that forgiveness to one another
and encourage each other
to be mindful of your presence in all we meet.
October 1 International Day of Older Persons
October 1 Bali bombings were 20 people were killed and over 100 injured in 2005
October 2 International Day of Nonviolence
October 4 Feast of St Francis of Assisi
It is time to knock down the walls of social exclusion.
The Church of Christ must be an inviting Church, a Church with open doors, a warming, motherly Church of all generations, a Church of the dead, the living and the unborn, a Church of those before us, those with us, and those after us, a Church of understanding and sympathy, thinking with us, sharing our joy and sorrow, a Church that laughs with the people and cries with the people, a Church that is not foreign and does not act that way, a human Church, a Church for us, a Church that, like a mother, can wait for her children, a Church who looks for her children and follows them, a Church that visits the people where they are, at work or at play, at the factory gate and at the football stadium, and within the four walls of the home, a Church of those in the shadow, of those who weep, of those who grieve, a Church of the worthy, but also of the unworthy, of the saints and the sinners, a Church not of pious pronouncements, but of silent helping action.
Cardinal Franz König, former Archbishop of Vienna. König spoke these words two years before his death in 2004 at the age of 96.
In our world's history, peace has never prevailed where justice was absent. Injustice is the garden that nourishes terrorism.
I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty.
Simone Weil (1909 - 1943), Gravity and Grace, 1947
The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
Harold Pinter, 2005 Nobel Lecture
If you're going to care about the fall of the sparrow you can't pick and choose who's going to be the sparrow. It's everybody.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God … It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
One cannot be aware both of the history of Christian war and of the contents of the gospels without feeling that something is amiss.
Wendell Berry, from his introduction toBlessed are the Peacemakers
Whatever God does, the first outburst is always compassion.
It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
Eleanor Roosevelt,in a 1951 radio broadcast
"If we choose to live nonviolently, we will have to do more than pledge never to kill another. Our nonviolence must push us to reject every weapon of mass destruction, every war, and every gun right down to the refusal even to slight another person. This way of active nonviolence will enable us to change our unjust political structures and redistribute the world’s goods equally. From now on, we will uphold the sanctity of life and treat everyone with the deepest respect."
Compassion is a verb.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Reflection on the readings
This week we see Jesus in confrontation with the temple priests, who demand to know by what authority he teaches what he teaches. ‘Who do you think you are?’ What gives you the right, Jesus, to do and say these things in this holy place? Jesus turns the tables on those who challenge his authority by posing a difficult question. He turns their question back at them by asking if John’s baptism was from God or by human authority. They avoided answering by saying they didn’t know. Jesus then leads into today’s parable of the story of the father with two sons whom he asked to work in the vineyard. One says No, he won’t, but later goes to work. The other says Yes, he will, but does not. When asked by Jesus, which one did the will of the father, they answer the first. Here again Jesus astonishes or shocks them by saying to the religious leaders that prostitutes and tax collectors will enter heaven before you do, for you couldn’t recognise John’s righteousness, but they could, right away. And even after you saw it, you wouldn’t change your mind.
As we face the nuclear threat concocted by the USA and North Korea we might ask ourselves whose side will we be on. There is obviously no good side to be on. We have faced in this country and also the USA and other countries people who have not been considered as those who did the work in God’s vineyard. Might not these have been the people who protested the war and refused to serve in the military but took on other tasks assigned to them as medics. They were asked to do an overwhelming task which felt wrong to many of them when they were called to dehumanise other people (the so-called ‘enemy’) which would enable them to kill and kill. Might not the people who have stood up, in various ways, to the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refused to enter into the dehumanisation of desperate people seeking asylum whilst risking vilification and abuse themselves. Who are those knowingly or unknowingly doing the will of God who sees all as beloved sons and daughters. The people who resist and say ‘no’ to war and yes to ‘just peace’, who say ‘no’ to abuse of vulnerable people and ‘yes’ care and justice have taken sides. They do not believe in simple answers from the government (and this applies to governments the world over) that is often sinful and immoral, racist, wasteful and bullying whether it is in choosing solutions that violent when dealing with conflict or violent when dealing with desperate and vulnerable people who seek help, care and security in the face of oppression in their home countries. The priests in the gospel refused to take sides. Their actions reflected on which side they were on. Silence kills. Inaction kills. They kill people or break their spirits.
Jesus had already spoken of the importance of doing God’s will. Merely proclaiming, ‘Lord, Lord’ (7:21), is not enough. Words need to go with actions where our response means being reverence to God and all of God’s creation, but respectful and act with compassionate service to our neighbours, our sisters and brothers. It is not only talking about, but doing, the will of God. It is about ‘walking the talk’. Pious feelings and beautiful words do not cut it. We would not expect it from those so-called prostitutes and sinners spoke about. We cannot be smug as followers of Jesus. From my experience, around us have been, and still are, people who have no explicit faith profession or adherence to a Christian community, yet do what we might associate with God’s reign: they sit in solidarity with the poor; they stand in the rain or challenge unjust and inhumane structures; we have seen how undocumented people, Jewish people, or even LGBTI people who helped people in recent US disasters were asked to not come back by some Christian church groups. I have seen the same people year in and year out at rallies to stand with people facing eviction from then tenancies, or calling for peace in our world. But I have been told that they are raggedy bunch of people, often very left wing people or socialist types and not to be associated with. But these are often the ones present. In terms of today’s gospel, these might be the ones who have by their lives said ‘yes’ to a reign that is compassionate, humane and spirit filled. According to Paul, as we also see in the gospels, Jesus’ constant ‘yes’ was always something that had flesh on it.
Jesus hammers the point home: notorious sinners—those who had originally said ‘no’ to God—will take their place with God in God’s reign. The religious elite are still outside the fence. I wonder if there might be some of this in the present same sex marriage debate – a debate that is not about changing Church teaching but changing the law of all in this land. Two bishops have cut their ties with other bishops by calling for respect, compassion, justice and fear, but are being treated as recalcitrant. It was said recently that one of the bishops was concerned about people who have not bed whilst others are concerned with who people share their bed!! There is has been little about the real justice issues of peace vis-à-vis the nuclear threat, the genocide being committed against the Rohingya people, the homelessness that many young and old have to endure Who is saying ‘yes’ to God and who is saying ‘no’?
Each one of us has to ask ourselves who we identify with in the Temple court that the gospel refers to. Gospel. What Jesus asks of us does not come naturally. It can be costly. It can also be costly if we not do what is asked of us. Love is a choice. It calls for determination. It might mean standing alone at times but it helps to have others in the community in solidarity with us. Like water that flows into any crack it can find, and difficult to be controlled or contained, God’s reign appears in surprising places, and flows into the lives of those that we might prefer to keep out of God’s reign. May we be challenged and inspired by the radical, offensive inclusivity of God’s reign. God’s life – God’s living water – can flow into any person’s life that has even the smallest crack open to it. So today’s gospel again touches on the essential question of political, economic and religious systems: who is in and who is out. Jesus makes it clear that God’s love –that living water – is available to all even those who are least likely to find a places to belong. Going back to Paul, it was Christ’s compassion and his solidarity with humanity where he took on everything that was human in order to show us what we are invited to become.