Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Conversion of Saint Paul (weekday feast ) 25th January 2020

Homily  - conversion of saint paul (weekday feast ) 25th January 2020

Please note that this is a weekday feast and not the Sunday's Readings and texts:


Readings: 
Acts 22:3-16
or
9:1-22;

Ps 116:1-2."Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News."

Gospel Acclamation: cf John 15:16 Alleluia, alleluia! I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, to go and bear fruit that will last. Alleluia!


Mk 16:15-18



Image:  Shutterstock Licensed stock photo ID: 753853219. LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN - SEPTEMBER 17, 2017: The mosaic of Conversion of St. Paul in Westminster cathedral and Blessed Sacrament Chapel designed by Boris Anrep (middle 20. cent.). Photo by  Renata Sedmakova
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Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the  - conversion of saint paul by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/non-sunday-feast-faith-hope-and-love-ep-201-the-feast-of-the-conversion-of-saint-paul/s-S2bMR  (EPISODE: 201)
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{Please note that this is a weekday feast and not the Sunday's Readings and texts}:

Prologue - A special celebration this weekend. Not a Sunday in the church calendar year, but a weekday feast day…. The Conversion of Saint Paul -  the apostle to the gentiles…. Saint Paul is my namesake feast day, and I truly treasure sharing the name Paul, with this astounding figure in the very early years of the growth of Our Lord's church. God's grace is at its most dramatic and astounding when a person stubbornly committed to persecuting the Way of Christ ends up having a complete conversion and becoming the greatest defender and preacher of Christ's message.   A truly inspiring example of God's power/…. "there is no depth that God's grace can not descend to, to find the lost,.. there is no limit to the heights Our Lord can lift up even the worst sinner….. ". This is faith hope and love.

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I have always loved stories of conversion and of a major change of heart and mind. Because, it is at the centre of the experience of humanity in relation to our loving, patient and long-suffering God.

Today's feast of Saint Paul's conversion is an example of this in excellent form!

What an amazing turnaround. God can even transform and make use of his most strident opponents and change them into his greatest champions. God's grace, love and mercy, in equal measure, re-order our misguided zeal and refine our human qualities to direct them to their proper purpose in building up his Kingdom of justice, mercy and grace.

This is certainly a moment and a quality that is well worth noting and commemorating.

One thing is clear; Paul, or as he was originally named, Saul, meant well.  He was ZEALOUS AND uncompromising in his desire to serve God by keeping the letter of the law and harshly dealing with anyone whom he believed was watering down his God's message.  The irony was that Paul by persecuting the followers of Jesus was well-meaningless but utterly wrongly serving his God. Unknown to Paul at that time, Jesus is God's Son and the Messiah - the chosen one of God.  All who follow him are being faithful to God's plan. Saul was ignorant of this and saw this motley band of disciples of Jesus as a threat - when in fact they were the hope of the Kingdom dawning. So, he sets off on the road to Damascus intent on destroying these followers of Jesus, only to have a profound experience along the way that completely changes him.  He meets the risen Christ. (It is fascinating that Paul, one of Christ's most vocal preachers and disciples, never met the earthly Jesus when he walked along the paths of the Holy Lands in his earthly ministry. Paul first encountered Jesus in his risen form, when he heard Jesus voice on the road to Damascus. It was then that he heard this voice from God saying "Saul, why are you persecuting me?"  Saul asks - who are you and how am I persecuting you? And the answer hits him like a rock…. I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me by mistreating my followers. The sudden shock that this zealous and law-abiding Jewish Pharisee, an expert in the law, was - by focusing only on the letter of the law, was actually thwarting the point of God's law and opposing God's plans, not only changed Paul to be a loyal Christian but changed his attitude to the right application of God's law.  The Law of God is an expression of a God who loves his people and whose love and grace and Holy Spirit is at the heart of any attempts to express or codify GOD'S ways.

The reading today feature Paul's testimony to his own conversion. Once he realised his error, Paul was able to put his determination, his previously misdirected passion and his loyalty at the service of Christ's gospel by tirelessly preaching of Christ and him crucified and Risen….and of the Holy Spirit who empowers all good efforts. Paul even was able to set aside his idea that one had to be Jewish and fulfil Jewish rituals to be a member of God's family and set about preaching to Gentiles and new lands and defending the right of those who were not Jewish to convert to Christ without first converting to Judaism.  Saint Paul is considered to be, by some historians, the second most important figure in the formation of the fledgeling Church after Our Lord. (*). He was a major part of the push to proclaim the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth and to people of all nations and cultures.

On this feast day, let us recall the times when we "figuratively) fell off our high horses, and experienced a conversion of heart and mind… when we saw our actions and focus in a new way that radically changed our priorities ever after this.   Me personally, I relate strongly to my namesake. He studied law and started off being a bit too focused on the letter of the law rather than the intention and spirit behind the law. A change of focus changes everything and helps us to encounter the loving, gentle, compassionate, merciful and parent-like God that is behind every law, every divine teaching and every action that motivates it and directs it.

Thanks be to God for his grace that gave us such a wonderful preacher, and apostle, and one who had such a bad start and a perfect conclusion -   Thanks be to God who turns our hearts and minds to his values, to his heart and good purposes.

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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly


Image:  Shutterstock Licensed stock photo ID: 753853219. LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN - SEPTEMBER 17, 2017: The mosaic of Conversion of St. Paul in Westminster cathedral and Blessed Sacrament Chapel designed by Boris Anrep (middle 20. cent.). Photo by  Renata Sedmakova

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Archive of homilies and reflections: http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au

To contact Fr. Paul, please email:
paulwkelly68@gmail.com

To listen to my weekly homily audio podcast, please click this link here.
NB - It is often a week or so Ahead:
https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/tracks

You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul's homily mail-out by sending an email to this address:
paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Further information relating to the audio productions linked to this Blog:

"Faith, Hope and Love,  - Christian worship and reflection"  - Led by Rev Paul Kelly


Prayers and chants  — Roman Missal, 3rd edition, © 2010, The International Commission on English in the liturgy. (ICEL)


Scriptures - New Revised Standard Version: © 1989,  and 2009 by the NCC-USA. (National Council of Churches of Christ - USA)


"The Psalms" ©1963, 2009,  The Grail - Collins publishers.

Prayers of the Faithful -   " Together we pray" by Robert Borg'.   E.J. Dwyer, Publishers, (1993) . (Sydney Australia).


{Sung "Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin" -  by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski. The ….Gloria,  copyright 2011 ccwatershed.org. }

"Faith, Hope and Love" theme hymn - in memory of  William John Kelly -     Inspired by  1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Music by Paul Kelly. Arranged, with additional lyrics and sung by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

"Today I Arise" - For Patricia Kelly.  By Paul W. Kelly.. Inspired by St Patrick's Prayer.  Arranged, with additional lyrics and sung by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

[ Production -  KER 2020 ]

May God bless and keep you.


(conversion of saint paul)

(EPISODE: 201)


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My brothers and sisters, trusting in Gods mercy and love let us call to mind our sins.

Lord Jesus, you are the image of the unseen God: Lord, have mercy.//

You are the firstborn of all creation: Christ, have mercy//
You are the head of the body, the Church: Lord, have mercy//

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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Memorial Acclamation

3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

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Preface of Apostles I


Eucharistic Prayer II

Communion side. pwk: RH

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{Thanks everyone, and have a wonderful feast day, inspired and transformed by the Gospel of Our Lord, as preached by the apostle to the Gentiles...Saint Paul. .}


Monday, 20 January 2020

Church launches national bushfire response

https://catholicleader.com.au/news/local/church-launches-national-response-to-australias-bushfire-crisis

Church launches national bushfire response as Australia is engulfed in ‘unprecedented calamity’



Unprecedented: Sheep are seen as Rural Fire Service crews engage in property protection during wildfires along the Old Hume Highway near the town of Tahmoor, Australia, outside Sydney, Dec. 19, 2019. Wildfires have been burning since August and have destroyed an area comparable to the combined region of the Netherlands and Belgium. (CNS photo/Dean Lewins, AAP via Reuters) See AUSTRALIA-FIRES Jan. 3, 2020.

THE Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has launched a national Church response to deal with the unprecedented scale of the bushfire crisis.
“The efforts of firefighters have been heroic. The resilience of the communities affected has been extraordinary,” ACBC president Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane said.
“This has been Australia at its best … but we need more than words. Expressions of solidarity are important, but they are not enough.” 
The bishops have announced a five-pronged response to include:
  • A national network connecting people affected by the bushfires with people who can help with tasks such as preparing meals, clearing properties, rebuilding communities, as well as pastoral and counselling support.
  • Collaboration with key national agencies like Catholic Health Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, the National Catholic Education Commission and the St Vincent de Paul Society to ensure as effective a response as possible from the wider Catholic community.
  • Co-operating with Catholic Religious Australia and religious institutes and their ministries.
  • Parishes across the country taking up a special collection at Masses on the Australia Day weekend, with all funds to be donated to Vinnies’ bushfire appeal.
  • The distribution of special prayers and other resources for use in parishes, families and other Catholic communities.
As well as donations at Masses on Australia Day weekend, people are encouraged to support the immediate response and the ongoing work of Vinnies by donating online. 
“Our experts on the ground – from agencies like Vinnies, CatholicCare and Centacare, in parishes and other Catholic communities, including Catholic hospitals and aged-care providers – know this will be a long-term process to help people and whole towns rebuild,” Archbishop Coleridge said. 
“With broad and deep roots across the nation, the Church stands ready to walk alongside people throughout their journey of recovery.
“Facing this exceptional crisis, we renew our call for insistent prayer for those stricken by drought and fire, for those who have lost their lives in the fires and their families, for rain to quench the parched land and extinguish the fires, and for urgent action to care for our common home in order to prevent such calamities in the future.
“A genuinely Catholic response to a crisis of this magnitude must draw strength from prayer which inspires concrete and compassionate action.”

Vinnies Bushfire Appeal

https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw

Vinnies Bushfire Appeal passes $1 million

Tuesday 26 November 2019
Donations to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal in partnership with Channel Nine have passed the $1 million mark.
Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, praised the generosity of those who have donated to the appeal, but noted that more support is needed as summer begins.
“The response to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal is welcome news among all the terrible destruction caused by the fires, including the tragic loss of life. It’s shown us yet again that Australians step up for one another in times of great need, and we are so grateful to our donors and Channel Nine,” Mr de Groot said.
“With summer starting this weekend, the challenges we’ve already seen are likely to continue and possibly worsen. Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters, there will be many more people in need of our support in the weeks and months ahead. For this reason we will be keeping the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal going for the foreseeable future.”
Vinnies is working collaboratively with government agencies to help displaced families and individuals with their immediate needs, including food and clothing.
One of the many people assisted over the past month was Alysoun Learmonth, whose Yarrowitch home went up in flames on 7 November. The change in conditions came so suddenly that Ms Learmonth only had time to gather a few essentials and her beloved staffy bull terrier, Kirra, before heading west to safety in Walcha.
“The support from Vinnies has been fantastic. They’ve provided bags and bags of donations; clothes, vouchers for food, they’ll put little extras in the boot of my car,” Ms Learmonth said.
“The love and support from the community has been incredible.”
As well as immediate assistance, donations to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal will be allocated to community recovery projects in the months ahead, helping the worst-struck communities get back on their feet.
“We will be on hand during the long recovery phase as people rebuild their lives, often from scratch,” Mr de Groot said.
Mr de Groot said a major strength of Vinnies is that its volunteers live and work in local communities, and know their neighbours’ needs first-hand.
“We are so grateful for the amazing support so far and ask that those in more fortunate circumstances spare a thought and a few dollars for our fellow Australians doing it tough. Every dollar donated to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal goes directly to helping those people affected.”
Donate to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal at www.bushfireappeal.com.au or call 13 18 12.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Second Sunday Ordinary time year A - Sunday,January 19, 2020

Homily Second Sunday Ordinary time year A - Sunday, January 19, 2020

 

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Isaiah 49: 3-6 1

 

Ps 39:2, 4, 7-10. "Here I am Lord; I come to do your will. "

 

Corinthians 1: 1-3

 

Alleluia, alleluia! The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. He enabled those who accepted him to become the children of God. Alleluia.

 

John 1: 29-34 

 


 

Image.  Shutterstock Licensed. Stock photo ID: 518053207 Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2016/11/13. Painting of Christ in glory and Holy Spirit descending upon apostles in the form of dove and fire tongues. Found in the chapel in Majcino selo (Mother's village). By Adam Jan Figel

 

 

Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Second Sunday Ordinary time year A - Sunday, January 19, 2020, by clicking this link here:   https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-ep-200-the-second-sunday-in-ordinary-time-year-a-2020/s-9nvIo  

(EPISODE: 200)

 

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The Church Calendar year returns to Ordinary Time. This season takes up over half of the year and its really the time when there are no major seasons such as Christmas and Easter, or their preparatory seasons of Advent and Lent.  This is the time when the Kingdom of God quietly and slowly but surely grows in the ordinary and everyday moments and events of life.  Since the "ordinary" takes up a big part of our year, its important to appreciate the subtlety of this time. Whilst there might be not many dramatic and exceptional tone to this season, it is nevertheless really important. Except for the occasional feast Day or Saints day or memorial, the Church uses this time to quietly and progressively work its way through the flow of the readings assigned for the year. So, we get time to slow down, stop and breathe and really deepen our appreciation of God's word and God's values in the everyday moments of life.  This is a time for hidden treasures to be uncovered ... treasures kept in ordinary clay jars...  to use a biblical image...    

 

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Now that Ordinary time has well and truly begun, it is wonderful that the Scriptures speak of "Commissioning" and "sending." It is also good, from the outset of any new season, to recall clearly just WHO we are following and why. Including, what it is about him that is so important. To be clear about our Lord and master and his values and mission so that we can join in fully and with clear-sight. 

 

Like Isaiah, we too have been formed by God; called by God to be a light to ALL nations, not just a few….    We are also called to be open, and particularly to OPEN OUR EARS to God's word and to God's values and ways of seeing and thinking… (which are often refreshingly different from our own ways). We are commissioned to Keep God's word, by NURTURING IT deep in our hearts and cherishing and savouring it….    And also, to unstop our lips and use them to speak of God's goodness…. 

 

Meanwhile, in the gospel, John testifies that this is Jesus, the son of God is the sacrificial and spotless lamb who would take away the sins of all the world…   The one on whom the spirit rests….  This is also the meaning to which our discipleship testifies, in word and action. 

 

"All who have been baptized in Christ—share that same Holy Spirit, and are called to undertake the same mission—being a light to others, serving others, giving of ourselves in love, compassion and generosity, and to be instruments of God's mercy and kindness and justice." (1)

 

In the Gospel today three names are used to describe Jesus. (3) 

 

Firstly, he is called the "Lamb of God," / /"a symbol of strength in vulnerability... The Lamb of God (John 1:29), "takes away" the sinful condition of the world. Twenty-one centuries down the track there is still violence and hunger and exploitation on a massive scale. The work of the one strong enough to risk vulnerability so that others may have life, the work of God's Lamb, is never done." (2)   

 

Secondly Our Lord is called "the one on whom the Spirit descends and remains," Utterly filled with the Spirit and capable of giving this Spirit to others, he has the power and the desire to heal, to forgive, to help in practical ways, to work for justice and to show God's love to all. (3)

 

Thirdly, he is called the "Son of God," (or the Chosen One). ….. 

 

We can reflect at great length and deeply upon these "names and descriptions" of Jesus. As Our Lord asks Peter in another part of the Gospels, "But you. Who do you say I am?" So it is really important that we too reflect upon how we name Jesus. Who is Jesus to us? What qualities of Our Lord particularly move us and inspire us.  The image we choose at this time will reflect something of our growing understanding of the one whom we have pledged ourselves to follow as disciples." (3) 

 

Such images include, but of course do not exhaust the list, including….  Divine Mercy, Unconditionally loving Sacred Heart, Immeasurable and Inexhaustible Compassion,  Complete and Infinite Love, Suffering Servant, Utter Obedience, True Peace….Self-forgetting Rescuer; The "Perfection of  Kindness and Justice Embracing."    Restorer of Original Innocence.  Perfect Empathy, and so much more…  

 

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References:

 

Fr Paul W. Kelly

 

 (1) Fr Greg Friedman with the "Sunday Soundbite" for St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the Web at FranciscanRadio.org. Post by Christopher Heffron:    https://www.franciscanmedia.org/2nd-sunday-in-ordinary-time/

 

 (2) Sr Veronica Lawson RSM.    https://www.ballarat.catholic.org.au/_uploads/ppage/files/Pastoral%20Ministry%20Office/19%20Jan%202020%20Reflection%20on%20the%20Gospel.pdf

 

 (3) Sr Patricia Stevenson RSJ. Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Second Week Ordinary Time A.   https://www.sosj.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2ndWeekOrdinaryTime-YearA.pdf

 

Image.  Shutterstock Licensed. Stock photo ID: 518053207 Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2016/11/13. Painting of Christ in glory and Holy Spirit descending upon apostles in the form of dove and fire tongues. Found in the chapel in Majcino selo (Mother's village). By Adam Jan Figel

 

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Archive of homilies and reflections:  http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au

 

To contact Fr. Paul, please email:  paulwkelly68@gmail.com

 

To listen to my weekly homily audio podcast, please click this link here.

 

NB - It is often a week or so Ahead:  https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/tracks 

 

You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul's homily mail-out by sending an email to this address: paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

 

Further information relating to the audio productions linked to this Blog:

 

"Faith, Hope and Love,  - Christian worship and reflection"  - Led by Rev Paul Kelly

 

Prayers and chants  — Roman Missal, 3rd edition, © 2010, The International Commission on English in the liturgy. (ICEL)

 

Scriptures - New Revised Standard Version: © 1989,  and 2009 by the NCC-USA. (National Council of Churches of Christ - USA)

 

"The Psalms" ©1963, 2009,  The Grail - Collins publishers. 

 

Prayers of the Faithful -   " Together we pray" by Robert Borg'.   E.J. Dwyer, Publishers, (1993) . (Sydney Australia).

 

{Sung "Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin" -  by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski. The ….Gloria,  copyright 2011 ccwatershed.org. } 

 

"Faith, Hope and Love" theme hymn - in memory of  William John Kelly -     Inspired by  1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Music by Paul Kelly. Arranged, with additional lyrics and sung by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

 

"Today I Arise" - For Patricia Kelly.  By Paul W. Kelly.. Inspired by St Patrick's Prayer.  Arranged, with additional lyrics and sung by Stefan Kelk. 2019. 

 

[ Production -  KER ] 

 

May God bless and keep you. 

Second Sunday Ordinary time year A

 

(Sunday, January 19, 2020)

 

(EPISODE: 200 )

 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (or/ The Lord be with You)

 

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{{May Our Lord's Fidelity strengthen us all in our discipleship.}}

 

Brothers and sisters, as we prepare ourselves to celebrate the Lord,s supper, let us recall our sins and acknowledge them in silence.?

 

Lord Jesus, you call your people to turn away from sin: Lord, have mercy//

 

You teach us wisdom and write your truth in our inmost heart: Christ, have mercy//

 

You forgive sins through the ministry of reconciliation: Lord, have mercy//

 

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.

 

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Memorial Acclamation

 

1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

 

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Sundays Ordinary I

 

Eucharistic Prayer One

 

Communion side.  PWK:  LH

 

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{Thank you for giving generously of  your time and prayer to this special time of savouring God's word}.

 

 

 

Go forth, the Mass is ended.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The Baptism of the Lord A - Sunday, January 12, 2020

 Homily The Baptism of the Lord A - Sunday, January 12, 2020

 

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7.

Psalm: 29:1-2, 3-4, 9-10 The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Second Reading: Acts 10:34-38

Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! The heavens were opened and the Father's voice was heard: this is my beloved Son, hear him. Alleluia!

Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17    

 

 


Image: Shutterstock Licensed stock photo ID: 1562076073. OHRID, MACEDONIA - MAY 04, 2019: Baptism of the Lord, fresco in the Church of Saint Paraskeva of the Balkans near Saint Naum Monastery, Ohrid in Macedonia.

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Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the The Baptism of the Lord A - Sunday, January 12, 2020, by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-ep-199-the-baptism-of-the-lord-year-a-2020/s-oomWy  (EPISODE: 199)

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The Christmas season ends this weekend and ordinary time begins, with the celebration of the start of Christ's public ministry. Which is very fitting indeed. John the Baptist giving Jesus Baptism had quite a different effect on his baptising others.  For us, baptism by John would be an admission of our sinfulness and desire for God's mercy. For Jesus, it was the revelation that he was the Son of God, the Messiah. The one to save us from our sins.  Today we recall our baptism and we know that we have been cleansed and united to God, by the waters made Holy and imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, by Jesus.   What a wonderful mission we are called to.  

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John the Baptist, (who came ahead of Jesus the Messiah, to prepare the way for him), was very confused when Our Lord appeared along with a huge number of penitents and asked John to Baptise HIM!!  John's was a baptism of repentance for sin... and John knew perfectly well, as did our Lord himself, that Jesus had nothing to repent of nor did he have any sins... Also, John had said that the humble baptism he was preaching, was nothing compared to the Baptism with the Spirit that Jesus would give to the world... and yet here the Lord is, asking John to Baptise HIM??!!

 

Jesus reassures John with the mysterious explanation: "Let it be so for now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness." In other words, "we both must do this, as it is the wish of the Heavenly Father, as a part in the plan to save his beloved people." 

The full meaning of righteousness is not able to be accurately translated into English here because one word in English doesn't capture it... and using that word confuses it with more modern uses which bring in ideas of self-righteousness and legalism. In the full original sense, righteousness is not a mere outward quality or an outward series of action, but it is a measure of the qualities of God, who is utterly good and just, perfectly consistent and authentic... So to "fulfil all righteousness" is to act in a way that goes to the inner core and truth of God's heart. It is cooperating with God whose plan is to save his people, to take their side, to be their defender and protector, their patron, and to make the inner life of the heart match the outer expression of one's actions. True righteousness is a quality that only God has fully, as it is God's nature, reflecting authenticity, goodness and justice. (1)

I know I still haven't captured the true meaning of the term "righteousness," but at least this puts a sense of the huge depths the meaning. 

 

Jesus was showing the wonderful quality that he always had... utter obedience to the will of his beloved, Heavenly Father. It didn't matter if things made sense to anyone at this point; this was what the Father wanted and asked for, and Our Lord was going to make sure he fulfilled this desire. John, although obviously confused, was convinced by this and cooperated.

 

Also, by being Baptised as he was, Jesus was revealing what kind of Plan he and his heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit had in mind for his children... and it is consistent with other parts of the scriptures... the answer is revealed also in Pope Francis recent homily on the last day of last year... where he said...

 

"God changed the world through a man born poor, in an undistinguished town of a simple woman of faith.

 

"We must not be afraid or feel inadequate for such an important mission. Let us remember: God doesn't choose us for our "bravura," (our magnificence, our brilliance, our astounding technical skills, or any sort of excellence), but, in fact, God chooses us because we are small and we feel small."

 

"God's decision is clear: to reveal His love, He chose a small, poor, scorned city, and later in his life, when He reached Jerusalem, he joined the population of sinners and the rejected. None of the inhabitants of the city realized that the Son of God made Man was walking through its streets, probably not even initially His disciples."

 

(The Pope stressed that God dwells not only in the temple but among the people). …, "He dwells in the midst of His People; He walks with them and lives their life. His fidelity is strong and palpable... touchable...that is, concrete; it is such a "nearness" to the daily existence and struggles of His beloved children. ...

 

When God wants to make all things new through His Son, He doesn't begin from the Temple, but from the human birth made possible by the cooperation, and obedience of a humble and poor woman of His own People. This choice of God is extraordinary!"(2)

 

So, it was always God's plan that through the love and nearness of Jesus, his beloved son, he would save the people from their sins by immersing himself in their world and into their plight. (Like a modern-day-lifesaver, he dived into the water to save the drowning person), He identified himself and associated with sinners and outcasts and people bowed down by the chains of this world's injustice and tragedy and he even allowed himself to be mistakenly accused of being a sinner himself... he even died a sinner's death, and a criminal's death, so as to take on the sins of all who were guilty.

 

In that sense, we can see why he submitted to baptism. Not to atone or admit for any personal sin, but to be with his people who were drowning in their own sin and alienation. He got into the "muddiness and messiness – the dangerous currents" of life, even though he was blameless himself... in order to save others... He was also approving of and associating himself with the people's sincere movement of repentance and conversion, that John's preaching and preparation, plus the people's heartfelt response was leading to. For this gathering of people and their unprecedented admission that even though they were the chosen people of God, they had strayed and were in need of purification, was a powerful sign of the Kingdom arriving, which Jesus was now ushering in.

 

"Never before had there been such a unique national movement of penitence and of a collective search for God. This was the very moment for which Jesus had been waiting. People were very conscious of their sin and deeply aware of their need for God as never before. This was his opportunity, and in his baptism, he identified himself with the people whom he lovingly came as God made flesh, in order to save them, in this hour of their new consciousness of their sin, and of their search for God. So what better time and place for him to begin his public ministry! (3)

 

And in this complete obedience and humility, The Father searched his heart (which he already knew perfectly well) and found no fault, no sin... and declared to all who would accept it... this is indeed not just a son of mine, (as in one who does God's will) but this is THE son of mine.. my only son... I am pleased with him... listen to him... (and in these words he recalled the ancient predictions that an obedient servant and son would suffer for the sins of others... Jesus is now clearly seen as the messiah and also one whose mission is 'suffering love' to save all who are trapped by sin and injustice.

 

This Gospel also reveals the superb reality that God, the Trinity is utterly involved in this mission... as The Father confirms, the Son obeys and the Spirit empowers. All three persons of the Trinity are featured in this astounding moment. this is the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven...

 

Christ being baptized is showing us that he takes very seriously his desire to share in our human nature, to be in united with his people…..especially all who are bowed down and trapped in their own sinfulness or hopelessness... God takes on ALL of our humanity and shows us the way to live our lives.

 

Baptism, means literally a "plunging into water" - so too we are plunged into Christ's life and his way of living… immersing ourselves completely in his self-emptying way of loving…. a love that gives everything… even unto death, (on a cross).

 

Jesus invites us, by going into these water, to follow him into the "living streams of his good news as experienced in our daily lives and actions"…. The regular practice of loving as Christ loves, which is at times extremely challenging, to say the least. Jesus the suffering servant, subjects himself to his human condition out of love, service and sacrifice.(4)

 

Christ's Baptism signals the Commencement of his PUBLIC ministry. He has come from quiet and humble obscurity – from 30 or so years of everyday living, and now is dramatically appearing on the public scene… revealed at last as the Messiah, the chosen one…… the suffering servant of the Father…. and the son of God……with whom the Father is well pleased.

 

Jesus' baptism is an invitation for us to reflect upon the public and communal dimensions of our baptismal call…………

 

Jesus shows us that discipleship is not merely a personal thing… not just a private activity…… Being part of Christ's good news is a participation in a very public ministry of Christ himself…….. (not just about me and my sins, or my life, or my own righteousness or lack thereof).

 

And so, it is a good time to ask ourselves "in what ways do I step forward publicly as Jesus did, as a way of announcing and living practically the new reality represented in Christ; 2. what can I do to live-out my baptismal commitment more openly, more publicly, more consistently. Christianity is a distinctly communal religion never solely a private devotion…….There is no such thing as a solo Christian, even when we might be working away on our own.(5).

 

How do we put this into action? …… ……. …..everyone who conducts their daily lives, their family life, their jobs and any other daily activities in the intentional spirit of Jesus' good news (humility, gentleness, justice, mercy, practical care, attentiveness to God's word, attention to my brothers and sisters around me and their needs, and compassionate love in everything)– everyone who daily decides to live this way is living their Baptismal calling in a very practical way…..

 

May the Lord who calls us to follow him into the waters of Baptism, raise us to newness of life, so that, united with Jesus, we may serve him in everything we do and say….. Giving public witness to all, by our love and service …

 

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References:

Fr Paul W. Kelly

 

  1. "The New Jerome Biblical Commentary." Brown; Fitzmyer; Murphy (eds.). Published by Geoffrey Chapman (1991).

 

        

        Barclay, W. (1975). The Gospel of Matthew. Part I. 2nd         ed. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press.

 

 

        https://www.biblestudymagazine.com/bible-study-                magazine-blog/tag/sedeq

 

2. From Pope Francis called forth in his homily on December 31, 2019, paraphrased in parts for clarity.  https://zenit.org/articles/celebration-of-first-vespers-of-solemnity-of-mary-most-holy-mother-of-god-and-te-deum-of-thanksgiving-for-past-year/

 

3. Barclay, W. (1975). The Gospel of Matthew. Part I. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press.

 

  1. Abbot's Homilies - Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert. [online] Benedictine.

 

  1. Notes are taken from Prayer Time, Cycle A. Robert J. Heyer, ed. 2007

 

 

DeBona, G. (2013). Between the Ambo and the altar. Year A. 1st ed. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press.

 

Image credit:  Shutterstock Licensed stock photo ID: 1562076073. OHRID, MACEDONIA - MAY 04, 2019: Baptism of the Lord, fresco in the Church of Saint Paraskeva of the Balkans near Saint Naum Monastery, Ohrid in Macedonia.

 

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"Faith, Hope and Love, A time of Christian worship and reflection" - Led by Rev Paul W. Kelly

Texts used in this programme are for the purposes of worship and prayer for listeners wherever you are.

Prayers and chants are taken from the English Translation of the Roman Missal, edition three, © 2010, The International Commission on English in the liturgy.

Scriptures are from the New Revised Standard Version: © 1989, by the national council of Churches of Christ, USA. , //adaptations to conform with Catholic liturgical norms, © 2009, by the same.

 [{selected psalms } - ***Psalm verses are (also) taken from "The Psalms: A New Translation" ©1963, The Grail (England), published by Collins.. **]

Prayers of the Faithful are adapted from Robert Borg's 1993 book " Together we pray". Published in Sydney Australia By E.J. Dwyer. (out of print).

 

{ "Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin" -published 2011, Composed and Sung by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski

Featuring the…. Gloria, The Creed, The Kyrie, The Mass parts, Psalms: http://www.ccwatershed.org/chabanel/ ]]] ] COPYRIGHT @ 2018 CORPUS CHRISTI WATERSHED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. www.ccwatershed.org/vatican/Ralph_Sherwin_Videos/ 

"Faith, Hope and Love" theme Hymn: Words, based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, set to original music © 1996 by Paul W. Kelly.

For more details please visit http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au/

Contact us at paulwkelly68@gmail.com

Production by KER.  2020.

May God bless and keep you.

The Baptism of the Lord A

(Sunday, January 12, 2020)

(EPISODE: 199 )

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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{{May Our Lord's justice sustain you}}

 

As one family in Christ, let us prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries by calling to mind our sins.?

Lord Jesus, you are the image of the unseen God: Lord, have mercy.//You are the firstborn of all creation: Christ, have mercy//You are the head of the body, the Church: Lord, have mercy//

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Memorial Acclamation

3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

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Eucharistic Prayer III

We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

Communion side. pwk: RH

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{May God's grace strengthen your love and hope and faith, and may God's love surprise you even in the trials and challenges of the week. }

 

Go in peace.(glorifying the Lord by your life)

 

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Extra notes on the reflection"

 Notes:

https://www.biblestudymagazine.com/bible-study-magazine-blog/tag/sedeq 

"righteousness" is not merely a moral course of action, - rather its God's saving action even in the face of our sin... In some cases where "truth" is used in reference to humans in the psalms, it is better understood and translated as "authenticity." When the hymn, Ps 145,

/

In the Psalms 'emet, (תמא) is frequently paired with khesed, which is translated as "steadfast love" (NRSV, ESV), "lovingkindness" (NASB), and "love" (NIV). All fifteen of these pairings describe attributes of God. This pairing of terms, along with the psalmic prayers and praises that use it, associates 'emet, (תמא) with relational loyalty. Hence, the NRSV and ESV translators use "faithfulness" in these contexts. The echoes in Ps 86:15 point to the famous confession in Exod 34:6: "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness ('emet)."

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"The New Jerome Biblical Commentary." Brown; Fitzmyer; Murphy (eds.). Published by Geoffrey Chapman (1991).

* note, interpretation by me... righteousness is not a mere outward quality.. but its a measure of the quality of God as good and just... more akin to 'salvation' - going more to the heart of what is authentic, true, real... // inner heart speaks truth...

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Barclay Mt :

Now for the first time in their national history the Jews realized their own sin and their own urgent need of God. Never before had there been such a unique national movement of penitence and of search for God.

This was the very moment for which Jesus had been waiting. Men were conscious of their sin and conscious of their need of God as never before. This was his opportunity, and in his baptism he identified himself with the men he came to save, in the hour of their new consciousness of their sin, and of their search for God.

The voice which Jesus heard at the baptism is of supreme importance." This is my beloved Son," it said, "with whom I am well pleased." That sentence is composed of two quotations. "This is my beloved Son," is a quotation from Ps.2:7. Every Jew accepted that Psalm as a description of the Messiah, the mighty King of God who was to come. "With whom I am well pleased" is a quotation from Isa.42:1, which is a description of the Suffering Servant, a description which culminates in Isa.53.

So in the baptism there came to Jesus two certainties--the certainty that he was indeed the chosen One of God, and the certainty that the way in front of him was the way of the Cross. in that moment he knew that he was chosen to be King, but he also knew that his throne must be a Cross. In that moment he knew that he was destined to be a conqueror, but that his conquest must have as its only weapon the power of suffering love. In that moment there was set before Jesus both his task and the only way to the fulfilling of it.(Barclay – Matthew)