Thursday, 7 October 2021

Twenty-eighth Sunday of the Year. Year B - Sunday, October 10, 2021 (EPISODE: 326)

Twenty-eighth Sunday of the Year. Year B - Sunday, October 10, 2021
(EPISODE: 326)
Readings for the Twenty-eighth Sunday of the Year. Year B
FIRST READING: Wis 7: 7-11
Ps 90: 12-13, 14-15, 16-17. " Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!"
Heb 4: 12-13
Matt 5: 3). Alleluia, alleluia! Happy the poor in Spirit; The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Mark 10: 17-30 or 10: 17-27

Image Credit: Shutterstock Licensed. ID: 1711102756 -BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 5, 2020: The painting of Jesus and the rich young man in the church Esglesia De Santa Maria De Montalegre from 20. cent.By Renata Sedmakova

Please listen to the audio recordings of the Mass – (Readings, prayers and homily), for the Twenty-eighth Sunday of the Year. Year B - Sunday, October 10, 2021, by clicking this link here:  
(EPISODE: 326)

* (Prologue:  Fr Paul Kelly)
According to the psalm this weekend, wisdom comes from knowing how relatively short life really is. That is, we gain wisdom when we deeply appreciate the utter preciousness and fragility of this life.  Because life is short and vulnerable, the things that really matter, (the things that are of abiding value), become so important to discern….

The things that last are love, (self-sacrificing, unselfish love);  and our connection to Jesus and his gospel values…. 

Attachment to worldly things, to possessions and money, is an enormous obstacle. Of infinitely more value and importance would be spending all our time and energy in searching the depths of God's wisdom and deepening our appreciation of God's ways. This is our lasting treasure.

The second reading tells us that the Word of God is not just a series of letters and words on a page….  Rather; it is ALIVE and ACTIVE!
God's word gets right into our souls and penetrates our lives. God's word challenges us to weigh up our values, our attitudes and actions.

If the word is NOT doing that, if it is always just comfortable and easy and never unsettling, then we need to be wary.  A comfortable Word of God may actually be a "neutralized Word of God" or a "watered-down"  word of God. The extent to which we humans can make up excuses and self-justifications for our self-serving ways, cannot be underestimated. It needs to be carefully guarded against. The fullness of God's word searches out and reveals our self-deceptions.

In John's Gospel, it goes even further…. 
The WORD of God is Jesus. Jesus is the "eternal word of the Father"….    And we know that "the WORD became flesh and lived among us…."

So, as disciples, we must allow the Word of God to become alive in our hearts and minds and to radically transform us.

I think of Mary, the Mother of God….    I have mentioned before that Michelangelo did a painting once of Mary, at the Annunciation, being told that she will conceive and bear a son….  Mary says "Yes" to this…. 
In the painting, there is an unusual image: there is an old-fashioned "hearing-horn," at Mary's ear, like the ones people used to use to help them hear, (in times long before electronic hearing aids). This image is Michelangelo's way of symbolizing that Our Lady conceived the word of God by listening to God's message and accepting it…Taking it into herself.  "Mary conceived the word of God, by hearing and listening!" Mary brought the word of God to flesh literally in her life… We must hear God's word, spiritually conceive of it and allow God's word to become incarnate in our lives through our acceptance and action in our lives….

In the Gospel, the rich young man is basically very good….  He has faithfully kept all the laws and commandments of God….. 
(In Jesus' time there were a group of people who believed it is possible for a person to be entirely perfect in this life by actually keeping every little rule, commandment and instruction). Jesus loved what he saw as he looked into the sincerity in this man's heart. He saw the desire for his faithful observance of God's commandments. But Our Lord saw one big obstacle: the man's attachment to his worldly goods was getting in the way of him trusting entirely on God's providence and grace. Jesus looked steadily at the man and saw right into his heart and his challenge came straight from his loving heart when he said to the rich man: You need to let go, so as to be fully in synchronization with God's ways. You must allow yourself to be utterly dependent on God alone…. Then you will be perfect!

This was too hard for the man… and it says he went away very sad. He was unable to be perfect because he was letting other things get in the road of his relationship with God….

Then Jesus says the comment about the "camel and the needle." Notice how generations have tried to water this passage down because it is just a bit too challenging. However, we remember that God's word is a finely tuned sword and it will not be blunted! Jesus words were intended to shock and the disciples' reaction indicates that his words hit their mark!  Some have tried to suggest that the eye of a needle is the name given to some kind of large door that people pass through; but no. Jesus meant what he said: This exaggeration is meant to mean what it says - It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a pin, than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom.  The disciples are obviously astounded by this because they reply in shock: "well then, who can be saved?????" 

Jesus answers that 'nothing is impossible for God.'  And that trust in God's providence allows people to let go of attachments or anything else that gets in the way of their following God. Trust in God's care. Trust not simply on our own human will-power, which is limited.

Jesus, by asking the man to let go of possessions was really saying: It is not good enough to have the right personal attitudes. WE need to go to the very core of injustice and detach ourselves from it. Because possessiveness is found at the root of much that is wrong in society; including the desire to accumulate possessions, money and prestige, at the expense of others…

The rich man could have given all sorts of reasons why he needed to keep his attachments….   Security, or "it could be used to help him to do good"… etc….  but in front of JESUS, who is THE WORD, (who cuts more finely between the bone and the marrow), these excuses would surely have seemed weak and ineffective. The rich man turns and walks away from Jesus. Perhaps he will think about this and return later, after having thought better of what he was leaving behind. We certainly hope so.

The fact is, following Jesus' Way, takes everything we've got. The Way of God is not easy. There are significant challenges in following Christ, and if we have anything (any possession or attachment) that is possibly more important to us than Christ and his gospel, then it could very well come between us at some point of crisis when we have to make a choice or a decision. If we are detached from all things, then we will truly be free to let go of these earthly attachments, if it comes down to a choice between them and Christ's ways. We simply cannot allow our earthly attachments to be used against us in the all-out fight for the establishment of the Kingdom and its values. We cannot be baulked in times of trial if we have released our grip on possessions.  Jesus gives us strength and the grace for the hard task of being 'unbound' from anything that keeps us from the fullness of God's life-giving WORD. He encourages us by saying, anyone who gives up these things will gain everything that truly lasts and will win EVERYTHING that really matters.
(Homily:  Fr Peter Dillon).

It has been said: 'If you're rich enough, you can buy very tiny camels and very large needles!' This belief is common in today's society, where we believe we can have anything we want if only we have enough money. It must have been the same in the time of Jesus when the poor and oppressed must have looked at the grand houses of the powerful and rich of the day and thought: "all my troubles will go away if only I had enough money"

Money, wealth, possessions, Jesus talks more about this subject than any other except the Kingdom of God itself. There are at least 15 passages in the gospels when Jesus warns that money and possessions can destroy us. Today he says, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God. Once again Jesus is directly challenging what society is showing people. Disciples are amazed. He talks more about money than prayer and sexuality. Why? He is well aware of how important money is to us and how reluctant we are to place it under the Rule of God. His society was controlled by wealth. It had been theologised into a blessing from God.

The way Jesus often uses to point his disciples to the true, radical nature of his teaching is to shock them. By using paradox, and by appearing to overthrow the familiar, accepted teachings of the Scribes, he shakes the disciples out of their complacency. Of course, they are not to despise their homes and families; of course, they are not to cut off limbs that cause them to sin; of course, they cannot always turn the other cheek. But in the hard words lie a challenge: the real, radical kingdom is not to be found in having, but giving. Sin is intolerable, family ties are not ends in themselves, violence is not the Gospel response to violence. To the rich young man, Jesus is saying, 'Think again; let nothing you have and are come between you and God. Then you will appreciate the proper place in your life of family and of wealth'.

Today is a day for those who are at crossroads in their lives. The young man in the gospel, a good man but rich, makes a decision not to follow Christ. The choice was not one between good and evil, but between the good and the better; goodness and discipleship. He declined. Why do we presume that we Christians (Catholics) have a monopoly on goodness? At the same time, why does the world ridicule our attempts to live good lives under the rule of the Gospel?

Sir Kenneth Clark hosted a splendid series on TV, 'Civilisation' and later wrote a two-volume autobiography in which he declared that he was in fact a dedicated secular humanist. He did not look down on religion or was indifferent to it. On the contrary, he says some beautiful things about Christianity but says he simply does not believe in it. Once he was sitting in the church of San Lorenzo in Italy. He writes: "For a few minutes, my whole being was irradiated with a kind of heavenly joy, far more intense than anything I have ever known." The whole event enthralled him and he said that he considered himself quite unworthy of such a beautiful experience and could not understand why it had been given to him. But, as he reflected on the experience, he was faced with an awkward question. What should he do about it? He was not a religious person in any formal sense and he knew that, if he responded to this mystical experience, if he said yes at this particular crossroad of his life, his family and friends would think that he had gone off the deep end. and so, like the man in the gospel, he said no. 'I think I was right. I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course, but no doubt I had felt the finger of God and I am quite sure that, although the memory of that experience has faded, it helped me to understand the joy of the saints.

C.S. Lewis originally had no use for religion. By the time he arrived at university, he was a professed atheist. But often to his dismay, he began to find himself several times unexpectedly at a crossroad. He writes, 'Some days a little door would open to an unspeakable burst of joy, then it would slam again. The door would open, then it would slam, open and slam.' Finally, one day in his college room, something happened. The one who had been opening and slamming the door, opened it and stood there and wouldn't let him go. 'You must picture me alone in that room at Oxford, feeling the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I earnestly desired not to meet. It was in Trinity term of 1929 that I gave in, and admitted that God was God and I knelt and prayed, perhaps that night, the most rejected and reluctant convert in all of England'. C.S. Lewis became perhaps the most widely read Christian writer in the English speaking world.

Are we to be merely good people or disciples? Not necessarily disciples in the dramatic sense, but more likely in the sense expressed by the mystic poet Caryll Houselander: 'Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives. That going day after day to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness, but it may be that God has sent us there because, but for us, Christ would not be there. If our being means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile.

How many times do we all stand at the crossroad of the rich young man? How many times does Jesus tell us he loves us... and then ask for a bit more? Sell what you have - your time, your reputation, your fears, your hesitancy, your insecurities, your need to be one of the crowd, and come follow me.


Homily – Fr Peter Dillon

Prologue - Fr Paul W. Kelly


Liebert, R. (1983). Michelangelo, a psychoanalytic study of his life and images. New Haven: Yale University Press.


Image Credit: Shutterstock Licensed. ID: 1711102756 -BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 5, 2020: The painting of Jesus and the rich young man in the church Esglesia De Santa Maria De Montalegre from 20. cent.By Renata Sedmakova

Twenty-eighth Sunday of the Year. Year B  (Sunday, October 10, 2021)
(EPISODE: 326)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
{{Peace and Goodness to you all}} welcome everyone, we gather -  Praise, Worship of God

Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

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.
Memorial Acclamation
1. We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.
Ps 90: 12-13, 14-15, 16-17. " Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!"

Matt 5: 3). Alleluia, alleluia! Happy the poor in Spirit; The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Sundays V
(theme variation: 2 )

{May God's love, strength, mercy and kindness guide you all this week. }

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

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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

- "Faith, Hope and Love" theme hymn - in memory of William John (Bill) Kelly (1942-2017) -  Inspired by 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Music by Paul W. Kelly. Arranged and sung, with additional lyrics by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

"Quiet Time."  Instrumental Reflection music. Written by Paul W Kelly. 1988, 2007. & This arrangement: Stefan Kelk, 2020.

- "Today I Arise" - For Trisha J Kelly.  Original words and music by Paul W. Kelly. Inspired by St Patrick's Prayer.  Arranged and sung, with additional lyrics by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

Sound Engineering and editing -  P.W. Kelly.
Microphones: -  Rode - NT-USB mini
Editing equipment:    NCH software - MixPad Multitrack Studio Recording Software

NCH – WavePad Audio Editing Software. Masters Edition v 12.44

Sound Processing:  iZotope RX 6 Audio Editor

[Production -  KER -  2021]

May God bless and keep you.


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