This week, we find Jesus in the Gospel spending time in Bethany amongst his closest friends, Lazarus, Martha and Mary.
Here in Bethany Jesus could receive the healthy affection and love of his friends. He could be himself and feel at home. This friendship was so important for Jesus as He spent His life, giving to others. For ourselves too, we are blessed by God in our friends. Their love and affection fills us up when we are empty. Friendship is essential for a healthy sense of well being. It is love that renews, heals and provides energy when the difficulties of life face us.
Jesus puts it quite clearly to Martha that what He requires is the listening attentive heart of her sister Mary. The first step to love is to listen. True friendship can only be realised with one who listens with the heart. A great deal of healing and the relief of a heavy burden are achieved through the friend who gives time to listen to me.
In order to listen we have to be quiet and attentive. We cannot be distracted by our own personal issues. My friend needs me to be centred on what they are feeling and experiencing. In order to be fully attentive to a friend, one must learn to listen with the heart. Few words are needed in a true conversation.
Jesus is asking all of us to take the time to become quiet from the noisy distractions of daily living when we come to Sunday Mass.
How can we possibly listen to His Word in the scriptures and feel His Presence in the Eucharist if we are absorbed in our own little world?
True prayer is being silent and attentive before Our Lord. It is important to arrive early for Mass, in order to quieten down and become calm; free from the distractions of daily life.
The better part is “to be still and know that I am God” says the Lord. Silence is golden because it provides the opening for grace and the presence of God.
Fr Frank’s health is improving steadily. He is very grateful for all the prayers and well wishes.
Please keep him in your prayers.
Today at we are partnering with Catholic Mission through their annual Church Appeal.
Thanks to your generosity, the funds raised from last year’s Church Appeal enabled St John’s School in the remote Myanmar township of Hakha to complete the first building of classrooms and begin construction on a second block. This progress has allowed students to continue on to higher levels of education, while increasing the capacity at the school and ensuring more children in the area have the opportunity to learn and develop in an holistic way.
I am proud to share that your support also allowed the Pyinya Sanyae Institute of Education (PSIE) to increase the number of young men and women they enrol and train to become qualified teachers equipped with child-focused education techniques. In 2018, twelve new teachers completed their training course at PSIE – this year the number is expected to triple.
The appeal this year focuses on the work of the Church in Ghana as they provide support to children in need. The funds raised through the Church Appeal contribute to vital faith and community building projects in mission lands around the world. Your support is crucial in ensuring all of God’s people can have life to the full.
Catholic Mission is the Australian agency of the international Pontifical Mission Societies. We raise funds and form people for mission. This enables us to reach out through heroic missionaries and community leaders to help children and communities in need and provide vital training for seminarians and other young leaders.
We invite you to reach out and help children who are vulnerable through the life-giving work of the Church in Ghana today.”
2019 CATHOLIC MISSION CHURCH APPEAL
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday falls this year on Sunday 7 July 2019 and is a significant celebration in our Church’s calendar. Whilst providing us with an opportunity to acknowledge our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, the celebration also signifies that we are united as one in God’s love and care. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics number over 130,000 and are a growing demographic in our Church today. We must continue to reach out and provide opportunities where we may be enriched and nourished by their deep spirituality, culture and love for Jesus Christ, by opening the doors to our hearts and our homes.
In the Gospel of the day Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Just as Jesus did, we must meet people where they are and walk alongside our First Nation’s peoples on their journey to reconciliation and justice.
As Catholics we can set an example for the rest of Australia to follow by coming together as equals and friends in our Schools, Parishes and Organisations in the name of Jesus Christ and in the spirit of mutual respect and unity as one people.
Most Rev Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE Chairman Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
Fr Frank is recuperating. We do not expect Fr Frank back in the parish before early September. As more information comes to hand it will be printed in the parish newsletter. Please keep him in your prayers.
Saturday 29th June is the feast of the two most important apostles who by their example show us true love for Jesus and zeal for making His love and Gospel known to the world. Even today we still experience the powerful ministry of Peter and Paul throughout the whole Church. We especially see this in the ministry of those ordained as Deacon, Priest and Bishop.
Please pray for our priests in the Archdiocese. We need your prayers and the reality of our common discipleship through baptism is made ever stronger through the genuine friendship and respect we share with each other.
The deep love Peter and Paul had for Jesus enabled them to give themselves entirely. This friendship and affection became the source and power of their ministry. The friendship and support of parishioners and our genuine prayer together makes it possible for all priests to give themselves to the ministry that Christ has given them. It is to live a life of purpose and to see the great things God sees in every person. It means providing compassion with a human face, the face of the priest.
Everything Peter and Paul did began and ended with prayer. This is the call to all of us to be apostles. Apostles of prayer. It is through prayer that real Christian unity becomes real. Success is only found by being faithful to prayer. Any genuine Christian will know that the love of prayer brings about a deeper love for others. Our Church is founded upon these two apostles who show us that by asking the Lord to teach us to pray we achieve great things for God because His grace works in those who humbly ask for His presence.
May we be always grateful for those priests who baptised us, who celebrated the sacraments with us, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Marriage, Anointing and showed us the compassion of Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and funeral liturgy. The presence of the priest is a blessing. Gratitude for those who have been part of our lives is in our heart today. Jesus our true priest, help us all to be shepherds to each other.
God love you
This weekend we celebrate the beautiful feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
As Pope Paul VI said, Mass without receiving Holy Communion is not truly complete. It is the centre of our belief and coming together as a parish family, to receive, Our Lord Jesus in the bread and wine, His Real Body and Blood. Through Holy Communion, we become one with Jesus and each other. He makes His home in us and we make our home in Him. He actually lives, moves and acts in us. We no longer are alone but instead we are joined, to Christ. “It is no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me” as St Paul says.
We become through Holy Communion, the eyes, ears, mouth, arms, hands and feet of Jesus. He, who no longer is seen on this earth in His flesh, is truly present physically in us, through His Communion with us. We become the face of Christ, His presence to everyone.
To the following children at St Mary MacKillop who celebrate their First Holy Communion today, we extend our congratulation and love and prayers for an everlasting union with Jesus and His People.
Danica Alonso, Jenifer Bagster, Jonathan Bagster, Evie Byrne, Beau Castellari, Carter Chapman, Sean Clark, Lucas Cullen, Oscar Curtis, James Daley, Jacob De Monte, Isabella Donahue, Lucian Dupen, Tate Elmore, Ronan Grimes, Stephanie Harper, Lily Harkins, Ryan Hindes, Holly Jamison, Alesha Jamison, Tobias Jorna, Jorja La Rosa, Thomas Lawlor, Owen Lewin, Bianca Logan, Angelina Majsakowski, Eamon Mason, Aine McAuley, Hailey McClurg, Sam McKennariey, Erin McPate, Luciana Mudnic, Emily Olsen, Lawson Olsen, Kai O'Rourke, Kate Ovenden, Amalia Parry, Luke Phelan, Samuel Roberts, Josephine Rodgers, Carlos Rodriguez, Charlotte Roth, Ellie Slater, Jacinta Taylor, Joshua Tesoriero, Kobe Todman, Xavier Vickers, Josie Webster and Malcolm White
God love you
It is Holy Communion time for our two parishes. We celebrate with the children of Manly parish this weekend and the children of Birkdale will celebrate next weekend.
We pray that the grace and joy of the real presence of Jesus will fill our children and provide for them a confident path throughout their lives knowing by faith that “He” is truly with them every day. I pray that the belief in the Eucharist will grow each day and that our children will now come to realise the importance of Sunday Mass and
devotion to the Real presence of God in the Eucharist.
God bless our children on their Holy Communion Day and may their families feel the love and joy of Christ always. Just as a family is usually composed of a mum and dad and a child, three persons making one family, so too the feast we celebrate this weekend is all about the love that exists in the three persons of one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
All our prayers as Christians begin and end in the name of the Trinity. The trinity is the central mystery of our faith. The love of God as three persons for me personally is best comprehended as a family of true love where each person is unique, and honoured for the person that they are. The Trinity expresses how no one is an island. That together with support and encouragement love is excelled and abundantly made more fruitful.
No one is undervalued in the Trinity, all are equal, and the unique role of each person is made perfect in such a union without beginning or end. All of us can pray to the Holy Trinity to empower us to live and pray always in union with each member of our family and never taking for granted the gift of each member in our family.
May we all appreciate more and more the absolute necessity of unity and respect in our relations with others, that in the mystery of our faith, every person is caught up through baptism into the love and life of the Holy Trinity.
I thank you all for your prayers, concern and offers of assistance during my recovery. I am taking the advice of the specialists and resting. I am still weak but improving a little each day.
God love you
This week we celebrate the birth of the Church in the feast of Pentecost. Filled with the Holy Spirit the Apostles supported by Mary, the Mother of God, enable the beginning of the time of the Church.
With the coming of the Spirit, fear which had filled the Apostles is replaced by power “from on high.” This power refers to the gifts of the Spirit and the true sense of belonging to God as His daughter and son in the unity of the family of God, that is, the Church.
Pentecost is essentially about belonging. It is about having a home in God and in His people...... “and we shall come to him and make a home with him.”
Home is where the heart is. Our hearts are restless until they rest in God, says St Augustine. Home is where you can be truly yourself without any pretence or anxiety about what others may think of you.
The Church is our home and the foretaste of our true home in heaven. In fact, the older one gets the more homesick for heaven becomes a reality.
In our Church we all are welcome to be our true selves. The Spirit speaking to us through each other in the community of the Church is what the Church calls “sensus fidelium.” Let us cherish the collective wisdom of our parish Church family by listening attentively to each other and the Word.
May the language of love, which is the action of the Holy Spirit within every person help us bring about a new birth in our beautiful parishes of Manly and Birkdale.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Amen
God love you
On this feast of the Ascension, we take heed of the words of St Paul to live lives worthy of our vocation and to enhance the charity and unity amongst ourselves.
We know that Our Lord is always with us, until the last day. We acknowledge that for all of us, our love for Jesus is the way to find Him. The knowledge of the heart, the desire and longing for God are enough for us to encounter Him.
Our faith in Christ cannot be maintained through cold intellectual assent. Love and service are the means to really find Him. “Why are you standing here, looking into the sky?”
This very question given to the disciples can also be the same for us. Jesus is not just found above but He is truly present here amongst us. The way to find Him is through love.
Christians are people who serve. In serving others we find Christ, especially in the sick and wounded. Our families are the first encounter with Him. The old phrase, “Charity begins at home” is very true. Basic service and care of the needs of our own family is essential for the upbuilding of unity and joy for any family.
The feast of the Ascension is meant to lift us up to the reality of our vocation to love and form families, built upon respect and care for each member. One way which is essential for this unity is to be very careful in the manner of our speech and criticism. The next step is to anticipate the needs of others and be ready to take the first step. To listen and take time for each other. To ensure that our work load does not interfere with healthy family time and above all to do what we are all doing now – to pray and find Jesus lifted up for us in every Mass we celebrate.
God love you
My Day Begins
If you hope to succeed in whatever you do, place your trust totally in God’s providence. Cooperate with him, then rest secure that whatever happens, will be best for you. Think of a little child walking with her father. One hand clings tightly to his, but with the other she gathers fruit from trees along the way. Imitate the child. With one hand go ahead and gather what you need of the world’s good things, but with the other hold on to your heavenly Father, checking regularly whether or not he approves of what you are doing with your life. Above all, beware of letting go of your Father to free up both your hands to gather more of the world’s goods. You will find that by yourself you will stumble and fall. And when your gathering does not require all your attention, turn your mind to God as often as you can. Like a sailor returning to port, look to the sky and not just to the waves that carry you.
God love you
My Day Begins
We are on a journey to a more blessed life. Let us not, along the way, be angry with one another. Instead let us go forward with our fellow travellers, our brothers and sisters, gently, in peace and in love. And whatever happens along the way, however great the provocation, do not let anger into your heart. Take with you the advice of Joseph when he bid his brothers good-bye: “be not angry along the way.” Don’t let anger get the smallest foothold in your heart. Exclude absolutely, as Augustine advises, even its slightest presence, however justified and reasonable it may seem. For once it gets into your heart it is hard to uproot. A mote rapidly becomes a beam. It will stay with you and if you ignore the apostle Paul’s advice, and let the sun go down on your anger, it will harden into hatred. Constantly fed by imaginings and delusions, it will become all but impossible to set yourself free of it. It is best to avoid all anger rather than try to come to terms with it; for if we give anger an inch it will surely take a mile.
God love you