I am sitting at Wellington Airport where flights have been delayed, suspended, and then ultimately cancelled due to another bad weather event. Such is life! Still, it gives me time to plan and think about things. Luckily, I have been able to rebook on a flight that is scheduled to depart at 7.05pm – only 6.5 hours to kill.
Unlucky for you I have a reason to send another letter No 42! Ha!
World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly July 24, 2022
On July 24th the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated. The theme for this year will be “In their old age they will still bear fruit” Ps 92:15. This theme is meant to emphasise how grandparents and the elderly are a gift to both society and the Church.
Pope Francis also emphasizes the notion that grandparents and the elderly are sent by the Lord on a mission of evangelization.by our proclamation, prayer and by encouraging young people in their faith.
“I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else – God is in this person’s life” Pope Francis
I think in our Passionist Family Groups we can forget this call to Evangelization – Covid has raised our fears which are well founded. However, this fear does not mean we just withdraw our care and support. In fact, it requires us to step out and reach out and over the past year we have made multiple suggestion which many have taken up with great success. The phone call, the email, a note or drop off a card, utilising Zoom as a one on one or a group morning tea, group quiz has all been executed.
Loneliness is a painful thing and all too often in our modern society we create or reinforce isolation. Retirement homes or villages can bring people together but also keep them apart. I guess this goes for our homes as well.
We can and do keep people in prayer – we recognise our reliance on our God but also on each other. Let us keep remembering and supporting each other and check in on all our Passionist Family members. This is what families do and we are family. This is highlighted through our Aims and Goals:
To support each other. To sharing each other’s joys and struggles
To build the Christian community as happened in the early church.
To involve our children in our Christian sharing directly, if possible and indirectly by our example.
Prayer and blessings, Paul
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Prayer, and the attitude to God that true prayer requires, is central to this week’s readings
First reading: Genesis 18:20-32
Responsorial Psalm: 137(138):1-3, 6-8
Second reading: Colossians 2:12-14
Gospel: Luke 11:1-13
Link to readings – click here
Homily notes: from Fr Brendan Byrne SJ
Today, as was the case last week, an episode from the life of Abraham told in the First Reading (Gen 18:20-32) serves as a foil for the Gospel (Luke 11:1-13). Both have to do with prayer – more specifically in the case of the Gospel with the attitude to God that true prayer requires.
People who have bargained for goods in markets overseas will quickly recognise what Abraham is doing. Good merchant that he is, he is “haggling” with God, trying to beat God down, so to speak. The continual excuses that he makes as he pleads for a lower number lend a comical tone to the interaction. Quaint though it is, what emerges from the story is a touching familiarity in the divine-human relationship. Abraham, the friend of God, knows that he can pressure God in this way.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
In a similar way human attitude to God is the central issue in the long sequence making up the Gospel, Luke 11:1-13. Responding to their request, Jesus gives his disciples an instruction on prayer. As in the longer version of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew, the petitions follow a distinct pattern that is itself an instruction on the nature of prayer. First there is focus solely upon God, then a focus upon God’s “agenda” (that God’s name be held holy, that God’s kingdom come, etc.). Only after this Godward focus do the petitions turn to address human need (for sustenance, for forgiveness and finally for protection in the hour of trial).
Following this pattern, the prayer begins by addressing God in the way characteristic of Jesus: that is, as “Father”. In all likelihood behind the Greek patêr here lay the Aramaic “Abba” (Mark 15:36; Rom 8:15: Gal 4:6).
Jesus’ use of this highly familiar address to God (perhaps “Dad” renders it best) made such an impression on the early believers that they retained the Aramaic original. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, under the impulse of the Spirit (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6), they found themselves “daring” to call God “Abba”. This address, and the Lord’s Prayer which begins with it, express the truth that they now enjoyed an intimate filial relationship with God into which Jesus had drawn them.
As the focus moves to God’s “agenda,” we should note that the customary way in which the petitions are stated in English (“may …”) sounds like a rather weak wish. The original expression (in Aramaic) was much stronger: “Make your name be held holy!”; “make your kingdom come!”, and so forth. That is, it is a matter of boldly telling God to see to it that this desirable state of affairs comes about.
The petition, “Give us today our daily bread” is rich with multiple meaning in the Greek original. The sense can also be “bread we need for our existence” or (in allusion to the Manna with which the Israelites were fed on their desert wandering), “Give us today bread our bread for tomorrow”, that is, the bread that people on a journey through a wilderness need to have with them.
In the petition for forgiveness the sense is not that God waits to see whether we forgive others before offering forgiveness to us; rather, we can block the flow of God’s always-available forgiveness if we do not lead forgiving lives.
AWARENESS OF THE WORLD
The final petition reflects awareness that the world is often a place of trial, persecution and temptation. The wording, again, reflect Semitic idiom. There is no implication that God would lead people into such things. The prayer is that such troubles, if they occur, will not prove overwhelming, causing believers to fall away from their high vocation.
As a whole, the prayer is the prayer of a community that knows it constitutes the loved family of God, to whom, on its journey through life, it constantly turns in confidence and trust to receive those benefits that only God can give.
UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S LOVE
The wonderful parable that follows leaps straight out of the village life of Palestine. It is impossible to do it justice in a few sentences. Essentially it operates on a kind of a fortiori logic: if it impossible to imagine that a human being in such situations (the man who’s gone to bed with his family) will not act (get up and give bread to his friend who knocks), how much more inconceivable it is that God would remain inactive when his community is in need.
Exactly the same logic rules the three examples that follow: if human parents would not act in the ways described, how much less would God. Yet do we often not catch ourselves out imagining God as less-loving, less-forgiving, less understanding than the best of our friends? As I said at the beginning, the focus of the entire sequence has to do with the image of God communicated by Jesus.
- Why did the coach go to the bank?
To get his quarter back.
- Why does Snoop Dogg always carry an umbrella?
- What did the fisherman say to the magician?
“Pick a cod, any cod.”
- What do you call a security guard outside of a Samsung store?
Guardians of the Galaxy.
- What did Mark Wahlberg feed Ted?
Nothing, because he was already stuffed.
- Why can’t you give Elsa a balloon?
Because she’d just let it go.
- How does Reese eat cereal?
- What do you get when you light 16 candles under a romantic comedy lead actor?
- What do you call a nearsighted cowboy?
Pease keep in your thoughts and prayer:
Paul Darbyshire (Linda and family)
Boyd Dunlop (Judith and family)
Wilma Schimanski and family
Ross Darbyshire and family