After reflecting on the readings for this Sunday I was struck by the variety of messages and what they seem to suggest. One would be – being open to God’s word in all its forms and mediums as in, the first reading. We can experience the compassionate heart of God through our being open and receptive. In the second reading, it is again about being receptive yet, also wise and humble! To see, that as we grow and age it is important to let things pass. It is a spiritual stance to be accepting of how God reveals love into the world. However, it is important to appreciate that there are many paths and we can always find our way home to God due to his gracious love and mercy.
The Gospel got me thinking about the paths we take in life at various stages and how similar that is to the life and spirit of our Passionist Family Groups. We start to look at life differently and sometimes that means a focus on what I have missed out on or resentful as to why others can’t seem to support the Family Group and start to wane. This as we know is a cause for discouragement and then like all paths we take it is easy to be seduced that only I matter or my family. Yet, all around us there is so much evidence of people being so busy they forgot what the gospel message is all about. Yes, we are time poor but who chose that? For what reasons did we take this path away from our supports and the opportunity to support others.
For me there is a constant in my life and that comes in the form of those who struggle and those who are going through tough times. A visit, a phone call, a morning tea, a meal a card can all convey the true path of being like Jesus. To go out as St Matthew says in Chapter 28: “Go out to all nations” – now that is a tough call and road to take. Service is antidote to the philosophy of Personalism or individualism – we are called to collaborate and support each other and in following this path we are encouraged or urged to choose this direction or way to proceed.
Thus, it made me think of Robert Frosts poem below. We take roads due to our thoughts, feelings, experiences, losses, hopes and dreams. We sometimes take paths in ‘a spirit of risk’ and at other times ‘out of fear’. Whatever our mood or phase of life we are in, it may suggest what steps we will take. But, if we put our mind and heart to it then we will be called to travel in a particular direction as in John 21:18 – “when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked;’ but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a belt around you and take you to places you would rather not go.” So, whatever road that starts us on; we will make choices and move in a direction and hopefully, we trust in our God and how he will guide and walk with us, despite everything.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Warm regards, best wishes and here’s to a great 2024
Scripture reflection: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – 21st January – Year B
Lord, teach me your paths
Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works
First reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Responsorial psalm: Ps 24(25):4-9
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
Link to readings -click here
In the First Reading, Jonah takes the word of God to the people in Nineveh. They hear it, are inspired to change their evil ways, and God shows them his mercy. God’s love and forgiveness are at the heart of the Psalm, as we pray for better understanding of the ways in which the Lord invites us to live our lives.
St Paul issues a challenge to the Christian community in Corinth in this week’s Second Reading. At the centre of this, though, is an encouragement to us to free our minds and hearts from reliance on the things of this world, and to place our hope in the reign of God. The Gospel speaks of the opening of the hearts and minds of the first apostles as they leave behind everything they know in order to follow Jesus.
This week, perhaps I can give myself the gift of a little extra time with scripture. I pray that the Lord will open my mind and heart, so I can see more clearly where my path with him lies.
Reminder: 5 Aims and Goals
- share & celebrate life & faith
- support one another (especially in need)
- reaching out to & include others
- build community/extended family
- show and give example to children
Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer:
- Please keep Paul Geoghan in your prayers and remember his wife Christine and children and grandchildren.
- Please keep Jocelyn Bryant who is undergoing Chemotherapy also her husband Kevin and family in your thoughts and prayer
- Please keep Richard Gibbs in your prayer he is currently in hospital and remember his wife Sue.
- Please keep a young mum in your prayers who is having pregnancy issues.
- Please keep Preston Epplett in your prayer and his family. Preston is recovering.
- Please remember Preston and Jenny Epplett’s daughter who is undergoing chemotherapy
- We pray for a quick recover for Sarah Peacock who had a fall and broke bones and led to a hip replacement . She has had great support by husband John and their PFG
- Please keep Debbi Davidson’s husband Bryan in your prayer after Debbi died on 1st November. Also, please keep the children and grandchildren and friends in your thoughts and prayer. Grief is a tough journey.
- Please keep Charlie and Maggi in your thoughts and prayer as they support their daughter and her partner
- Please keep Anja van de Wettering in your prayers as she has shared she is expecting.
- Please keep David Victoria and baby in your prayers. There has been some positive progress and it now looks as if this baby will make it to full term.
- Please keep a friend in mind who is in very early stages of pregnancy but has had a few miscarriages so, things are touch and go.
- Please keep Robert van de Pas in your prayers – he continues to struggle with pain etc from Chronic Pancreatitis. He has an operation on December 21.
- Keep in mind all those who are struggling with various aspects of mental health.
- Please keep Richard and Sue Gibbs in your prayers -He is showing good signs of improvement
- Please keep in mind a son of a friend of mine who has just been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Please remember Martin van der Wettering in your prayers as his health still is causing him grief and discomfort.
- Please remember Phil Drew a former Passionist along with his wife Anne and family
- Please keep in your prayers those who continue to deal with the after effects of droughts on the horn of Africa. Also weather effects on other countries across the planet
- Please keep Bob Buckley in your prayers-
- Keep in prayer the people of Ukraine
- Keep people in Gaza and Israel in your prayer – these acts from both sides have had a horrible effect on the innocent as always.
- Please keep Nick and Leah and daughter Heidi Darbyshire along with Paul and Linda in your thoughts and prayer.
- Please pray for Dot and Neill Wilson (Invercargill) – their son-in-law Mark married to Dot’s daughter Anita has been diagnosed with aggressive brain tumour, Please keep in mind their daughter Bailey and son Taylor.
- Remember Pat and Rod Carson
- Aidan son of Josie and Phil McIntyre –his parents are his caregivers.
- Your own intentions
How did the telephone propose to the lady? It gave her a ring.
– Why are dogs like phones? Because they have collar IDs.
– What does a phone do when it wants to sleep? It downloads a nap.
– What noise does a bird‘s phone make? Wing wing.
– Why was the turtle looking at her phone? She wanted to take a shellfie.
– How does a barber make phone calls? He usually cuts them short.
– Why don’t skeletons have a mobile? They don’t have any body to talk to.
– How can someone tell if a bee is on their phone? They’ll get a buzzy signal.
– How does a skeleton call his friends? On the tele-bone.
– What did the phone say to begin the race? On your marks, handset, go.