Today is the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The message that Jesus brings can cause disruption. When the old man Simeon received the baby Jesus into his arms when He was presented in the Temple, said to Joseph and his Mother Mary –“You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.”(Luke 2:34).
In the first reading at Mass today we hear how Jeremiah ended up at the bottom of a muddy well because the people did not like the words that he was preaching (Jeremiah 38:4-10). In the Gospel Jesus warns us of the divisions that will take place after He has gone. (Luke 12:49-53). These divisions will respect no sacred places and will insinuate itself into close family relationships. “the father divided against the son, son against the father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law” (Luke 12:53) The people tried to eliminate Jesus, because they did not like the stories he told. Today the disciples of Jesus must be prepared for similar treatment, – that is, – if they go public on His way of life.
The second reading today from Hebrews calls the community to courage in the face of opposition. “Think of the way he stood such opposition from sinners and then you will not give up for want of courage” (Hebrews 12:4). The Cross is part of life. When his followers have to make crucial choices, they will have to take sides. Jesus saw familiar faces on the side of those who were opposed to him, and the sight was not easy to look at. But he had to be true to Himself….and to his mission.
In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Polonius gives his son Laertes some advice before he goes to college. It can be found in Act 1 scene 3. It is a speech that contains a number of well-known Shakespeare quotes, such as ‘Give every man thy ear but few thy voice,’ ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be,’ and ‘The apparel oft proclaims the man’ fill the speech. Polonius’ advice is summed up with the lines: ‘This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.’
Feasts of the Week: Monday: Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Masses here in the Graan are at 10.30am, 12noon & 7pm. Wednesday: Our Lady of Knock: It happened in 1879. Our Lady, St. Joseph and St John the Evangelist, the Cross and altar is reported to have appeared to fifteen people, young and old, in the southern gable of their local parish church. Pope Francis declared this shrine an International Shrine of Eucharistic and Marian Devotion. Saturday: St. Bernard (1190-1153) became a Cistercian monk at Citeaux in 1113 and was chosen as Abbot of Clairvaux in 1115. The Magnificat antiphon for evening prayer today reads “Bernard, doctor of the Church, spoke words as sweet as honey. He was a friend of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church; he preached marvellously about Christ’s Virgin Mother; in Clairvaux he shone as a shepherd of souls.”
Thank you for the collection let week. It came to £1640. Thank you for your support of the Graan. A word of thanks also to all those who help in our Sunday liturgies – our singers, ushers, Ministers of the Eucharist and Readers. We appreciate the fact that you gave of your time and energy to help us to celebrate God’s presence among us.
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