God in the Everyday–Fr Mike Delaney–Who Made God? (Fr Mike has been dealing with quite a few other tricky and challenging questions of five-year-olds during some school visits. During one visit came the question which challenges every time, who made God? Before Mike could answer, another little girl piped up and said God doesn't need to be made because God is love and love just is. Asked how she knew that the girl said that her mum told her that she, her mum, loved her just because she was her daughter and would always love her and that's what God does as well. Thinking about it later, Fr Mike reflected how often we get caught up in big ideas and words to speak about these truths when sometimes the best answer might be the simplest.)
Faith Testimony– Verity Lebeter (Caloundra, Qld) Verity talks about her life and faith journey to become a National Evangelisation Team member with Journey Editor Max Norden. A Year 12 experience with her local NET changed the direction of her life with the decision to take faith in Jesus seriously and become a Catholic.)
The Bush Deacon–Josh Clayton–Jason (At a recent funeral Josh reflects on the life of Jason, a person who had always been on the edges of life, always been on the edge of community life, of church life, but that always taken part in so many different things in the wider community. One of the challenges about Jason was he didn't really fit the perfect mould of someone going to church. He challenged us to realise that sometimes being a disciple, sometimes being a follower of Jesus, isn't as one-dimensional as we like to have it. Jason was being more than just himself, he was being Christ to us, and it gave us a chance to help him as well and to be Christ to him and I wonder whether we noticed the Jason's in our lives. God bless Jason, God bless all he helped to encounter God in a deeper and stronger way.)
On The Journey This Week: Fr Slawek Plonka’s Gospel reflection on a baptism of fire to immerse us fully in God's love. Mother Hilda reflects on a famous poem, “The Prophet.” Plus, a faith testimony from Verity Lebeter (Caloundra, Qld), Fr Mike Delaney on dealing with challenging questions of five-year-olds during school visits, and Josh Clayton reflects on the life of Jason, a person on the edges of life, who challenged us to realise that sometimes being a follower of Jesus isn't as one-dimensional as we like to have it.
Wisdom from the Abbey–Mother Hilda–Love Can Die (Mother Hilda reflects on Lebanese Maronite Christian poet Kahlil Gibran famous work, “the prophet,” in which a man of wisdom, the prophet, is asked to speak to the people of fictional Orphalege about varying subjects. Mother Hilda says his description of love is a very accurate description of God and our life with God. How hard it is sometimes for you and me to believe in a God who invites us into that deepest of mysteries, love. Mother Hilda says God gives only himself and takes nothing away from you, rather he takes from himself, and he gives to you. In his love he does not possess you, you're free to choose to love him or reject him. And the prophet goes on “when you love you should not say God is in my heart but rather, I am in the heart of God. And Mother Hilda says: yes, that's our true resting place.)
Gospel Reflection–Fr Slawek Plonka–Baptism of Fire (Fr Slawek says this gospel makes us feel uncomfortable, it makes us realise that we may be God fearing people who do the right thing and still experience suffering injustice, division and discord. Jesus is here not to create paradise on Earth, to miraculously fix everything and everyone, and let us live in blissful happiness every day. He is here to baptise us with fire to immerse us fully in God's love and to guide us safely into the fullness of life which we call heaven. If we expect that from him, we won't be disappointed, we will be saved.)
Positive Psychology–Fr Anthony Crook–Spirituality and Well-Being (part 1) Fr Anthony begins a short series on the why and how of spiritual well-being. Today he explores why personal spirituality and a sense of religious belonging is so protective and comforting to us. Even in suffering or serious illness, we are place ourselves in the context of the Christian story that helps change the experience and understanding of suffering.)
On The Journey This Week: Fr Mark De Battista’s Gospel reflection on being watchful, always ready, and vigilant to respond to God’s quiet voice. Mother Hilda says a 12th Century comment is equally applicable to us today. Plus, Fr Anthony Crook explores why personal spirituality, and a sense of religious belonging is so protective and comforting to us, Trish McCarthy and Fr Dave Callaghan.
Gospel Reflection–Fr Mark De Battista–Watchfulness (Fr Mark says that Jesus in this gospel is calling us to watchfulness. It's the watchfulness of faith. It's the watchfulness of being attentive to spiritual things. It means essentially that we're always trying to look at our life and our world from the perspective of faith. We must be ready and vigilant at all times to respond to that quiet voice of his and to always be ready for the enemy of our souls who is ever present and ready to attack us when he feels and thinks we are weakest.
Milk & Honey–Trish McCarthy–My Pleasure (Trish was pleasantly surprised by a particular experience when walking through a busy shop. Excusing herself and squeezing through the fast-closing gap of feet and shoulders, Trish thanked the lady who moved aside to make more room. Her reply was surprising. “My pleasure” she said. It was her pleasure to make way for me, someone she didn't know, hadn't met, would never see again. She took delight in being able to serve me. Imagine the difference it would make if we could take that attitude into all those little things in life. Trish says have fun today and genuinely smile inside and out when you get the chance to say out of love, it's my pleasure.)
The Call–Fr Dave Callaghan–Living Faith Back-to-Front (Fr Dave says that it seems that we often get Jesus’ saying “to be as cunning as snakes and as innocent as doves” back to front. we need to come back to the words of Jesus. Think like snakes, but don't act like them. Act like doves but don't think like them. When we get that the right way round, we might just start to bring about a real change in our world.)
Wisdom from the Abbey–Mother Hilda–I Found Him (Mother Hilda says a piece of work by a 12th Century monk, Gilbert of Hoyland, is so applicable to our 21st century circumstances. Gilbert’s story is one of searching and finding, of us wandering like lost sheep while God is searching for us in his mercy, anticipating our despair, anticipating us that he might love us before we loved him. Hilda says that that's our story. Lost and found. Chosen, sought, acquired, anticipated.)
Wisdom from the Abbey–Mother Hilda–The Beggar King (Mother Hilda tells a wonderful story about the German Mystic and a theologian in the 14th century, Johannes Tauler. One day, Tauler met a beggar and said God give you a happy life, my friend. To which the beggar replied. I thank God I'm never unhappy, and since God’s will is my will and whatever pleases him pleases me, why should I say I'm unhappy when I'm not? Mother Hilda says It's as simple as that, keep our hearts fixed on God and once that happens, nothing can ever disturb you. Or if it does, it will be a very short duration.)
The Call–Fr Dave Callaghan–Overworked and Underpaid (Fr Dave says Stress is one of the greatest challenges of our modern world. We have more money and possessions than any generation before us. We find it so hard to connect with God, and we really find it hard to be in relationship with ourselves. The real problem is that we are over worked and under prayed. When we are running empty, we need to stop and refill the tank. You need to stop long enough to let yourself be loved by God. Set aside time each day just to let God meet you. Just focus on letting him love you.)
Gospel Reflection–Fr Robert Riedling (Parramatta)– Vanity of Vanities (When Jesus encounters the man who's asking Jesus to assist with getting his inheritance, Jesus tries to get the man to focus on something more than material wealth. And of course, a message in the Gospel is also a message for us as well. We, in our own lives can often be obsessed with our own futures. But we are called to live like Jesus and share what we have with other people. Saint Basil the great once said, to paraphrase him, that the wealth we have we can't take with us after we die. But what we do take with us after we die are those credits we build up by our good works.)
Spirit & Life–Pat Keady– The Gift of Prayer (Following on from last week’s gospel on Jesus teaching the disciples and us how to pray, this week Pat Keady says we can tap into the gifts of the Holy Spirit for some prayer assistance. Pat asks do you see prayer as a chore that’s got to be done? Well, a better way to look at prayer is as a gift from the Holy Spirit to build a relationship with God. Pat’s advice: today take up the Spirit’s offer of a catch-up coffee with God, tell Him all the happenings in and around your life, hear what He’s got to say as well)
On The Journey This Week: Fr Robert Reidling’s gospel reflection. Mother Hilda’s story of the beggar’s reply to theologian Johannes Tauler’s question. Plus, Fr Dave Callaghan on being over worked and under prayed, Trish McCarthy encouraging us to take in nature’s breath, and Pat Keady tapping into the Holy Spirit’s gift of prayer.
Milk & Honey–Trish McCarthy–Nature’s Breath (Trish encourages us to sit amongst nature long enough to slow down. You’ll notice that there is a distinct rhythm that can be seen and felt, nature’s unique breath. If you sit longer yet, you may even notice your own breath and rhythm begin to mimic this natural design, creating the awareness that God is present in all of his creation. Do yourself a favour today and rest by the tranquil streams that Our Good Shepherd leads you to, enabling you to restore your whole being.)
Faith Testimony–NET member Michael Adams (Brisbane) (Michael is in conversation with Journey Editor, Max Norden, about his South African background, his journey from working at the Gabba and Sun Corp Stadium to National Evangelisation Team, applying his musical theatre degree to youth ministry and an insiders view of living in community with other young adults working together as volunteers on a team with a mission focus.)
God in the Everyday–Fr Mike Delaney–Driving to Mass (Fr Mike, on his regular Sunday morning drive to say Mass at Snug wonders what he’s been missing by not being observant of his surrounds during the drive. Returning with more observant eyes he discovers some of his parishioners gathering for coffee at the local fruit and vege market, more of them at the art gallery and restaurant, as well as the public gathering at the local Margate tourist attraction and the golf course as well as more people gathering for worship and community at three other churches that he passes on his way back to Kingston. Mike wonders how much are we missing out of God being active in people in their everyday activities by not being observant?)
On The Journey This Week: Fr Joseph Murphy’s gospel reflection on praying just like Jesus. Mother Hilda’s moving Amen prayer story. Plus, a faith testimony from NET member Michael Adams, and Josh Clayton making a thousand sausage sandwiches.
Gospel Reflection–Fr Joseph Murphy–Teach Us to Pray (Fr Joseph says there must have been something remarkable about the way Jesus prays to the Father because the disciples ask that the Lord teach them to pray like he does. When Jesus answered the request, "Teach us to pray," he taught his followers how to live as Christians by always asking for the kingdom and trusting that God will answer the prayer. We can have the same admiration and trust when we pray to Our Father.)
The Bush Deacon–Josh Clayton–Sausage Sandwich (Josh joins a community event bringing people together to share their experiences of the last couple of years of Covid, bushfires and floods. He finds his practical calling on the day is to join with his children helping cook a thousand sausages. The day’s activities remind Josh of the importance to go out, join the community spirit, help others, and see it as a practical way of sharing the love that Jesus expressed whenever he was feeding the multitudes. Stepping outside our own little circle lets us get to know and understand ourselves and our community better, creating an opportunity to live out the mission Jesus asked us to do.)
Wisdom from the Abbey–Mother Hilda–Be the Amen (Mother Hilda recounts a story from her younger years of an elderly nun teaching and helping an intellectually disabled lady, Alice, about serving God better. When asked if she knew any prayers Alice said, yes, the Amen! The youthful Hilda was amused but now an older and wiser Hilda sees the profound depth of that answer. When we hear something in prayer and say “amen” we mean we agree with everything just said. Saying Amen gives depth and agreement to God’s will and a trust that we know it will be ok because we are walking hand-in-hand with God, letting him guide us to do his will.)
Gospel Reflection–Fr Stephen Drum FMVD–true hospitality (Fr Stephen ask what’s the best type of hospitality for the Lord? It’s easy to be like Martha, getting distracted by the detail of the hospitality to forget that the reason for the hospitality is Jesus. True hospitality is being like Mary and spending time with Jesus. When Jesus visits, spend time talking to and listening to him. Let Jesus be your guest.)
Wisdom from the Abbey–Mother Hilda–The Never-ending Story (Mother Hilda says one of the saddest stories in the gospels is the one about the demoniac living in the graveyard (Mark 5:1-20), held there by who knows what, roaming around with the dead, suffering self-harm, and howling from the depths of his despair. Hilda wonders if that is a metaphor for times in our life. After curing him, Jesus tells him to go back home and tell everyone what has happened to him. And so it is for us, Jesus asks us too to tell the never ending story of what Jesus has done in our life. What message do our lives carry?)
God in the Everyday–Fr Mike Delaney–The Eastern Shore (Fr Mike tells the story of his long-time friends moving from to Hobart and their enthusiasm for the view of the Derwent River and Mt Wellington. He remembers his own enthusiasm for the view from their former Sydney home across the heads and harbour. It reminds him of the enthusiasm babies and young children take in new surrounds and asks, do we spend time in wonder and awe at our surrounds with the curious vision of a child, being open to all that God has given us and acknowledging God’s creation.)
Milk & Honey–Trish McCarthy–Love for God Love for Others (Trish uses the physical motion of our heart to describe how we are the heartbeat of Jesus’ ongoing mission to the world around us. Just like our heart receiving blood, transforming it with the breath of our lungs and returning it rejuvenated to the body, so too do we receive the love of God, transformed by the breath of the Holy Spirit to enable us to pump new life into those around us.)
On The Journey This Week: Fr Stephen Drum says true hospitality is spending time talking to and listening to Jesus. Plus, Mother Hilda on telling the never-ending story of our life, Fr Mike Delaney says it’s time to spend time in wonder and awe at our surrounds with the curious vision of a child, Trish McCarthy on love and breath of the Holy Spirit pumping new life into those around us, and Pete Gilmore leaps for joy driven by the excellence of others to let his talents come to the fore to encourage those around him.
Living the Gospel–Pete Gilmore–Dusty Guitars (Pete says as an average guitar player, whenever he hears an excellent guitar player, the guitar player in him leaps for joy and driven by that excellence, grabs his dusty guitar for another go. Seeing the gifts in another reminds us of the gifts we have, hearing the vision of another inspires the vision in us, encountering Jesus in another leads us to longing for Jesus to be alive in us too. This week let your gifts shine because they are God’s glory in you, and you never know what gifts you may awaken in someone else.)