Bible Study – Mon 30 Nov

Bible Study – Mon 30 Nov

The combined Parishes of St James and St Peters is hosting their next Bible Study session on Mon 30 Nov from 7pm-8pm via ZOOM.

You can click HERE or use the details below.

Meeting ID: 919 8422 0776
Password: 899140

This session will be on the Gospel of John, Chapter 16. For more information please email gonsalvesclive@hotmail.com.

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Exemple

STANDING BEFORE THE LORD NOW

The Gospel to conclude the Church’s year appropriately evokes the great judgment instituted by the Shepherd-King at the end of time. The Christian tradition, especially in art (Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel) and music (Dies Irae), has often depicted the scene in terrifying literalness.

We may not today feel bound to such a literal understanding of imagery and motifs taken from the apocalyptic Jewish worldview of Jesus’ day. But we have to recognize that what the Gospel wishes to communicate with great seriousness is that the final outcome of one’s existence is irreversibly determined by the attitude and action one adopts in regard to fellow human beings here and now.

Nothing is said about correctness of faith, or the need to be free from, or to have obtained forgiveness for, all kinds of sin. The sole determinant is whether one has acted with care and compassion for people in various situations of need. Here the “greatest commandment of the law”—the twin love of God and of one’s neighbour (22:36-40)—and the sense of Jesus as “Emmanuel” (“God with us” [1:23]) receives its most radical extension. The one who sits upon the throne as Judge, has so identified with even “the least” of his “brothers and sisters” that effective compassion shown or not shown to them has been shown or not shown to him.

There is no need to wait for the Son of Man to come in judgment; every time one encounters a fellow human being in need one already stands before the Judge and King.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ

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Exemple

Risk Taking for God

As we approach the end of the Church’s liturgical year, the focus remains upon the second coming of the Lord. Once again, the Gospel provides a parable (the Talents) instructing us how to live in view of that expectation.

The master in the parable is pleased with the enterprising first two servants. Having realised substantial gains on the amounts entrusted to them, they are welcomed “into the joy of their master”—that is, into the banquet of the Kingdom.

But the third servant, who simply hid his single talent in the ground, displeased his master because he didn’t do what was expected, namely, trade with the money so that it would increase. He didn’t even put the sum in the bank, where it would have at least accrued some interest. Paralysed by a fearful image that he has of his master (an image of God that the parable does not endorse but actually refutes), he sought security in giving back, in strict justice, the exact sum entrusted to him. This, however, was not what the master wanted. Hence the severe penalty.

The parable challenges believers not to rest content simply with not doing anything wrong so that God will not be able to find anything to punish. Such an attitude mistakes the nature of God and neglects what God really wants, which is an enterprising, even risk-taking, practice of the “weightier matters of the law”: “justice, mercy and faith” (23:23). The gifts God has entrusted to us, like our minds and limbs, need active exercise if they are not to atrophy and wither.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ

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Bible Study – Mon 16 Nov

The combined Parishes of St James and St Peters is hosting their next Bible Study session on Mon 16 Nov from 7pm-8pm via ZOOM.

You can click HERE or use the details below.  Please note that the Meeting ID and Password have now been updated.

Meeting ID: 919 8422 0776
Password: 899140

This session will be on the Gospel of John, Chapter 16. For more information please email gonsalvesclive@hotmail.com.

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The combined Parishes of St James and St Peters is hosting their next Bible Study session on Mon 09 Nov from 7pm-8pm via ZOOM.

You can click HERE or use the details below.  Please note that the Meeting ID and Password have now been updated.

Meeting ID: 919 8422 0776
Password: 899140

This session will be on the Gospel of John, Chapter 16. For more information please email gonsalvesclive@hotmail.com.

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Exemple

Be Prepared

The parable of the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids addresses the situation of the Church as it awaits the return of its Lord (the “Bridegroom”). The time of waiting has become very long indeed but the Church still proclaims: “Christ will come again”, and lives in that hope and in the sense of accountability that accompanies it. The key thing is to use the time of waiting profitably, so as not to be caught out when the Bridegroom arrives, whether that be at the moment of death or end of time.

The five wise and five foolish bridesmaids depict two possibilities for believers. The oil needed for their lamps represents the good deeds that Jesus commends in this gospel, especially the works of mercy that feature so prominently in the parable of the Great Judgement (Matt 25:41-56). The five wise bridesmaids will meet the Bridegroom with their lamps blazing with this “oil”. The five foolish, on the other hand, represent the kind of believers who cry out, “Lord, Lord” but have no good works to accompany their confession of faith (see 7:21).

The parable—and the Gospel as a whole—remind us that the words of dismissal at the Eucharist, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your life”, are no perfunctory conclusion to the rite but a programme for living the twin commandment of love of God and love of neighbour. Those who take them to heart have always with them the “oil” required for salvation; they can “sleep” without anxiety about being caught short by the sudden arrival of the Lord.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ

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First Friday service over the Zoom platform on November 6th from 7 pm to 8 pm. Let us come and spend some quiet time with the Blessed Sacrament and thank the Lord for the lifting of restrictions in our state and continue to pray that all restrictions will be lifted. Service consists of prayers, hymns, adoration, scripture readings, talks and silent adoration.

Zoom Meeting ID: 835 0838 9756
Password: FRIDAY

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Exemple

The gospel of the Beatitudes is often read at funerals and weddings. In its own way, it sounds comforting and indeed it is. However, it is also very challenging—which suggests that “Blessed” is a better rendering of the opening word in each case than “Happy”.

Jesus is instructing his disciples concerning the kind of people they must be, not just for themselves but for the benefit of the mass of afflicted people down below the mountain, who he has just healed.

To this end, the beatitudes describe ways of living that mean putting oneself in a vulnerable situation quite contrary to the values of the world. To be “poor in spirit,” rather than proud and dominant; to feel compassion (“mourn”) because other people suffer; to have a passionate commitment (“thirst”) for justice; to exercise “mercy” rather than taking advantage of those in an inferior position; to actively promote reconciliation (as “peacemakers”); and so forth: all these things make one vulnerable here and now, entailing much loss.

But in light of the hope for the kingdom of God, whose values the Beatitudes enshrine, disciples who adopt this way of life are already “blessed”. Their future happiness is in the hands of an ever-faithful God.

Moreover, living in this way means that they can be “salt” and “light” for the world, especially for the afflicted. It is those who are prepared to live in the vulnerable way commended by Jesus who make the world a hospitable home for all humanity. This is the legacy of the “saints” who have gone before us.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ

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Exemple

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT

When faced with the question in today’s Gospel concerning which of the commandments of the law is the greatest, Jesus has no hesitation in uniting two commandments already found in the scriptures of Israel.

The command to love God with all one’s heart and soul and mind comes from Deuteronomy (6:4-5). It is a command that every Israelite is summoned to recite each morning on rising (the “Schema” prayer). So the Christian tradition has inherited from Israel the truth that God is worthy of love, worship and dedication of life simply for God’s sake alone. Love is the supreme factor in the relationship that God desires to have with us.

The second command, “to love one’s neighbour as oneself”, occurs in Lev 19:18. It is “like” the first because it flows from the nature of Israel’s God, who has identified so intimately with the situation of human beings. To love God with all one’s heart and soul and mind is to love those whom God loves: one’s fellow human beings, especially the vulnerable and the poor.

Down the ages there have been many interpretations as to what loving one’s neighbour as oneself might mean. Primarily it would seem to mean putting oneself—at least imaginatively—in the neighbour’s shoes and asking how would I like to be treated in their situation. Better still, perhaps, it means taking pains to find out from the neighbour what exactly their desire might be. All effective works of charity and justice begin from a similar base: from com-passion (“feeling with”) in the deepest sense of that term.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ

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Bible Study – Mon 26 Oct

The combined Parishes of St James and St Peters is hosting their next Bible Study session on Mon 26 Oct from 7pm-8pm via ZOOM.

You can click HERE or use the details below.  Please note that the Meeting ID and Password have now been updated.

Meeting ID: 919 8422 0776
Password: 899140

This session will be on the Gospel of John, Chapter 15. For more information please email gonsalvesclive@hotmail.com.

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