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Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 46(47):2-3,6-9; Ephesians 4:1-13; Mark 16:15-20.

Reflection

In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke describes how the risen Lord, after a period of time (forty days), is no longer experienced as physically present by the apostles. Mark reminds us that now it is the duty of the body to carry on the work of spreading the Good News and continuing to make Christ present in the world today.

The feast of the Ascension brings to a conclusion the story of the incarnation. God took on human flesh and ‘pitched up tent among us,’ so that we, created in his image and likeness, can now join in his divinity. Jesus took our human body with him to his divinity, the first fruits of the resurrection, so that, after him, we too can follow.

This truth is prayed about in the Collect for today’s celebration, ‘where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.’ This is not a human desire, simply hoping that things will come our way, but a ‘sure and certain’ hope, deeply rooted in our faith in Christ who has died and rose for us to save us.

 

Further Reading

In book Found Among Sinners, Martin Cilia mssp wrote about the hope of the Servant of God, and of the missionary.

 

Hope is an important Christian virtue and is an essential virtue in a missionary spirituality. To hope is to be nurtured and sustained by a great faith, based upon a promise made by a power beyond one’s own, that of God. Hope is believing in the promise of God and that God has the power to fulfil that promise. To hope is to let the ideals of the gospel lead and shape one’s life in such a way that even when everything seems impossible one holds firm to the promise, since the one who made the promise is faithful, as Edward Walsh puts it:

‘The task of a missionary is to go to places where he is not wanted, to sell a pearl whose value, although of a great price, is not recognised, to people who are determined not to accept it as a gift … to accomplish this he need not be a saint but he must come close to passing one. And in order to achieve this hoax, he must do so many things that a saint does, that it becomes for him a serious question if the easiest way is not simply to be a saint in the first place and be done with it’ (Luzbetak, Louis J., The Church and Cultures, (New York: Orbis Books Maryknoll, 1993), p. 2).

A missionary spirituality must be hopeful. Joseph De Piro believed in “the Divine words ‘If God does not build the house it is of no use any struggle made by the builders.’” These words reflected his trust in God’s help. When thinking about founding the Missionary Society of St Paul he felt it was nearly an impossible task. In his diary he wrote: “knowing that the Maltese priests love their native country very much, it must be through some miracle that my ideas would become realities.” But nevertheless he was firm in hoping in the One who made the promise. In Henry Nouwen’s words:

‘When we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative. Therefore to be a fruitful Christian leader one needs to move from the moral to the mystical’ (Nouwen, Henry, In the Name of Christ, (New York: Crossroad, 1989) p. 35).

Such hope beyond rationality becomes the characteristic of the missionary. To take steps beyond what is purely secure and reliable, out of full trust in the One who made the promise. Cardinal Martini writes.

‘I am what I am meant to be in the measure in which I follow that tendency to trust in hope. It is from man’s innate tendency to move beyond himself, to make an act of faith in another person, that society is born, as are friendships, love and brotherhood. If no one ever takes a risk, nothing happens. It is this trust in the promise of Jesus the Word, which makes salvation possible, it is a very special kind of trust that makes evangelisation possible. The evangelist is formed as he learns to surrender himself at Jesus Word’ (Martini, Carlo, Ministers of the Gospel, (USA: Paulist Press, 1993), p. 46).

Surrendering in faith and hope in the hands of the One who calls becomes the foundation stone of a spirituality of hope and trust. To hope is to believe that there is something holy and something hidden in the most ordinary situations. Faith ministry is therefore the greatest possible service that one can render to society. If it is true that humans have different needs, their deepest need is surely for faith, hope, and ultimately love.

The missionary must be ready to understand people’s most hidden needs, the most subtle needs, emerging from their innermost. But if one wishes to preach the gospel to others with compassion and conviction one must open one’s heart to experience the unlimited compassion of the Lord. ‘It is essential that our eager zeal for evangelisation should have its source in a true sanctity of life … this world is looking for preachers of the gospel to speak to it of God whom they know as being close to them, as though seeing him who is invisible’ (EN 76). As Paul VI comments: ‘The men of our day are more impressed by witness than by teachers and if they listen to teachers it is because they also bear witness’ (EN 41). Joseph De Piro gives advice that: ‘each one is to be very careful to avoid even the least idea of giving a bad example.’

A spirituality of hope and trust, when lived to the full, is a witness that the gospel is above all Good News, and that Jesus is not a moral reformer of humanity but a manifestation of the unlimited and boundless love of God. A spirituality of hope is a conviction that in any human situation there is a profound thirst for truth, justice and brotherhood, and that at the bottom of all, there is a sincere thirst for God.

 

 

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Mass Attendance at St James

EFFECTIVE FROM THIS WEEKEND (08/09 MAY):

Pre-Booking for Mass Finished:

After listening to concerns being raised, pre-bookings for weekend Masses will no longer be available. Instead, starting this weekend (08/09 May), people will be admitted on a first come – first served basis. Once the number of people in the church reaches the limit permitted under government COVID regulations, the Paulist Centre will be used to accommodate any overflow of people.

Thank you for your patience and co-operation during these challenging times with COVID restrictions. We are also grateful to our volunteer ushers and invite you to be courteous to them as they continue to help provide a safe and compliant place for celebrating Mass.

QR Code Scanning:

QR Code scanning and registration is still a government requirement for all people attending a church. Please continue to scan the Church QR code upon entry. Ushers will be available to help if needed.

 

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Exemple

Mother’s Day Message

Dear Lord, today I turn to you to give you thanks for my mother. With your own gift of life, she bore me in her womb and gave me life. She tenderly, patiently cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. She read to me and made me laugh. No one delighted in my successes more; no one could comfort me better in my failures. I am so grateful for how she mothered me and mentored me, and even disciplined me.

Please bless her, Lord, and comfort her. Help her loving heart to continue to love and give of herself to others. Strengthen her when she is down and give her hope when she is discouraged.

 

To all the mothers in our Parish Community we say thanks for the many ways you model the love of Christ in our lives.  We wish you a very peace-filled and special day.

Fr Jude, Fr Silvio, Fr Mario, Fr Brendan,
Dcn Royden and the Parish Council.

 

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Introduction:

We gather to celebrate together on this 6th Sunday of Easter, where our readings express deeply God’s love for us.

Today we remember all mothers as we honour them and pay tribute to the unique role they play in our lives.

Prayers of the Faithful:

Celebrant:   Dear friends, Jesus calls us to love as he has loved. Assured of the Father’s answer to our prayer, let us ask for God’s blessing on all that lives.

Lector:   For all who are tending the dying and burying the dead in COVID-ravaged countries, that they will stay strong in body, mind and spirit.

                            (pause………………………we pray to the Lord)

Lector:   For nurses around the world, that International Nurses Day will reinforce community appreciation for their devoted service.

                            (pause………………………we pray to the Lord)

Lector:   For those who risk their lives defending indigenous rights, that their courage will secure the protection of their lands and culture.

                            (pause………………………we pray to the Lord)

Lector:   For mothers, grandmothers and all who have a motherly role, that they will be blessed by the children they have raised with love.

                            (pause………………………we pray to the Lord)

Lector:   We pray for all those who yearn for motherhood but are unable to.  May they see the many ways that they model to love of Christ in our lives.

                            (pause………………………we pray to the Lord)

Celebrant:   We pray for the ancestors of the Wurundjeri people on whose land we stand, for all our loved ones who have died, as well as for the recently deceased; Eric Elmer, Jamilton Dabou and Helen Bernardo and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time especially and all those in our Mass Intentions today, that they will be born anew into the life of God.

                            (pause………………………we pray to the Lord)

Celebrant:    God of all goodness, by his self-sacrificing love your Son Jesus has freed us from sin. Guide us in the ways of love and mercy. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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We are seeking a volunteer who will be able to step into the role of Coordinator for this invaluable ministry. It will involve liaising with families, Fr Jude, the Catechists and the Parish Office to offer the children from our Parish who do not attend our Catholic schools the opportunity to have classes to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. The Coordinator does not necessarily teach the formation classes, but will instead be involved in coordinating the Catechists (who teach the program) and the families who attend it.

If you would like more information, please contact the Parish Office on 9401 6367.

 

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Vintage Group

St James Vintage Group have their 1st event since Lockdown: Buffet Lunch at Hoppers Club on Sun 16 May at 12:30pm. For more information contact Beatrice on 0403 683 374.

 

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Sacristans Required

The role of the Sacristan in the church is a very important one as she or he sets up and makes sure everything is in place for the proper celebration of the Mass. The Sacristan would normally open up the church about 45 minutes before Mass starts. At this stage we urgently need Sacristans for the Saturday 6:00pm, Sunday 7:30am, 10:30am and 5:00pm Masses.

Please contact the Parish Office for more details at [email protected] or at 9401 6367.

 

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Mother’s Day Raffle and Stall

Congratulations to the following winners of the Mother’s Day Raffle:

1st Prize:         Deepthi Sebastian
2nd Prize:       Elizabeth Strunk
3rd Prize:        Gilbert Comiling
4th Prize:         Pauline Buttigieg

We sincerely thank everyone who participated by buying a ticket or supporting the Mother’s Day Stall over the last two weekends. The total amount raised from both events is $3350 with all proceeds going towards the Church Extensions Fund.

We would also like to thank those who helped make this fundraiser work – Frs Jude, Silvio and Mario, Annie Lam, Kevin Lloyd, St James Parish office staff, and all who supported us in practical ways.

Jannine and Judy

 

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For the island state of Malta, April 30 was a special day; it marked the first centenary from the granting of its first constitution as a British Colony. Under this constitution, the Maltese were given a bi-cameral system of government to look after local affairs.
While this is a special event for Malta, for us who follow the charism handed down to us by the Servant of God Joseph De Piro, this marks one of De Piro’s achievements. In November 1918 a National Assembly was set up to draft a constitution to be presented to the British government for its approval and promulgation. This National Assembly was composed of representatives from various constituted bodies in the island. Joseph De Piro, Dean of the Cathedral Chapter of Malta, was chosen to represent the Chapter on this Assembly. At this stage, according to the Church Canon Law, the Cathedral Chapter functioned as the bishop’s advisory body, and therefore the Dean occupied a very important role in the diocese.
For this event, a book has been prepared to celebrate the contribution of the Servant of God, especially with regards to the question of the place of the Roman Catholic faith and of the official languages of the islands.
We would like to share with you this new publication The 1921 Malta Constitution. Joseph De Piro’s contributions towards the Religion and Language(s) Issue. We hope this will be another opportunity for us to appreciate De Piro’s ministry, his love for his fellow citizens, and his love for religion.
Tony & Mario
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St James The Apostle