God seeks to win our hearts

‘In the love-story recounted by the Bible, God comes towards us, he seeks to win our hearts, all the way to the Last Supper, to the piercing of his heart on the Cross, to his appearances after the Resurrection and to the great deeds by which, through the activity of the Apostles, he guided the nascent Church along its path. He has loved us first and he continues to do so; we too, then, can respond with love. God does not demand of us a feeling which we ourselves are incapable of producing. He loves us, he makes us see and experience his love, and since he has “loved us first”, love can also blossom as a response within us.

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All who live in me, and I in them, bear much fruit

Fifth Easter Sunday Gospel Reflection (Jn 15:1-8)

The Lectionary of this Easter season draws out some of the ‘classic’ gospel passages, particularly some of the discourses from the Gospel of John. Like many ‘famous’ or familiar passages, it can be true that familiarity breeds contempt – we think we are so familiar with the passage that we don’t need to pay it much attention.

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Year of Grace

The Bishops of Australia have invited the whole Church to a Year of Grace which will commence at Pentecost, 2012.

Bishop Anthony Fisher will launch this for the Parramatta Diocese at the 11am Mass on Pentecost Sunday, 27th May.

There will be a procession of diocesan representatives dressed in national costumes. This will set the scene for an experience of ethnic diversity. Everyone attending the 11am Mass on Pentecost Sunday is invited to bring a plate of food of their traditional cuisine which can be shared after Mass.

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Fourth Sunday of Easter Reflection

John 10:11-18

The gospel reading, like the first reading from Acts 4, is about leadership. It has some resonance for me. When I was a child, my siblings and I used to spend our weekends and holidays herding the cows, just being with them and keeping them safe as they grazed on the edge of the roads around the Macedon-Gisborne district. We liked our cows, even if we didn't want to spend all day with them. Each one of our small herd had a name and a personality. They were ours. They knew us and we knew them. We weren't shepherds, but we came close to being an Australian equivalent of the good shepherd of the ancient world pictured in this gospel passage.

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Reflection on Third Sunday of Easter

Luke 24:35-48

by Veronica Lawson RSM

Extraordinary things can happen if we open ourselves to the presence of a stranger on the road of life. That is one of the elements in today's gospel which is the conclusion to the Emmaus story. When I was a student at Trinity College in Dublin writing about Luke's depiction of women in his second volume, I would often take a detour on my way home to visit the National Gallery of Ireland. Velázquez' remarkable oil painting, Kitchen Maid with the   Supper at Emmaus captured and held my attention. In his painting, the kitchen maid pauses from her tasks to listen, through the window between kitchen and dining area, to the conversation between Jesus and the disciples. The disciples have not yet recognised the companion they had encountered on the road from Jerusalem. Velázquez seems to be suggesting that the young slave woman has sensed what they have still to discover.

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