Today's Homily Resource

27 August. Saturday, Week 21

Saint Monica optional memorial

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

God chose the world’s despised, so that our wisdom, justice, and holiness would centre on Jesus

For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, …

27Aug The Poetry of life – and I was thinking!

The Poetry of life – and I was thinking!

August 27th, 2016

Seamus Ahearne has been reflecting on his life's vocation and work, and "has been thinking" and thankfully writing for us.
As always his thoughts are a wonderful antidote to the often banal, myopic, clichéd and uninspiring writing that is done about church and religion in Ireland.
His words challenge all of us to find new ways of ministering to each other.

"there is an absence of gratitude. There is a crudity in our public discourse. How can there be Eucharist if we don’t come in humility to say thanks to God? If we don’t stop to be aware of the ‘gracefulness’ of life; if we don’t stop in utter amazement at the very mystery of life in nature, in people, in moments. If we don’t look at a baby and become more human; if we don’t look at a leaf and become more human; if we don’t look at the exuberance of a child for First Communion and become more human; if we don’t look at the act of faith of two lovers in marrying and become more human; if we don’t see the selflessness of parents and become more human; if we don’t see the prayerfulness of our faithful and become more human."

26Aug Pope Francis and the Challenge of being Church today

Pope Francis and the Challenge of being Church today

August 26th, 2016

Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta, NSW, spoke recently about how we are now 'living in a watershed and a privileged moment in the history of the Church.' It is a time with demands and challenges for us.
He said that in church 'It is not “business as usual”. There needs to be an attitudinal change at every level, a conversion of mind and heart that conforms us to the spirit of the Gospel, a new wine into new wineskins, not a superficial change or, worse, a retreat into restorationism.

Gaudium et Spes, the guiding document of the Council, presented a new paradigm: the church is not an enclosure which protects its members against the sinful world. It is a fellow pilgrim with the men and women of our age. It is a church incarnate in the world. Therefore, it is time not of fearful retreat, disengagement and self-referential pomp, but of accompaniment and engagement.

The church will be less than what Christ intends it to be when issues of inclusion and equality are not fully addressed. That is why you heard me say that I am guided by the radical vision of Christ. I am committed to make the church in Parramatta the house for all peoples, a church where there is less an experience of exclusion but more an encounter of radical love, inclusiveness and solidarity.

We cannot be a strong moral force and an effective prophetic voice in society if we are simply defensive, inconsistent and divisive with regards to certain social issues. We cannot talk about the integrity of creation, the universal and inclusive love of God, while at the same time colluding with the forces of oppression in the ill-treatment of racial minorities, women and homosexual persons."

It is a long but worthwhile read and can be downloaded in Pdf format

24Aug On women’s ordination, who is able to speak?

On women’s ordination, who is able to speak?

August 24th, 2016

John Shea, like many others, is seeking explanations about the church's stance on the ordination of women. He continues to request bishops and others to engage in discussion on the topic.
For newer readers we again carry copies of his letters in the hope of stimulating further discussion.
"Is it already too late to talk about the search for truth? Is skewed patriarchal thinking the best we can bring? Are historical explanations the same as theological explanations? Is a folk theory of gender the essence of revelation? Was Jesus wonderfully patriarchal? Is the past prologue or is it meant to be an endless present of male superiority and privilege?"

20Aug Bishop Edward Daly – An appreciation

Bishop Edward Daly – An appreciation

August 20th, 2016

Paddy O'Kane writes a personal appreciation of the late Edward Daly, bishop of Derry from 1974 to 1993. Paddy refers to Edward Daly's outspoken views on the topic on mandatory celibacy for priests. He quotes Edward Daly from his book ‘A Troubled See.’
“I ask myself, more and more why celibacy should be the great sacred and unyielding arbiter, the paradigm of the diocesan priesthood. Why not prayerfulness, conviction in the faith, knowledge of the faith, ability to communicate in the modern age, honesty, integrity, humility, a commitment to social justice, a work ethic, respect for others, compassion and caring?
Surely many of these qualities are as at least as important in a diocesan priest as celibacy – yet celibacy seems to be perceived as the predominant obligation …”

19Aug The election of bishops – ACP Statement

The election of bishops – ACP Statement

August 19th, 2016

"The ACP believes that, at this most critical juncture for the Catholic Church in Ireland, the policies being pursued by Archbishop Browne in the choice of bishops are, in the main, inadequate to the needs of our time, at odds with the expectations of people and priests and out of sync with the new church dispensation, ushered in by the election of Pope Francis over three years ago and the changed perspective of his renewed commitment to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council."

19Aug Statement on Seminary Reform

Statement on Seminary Reform

August 19th, 2016

"This critical time is an opportunity for the Church to consider both a new and dynamic vision of priesthood and a seminary preparation in tune with present needs."

19Aug Report on a recent meeting of the Leadership of the ACP

Report on a recent meeting of the Leadership of the ACP

August 19th, 2016

Report on a recent meeting of the Leadership of the ACP.

18Aug Seminaries perpetuate gender inequality in church

Seminaries perpetuate gender inequality in church

August 18th, 2016

Soline Humbert, writing in the Irish Times, states that the problems of Maynooth, and all seminaries, go far beyond what has been spoken of in recent times and in a challenging article argues that "Seminaries perpetuate the unjust rule of men over women in the church".
However as "patriarchal hierarchical structures die, new communities and ministries are born, witnesses that, in the risen Christ, there is no longer male and female. We are one."

16Aug Prising open the door – women deacons

Prising open the door – women deacons

August 16th, 2016

Brendan Hoban, writing in the Western People, feels that many have missed the true historic significance of the commission, established by Pope Francis, to examine the issue of the ordination of women as deacons .
"Leaving aside the ordination issue it has been obvious for years that women could have been involved at a much higher level in church affairs but that they were systematically excluded by an unapologetic sexist mentality in the Vatican."

"The cat is out of the bag. By establishing the commission and outlining its remit, Francis has effectively opened up the issue of women’s ordination for discussion, even though a few short years ago his two predecessors tried ‘definitively’ to close that discussion down. A few short years ago we weren’t even allowed to think about women’s ordination. Now the Catholic Church is officially considering the ordination of women deacons.
August 2, 2016 may well be remembered as a crucial day in the history of Catholicism."

16Aug Ecology, Economics, and Ethics

Ecology, Economics, and Ethics

August 16th, 2016

In response to Seán McDonagh's call for more discussion in church about issues that matter and are relevant to the lives of all people rather than silly season tabloid fodder Joe O Leary replied with a long response that includes an article by Stefano Zamagni, on “Ecology, Economics, and Ethics”.
We carry it as a stand alone post rather than a reply as it is well worth reading. Our thanks to Joe.