Blue Mountains Franciscan Church
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 If you too, have the desire to rediscover who Jesus is and how you are called to serve Him- why not join us on Sundays and see if the Holy Spirit invites you to journey with us?'

February 2015
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March

Ash Wednesday10th February 2016

10th February

Scripture: Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21

“Be careful that you don’t do your charitable giving before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Therefore when you do merciful deeds, don’t sound a shofar before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does, so that your merciful deeds may be in secret, then your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

“When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

16  “Moreover when you fast, don’t be like the hypocrites, with sad faces. For they disfigure their faces, that they may be seen by men to be fasting. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17  But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18  so that you are not seen by men to be fasting, but by your Father who is in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.

19  “Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; 20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; 21  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Reflection:

Jesus contrasts the public displays of piety and those done quietly "in secret". The desire for glory and praise is a self-centred quest. If we have a "service to others" as a focus for our lives, then most likely we will not seek and will thus avoid the spotlight.  Preferring to do our work quietly. It is in shunning the ego driven desires of seeking fame, honour and riches, that leads us to seek a better way for ourselves and those we serve.

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11th February

Scripture: Luke 9: 22-25

22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.”

23 He said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, will save it. 25  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his own self?

 

 

Reflection:

We may think that carrying a cross is difficult, perhaps something to be avoided at all costs.  So we pursue our own agendas.  Perhaps we decide to carry a cross which isn’t really the cross, a disciple of Jesus would carry.  Remember that Jesus is telling us we can’t carry our cross and also pursue our own objectives.  They are mutually exclusive. 

When we try we carry our objectives as a cross, then we risk losing ourselves in a quest for more, wealth, power, prestige and fame.  We forget about what we are forfeiting? What type of cross are you carrying?

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12th February

Scripture: Matthew 9: 14-15

14 Then Yochanan’s disciples came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don’t fast?”

15 Yeshua said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

 

 

Reflection:

Jesus tells John's disciples that his followers will fast, but not just yet. We perhaps need to be mindful of the reasons why we do things like fast. Simply doing it, because it is expected, or because everyone else is doing it may suggest that we have lost sight of the purpose of the act. When we do this, we run the risk of focusing our attention on how well we accomplish the act, or pride ourselves on the accomplishment and not on the "why".

 

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13th February

Scripture: Luke 5: 27-32

27 After these things he went out, and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me!”

28 He left everything, and rose up and followed him. 29 Levi made a great feast for him in his house. There was a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. 30 Their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Yeshua answered them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 32  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 

 

Reflection:

Notice how Levi gathered a very diverse group of people for the banquet. Some would have been considered sinners and others as righteous. All were made welcome at the table, even if some present did not like it. Surely an example for us today. Are we as welcoming to those who perhaps don't fit our image, or ideal, of who should be at the table?  Do we exclude and marginalise those who perhaps Levi, or Jesus, would have invited?  Are we falling into the trap of the Pharisees and judging others by our standards?

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14th February

Scripture: Luke 4: 1-15

Yeshua, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. He ate nothing in those days. Afterward, when they were completed, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

Yeshua answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”

The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said to him, “I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours.”

Yeshua answered him, “Get behind me Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’ ”

He led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

‘He will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you;’

11 and,

‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest perhaps you dash your foot against a stone.’”

12 Yeshua answering, said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

13 When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until another time.

14 Yeshua returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and news about him spread through all the surrounding area. 15 He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

 

 

Reflection:

Jesus responded to passages quoted to him, with other passages which refuted the temptation.  In other words, Jesus knew and relied on God’s word to help in times of immense struggle.  Do we do the same?

 

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15th February

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

31  “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32  Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33  He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34  Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35  for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. 36  I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’

37  “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? 38  When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? 39  When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’

40  “The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41  Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; 42  for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; 43  I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44  “Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’

45  “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ 46  These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

 

Reflection:

In today's world it is relatively easy to see the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned, the naked - simply turn on the television, or walk through the suburbs of your town or city where the marginalised, the neglected and the homeless struggle to survive.  What is so much harder is doing something about it. Have you ever asked yourself “why”?

 

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16th February

Scripture: Matthew 6: 7-15

In praying, don’t use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. Therefore don’t be like them, for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him. Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10  Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11  Give us today our daily bread. 12  Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13  Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.’

14  “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15  But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

 

Reflection:

We all know that if we let it, prayer will help us to develop, and maintain, a close relationship with God. Like all relationships that we want to foster, we have to work at it.  We need to be attentive and diligent. Jesus gave us this model of prayer and we have come to know it as the Lord’s Prayer. It is probably the one prayer that we can all recite, with little thought, from memory. I wonder though just how many of us actually stop and think about. let alone put into practice, the words we are praying?

 

 

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17th February

Scripture: Luke 11: 29-32

29 When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet. 30  For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so the Son of Man will also be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgement with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here. 32  The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgement with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the proclaiming of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here.

 

 

Reflection:

The people of Nineveh listened and did as Jonah preached. In order to repent, we must first be aware of how we have sinned, and then we must be prepared to do something about it. Put another way, repentance requires us to take some action after we gain the understanding or knowledge of the sin.

Of course we may choose to ignore, to become deaf to the knowledge we have been given. If we do this, then any repentance will have little importance or meaning.  It also follows then that when we do this we have not listened to the message, or followed the sign, that Jesus tells us we should.  What do you do?

 

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18th February

Scripture: Matthew 7: 7-12

7 “Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or who is there amongst you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12 Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the Torah and the Prophets.

 

 

Reflection:

" Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the Torah and the Prophets ". I wonder how many of us only to think about, or want to follow, this instruction when we feel aggrieved? I wonder if we always treat others this way, or only when there is some advantage (however slight it may be) to us? Are there perhaps instances when we deliberately choose to do the opposite?

 

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19th February

Scripture: Matthew 5: 20-26

20  For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

21  “You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, ‘You shall not murder;’ and ‘Whoever murders will be in danger of the judgement.’ 22  But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause  will be in danger of the judgement. Whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing!’ will be in danger of the council. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of Gehinnom.

23  “If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, 24  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. 26  Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there, until you have paid the last penny.

 

 

"unless your righteousness exceeds". This surely is one of those passages we can take out of its context, and turn into a reason, or a list of judgement criteria, or justifications, which we can then apply to others. Particularly when they do not seem to agree with our perspectives. When we do this, perhaps we are simply demonstrating that it is we who are not yet ready to enter the Kingdom of God.

 

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20th February

Scripture: Matthew 5: 43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 

 

Reflection:

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (part of verse 43) We all have a tendency to be exclusive in some way or another. We are at times unable to help it. We may realise it at the time, or shortly after, or even perhaps before. By and large, we look to be with those who are like us, who think as we do, who see the world as we do. Yet when our world only revolves around this group of people then perhaps we are “loving those who love us”. In these passages Jesus asks us to think, to see and to act beyond ourselves. Do you? Can you? Will you?

 

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21st February

Scripture: Luke 13:1-9

Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Yeshua answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.”

He spoke this parable. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?’ He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilise it. If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.’ ”

 

 

Reflection:

Think of the Owner of the Garden as God, Jesus as the Gardner and ourselves as the Fig Tree. Sometimes in the way we live our lives, or our vocations, we can/could just be wasting the soil. Yet if we allow Jesus to nurture us, we will find that we can produce a harvest. It can be a plentiful harvest, but we will have to trust and allow the fertilising, the nurturing, to take place. This often means letting go of our egos, and this can be hard. Consider though, the alternative is not really a place of happiness.

 


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22nd February

Scripture: Luke 6: 36-38

36  “Therefore be merciful,

even as your Father is also merciful.

37  Don’t judge,

and you won’t be judged.

Don’t condemn,

and you won’t be condemned.

Set free,

and you will be set free.

38  “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you.”

 

 

Reflection:

"Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful". When we want some rule, or our own sense of justice, to be applied, then mercy will not be seen or even considered. I'm sure we can all cite examples where mercy was viewed as unimportant when some dogma or doctrine was being defended or proposed. The impact this dogma/doctrine would have on human lives and relationships, was not considered, it did not matter than we were not being merciful?  Perhaps this is because we like to focus on the negative, on the bad, on the sensational, on the error, or failures of others. We don’t concern ourselves with what measure we may get, we just want to limit the measure given to the others. Notice anything wrong with that approach?

 

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23rd February

Scripture: Matthew 23: 1-12

1 Then Yeshua spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, 2 saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat. 3 All things therefore whatever they tell you to observe, observe and do, but don’t do their works; for they say, and don’t do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them. 5 But they do all their works to be seen by men. They make their tefillin broad, enlarge the fringes of their garments, 6 and love the place of honour at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ by men. 8 But don’t you be called ‘Rabbi,’ for one is your Rabbi, the Messiah, and all of you are brothers. 9 Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Messiah. 11 But he who is greatest amongst you will be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

 

 

Reflection:

"The greatest amongst you will be your servant." To be a servant requires at least 2 things: someone to serve and a willingness to serve others - to be the servant. Have a look around you, how many servants do you know? Can you see how, and who, they are serving? Are you serving with them? Is there, perhaps, someone serving you?

 

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24th February

Scripture: Matthew 20: 17-28

As Yeshua was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18  “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19  and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify; and the third day he will be raised up.”

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, kneeling and asking a certain thing of him. 21 He said to her, “What do you want?”

She said to him, “Command that these, my two sons, may sit, one on your right hand, and one on your left hand, in your Kingdom.”

22 But Yeshua answered, “You don’t know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be immersed with the immersion that I am immersed with?”

They said to him, “We are able.”

23 He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, and be immersed with the immersion that I am immersed with, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it is for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the ten heard it, they were indignant with the two brothers.

25 But Yeshua summoned them, and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26  It shall not be so amongst you, but whoever desires to become great amongst you shall be your servant. 27  Whoever desires to be first amongst you shall be your bondservant, 28  even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

 

Reflection:

Here is the command to serve others. To set aside the ego that wants to always be first, at the front, in charge, in control, with the power. The ego often does not want to serve, to be subject to the needs of others. When we allow our egos to remain unchecked, we start to believe that others should serve us. We make demands on them that are intended to only meet our needs and our desires. When we do this then we have forgotten that Jesus focused us on the need to serve others and not to rule over them.  How is your ego?

 

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25th February

Scripture: Luke 16: 19-31

19  “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 20  A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was taken to his gate, full of sores, 21  and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22  The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. 23  In Sheol, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. 24  He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’

25  “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But here he is now comforted, and you are in anguish. 26  Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.’

27  “He said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house; 28  for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’

29  “But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to them.’

30  “He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

31  “He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’ ”

 

 

Reflection:

‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’ Sometimes no matter what we say and do, people will still not want to listen or indeed to hear. They will not see or understand that the chasm which separated the rich man from Lazarus existed in life, and continued after death. While the rich man ignored the chasm in life, he could not do so in death. When he was alive, the rich man had a chance to be compassionate, to help Lazarus - but he chose to do the opposite. While it can be incredibly frustrating and distressing to see people ignore this chasm and ignore compassion, we can’t force them to listen and act.  So hand them over to God and allow the Spirit to do the work.  Can you?

 

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26th February

Scripture: Matthew 21: 33-46

33  “Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a wine press in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country. 34  When the season for the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit. 35  The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36  Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way. 37  But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38  But the farmers, when they saw the son, said amongst themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and seize his inheritance.’ 39  So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40  When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?”

41 They told him, “He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers, who will give him the fruit in its season.”

42 Yeshua said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures,

‘The stone which the builders rejected

was made the head of the corner.

This was from the Lord.

It is marvellous in our eyes?’

43  “Therefore I tell you, God’s Kingdom will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation producing its fruit. 44  He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them. 46 When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet.

 

 

Reflection:

There are probably times in our lives when we are like the “wicked tenants”, And other times when we are the vineyard owner’s servants. What moves us from one group to another? The people we are with, some event that causes us to doubt/believe, an experience of grace, a loss, a miracle? The list is probably endless. Look back on your journey, see if you can find the times when you were a “wicked tenant”. Do you know why?

 

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27th February

Scripture: Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”

He told them this parable.

11 He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12  The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ He divided his livelihood between them. 13  Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and travelled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living. 14  When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need. 15  He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16  He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. 17  But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! 18  I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. 19  I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.” ’

20  “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21  The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23  Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s eat, and celebrate; 24  for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ Then they began to celebrate.

25  “Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26  He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on. 27  He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.’ 28  But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him. 29  But he answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30  But when this your son came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’

31  “He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32  But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ ”

 


 

Reflection:

We have come to know this passages of scripture as the parable of the Prodigal Son.

The father was moved by compassion, by forgiveness and celebrated the return of the son he had thought was lost.  Notice the eldest son was still to inherit everything, the younger son was not going to have part of his brother’s estate given to him.  The father was not focused on material possessions- but the eldest son was.  The father had responded from love, the angry, eldest son from what he thought was his entitlement.

Are there times when we behave like the eldest son?

 

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28th February

Scripture: Luke 13: 31-35

31 On that same day, some Pharisees came, saying to him, “Get out of here, and go away, for Herod wants to kill you.”

32 He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I complete my mission. 33  Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, for it can’t be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.’

34  “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you refused! 35  Behold, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ “

 

 

Reflection:

Jesus would not be deterred from his task. He knew what he was to do, and where his earthly ministry would come to its end. We often are not so clear. We often adjust our ministries, to fit the situation, to fit the people, or perhaps to fit the community. I wonder, when we do this: Do we sense that we are fulfilled? Do we feel we have met our vocations, our call to the gospel life? Or do we feel we have “fallen short” somewhere?

 

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29th February

Scripture: Luke 4: 24-30

24 He said, “Most certainly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25  But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land. 26  Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27  There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, except Naaman, the Syrian.”

28 They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things. 29 They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff. 30 But he, passing through the middle of them, went his way.

 

 

Reflection:

A prophet calls out to us. The Prophet asks us to face, and look at, that which we do not want to see, or hear. A prophet will make us uncomfortable, perhaps even angry. But these are our reaction to the prophet – not the prophets. When we strive to live a gospel centred life our actions can be seen as prophetic and we will then naturally present a challenge to those who see us. No wonder then, that as prophets we are often not welcome.  Do you agree?

 

March

 
 

Last updated 05/10/2016 web-servant Br Andrew Blair EFO