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50 Avenue Hoche

75008 Paris

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9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 6.30pm

Sat Vigil 6.30pm

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17th Sunday 30 July 2017

Reflection* by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh]
{Reflection only the view of the above}

What do you most want from God on this final Sunday of July? Some people will answer that a win on the Lotto would help! We all have different needs and the urgent prayer of each can count on the prayer of the Church. We never pray alone. We are firstborn within a large family. In a family, the needs of one are the needs of all – or so we hope!

The young King Solomon asked for wisdom. He wanted an understanding mind to be able to discern between good and evil. His prayer was answered and to this day, we hear the phrase, ‘it would take the wisdom of Solomon to decide what to do for the best.’ Wisdom is a great, if rare, treasure.

Oftentimes the gifts of God do not lie on the surface. The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. It is like a fine pearl of great price. It is like a net that catches a cross-section of fish, some of which will be thrown back into the sea. One of my weakness is that I like to see what God is doing. It is not that God plays ‘hide and seek’ but His gifts are too profound for us to grasp without the Spirit guiding us.

The lovely truth is that there is a pearl of great price for each of us. That is why I began with asking what each of us is searching for on this final Sunday of July. There is a price to be paid for the pearl that has our name on it from God as His gift. There is a cautious side to me – what I have, I will hold. But to get the pearl of great price, I must sell all I have so as to buy it. What might that mean, I wonder? You can answer for yourself! I will try to share my search.

There are times when I wonder if God has new challenges for me, but I’m afraid to search because of the price? The pictures of the eyes of children wandering our world because of losing parents, home, school and friends by the horrors of war and brutality, haunt me. Why is my life so different? Am I being called, even at this late stage of life, to act like Abraham and leave for a place that God will show me?  Could I make a difference or would I be an added burden to people already struggling? I don’t know the answers to these questions. They worry me.

The state of our church leaves me uneasy. There are so many survivors damaged by the sins and criminal acts of those who have accepted ordination and professed to live by the Beatitudes. I’m still shocked by what was going on around me over the past four decades and, truthfully, I didn’t see what was happening. Should I have seen these atrocious abuses? Can I now offer any witness to how abhorrent all this is to me and how it has reduced my joy in priesthood and religious life?

Is God asking me to pursue this and find some way of witnessing to the tears and heartache of God? Maybe some of us are asked to find our voices again and to to act in a more assertive way to show how poorly our church has come out of these awful times? I don’t know the answers to these questions. Please pray for me as I continue to search for the pearl of great price. Let some of the wisdom of Solomon find a home in my heart this summer. Give me the courage to do, Lord, what you are asking of me.

StJoeParis

Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56
stjosephparis@wanadoo.fr

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