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Assumption 15 Aug. Mass 11am


 

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020

Reflection* {only view of Aidan Troy}


The number of people who died in the previous 24 hours during the pandemic is a daily feature of news report. May all who have died rest in peace. Alongside this there often appears the number who have recovered from COVID19. Whenever I see a person being applauded out of ICU after recovering, I think of Jesus’ words that we all may have ‘life to the full’.

The mystery as to why some survive and others do not, is known only to God. But alive or dead, Jesus always stands at the core of the whole world. He always wishes not only to be near His people, but to live in every heart and soul.

Jesus does not deal in statistics or graphs. There is no anonymous person in His sight. He never has to ask, ‘Do I know you?’ Meeting Jesus, we do not need to wear a name tag. He made each of us in His own image and likeness and has branded our names on the palms of His hands. That is closeness and intimacy of a supreme order.

There are no people that God recognises by the colour of their skin or nationality. When I realise that on this earth there are people as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore of every sea and ocean, imagine trying to pick up even a handful of sand and separate all the grains. They all look alike to me. To God, never is this so. His smile to us and ours back to Him are unique. Each female and male are a replica of Him and is beautiful in His sight.

It is not easy for me to appreciate, even in a tiny way, how totally interested God is in you and in me. Last week’s Gospel at Mass told us that the hairs on our heads are numbered. Also, a sparrow does not fall to ground without our God knowing it. Our worth is more than hundreds of sparrows.

There is not much use in all this being true if we never tell and show each other that it is true on this earth. What we will be in eternal life is way beyond any of us to imagine. We pray for each other and for ourselves that we will hear, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom’.

Within God’s creation, there is a leaven that helps all rise to a greater appreciation of our origin and our destiny. This is the missionary calling of the baptized. In His love and care for people, some are asked to reveal the God who cares and protects.  

Baptised people look the same as others. Some marry and through the birth of children continue God’s work of creation. Others follow different paths. But when we were baptised, “we went into the tomb with Christ and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life”. {St Paul; Mass today.} When I realise the greatness of this, I want to tell others that they are children of God. This is Good News to be proclaimed from the rooftops.

There are people who worry that the boundaries of God’s acceptance are being widened too far. The truth is that the more I can give to others of whatever faith I have received, the greater and stronger my own faith will grow. If God had wanted us to hoard our faith and the great gifts given to us, He would have supplied moth balls, as Pope Francis once commented.

Baptism into Christ is not joining a club, a political party, or sect. It is becoming part of the Body of Christ. It is about making   an eternal difference for others while on this earth. The difference is Christ and life to the full. To bring one person to Christ, is worth any of us having been born.

The key to bringing the nations to Christ is by letting others see how we live, love and act. The early followers of Jesus were remarkable by the way they loved one another. Few would have been preachers but all of us are called to be witnesses. Some had the supreme call of witnessing to Christ by martyrdom, red Baptism.

During lockdown there have been some remarkable stories of how people cared for others. Some were church based and did sterling work. Others were not but stood out by their loving care. Where love is active, God is present. We rejoice in the goodness in our world, even though the evil done often grabs the headlines.

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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