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In the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, the elderly pastor, John Ames, in musing over his life, notices how the word ‘just’ can mean something depreciative or something affirmative – depending on how one views the situation. ‘There I was, with just you!’ Here ‘just you’ can mean ‘only you and what good was that to me?’ Not nice. Or ‘just you’ can mean ‘what more could I have wanted, you and you alone fill me with joy!’ In the first stance, the speaker betrays begrudging acceptance, the second, openness to mystery, joy, abundance.
In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus states that the Spirit will teach us ‘everything’. This is an extraordinary statement. I am very conscious of what I don’t know, about the world, about people…and especially about God. And I’m sure you feel the same way too. Does this mean that the Spirit isn’t teaching me or you? This is how I get my mind around this conundrum: sometimes I wonder about how the ants in our garden view us. If one of us tried to teach an ant and the ant was just interested in its own anty world, it isn’t going to learn anything. But if the ant is interested in more, then it will find what little it learns ¬would be just marvellous. The Spirit is trying to teach us. But if we try to conform the Spirit to just what we want, we will be disappointed – the Spirit will not be tamed. But if we are open to what the Spirit wants, we will be just surprised by joy, time and time again.
This Reflection was taken from the Pray as you can website http://www.prayasyoucan.com.au/sunday/show/421/reflection
The Mission of the Laity
The mission of the laity: That the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.
You entrusted to your disciples the mission to bring the Gospel to the whole world.
The Church, your Body, accomplishes this mission in many ways, through priests, religious, and laity.
This month, I pray to you for all the laity, so that they can take with enthusiasm and creativity the presence of the Church to their families and places of work. I ask you in particular for the laity who have positions of responsibility, so that they may direct the future of their institutions according to your will.
Challenges for the month
- Discuss whether the mission of the laity in the Christian community is meant to be more of an internal service, or if it is through their presence in the world, as baptized members, that their mission is fulfilled.
- How are community schedules, meetings and initiatives planned? Is it necessary for lay people to use too much of their personal and family time to engage in pastoral activities? What kind of balance can be made?
- Promote a meeting of reflection and sharing with the more committed laity in your community about their experience of taking the Gospel into their daily contexts.
Here’s a quick guide to setting your Seder Plate for Passover. Watch and learn the significance of the matzah, marror (bitter herbs), haroset, egg, shankbone and salt water! To learn more please visit Passover 2018 – http://www.myjewishlearning.com/
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles)
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, informally known as COLA or the Los Angeles Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. Opened in 2002, it serves as the mother church for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as the seat of Archbishop José Horacio Gómez. The Cathedral is named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the patronal title of Our Lady of the Angels, echoing the full name of the original settlement of Los Angeles (Spanish: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, or “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels”). The Cathedral is widely known for enshrining the relics of Saint Vibiana and tilma piece of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the mother church to approximately five million professed Catholics in the archdiocese.
Until 2013, the building had been the principal place of worship for Crystal Cathedral Ministries (now Shepherd’s Grove), a congregation of the Reformed Church in America, founded in 1955 by Robert H. Schuller. Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 and in February 2012 sold the building and its adjacent campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for use as the diocese’s new cathedral. The building, especially the interior, is currently being renovated to accommodate the Roman Catholic liturgy and is due to re-open in early 2019, at which time it is expected to be consecrated and formally renamed Christ Cathedral and become the seat of the Diocese of Orange.
The statues that adorn this property are amazing!
I visited Homeboy Industries in LA today. Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. Each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change.
We listened to Ramon share his life story of tragedy, hope, love and powerful inspiration. We shared lunch provided by Homegirl industries and it was FRESH AND DELICIOUS. They use the freshest, highest quality ingredients, and prepared appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees from a wide variety of cuisine.
Home girl catering is a uniquely women-run venture whose mission is to help formerly gang involved and previously incarcerated brave men and women become contributing members of our community.
The LA RE Congress has been very good with some amazing speakers in one place. I took so many notes and i am afraid I cannot remember everything. There was so much to take in.
Rabbi Michael Mayershon spoke on the Jewish understanding of Prophets and Prophecy and how our two religious beliefs differ on their understanding but can also have points of agreement.
Steven Ellair who shared seven great insights into how we can reach the hearts of the children when we teach Religion. Great practical and theoretical ideas that I found useful and will probably use myself.
Cardinal Roger Mahony on post – sacramental evangelisation. wonderful practical suggestions for parish sacramental teams. I look forward to sharing these ideas in more detail.
Dr Meaghan McKenna walked us through an exegesis of John 12: 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. It was a powerful experience and very thought provoking.
Dr Carole Dempsey connected the Biblical Text to the Text of Life. Carol said : Text is like a prism- turn it in your hand and see may colours.”
Well the day began beautifully. The weather is fine, the air is crisp. Day one of the Congress began with prayer complete with great music and liturgical dancing!
My first workshop was with Fr Donald Senior and he spoke on the Pope’s
encyclical Laudato Si
Then I hit the ground running to check out Hall A – the Merchandise Hall! shopping shopping shopping!
During lunch I listened to the group WAL who provided great music that gives thanks and praise to God through song.
Workshop number two was great. I loved it. Just what I love – Old Testament information on David ben Jesse the Outlaw. Professor Daniel Smith Christopher was so so good.
Then a bit more shopping and then Workshop number three – Sr Carol Dempsey who spoke on the world in Front of the Text and social justice issues in the Bible and how we interpret them for today. I loved that she used the three worlds of the text framework. I felt affirmed that we are doing the right thing in our Religion Curriculum. She was amazing too but in a much more confronting way – relating Biblical text to issues of child sacrifice, human trafficking and forced migration today. Very very challenging.
We finished the day with an amazing mass in the Filipino culture. Cardinal Luis Tagle gave the very moving and relational homily – at one time he had us all in tears relating a personal story from his country and the generosity of giving and caring.
Tomorrow is another full day.
We have all settled into our accommodation and have familiarized ourselves with Anaheim. Our first excursion was to Disneyland for a quick immersion into Movie mania, bad food, tired feet, lots of strollers, long waits but an amazing nighttime Fantasia show on the water.
Tomorrow is the first day at the ‘Rise Up’ LA RE Congress to be held at the Anaheim Convention Centre – a huge complex beautifully set out and landscaped.
I am feeling quite excited.