Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...

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seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – Mark 9:38-43, 45,47-48
1. John objected when a person who was not in their group cast out demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus himself had no problems with this. Jealousy can poison our outlook even when what is done by another is good. ‘They are invading my patch.’ Perhaps you have seen, in yourself or in others, the negative effect of jealousy and the contrasting positive effect of being able to rejoice that good is being done, irrespective of the person doing it.
2. In strong terms Jesus condemns those who are destructive of the life of others, particularly the ‘little ones’. Just as Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full, we likewise are here to make a positive difference to others. What was it like for you when you were able to do something that was helpful to another?
3. Rather dramatically Jesus tells us to cut off a hand or tear out an eye rather than harm another. It is not to be taken literally but it does mean that we should not be casual about our efforts to live a good life. When have you experienced the benefits of an element of seriousness in your approach to life?   – John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
In the second reading from St James today we hear a condemnation of the rich who exploit the weak. This theme carries on into the Gospel where Jesus has harsh words for anyone who would try to bring down ‘the little ones’. It is a lesson in tolerance and a call to care for the weak and vulnerable.
During this Season of Creation we are reflecting on the call to Restore Our Common Home and care more deeply for God’s creation, to live out our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork. This means being aware of the facts of the crisis so that we can discern where we are being called to act. Scientists tell us that we are now living through the 6th mass extinction of life on our planet because of the catastrophic destruction of biodiversity due to human activity. We have plundered the earth. We are also aware that our world faces a devastating climate crisis.
This autumn, two vital UN conferences are due to take place: the UN Conference on Biodiversity (known as COP15, in China) and the UN conference on Climate Change (COP26 in Glasgow). Catholics all over the world have been invited to sign a petition addressed to the Presidents of these conferences, to raise our voices for God’s Creation and encourage world leaders to take the necessary action. The petition is called ‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People’ and has been endorsed by the Vatican as the main action for Catholics to take during this Season of Creation. It is something we can all easily do by going to thecatholicpetition.org and inviting our families and friends to do the same. Parishes, dioceses, universities, businesses, congregations can also sign. By taking part in this way, we are standing in solidarity with young people, with the poor who suffer the most from environmental destruction and with creation.
Let us always be conscious of our responsibility to be carers of creation, to connect more deeply with the wondrous world around us, to take action against all that threatens our common home. You can find this year’s Season of Creation resources on www.catholicbishops.ie  – Jane Mellett

(from Intercom)

 

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.Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph”, running until 8 December 2021.

Prayer to St Joseph
.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
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