Points to Ponder

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


seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – Mark 9:30-37
1. Jesus uses the time they are travelling along the road to teach his disciples what it means to follow him. Think of the wisdom you have acquired about life, about faith, about what it means to be a Christian. Who have been your teachers? Remember them and give thanks for them.
2. One of the lessons Jesus gives them is that there is a dying to be endured as we move to a fuller life. That was the road he would travel. It is also our journey, not only at the end of this earthly life, but also in small ways through life. When have you found that by dying in some way you came to a fuller life?
3. Achievement, affirmation, recognition and status are attractive and enjoyable when they come our way. Yet we can be in trouble if, like the disciples, we become caught up in pursuit of them. Jesus tells them that true greatness lies in service of others. Who are the people whose support and assistance help you now? What has helped you to appreciate the value of loving service of others?  – John Byrne, OSA

‘At times we see an obsession with denying any pre-eminence to the human person; more zeal is shown in protecting other species than in defending the dignity which all human beings share in equal measure ... It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted ... Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.’  – Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 90-91

The Deep End
In today’s gospel Jesus is presented as the courageous leader, instructing those who will follow on from him and carry on his work for future generations. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ This September we are celebrating the Season of Creation. Pope Francis challenges us to reflect: ‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?’ (Laudato Si’, 160).
In the context of today’s gospel we might ask: how are we welcoming generations to come? Pope Francis urges us to remember that the goods of the earth are not meant to be exploited and states, ‘Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth.’ During this creation time let us reconnect once more with nature and restore our relationship with the environment. As parish communities we must play our part in ensuring that our world is liveable for generations to come.
‘Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 25)  – Jane Mellett, Pastoral Worker, Dublin Diocese

(from Intercom)


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Today’s Mass Readings
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Thoughts for the Week
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
To err is human, to blame someone else is politics!
The best way to criticise the work of others is to do yours better.
Kindness is Christianity with its working clothes on.
If you can’t be a sun, don’t be a cloud.
You can’t build a reputation on things you are going to do.
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