Pilgrimage to Lourdes
He reminds us of the faith and simpleness of Bernadette's family life and especially through out her own life. He focuses on the joy experienced by her even in the sickness, hardship and poverty of the times.
He also reminds us of the Grotto's dotted around our countryside many of them erected after the Marian year in 1954 which are beautiful though often ignored Prayer Spaces that remind us of Our Mother's love for all of us. Many of the grotto's use the traditional imagery of Our Lady of Lourdes or that of the Immaculate Conception but are without a statue of Bernadette. Those without Bernadette are a special reminder for us to follow the example of Bernadette to join in the pray of the Madonna to her Son.
Gospel - Mt 5:38-48
A very timely and challenging gospel is presented to us this week with Jesus over asking us to overturn the natural human instinct of wanting to get even with those that wrong us but he calls us to Divine perfection;
"offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well........love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike...."
Our gospel reflection connected with our up coming General Election, in that its not all about Money and Power but about stepping out and going the extra Mile for the Good of all. Fr Micheal especially asked us to listen the response to the psalm - The Lord is Compassion and Love.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel available from Word on Fire, English Dominicans , Australian homilies, Fr Philip Neiri Powell OP, "God's ridiculous demands" and the Preaching Life.
Another reflection on Matthews non-violent Jesus and violent parables.
Saints of the Week
February 21st - St Peter Damian
As always thanks for listening