7 Feb 2014

9th February 2014 - Newcastle West Family Prayer Book - 5th Sunday on Ordinary Time (Year A)

On this weeks programme, John and Lorraine are joined by Sr Eileen Crowley and Patricia Guiney from the Newcastle West Parish Pastoral Council who tell us about the launch of a parish family prayer book. We have our regular reflection on the gospel and other liturgical odds and ends.
 
You can listen to the programmes podcast here.
 
Newcastle West Parish Family Prayer Book Launch

This weekend Bishop Brendan Leahy joins the parish of Newcastle West to launch the parish family prayer book which has been put together by the parish pastoral council. Sr Eileen and Patrica join Lorraine and John explaining the seeds of the idea and how it came together. It is a wonderful resource for supporting family prayer with simple and up lifting prayers for each family in the parish of NCW.

You can listen to the interview about the prayer book excerpted from the programme HERE.
 
Gospel - Matthew 5:13-16
 
"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
 
At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus compares his disciples to salt, light, and a city set on a hill. All these things exist not for themselves, but for something else. In the same way, Christians are meant to make the world a better place. Christians are meant to be salt, light, and a city on a hill.
If you are a follower of Jesus living the beatitudes, you matter. You have an important role to play because you are the salt of the earth. Salt preserves and Christians help preserve what is good in the culture. In the ancient world, salt was very valuable: the Greeks thought it contained something almost divine, and the Romans sometimes paid their soldiers with salt. A soldier who didn't carry out his duties “was not worth his salt.” You are a seasoning agent. In a sense, you can bring the distinctive flavor of God's values to all of life. You can make life palatable.

Note that salt, to be effective, must be in contact with the meat or fish it is to preserve. To be effective, we must be involved where we work and where we live. This puts us in a tension because the dominant culture doesn’t necessarily like us. The majority of the time, living according to the beatitudes may make us more successful in work. But we need to be prepared for the times it doesn’t. What will we do if showing mercy, making peace, or working for justice jeopardizes our position at work? Withdrawing from the world is no answer for Christians. But it is difficult to live in the world, ready to challenge its ways at any time. In
Matthew 5:10-12, Jesus acknowledged the reality of persecution. But in our contacts with the culture, we must retain our “saltiness,” our distinctiveness. It’s a balancing act we’re called upon to maintain.

“You are the light of the world.” The job description of a Christian is not only to maintain personal holiness, but also to touch the lives of everyone around us. At work, we touch many people who do not encounter Christ in church. It may our most effective place to witness to Christ. But we have to be careful about how we witness for Christ at work. We are being paid to do our work, and it would be dishonest to stint our employers by using work time for evangelism. Moreover, it would be dishonorable to create divisions at work or a hostile environment for non-believers. We must avoid any possible taint of seeking self-promotion by proselytizing. And we always run the risk that our failings at work bring shame on the name of Christ, especially if we seem to be enthusiastic about evangelism, but shoddy in actual work.

With all these dangers, how can we be salt and light at work? Jesus said our light is not necessarily in the witness of our words, but in the witness of our deeds—our “good works.” “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father who is in heaven.” The beatitudes have just spelled out some of those good works. In humility and submission to God, we work for right relations, for merciful actions, and for peace. When we live as people of blessing, we are salt and light—in the workplace, in our homes, and in our nation. (Source)
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
 
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical Odds and Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 1, 5th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

February 10th - St Scholastica (virgin)
February 11th - Our Lady of Lourdes (World Day of the Sick)
February 12th - St Anthony Cauleas
February 13th - Bl Jordan of Saxony OP
February 14th - St Cyril & St Methodius (co-patrons of Europe)
also St Valentine
February 15th - St Claude de la Colombière (promoter of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart)

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