15 Oct 2011

16th October 2011 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - Mission Sunday 23rd October 2011

On this weeks programme we discuss Mission Sunday which falls this year on October 23rd. We also have our regular reflection and discussion on this weeks Sunday gospel, as well as some local announcements and saints of the week.

Programme podcast now available.

Mission Sunday - "Together in Faith" (October 23rd 2011)

Source: www.kandle.ie
Mission Sunday is on 23rd October this year. Each year it takes place on the second last Sunday of October, the traditional month of universal mission since 1926.

On Mission Sunday a collection is taken up and is organised annually by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and is celebrated in every Church throughout the world, including the poorest.

World Mission Sunday provides Catholics with the opportunity to unite with their missionary sisters and brothers, and to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity, through prayer, sacrifice and financial contribution. Funds raised are used to assist Young Churches and missionaries in helping communities in need, both spiritually and materially.

In October 2010, Irish Catholics contributed more than €2.2 million. Limerick diocese contributed €64,703.  The Mission Sunday collection is made available, in its entirety, to be distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches who are supported by the generosity of Churches that are better off through the Society of Propoganda Fide, Society of St Peter the Apostle and the Society of Missionary Children.

Contributions will be used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians and to assist in the formation of lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift will also be used for the building of health clinics for children, emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster and to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
The theme for World Mission Sunday in Ireland this year is Together in Faith. We celebrate the heroic faith of Pio Lokuru in South Sudan (read the story behind the poster) and of his fellow catechists throughout the world, who welcome our 1,762 missionaries, teach them and work with them in building up the Church. We thank God for them, for all who support them in our own country and for our togetherness in faith.

In his message for Mission Sunday this year, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote, "Missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!" And he goes on to add, "It is in commitment to the Church's universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support"

Further information about Mission Sunday from World Missions Ireland.

Gospel - Matthew 22: 15-21

Source: American Illiterati

Matthew presents another challanging gospel to us this week with the oft quoted phrase which is used to define the Church's place in society.

We have another frosty interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees which was an almost dangerous question which was proceded by a case of damning by faint praise - a back handed compliment. Do we ever do that to our neighbour? How do we respond? Do we react or repond as Jesus did? Or how would we repond if Jesus called us a hypocite? Standing in the shoes of the pharisees, does it cut us to the heart? Do we know moments when we could be accused of being a hypocrite?

Rendering unto God what is God's is a reminder that everything comes as a gift from the love of God into our own hearts and lives. Our lives are a sharing in the Divine as they are gifts from God. The message of scripture is that all creation is a gift from God but that we must contribute to a fair and just society but that a balance needs to be maintained between the two.

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

From Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical "Deus caritas est":

"Fundamental to Christianity is the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Mt 22:21), in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere. The State may not impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony between the followers of different religions. For her part, the Church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the State must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.

Justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics. Politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life: its origin and its goal are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. The State must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now. But this presupposes an even more radical question: what is justice? The problem is one of practical reason; but if reason is to be exercised properly, it must undergo constant purification, since it can never be completely free of the danger of a certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effect of power and special interests.

Here politics and faith meet. Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God—an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself. From God's standpoint, faith liberates reason from its blind spots and therefore helps it to be ever more fully itself. Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just.

The Church's social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church's responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest. Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew. As a political task, this cannot be the Church's immediate responsibility. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically.

The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper. A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply."

Saints of the Week

October 17th - St Ignatius of Antioch
October 18th - St Luke the Evangelist
October 19th - St Paul of the Cross
October 20th - St Aidan of Mayo
October 21st - Blessed Charles of Austria
October 22nd - St Mary Salome

Local Notices

Preparing for Advent 2011 for Parish Liturgy Groups

Workshop offered in Newcastlewest (18th) and Limerick city (19th), at only 5 euros per person. This workshop will look at the scripture of the 4 Sundays of Advent, at themes for your parish this Advent, and will offer resources for liturgy – including reconciliation and carol services
Further information available HERE.

Lourdes - The Musical
Lourdes - The Musical” is a celebration of the spirit and talent of the young people who have been part of the Lourdes Youth Pilgrimage over the last five years. Based on the music of Lourdes, our closing liturgies and even song contexts; we plan to stage the show in Mary Immaculate’s new state of the art Theatre in March. Rehearsals will begin every Thursday from 6-8pm starting on January 26th. We will be holding an Information Evening on Friday, November 18th in the Pastoral Centre to give you a better sense of what’s involved and so that we have an idea of how many people would be interested in taking part. We want to involve as many people as possible to make this a really special and unique event, so if you have travelled to Lourdes as a youth pilgrim or been involved in any capacity with the pilgrimage we would love you to take part. If you know young people who were in Lourdes PLEASE pass on this invitation to them!!!

More information HERE.

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