28 Oct 2011

30th October 2011 - 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - All Hallows (All Saints and the month of the Holy Souls)

On this weeks programme, our regular contributor Michael Keating reminds us of November being the month of the All Saints and the Holy Souls, we also have our regular Sunday gospel reflection, saints of the week and local notices.
This weeks podcast is also now available.

November: All Saints and All Holy Souls

Next week we head into Winter (at least here in the northern hemisphere) with the start of November and in the liturgical calander we have two days set aside to remember the entirity of the church through time and space which in catholic theology is called the Communion of Saints.

St John on Patmos (writing the Book of Revelation) [Source: Wikipedia]
Michael takes us through a discussion of the importance of the two days when we celebrate all the Saints in heaven (officially canonised and unofficial saints), and all the Souls in Purgatory. The communion of saints (in Latin, communio sanctorum), when referred to persons, is the spiritual union of the members of the Christian Church, living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven, and, for those who believe in purgatory, those also who are in that state of purification.We are all part of a single "mystical body", with Christ as the head, in which each member contributes to the good of all and shares in the welfare of all.The word "sanctorum" in the phrase "communio sanctorum" can also be understood as referring not to holy persons, but to holy things, namely the blessings that the holy persons share with each other, including their faith, the sacraments and the other spiritual graces and gifts they have as Christians. Belief in the communion of saints is affirmed in the Apostles' Creed.

For those that might like to read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church which explains the Communion of Saints.

Gospel Reflection - Matthew 23: 1-12

The Law of Mosese was meant to free the people of God to live in communion with their God, not be a burden and act as a deterient to living in that communion of love and was to interpretated by scribes and pharisees as guides for the general population but in some ways the power had gone to their heads. Jesus challanges the scribes and pharisees as to why they are not living out the practise of that freeing law of love, why do they place obstcles in the way of those who want to live in the way of love.

This weeks gospel is a harsh one for us in our modern world with its call to humility and to practise what we preach! It reminds us that again and again we must remember that we are accountable for our actions from our faith and that just obeying the letter and not the spirit of the law is not enough. Our faith should not start when we enter the church on Sunday and finish as we leave. It should infuse our actions through out our lives. In our world - in our communities, our Church, our country, politicians, bankers etc , people who "sit in the chair of Mosese" who sit in places of authority and rightly from that authority can direct our lives are also themselves to be held to account for the charge that is given to them.
Ultimately the gospel reminds us we are called to be humble, not lording it over our neighbours but rather brothers and sisters walking the in Way of the Lord to our place in the Kingdom.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

Saints of the Week

October 31st - Blessed Dominic Collins, Martyr
November 1st - All Saints (Solemnity)
November 2nd - All Souls (Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed)
November 3rd - St Malachy
November 4th - St Charles Borromeo - First Friday
November 5th - St Zachary and St Elizabeth

Local Notices

Bereavement Support Programme: - Newcastle West Bereavement Support Group is facilitating a bereavement support programme under the guidance of a number of qualified counsellors. The support programme takes place in Newcastle West Parish Centre (the building in the grounds of the church car park) on Thursday nights at 8pm for the next four weeks. For your personal care, support with your loss, to talk or just to listen - please join us. If you have any queries, phone 087-6740879.

November 1st Liturgy: - The Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre are continuing the tradition of offering a prayerful parish liturgy on November 1st in St. Michael's Church, Limerick from 7pm to 8pm. All are welcome and there is no charge. Copies of the liturgy are available after the service for those who wish to take it home and/or use this material in their own parish during November.

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