Saturday, 25 October 2014

Sunday Homily Notes: 30th Year A

Our world is a turbulent one, trouble seems never far away. The root cause of the trouble is debated time and again. Some say that religion is the cause of all wars; people say and sing, the message give peace a chance, and why can’t we all just get on? And yet our world is blighted by hatred, by conflict, by the absence of peace.

The Cross of Christ has echoed throughout our history, the sacrifice of love, Jesus, is the demonstration of God’s love and care for us. The Church proclaims the prophetic message of Jesus, safeguards the truths of faith, engages people in the poorest moments and moments of weakness and poverty, the pain of people is addressed when Jesus is proclaimed. In weakness, the word of God is one that engages the hearer. At the lowest ebbs of humanity the word of God proclaims peace, love of God and neighbour, faith, mercy, forgiveness, loving compassion and hope.  

Many reject the Church because their lifestyles conflict it. Others want the Church to change so that it is line with a modern world. But the modern world is a turbulent one and the Church can be the lifeboat that sails the turbulent seas of the world navigating to a safe and sure haven and harbour! I would stick with that lifeboat any day, but everyone has a choice to make.

Jesus in the gospel tells the people of the bedrock of all the commandments: Love God and love your neighbour! People go on searches throughout life for the meaning of life and come up with one theory or another but the fundamental principle of life is to love God and love neighbour. If you do both you can’t go far wrong. Jesus stresses this seemingly simple point and yet it is so important.

We are still it seems not loving our neighbours, still not loving God! Our world is a very bleak and frightening place. It needs Jesus, it needs his words! Christianity speaks the message of Christ, a message of peace: Love God with your heart, soul, mind and with your whole strength and love your neighbour as yourself. If this were being listened to and embraced, then peace would ensue!

The message of Christ is as relevant today as it always has been. The world needs to be reminded of the importance of loving neighbour, of loving God. We as heralds of Jesus’ message should never tire of preaching and proclaiming this message, both by our words and the example we give!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Love emerges

Love emerges

Love emerges, 
from the depths,
vibrantly searching, 
brimming with vitality, 
joyful, playful, 
transforming dull tedium, 
into the thrill of excitement, 
the tremble of anticipation, 
exploring possibilities, 
inspiring, capturing
the essence of hope, 
the meaning of experience,
then in one unexpected moment, 
overwhelming stillness, 
an aching, painful stop, 
death casts a fearful shadow, 
covering flawed mortality, 
numbing, final, 
as eyes close, 
with gentle tears accompanying, 
suddenly from the heights, 
raised to the mystery of eternity, 
Love emerges.

Fr. Patrick Brennan 2014 © 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Cannock Chase

Cannock Chase

I love it here, breathing the air, the Chase's scent
Taking the time to appreciate each precious moment 
A rare beauty carved out of ancient forests and shrubs
Surrounded by modern shops and heaving trendy pubs 
This stoical unmoving landscape wrought in natures dust
An escape from the busy day, a quiet retreat if you must
Here I am, a tiny part of a mighty universe, a grain of sand
Captivated by the glorious imagery, this luscious fertile land.

Fr Patrick Brennan © 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Homily Notes: 29th Sunday Year A

There was a parish financial audit this week. The timing of the gospel is very apt! Give to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. So much of what we do for God involves fund raising. Money is not our goal for living the Christian life, but it can serve the gospel. In so much that it seeks ways of furthering the gospel in the lives of people. This service is spiritual, but it is also practical, for service of God involves feeding the hungry, extending a helping hand to the needy, these are all ways that money can be of service to the Christian life. As complicated as it can be money is a necessary part of how we discern to do God’s work. When we have a missionary come to make an appeal, the generosity of parishioners comes from the need that is shown, the hungry and the poor need help, our help.
So what belongs to God? Jesus demonstrates this further by saying that the greatest commandments are to love God with your whole heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbour as yourself. There is no doubt that our whole lives belong to God. What we strive to do in life is to deepen our faith and that is done in the hurly burley of our everyday living.
We celebrated St Teresa of Avila’s feast during last week, I love her spirituality; she is human, holy and practical and an example to us on the way of the Christian life.
Teresa once complained to God about her mistreatment from so many different people. God replied to her saying “That is how I always treat my friends” with good humour St Teresa replied “That must be why you have so few friends”.
Another occasion a pious man came to see her at her monastery. When he arrived she was tucking into supper, a sumptuous partridge, the man was clearly disgusted that a holy nun should feast like this. She turned to him and said “there is a time for partridge, and a time for penance!”  She at times would be so filled with ecstasy from her prayer that she would levitate, so much so that coming back from receiving Holy Communion she would have to hold on to the altar rails, to stop herself from floating up into the air! Her words have inspired countless people to come closer to God in life and to discover what belongs to God and what he desires of us when it comes to giving of ourselves. I end with her words…
Let nothing upset you,
let nothing startle you.
All things pass;
God does not change.
Patience wins
all it seeks.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing:
God alone is enough.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Homily Notes: 28th Sunday Year A

God is generous and he loves us beyond what we can imagine.
The readings at Mass today demonstrate the great generosity of God, he is coming to save us, he has our best interests as his motive for loving us, he shows this in the form of a great feast that we are invited to. Some get the invitation and just carry on what they are doing ignoring God and making no room for him in their lives.
I am reminded of a story that illustrates this point further.
A poor family was setting off for a new life in another country. They had a ticket given them by a benefactor, so they could sail to a new life. The locals from their village made them provisions of cheese and bread; it was all they had, and it was a generous gift. The voyage was long and half way into it the children said to their parents that they were tired of bread and cheese each day. Could they have something different? The parents had a small coin to use when they reached their new life and gave it to the children to go and see if they could get something with it. The children came back with armfuls of food, pastries, pies, fruit, vegetables. The parents knew the small coin would not have got such a haul of goods and asked what had happened. “The food on board is part of the ticket!” they said. The ticket included any food they would wish for on the voyage.
Our God is a generous God, generous with his loving, his care and attention to us. The ticket of our faith is all inclusive. The whole deal of faith is so often neglected by those who have been given the gift of faith. There is so much more to the ticket if we look at the fine print, if we understand all that is involved in a live of faith. So much joy is offered, fulfilment and happiness too! A life of faith begins at Baptism and for many, they don’t read the ticket and leave it there. Faith in Christ can be the bedrock upon which we build our lives, and the hope our lives contain, it can be the wonder and mystery of life too. God is always giving but we can be too busy with our own wants that we do not accept what God would give us.
God is generous with is loving. He loves us beyond our imagining. If only we could tune into that loving God more often and accept from his hands all he wishes to give us.

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Gift of Faith

The Gift of Faith.

Two young people, their names not important or their gender (but for the purpose of this story they are called James and John) were both given a gift from a dear and special friend. They were both summoned and asked to meet their special friend at his house. When they arrived he gave them both a gift, they both received the same type of gift, a most beautiful tapestry full of wonderful colours and fine stitching with great detailed patterns throughout it. It truly was a rather fantastic gift. James and John thanked their special friend and accepted their gifts. Then James and John went back home.

James went into his own living room and on the wall he put his tapestry on display for all to see. Everyone who visited him asked about the tapestry and marvelled at how wonderful it was. James was able to tell people more and more about the tapestry, its wonderful colours and patterns so intriguing. The longer he kept it on display in his living room the more he got to know and appreciate its worth and beauty. He became so versed in the intricate details and patterns that he kept people’s attention talking about the great gift of the tapestry, he had been given all those years ago now.

Now John on the other hand on arriving back home folded up the tapestry and put it into a draw, if you asked him about it now years later he would not be able to remember where he had put it. He had forgotten about the gift and it did not really mean that much to him at all. He vaguely remembered getting the gift but it was not important to him he never displayed it.

The Tapestry is the gift of faith, so many are given this gift and yet so few display it! I am so grateful for my gift of faith, I treasure it and hope that throughout the course of my life I will put that gift on display.

Fr. Patrick Brennan 2014 ©

Rachel Weeps

Rachel Weeps

Rachel is once more weeping for her children
Innocent voices are silenced in hatred’s cauldron
Death is the conversation amidst mournful play
Tears, wailing cries, are the currency of the day
To such as these the Heavenly Kingdom belongs
In his mercy the Lord hears their pitiful songs
All who are over burdened with gnawing grief
Will find in the Lord the sweet solace of relief
Trust in the Lord, who holds close to his heart
The abandoned ones, poor ones, those set apart
Rachel laments, as wars rage, shedding her tears
The world learns little, with the passing of years
The suffering of innocence will never make sense
The cross of Christ, our only hope, our recompence 

Fr Patrick Brennan © 2014 all rights reserved