Sunday’s reflection (Fr. Joe)

This Sunday is Racial Justice Sunday and we are invited to pray and work for racial justice, social cohesion and good community relations.  The CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice) has its office at St Thomas More, Manor House.  The group tries to promote HARMONY in all areas of our society.  In recent days the raising awareness has been expressed by Black Lives Matter movement and the gesture of “taking the knee” have indicated zero tolerance for any racial discrimination.  This is what we reflect on and pray about today.

As we listen to the scripture readings, we hear in the Book of Deuteronomy that God wants only one sort of prophet. This prophet must be called by God, proclaim God’s word and make intercession for the people.  Through our Baptism, is this not what we are called to do?

This part of chapter 7 of St Paul to the Corinthians has got him in trouble!  He speaks about not getting married and being distracted from Godly affairs.  It’s vital that we take the context into account.  Remember the beginning of last week’s readings: “Brothers and sisters, our time is growing short”.  St Paul at this stage in his ministry was convinced that the Second Coming of Christ was imminent, in fact, in his own life time.  Therefore he was appealing to people to concentrate in serving the Lord, and not be distracted by anything, even getting married!  As I posed the question last week – “what would you spend the last week of your life doing if you know you had a very short time to live?  What was on your list?

St Mark in this early part of his Gospel tells of Jesus’ early ministry.  He has come to rescue humanity from the power of the Devil.  “The unclean spirit threw the man possessed into convulsion” and went out of him.  Jesus also taught with clear authority.  The people said: ‘here is teaching that is new’, and his reputation spread rapidly everywhere.

This message is the same message that we hear over and over again.  We need to heed it with fresh minds and hearts and act as if it were the first time hearing it:  ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as He spoke to us on the road’ – we need to be like those two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  We are to be His followers inspired by His Words and teaching and allow no power to intimidate us from doing what Jesus invites us to do in his name.

Have a good week. God bless you,
Fr Joe

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