Visible Expression

The ecclesial community, while always having a universal dimension, finds its most immediate and visible expression in the parish. It is there that the Church is seen locally. In a certain sense it is...

"... the Church living in the midst of the homes of her sons and daughters..."

Pope John Paul II
Christifideles Laici [27]

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Year C: The Year of Saint Luke

THE whole emphasis in Luke's Gospel is to remind us that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World. Luke's version of the teaching of Jesus is of a Gospel destined for everyone no matter how poor, underprivileged or ill-equipped they might be. Jesus fulfils the words of the prophet Isaiah...

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord's year of favour.
Luke 4:18-19

Luke is often given the title 'Scribe of the Gentleness of Christ' in so far as his portrait of Jesus is of an immensely compassionate and caring person. He balances this image, with an insight into the character of Jesus whose mission is urgent and whose time is short. He expresses this in the total demand which Jesus makes of those who follow him. Luke offers us a catechism of discipleship with all its privileges and hardships. These are two sides of the same coin - compassion and discipline.

After the infancy narrative, Luke's description of the Galilean ministry is basically the same as that of Matthew.and Mark. The whole of the central section describes the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, to death and resurrection. In this 'Travel narrative' we find the episodes and parables, the controversies and miracles of which Luke tells us and nobody else. Luke's vision of the journey is neither geographical nor chronological; since his main intention is that the journey of Jesus Christ should be seen as a journey for the Church and for the individual Christian.

Luke's Gospel is very much suited to express the mood of the Second Vatican Council which saw us all as members of a 'Pilgrim Church'. The special emphasis of his theology is to befound above all in 'the journey' and 19 of the 33 passages used in Year C come from this section. We are reminded that the journey to Jerusalem is the way to glorification and suffering, but Jesus is not alone. His disciples accompany him on the journey, and are drawn by him into a community.

Stage Four of Luke's Gospel is an instruction on the positive qualities required of the followers of Jesus Christ - dedication, charity, the spirit of prayer together with vigilance and humility. Stage Five, which is the 'Gospe1 within the Gospel' gives us the three parables of God's fatherhood and mercy which is the Gospel of reconciliation. Stage Six continues the theme of discipleship and lays emphasis on the temptations, difficulties and obstacles confronting the followers of Jesus.

Luke's character comes out, clearly in his writings when we remember that he wrote the Acts of the Apostles as well as his Gospel. He came from a background and environment very different from the Judaism out of which Christianity grew. This more than anything else makes his Gospel more accessible and relevant to us. Luke's thinking is very close to our own.

STAGE ONE:
THE FIGURE OF JESUS THE MESSIAH
SUNDAYS 1-2
1. The baptism of Jesus - Luke 3:15-16:21-22
2. The marriage feast at Cana - John 2:1-12

STAGE TWO:
LUKE'S PROGRAMME FOR JESUS' MINISTRY
SUNDAYS 3-4
3. The visit to Nazareth (1) Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
4. The visit to Nazareth (2) Luke 4:21-30

STAGE THREE:
THE GALlLEAN MINISTRY
SUNDAYS 5-12
5. The call of the first Apostles* - Luke5:1-11
6. The sermon on the plain (1) Luke 6: 17,20-26
7. The sermon on the plain (2) Luke 6:27-38
8. The sermon on the plain (3) Luke6:29-45
9. The cure of the centurion's servant - Luke 7:1-10
10. The Widow of Naim*- Luke 7:11-17
11. Jesus' feet anointed by the sinful woman* - Luke7:36-8:3
12. Peter's confession of faith - Luke9:18-24

STAGE FOUR:
THE FIRST PART OF THE 'TRAVEL NARRATIVE:
THE QUALITIES JESUS DEMANDS OF THOSE WHO FOLLOW HIM
SUNDAYS 13-23
13. The journey to Jerusalem begins * Luke 9:51-62
14. The mission of the seventy-two * 10: 1-12,17-20
15. The good Samaritan * 10:25-37
16. Martha and Mary * 10:28-42
17. The importunate friend * 11: 1-13
18. The parable of the rich fool * 12:13-21
19. The need for vigilance 12:32-48
20. Not peace but division 12:49-53
21. Few will be saved 13:22-30
22. True humility 14: 1,7-14
23. The cost of discipleship 14:25-33

STAGE FIVE:
THE 'GOSPEL WITHIN THE GOSPEL: THE MESSAGE OF PARDON AND RECONCILIATION -THE PARABLES OF GOD'S MERCY
SUNDAY 24
24. The lost coin, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son *  - Luke 15: 1-32


STAGE SIX:
THE SECOND PART OF THE 'TRAVEL NARRATIVE': THE OBSTACLES FACING THOSE WHO FOLLOW JESUS
SUNDAYS 25-31
25. The unjust steward * - Luke 16:1-13
26. The rich man and Lazarus * - Luke 16:19-31
27. A lesson on faith and dedication * - Luke  17:5-10
28. The ten lepers * - Luke 17:11-19
29. The unjust judge * - Luke 18: 1-8
30. The Pharisee and the tax collector * - Luke 18:9-14
31. Zacchaeus * - Luke 19:1-10


STAGE SEVEN:
THE MINISTRY IN JERUSALEM
SUNDAYS 32-33
32. Resurrection debated - Luke 20:27-38
33. The signs announcing the end - Luke 21:5-19

STAGE EIGHT:
CHRIST THE KING: RECONCILIATION
SUNDAY 34
34. The repentant thief - Luke 23:35-43


NOTE: Passages  marked * are found only in the Gospel of Saint Luke.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER - YEAR B

Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd

Christ the Good Shepherd lays down his
life for us. This gives us some idea how
lavish God's love is when He allows us to be
called His children. We do so only in the name
of the Lord Jesus and we can be sure
that through Him we shall see GOD as He
is really in Himself.