The end of the Church’s liturgical year is fast approaching and will culminate in a celebration of Christ as King. Today’s readings focus on the meaning of discipleship, on what it means to live true to Jesus our King and his teaching and example.
The annual Saint Gerard’s Feast Day Blessing will be live streamed on Facebook for the second consecutive year due to COVID-19. People can view on Saturday from 11am by following our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/MajellanPublications/ St Gerard is the patron saint of mothers, expectant mothers and the unborn. He was born in Italy in 1726 …
The kingdom of God is the heart and essence of Jesus’ teaching. References to the kingdom appear 114 times in the four gospels. According to our earliest gospel, Mark (1:15: cf. 3:24; 4:11, 26, 30), Jesus initiated his message with the proclamation, “The present era of history is at an end, the reign of God has come near; convert your mind and believe in the good news.”
We might think that, as a general rule, belonging to a group would be a good thing. However, today’s Scriptures teach us that belonging to a group might not be all positive. As members of a group, we might advance the group’s interests to the detriment of others outside the group. We might be so protective of the group’s achievements that we do not want anyone else to do the same things – simply because that person is “not one of us”.
Imagine the scene. Jesus and his disciples are making their way along the road to Capernaum. Being a few paces away from the others, Jesus is not part of their conversation. Nonetheless he picks up the vibe: the disciples are squabbling among themselves. So, when they arrive at their destination, Jesus confronts them: “What were you arguing about along the road?” Attempting to cover their shame, the disciples say nothing.
For all the wonders of Western thought, I do not believe there is a single philosopher or theologian in the long history leading to the modern era ever to busy himself (they were all men!) with this fundamental fact of our existence: we are family people, familial beings, born, growing, learning and dying in family groupings.