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"Greed" - Homily - 28th Sunday of OT - 2018

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29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

A Parish “Take Home” Retreat Since the first week that I was named parish priest, the Lord has put on my heart to lead the parish to do a 33 day retreat, and in the end to Consecrate ourselves to our Lord through the hands of Mary. When I realised that this is the 50thanniversary of the construction of our Church, it struck me that that we should celebrate these 50 years in a way that would really please God, by making a communal act of consecration. A point that is important to consider is that this is part of the Charism of the Community of St. John, so it is something that we really carry in our hearts, it is part of who we are as a religious community.  St. John stood at the foot of the Cross when Jesus was dying and Jesus looked at him and said “Behold your Mother”.  From that day forward St. John took Mary into his home. From that we understand that there is a special relationship between Mary and John. We too who are part of the Community of St. John want to have a special relationship with Mary and through Mary to Jesus. That is why any parish that is run by the Community of St. John would have at its heart the Eucharist and Mary and it is why I am asking all of our parishioners to join us in this 33-day retreat and the event on the 8thof December. How? It is really simple. It is a “short, easy, secure and perfect way to become a saint”. 1stSign up (On our website, Facebook page or after any Sunday mass) 2ndPick up a copy of the “33 Days to Morning Glory” Do-it-Yourself Retreat (at either the info evening on Nov 1stor after Sunday Mass on November 4th) 3rdSpend about 10 min each day, for 33 days (November 5thto December 8th), reading a meditation and praying a brief prayer 4thJoin the whole Parish for the Procession, Mass and celebrations with the Bishop on Saturday, December 8that 11 am to 3 pm. There will be many little changes during these 33 days, it will be a great opportunity to renew your faith life and to deepen your relationship with God. If you are struggling, this is a life changing experience. If you have already done this 33-day retreat, it is a great opportunity to renew it. Please know that I personally invite each of you to join us for this great Renewal of our life in Christ. In Him Fr Michael Therese Scheerger

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Dear Parishioners “Such, O my soul, are the miseries that attend on riches. They are gained with toil and kept with fear. They are enjoyed with danger and lost with grief. It is hard to be saved if we have them; and impossible if we love them; and scarcely can we have them, but we shall love them inordinately. Teach us, O Lord, this difficult lesson: to manage conscientiously the goods we possess, and not covetously desire more than you give to us.” (St. Augustine, Letter 203) To not speak about how God must enter our bank accounts would be to neglect the Gospel. Money is too important in our lives. It takes money for us to drive to Mass, to wear clothes, to type on a computer, to eat… to do just about anything. God’s wisdom and love is not just for Sundays but for every day and every part of our life, and this is a very important part. Perhaps even fundamental. A major driving force of greed is fear, rooted in the love of having things and being safe.  It is fear of not having enough, fear of not being able to make it, a fear of the unknown. This fear can be so strong that it can lead people to violence. A fear which is rooted in a disordered love of material things, leads to so much evil in our personal lives and in society as a whole, that it must be actively fought.  Family feuds begin, nervous breakdowns take place, and revolutions are triggered. When love of riches grows too strong, other sins typically follow: neglecting family to pursue a career; donating little or nothing to charity; paying meagre wages to staff; cheating on tax returns; leaving no information after damaging a parked car; becoming unreasonably angry when money is lost or stolen; devoting unreasonable time and attention to financial matters; outright stealing; lying to get more money; taking financial advantage of people; falsifying insurance claims and looking down on people who are poor. How do we fight greed in our own hearts?  By giving freely and intelligently! St. Mother Teresa would say that we have to learn to “Give until it hurts, or else we have not truly given.” There are two extremes that must be avoided: Greed and Wastefulness.When we give, we should not do so unintelligently or wastefully, but nevertheless in order to fight greed we have to learn how to give.  Catholics statistically are not in danger of being too generous or wasteful. Among all the Christians, Catholics on average give the least amount to their Church, usually 1% or less of their income. To conclude, happiness does not come from money, once a person has the basic necessities, more money does not lead to more happiness.  If we are to find that happiness it will be found in meaningful, selfless action. And this can only be achieved if we fight greed at its root, i.e. in our hearts. Fr Michael Therese