Toni’s St Francis

October 4th.   St Francis.  End of season of Creation from September 1 to October 4. The families that belonged to their faith sharing group came together for this special day. “What kind of missionary was St Francis?”  Amy asked them all to consider.  ‘He did leave home. He did give away all his belongings. He did go to a faraway place to speak to a Muslim sultan about making peace.  But, I think his mission was to teach people to show God’s love, to love everyone and everything like nature and be full of a special kind of joy.”  “Maybe all of us need to be like that, as we are all supposed to be missionaries.”

Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.   Matt 11:25-30.   Pope Francis: God’s word is unpredictable in its power.  The gospel speaks of a seed, which, once sown, grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps.  The Church has to accept this unruly freedom of the word which accomplishes what it will in ways that surpass our calculations and ways of thinking.   EG22  

October 6th. Sunday 27C.    Fr Oliver liked doing his own cooking but didn’t like all the other household chores. “What is it like for you in families these days,” he asked.  “Does everyone, old and young, perform their duties as they should or do some, unfairly, expect to be waited on, hand and foot.  And what about the issue of rights, children and even servants too will quite often only do the minimum that is expected and never help out of kindness?

Will any of you who have a servant ploughing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘come and sit down at table?’ Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me and serve me, till I eat and drink and afterwards you shall eat and drink.’ Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?  So you also, when you have done all that is commanded say, “we are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.”   Luke 17:5-10. Pope Francis:   An important challenge is not to flee from a personal and committed relationship with God which at the same time commits us to serving others.  EG91  

October 7th. Our Lady of the Rosary. The Mission Rosary.   During the Extraordinary Month of Mission it is recommended to pray using the World Mission Rosary inaugurated in 1951 to recognise the need to pray not just for ourselves, but for the whole world, and especially for those who are poor and vulnerable  Each decade has beads of a different colour for the different continents of the world:  green for the forests and grasslands of Africa; blue for the ocean surrounding the islands of the Pacific; white symbolizing Europe, the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; red calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missionaries to the Americas and yellow, the morning light of the East, for Asia.  This Rosary is linked to the missionary work of the Church and of the Holy Father. It adds a different missionary perspective to the meditations on the 4 sets of the Mysteries of the Rosary and the lives of Jesus and Mary.  Taking a tour of the whole world or even visiting one continent at a time can make this special prayer more interesting too as families adapt how to pray to their own situation.

Do not be afraid Mary for you have found favour with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son who will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. Luke 1:26-38. Pope Francis: Genuine forms of religiosity are born of the incarnation of Christian faith in popular culture.  They entail a personal relationship not with vague spiritual energies or powers but with God, with Christ, with Mary and the saints. EG 90

October 9th. When she sat down and thought about it Mitzi realised that there is a bit of Jonah in all of us. The story tells us of a Jew sent by God to the people of Nineveh to call them to repent. He didn’t want them to repent, but to be punished.  After running away from God he did eventually go and preach to the brutal people of Nineveh and they did repent, but his initial response was, “No way, these wicked people should be punished.” How often have we heard people say things like, “He should rot in hell for what he has done to that woman or girl.”  Gender-based violence, xenophobic attacks and terrorist attacks are as brutal today as those of the people of Nineveh were at that time.
It displeased Jonah exceedingly that God did not do the evil which he had said he would do to Nineveh and he was angry.   And he prayed to the Lord,  I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and that you repent of evil.  Therefore now, O Lord, take my life from me.  Jonah 4:1-11   Pope Francis: The unified and complete sense of human life that the Gospel proposes is the best remedy for the ills of our cities. The proclamation of the Gospel will be a basis for restoring the dignity of human life in these contexts for Jesus desires to pour out an abundance of life upon our cities.   EG75


October 11thCivilisations have come and gone and with them too economic systems that were built up and finally destroyed through corruption, greed and lack of concern for the common good. In our day the focus has moved beyond the human family to the earth our common home. The destruction of the environment, climate change and weather patterns have caused enormous devastation.  Can we say we have not been warned?  Who is to blame and what is to be a meaningful response?

Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants and cry to the Lord. For the day of the Lord is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.  Joel 1:13 – 2:2. Pope Francis:  The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which becomes the only rule.   EG56

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