FRIDAY: 9am to 10am (permanent)
by Fr Doug Harris 2021
In today’s readings God laments that His children are without a shepherd or pastor.
In the Gospel we are told that Jesus is the ideal Pastor. The Gospel tells of a time when Jesus and His Apostles are exhausted and have had no time to eat anything.
Despite that, when Jesus sees the crowd of people who have followed Him the Gospel says: “They were like sheep without a shepherd,” so Jesus “set Himself to teach them at some length.” As the ideal Pastor, Jesus refused to rest.
Jesus has now Ascended to heaven, so it is now our turn to shepherd God’s children.
Especially needed are men and women who choose to consecrate themselves to the Lord with the vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience.
Priests, nuns, brothers, and single people. Pope St Paul VI wrote an encyclical called ‘Evangalii Nuntiandi’ which stated: “Thanks to their consecration priests and religious are ‘free to leave everything’ and go to proclaim the Gospel even to the ends of the earth” (Evangalii Nuntiandi 69). People who are single, not married, are more available for their people they pastor. Their first priority is for the people that they pastor whereas a married persons first priority is for his or her spouse and children. Of course, married couples and families can become great missionaries. I know a young family – both parents are doctors, who are missionaries in Nepal. They have been there for over 10 years.
In this parish we have the Legion of Mary and St Vincent de Paul Society, who are looking for new members.
We also have organizations in the Catholic Church who go minister to people who live on the streets, woman in a crisis pregnancy, people with the same sex attraction, prisoners, etc…
My personal call to the priesthood came in 1986, I was 27. Before then I had no desire to be a priest. I was going to Mass every day and sometimes people would ask me if I had ever thought of becoming a priest. I had a standard reply, “No, I know God wants me to get married,” and sometimes I would add, “and have ten children.” Then in November 1986 when St John Paul II came to Australia, he was celebrating Mass and I was in the crowd. During the Mass I had a strong I desire to be a priest. This desire was so strong that I prayed. “Lord, please don’t take this desire away from me!” and He never has. Today I can’t thank Him enough for my priesthood. I am even more thankful today as I am increasingly aware of how powerfully God works in me and through me as a priest.
St John Vianney, a French priest who died in 1859 said: “We can never fully understand or appreciate the dignity of the priest. If we were to understand the dignity of the priest, we would die – not of fear but of love.” (The love that God gave us by creating a priest.)
Sometime past, I received an email from a friend, Karin. She wrote: “I am a hundred percent certain that I want to be a nun.” Today she is a nun in Tasmania. She is part of a new Religious Order called Sisters of the Immaculata and she is looking for young woman to join them!
Why is it that some men and women choose to be priests, nuns or brothers and not choose marriage?” One reason is to fill our natural hunger to be with Jesus, to experience His Presence and Love and Grace, and as much as possible, to grow in the deepest possible union with Him to share our faith, our greatest love, with others. Another reason is because we believe in the power of the Sacraments and want to make that power to be available.
I knew a priest who died at aged 91. On his death bed he was asked what the greatest joy or moment in all his 91 years life was. Without hesitation, he said that his greatest joy in all his life occurred every day. That was the Mass. I agree the greatest moment or joy in my life occurs every day – the Holy Mass. (What a joy it is to be at Mass now).
Today, in Australia, we have a crisis of vocations. There is a shortage of priests and religious and, also, a shortage of lay people active in the church.
However, Our Lord is calling, it’s just that people are not listening. This could be due to the many other voices in the world drowning out God’s voice.
In order to be able to hear Our Lord’s voice, we need to find a place of silence. A place where we can hear His voice, and where there is no other voice.
We are blessed to have a Chapel of Perpetual Adoration in the parish.
In the near future, God will raise up Priests and consecrated Brothers and Sisters, who will have His Sacred Heart. This will bring about a new and glorious era in the Church and the world.
We will now have ‘enrolment in the Brown Scapular, as July 16, was the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.