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25 Spring Road
HIGHETT VIC 3190
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Jesus loves you
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Welcome, and thank you for visiting St Agnes' Catholic Church, Highett online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship and service opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come in for a visit. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.
We believe that the door to salvation is always open and so are the doors to our church. Our mission is to be fully devoted to Jesus by opening our arms to those in search of the truth. We show God’s love and concern for our fellow man at every opportunity. Through works of charity and opening our doors to listen and love, we feel that we are walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are then nourished by the Eucharist."
Are during the 6 pm Mass on Saturdays by appointment .
Enquires are to be directed to the Cheltenham Parish Office.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: SUSPENDED
Weekend: By Booking: Call 9583 6161 or through the link : https://www.trybooking.com/BNADH
Saturday Vigil 6pm
Sunday 9am &11am (at OLA Church)
Tuesday, Friday: 9am
Wednesday, Thursday: 915 am (at OLA Church)
9 am Communion Service
Special Devotions: SUSPENDED
Friday after 9am Mass
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Novena, Benediction
Reconciliation: (in line with Covid-safe Protocols) By appointment. Please contact Fr Alan, or the Parish Office.
Any additional services will be announced on our notice board and on our website.
Homily for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday – Year B – 17th October, 2021
No doubt you’ve heard many a homilist state, that whenever we read and reflect upon the Biblical readings before us, their context plays a critical role in their interpretation. And our gospel this Sunday is no exception. Note that these verses from Mark’s gospel come immediately after three instances where Jesus informed his disciples, in no uncertain terms, that he’s destined to suffer at the hands of the people, and be put to death. But his disciples fail to comprehend just what Jesus is telling them. It was as if his disciples were happy to hear the good news about the kingdom, and of the new order to come, …which helps explain the questions they put to Jesus. However they don’t appear at all attuned to Jesus’ focus upon the brutal reality of his forthcoming passion and death.
When Jesus asks his companions, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, ‘Can you drink this cup that I must drink, and be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’, he is presenting them with deep questions of the heart. Can they, …and we can read, can we, …drink the cup that Jesus is to drink, can they, can we, truly share in his all that his faithfulness to his mission will mean? How do we truly comprehend the significance these questions have for all who follow Christ?
Somewhat ironically, in response to the questions put to him by James and John, all that Jesus has to offer them is a share in his suffering and death; …in the prospect of giving one’s own life as a ransom for many. His disciples, we read, had rather grand plans surrounding what Jesus could grant them in his Messianic kingdom, particularly in terms of power and privilege. However, Jesus clarifies that it won’t be him who decides who’ll share this power and authority, …that decision solely belongs to his Heavenly Father. So what are followers of Jesus, inclusive of ourselves, left to contemplate: …suffering and death?
On the one hand, yes! This is what we’re left with. This is indeed the cup we must drink, and the one baptism we share. However, we are never left alone in our suffering and death, because what we share in through the Christian faith we profess, what this Sunday’s reading from the letter to the Hebrews describes as, ‘the faith that we must never let go of’, is that through our shared baptism, we are forever united to Jesus Christ. In other words, to even begin to contemplate suffering and death without first recognising the significance of Jesus’ own passion and death, would leave us devoid of meaning or purpose, …and therefore simply wouldn’t make any sense.
This though, is the difference our Christian faith makes. In many ways, across the centuries, the Christian concept of social order and responsibility has run countercultural to any society that prized great power and strength. The early Christians lived a way that was, for example, counter-cultural to the rather ruthless and relentless strong-armed approach of the Roman Empire. For the all-conquering Romans, compassion was an intolerable weakness, and weakness itself was something to be despised. They saw no beauty in vulnerability, only contempt. Power was about domination, about arrogant control, bout taking possession, focussing on might and strength. But for Jesus, and those who follow in his Way, power is about bonds of relationship, gratitude and acceptance, the capacity for suffering, sympathy, grief and tenderness, it’s about not simply settling for the status quo. As the German theologian Jürgen Moltmann famously wrote, some decades ago now, we need “rediscover the ‘power of love’ which the cross of Christ exemplifies, and to reject the ‘love for power’ which often stands as a barrier to lasting unity”
This is the lesson that the first disciples must learn and that we too must learn, and re-learn. To address anything of that ‘Roman’ social order in us: the instinct to acquire power, i.e. power as control, power as all-conquering might and strength. To address anything within us which can’t cope with vulnerability. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if we were protected from anything that presents as weak? And yet Jesus invites us to recognise and promote a new kind of power: the power that is present in human solidarity, the power that is present in sharing one another’s struggles, the power that is present in a life lived out of compassion and love, in the hope of a better future. This is the radical Christian insight all who follow Jesus are asked to take on board: that it’s in our vulnerability, rather than in our might, where real power lies, and where and how God is, and will be, reflected most transparently.
The Gospel we live by and proclaim asks us to contemplate our outreach to those who struggle, and as to whether we truly do so with sincere and generous hearts? In our commitment to reach out to the vulnerable, we pray we’ll remain open to wherein the real power of God’s love for us is to be discovered. This has been the story of the Christian Church across two millennia. This has consistently been the Church’s mission, to raise up the lowly, to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless, to welcome those who are downcast or broken. In praying for the Church and her ongoing mission, St Paul’s prayer for the Church in Ephesus, comes to my mind. Like Paul, we too can pray,
‘Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen’. [Eph. 3:20-21]
1. Moltmann, J. “Ecumenism Beneath the Cross: Part II”, African Ecclesiastical Review (AFER) No. 2, 1977. p. 31
Weekly Parish Bulletins
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