The texts of the Mass this week speak of the personal call that God addresses to each of us. If we respond to Christ’s invitation we will be filled with peace and joy. If, on the other hand - like the Rich Young Man in the Gospel - we turn away, we remain sad. True wisdom in this life consists in saying ‘yes’ to each one of Christ’s invitations in the course of our life. This call comes in many shapes and forms: it might be that we see in a blinding flash, as St Paul, that we need to follow Christ radically; it might be this call comes through a friend or colleague who opens our eyes to Christ; or it may be the gradual realisation that God is asking something more of me in my life. In whatever way God knocks at the door of our soul, we alone have the power to open that door and let Christ enter in. When Christ comes aboard the boat of our life, everything changes and we see life with supernatural clarity. Certainly all of us who are Baptised have been given this call to follow Jesus; but usually this call needs to be renewed, even daily, so that - as St Peter says - we make God’s choice and call of us a daily reality. There are many opportunities for us to give of ourselves to Christ more generously. We live in turbulent times. There are many ways that we can get more actively involved in the life of the Church. The Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life, so let us bring everything to the Mass each week, but even more, let it overflow into lives of generous prayer, apostolate and service. God bless you in this coming week.
We have begun the Month of the Holy Rosary. During October the Church wishes to renew within the hearts of all God’s Faithful People, a love for this prayer. We know that the Holy Rosary is the most versatile of all the vocal prayers since, it can be prayed anytime and anywhere. Through the constant repetition of the words of Scripture - the Our Father and Hail Mary - we reflect simultaneously on the events of the life of Jesus in the Gospels; doing this through the eyes, hands and heart of Mary. Pray the Holy Rosary daily for peace in the Church and in the world; for holiness in Marriage and family life and for all our individual needs. Last weekend Pope Francis asked all Catholics to pray the Rosary during this month and also invoke St Michael the Archangel at the end, with the prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII especially for these turbulent times.
The Liturgy of the Word for this Sunday reminds us that every Christian is called to extend the Kingdom of Christ. Every circumstance of life is a good opportunity for being about an extension of Faith in society and in the world. Jesus reproves the exclusive mentality of his disciples. He opens their eyes to a work which is wide-ranging in it's dimensions. As Christians, we never have a 'one party' mentality which would lead us to reject legitimate diversity in the work of the Church, or just focus on one group or apostolate. If you have the Heart of Christ, then diversity is always good and unity in diversity is a cause for rejoicing. The absolutely essential thing is that Christ be known and loved, because the Gospel has to reach every corner of the earth and touch every soul.
Much of the Gospel of St Mark - which is being read at Mass these weeks - is concerned with the question of who Jesus is. In the particular Gospel of this Sunday, Jesus gives His disciples a lesson in how they are to govern. The word authority proceeds from the Latin word auctor, that is to say, the author or promotor, or source of something. It suggests the function of someone who has an oversight over a group or enterprise. In the Church, authority has to be exercised according to the model Jesus gives us: as one who has come to serve and not be served. Therefore, all authority in the Church is at the service of the greater good of assisting us to reach Heaven. Primarily this is the duty of the Pope, Bishops and Priests who have been given this mandate by the Church and who rule and govern in the name of Christ. This is why we should pray continually for those entrusted with this important but delicate charism.