• And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.

    Kahlil Gibran
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Trinity 1 – 14th June 2020

Dear Friends,

Short Explanatory Note

Before opening the readings and reflections this morning it may be of benefit to note that we are at a mid-point in the Churches year .

From the first Sunday of Advent until last Sunday we have marked the key events in the life of our saviour — Birth, Baptism, Lent, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension followed by Pentecost and a celebration of the Triune God last Sunday, Trinity Sunday.

The next 24 Weeks (where hopefully a level of “normality” will have returned) are referred to as Ordinary Time.

Not a great wording to be honest as during this time we focus on the Teachings of Jesus.

To ensure that Sunday Services cover the readings from the 4 Gospels they are divided over a Three Year Period called (not very imaginatively) as Year A, Year B and Year C

We are in Year A which follows the Gospel of Matthew.

One final point: The Lectionary in Ordinary Time offers a choice in relation to the Old Testament Readings.

One option is called “P” stands for “Paired”. This means that the theme of the Old Testament Reading is linked or Paired to the Theme of the Gospel Reading.

The other option called “ C” stands for “ Continuous”. This is designed to ensure that over a three year period,all of the Old Testament is covered as the readings are Continuous. The specific reading may or may not be linked to the Gospel Reading. On this Saturday I do not know what has been the practice in Mallow Union of Parishes but this morning I have chosen a “Continuous” reading. The alternative under “P” is Exodus 19: 2-8

Whew! A lot of talk and we haven’t even started.

Please find enclosed the Readings and a Reflection on tomorrows Gospel (Attached)

Blessings

Tony

Tony Murphy
9 Riverside, Carrigaline, Co. Cork

P43FP11

Email: tmurphy@tmahr.com

Mob: 0878327347

Genesis 18:1-15

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. 3He said, ‘My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’ 6And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’ 7Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. 8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 They said to him, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ 10Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?’ 13The LORD said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” 14Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.’ 15But Sarah denied, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. He said, ‘Oh yes, you did laugh.’
Psalm 100
1 O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth; ♦serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song.
2 Know that the Lord is God; ♦it is he that has made us and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
3 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; ♦give thanks to him and bless his name.
4 For the Lord is gracious; his steadfast love is everlasting, ♦ and his faithfulness endures from generation to generation.
Romans 5: 1-8
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Matthew 9: 35—10: 8
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment

Reflection
Our Gospel reading this morning takes us back to the beginning of Jesus Ministry when he gathered together his first followers.
Before commissioning his first followers we should note how Jesus showed the inextricable connection between Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom AND looking after our fellow man and women.
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” 9.35.

The Central section in today’s reading, however, is the selection of his first Apostles. This was effectively the first occasion when some people were asked to commit themselves fulltime to work alongside Jesus.

In the context of ministry in this day and age could I suggest two points for Reflection.

A: Ordinary People :
Jesus chose ordinary people. Indeed from our human perspective, the characters he chose didn’t look too promising. None of them had a “proper education” in the Hebrew Scripture, Matthew had a disreputable background as a tax collector, later Peter denied him and Judas betrayed him. Yet Jesus took these ordinary people who in some way responded to a feeling or a call that they were being asked to serve and under the influence of the Holy Spirit Jesus moulded them to carry out his mission.
This raises the question as to how many people exclude themselves from service because they apply standards to themselves that are unrealistic.
While there are people from the Diocese working in Ministry in other dioceses the fact that 20 of the 24 people in Stipendiary Ministry in this Diocese come from outside the Diocese, raises questions as to how well we nurture vocations.

B: Types of Ministry:
In the past 50 years, there have been many positive developments in the varieties of ministry now available. This should not be a surprise as St Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 12 of the varieties of gifts in the Spirit. However, for many centuries there was a strong focus on Clergy and indeed this became an exclusive group. Thankfully the Spirit has moved the Church to respond to a situation where access to education throughout society has allowed people to offer their gifts in many forms of Ministry.

This began with Lay Readers and Pastoral Readers. It has expanded with Pastoral Assistants, Children’s Ministry, Youth Work, Choral Worship, Mothers Union, Eco-Congregation, Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Groups etc. In addition within our Parishes, we have Wardens and Vestry members, all contributing to the life of the Church. Canon Marley has sent out a message today advising on a” YouTube Diocesan Synod” issued by Bishop Paul this morning which offers a view on the variety of work in the Diocese

All of these and many more offer opportunities to help both to proclaim and put into practice the Coming of the Kingdom. As we begin our journey in Ordinary time for the next 6 months perhaps we might ask ourselves how each of us can contribute to the labour in the harvest