Above photograph: thanks to Matt Botsford
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reflection on the Gospel-3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Mark 1:14-20)
Most of the gospel readings for this year are from Mark's story of Jesus. As with any story, it is best to read it from beginning to end, attending to the story line, to indications of habitat and of time, to all the actors or characters in the story, human and other-than-human.
While the main character or actor is Jesus, there are other characters and character groups that claim our attention. The “worlds” we encounter include the celestial world, the world of spirits and demons, the human, the animal and the plant worlds. In many ways, we can resonate with the worlds that Mark creates. In other ways, they are alien to 21st century scientific sensibilities and experience.
We bring our consciousness of these differences to our reading of the text. As we embark on this reading we might also become aware of what we bring to the text, “the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties” (GS 1) of our world today, a world still grappling with pandemic and with growing economic inequality. What we bring to the text informs our understanding of the text.
As we read, we might think of this gospel as a two-act drama. The first act in the drama (Mark 1:1-8:26) raises the question, “Who is this?” The central scene (Mark 8:27-30) provides a partial answer: Jesus is the Messiah or God's Anointed One, the Christos. The second act of the drama (Mark 8:31-16:8) is full of surprises for its earliest audiences: Jesus is not a militaristic messiah, but one who is prepared to suffer death for the sake of God's empire; God finally triumphs over suffering and death.
The invitation to us as readers is to enter into the drama, to identify with the characters and character groups, and to hear the teachings of Jesus. In the passage selected for today, Jesus announces his programme and invites others to reorient their lives, to expand their horizons and to join him on a mission of proclaiming God’s kin-dom, God's way of being in the world. Jesus proclaims the advent of God’s “time” or kairos, as opposed to ordinary clock time (chronos). It is crisis time, time to attend to the cries of the earth and the cries of those rendered poor in every age.
One might get the impression in the opening chapters of the gospel that the disciples are all men. We have to go to the end of the gospel to find that there are also women “who came up with him to Jerusalem” from Galilee. The central section of the gospel (Mark 9-10) makes it clear that there are children on the journey as well. So let us imagine a much more extended group around Jesus than today's little gospel reading suggests. Women, men, and children, all are invited to leave behind whatever gets in the way of bringing God's kin-dom into our world.
-Veronica Lawson RSM
The Pope's prayer intention - December 2020
Pohutukawa Coast Prayer Group
People from various churches are gathering to pray at St Mark's Anglican Church, 102 Maraetai Drive, Maraetai, Thursday mornings 7am. Open to all.
This group will meet via Zoom while present restrictions are in place.
Please contact Vivienne Gosbee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join in.
Caring Group to help our community
They'll know we are Christians by our love. And one way we can show our Christian love is to care for one another, especially in times of need or distress.
Several people have already volunteered their services to start the Group but we need more. We also need to know if there is anyone who needs help from the Caring Group. So, if you would like to be a volunteer who may be called upon from time to time please contact Glenis Clapham (ph: 09 536 6305) or Kathie McNabney (ph: 09 530 8130). If you need some help or know of someone from our community who needs help please let Glenis or Kathie know.
Have you considered joining the parish planned giving programme? No more searching through your purse or wallet at collection time. You will be provided with a set of envelopes which need only be placed in the basket with your donation inside. And best of all at the end of each tax year you will receive a statement of your contributions so you can make a claim on your tax return.
Why not join up now. Contact the parish office or follow the link below for further information. Ph 5348710
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How giving a little can mean a lot
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
There are always people in need, sometimes long term, sometimes short term, sometimes in an emergency. The parish Food Bank, run by the Howick branch of the SVDP society, helps many families who find themselves in need of basic food items. Through supporting this we are putting into action the Church's principles of Social Justice: Human Dignity, Preferential Option for the Poor, the Common Good, Solidarity, Subsidiarity, Stewardship and Participation.
When you come to Mass at Beachlands try to bring one food item, a packet or can that can be added to the Food Bank, and place it in the basket on the table when you come in.
Giving a little can mean such a lot.
Please continue to keep Eileen Gallagher, Allan Saunders, Francis McNabney and other members of our community in your prayers.