25th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
20 SEPTEMBER 2020
Isaiah 55:6-9; Philippians 1:20-24,27; Matthew 20:1-16
Ezekiel 18: 25-28; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32
This week in the parish.... NO EVENTS
Both St John’s and St Francis’ Churches will remain closed
Homily for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday
It is not always easy to understand the ways of God. In the Gospel parable today (Matt 20:1-16) we see the workers failing to understand why those who worked just one hour received the same wages as those who worked all day. It reminds us of our futile attempts to understand why some people seemingly have been dealt a better hand than others going through life. Why does God apparently give more blessings to some than to others? We approach this question from our own light but the answer lies elsewhere. There is an ancient Islamic story about a man searching under a street lamp for a key he dropped. A neighbour saw him searching and joined the search for the key under the street lamp, but he did not find it either. “Where did you drop it?” his neighbour asked. The man said, “Down the road there about fifty yards.” The neighbour, somewhat puzzled, asked, “Well, why are you looking here?” The man said, “Because there is more light here.” In our first reading today from the prophet Isaiah God tells us the same thing,
“Yes, the heavens are as high above earth
as my ways are above your ways,
my thoughts above your thoughts.” (Isa 55:9)
It is not always easy to understand God’s ways. In any case it would be silly to be jealous of others because we only see the outside and we never know what cross others have to carry.
The landowner in the parable in the Gospel understood human nature very well when he said, “Why be envious because I am generous?” (Matt 20:15) Those who worked hard in the heat all day were jealous of those who worked for only one hour and yet got the same pay. But instead of being envious and jealous of those who have been dealt a better hand than us there is a better attitude, to be grateful for what we have been dealt. If you are jealous of someone, stop for a moment and think of what life might be like for you right now if you were living in a country where there is a famine raging. If you feel that life has been unfair to you, the Bible has much to teach us to heal our attitudes. In many places the Bible teaches us that we are to give thanks to God at all times in all circumstances. In Eph. 5:20 we read, “Always and everywhere give thanks to God who is our Father.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we read, “Be happy at all times; pray constantly and for all things give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus.” In Col 3:17 we read, “Whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.” So even when others prosper or have more success or better chances, what can we do? We can give thanks to God for the blessings he has given to them and the blessings he has given to us.
Another way of looking at this is that if God has blessed others greatly he also expects much of them. Remember the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30); the one with five talents made five more, the one with two talents made two more. To the one who has been given much, much is expected. No matter what good fortune comes to others it really doesn’t matter because as followers of Jesus our aim is to use everything for the kingdom of God. In Matt 6:33 we read, “Seek the kingdom of God first and all these other things will be given you as well.”
There is another way I would like to look at this; God has a perfect plan for your life. If others have more than you, it does not mean that God loves you less. God loves each of us specially. In the parable, the landowner - representing God - said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you.” (Matt 20:13) God is our friend and is not unjust to us. Think of parents and children. Parents have a different relationship with each child but love each child. God deals differently with each of us because God loves each of us in the way that God knows best for us and his kingdom. The attitude to have is one of trust in God.
“My friend, I am not being unjust to you…I choose to pay the last-comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” (Matt 20:13-15)
Bishops’ Prayer for Election 2020
God of Nations
bless our nation as we approach our election
in these uncertain times. As we discern our choices,
guide us with your Spirit.
Grant us humble Parliamentarians of integrity
who seek to serve for the common good.
E te Atua
Unite our nation in the desire to protect the sanctity and dignity of every human life in all its stages.
Help us recognise our families as a treasure and enable us to support those families that struggle.
Make us mindful of people in need in our communities and ready to work together for a just community.
May we always delight in the beauty of your creation and ensure this beauty is enshrined for our children’s children.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be informed about the End of Life Choice Act Referendum:
The EOLC Act is badly drafted and seriously flawed. Whatever one’s views about the idea of euthanasia, it is not ‘compassion’ to vote for a dangerous law.
- The End of Life Choice Act is not an option of ‘last resort’. It will not just apply to the ‘exceptionally difficult cases’. It does not require that a person first make use of available treatments or counselling, nor that they first receive palliative care. A person does not need to be in physical pain.
- If euthanasia becomes legal in NZ, people will access it because they think they lack other choices. Even though quality palliative care is effective, there is no corresponding legal right to access palliative care. Under current law, people can already say ‘no’ to treatments and can receive whatever level of pain relief they need. These days, no-one need die in pain.
See www.riskylaw.nz or www.votesafe.nz or www.carealliance.org.nz or www.nathaniel.org.nz
Authorised by John Kleinsman, 15 Guildford Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
Live Forum on Euthanasia with Dr John Kleinsman
Learn more about what you are voting on as Dr John Kleinsman, Chair of the Care Alliance, unpacks the End of Life Choice Act.
End of Life Choice Referendum Are You Ready to Vote?
Live-streamed presentation: Tuesday 22 September – 7.00pm Care Alliance Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carealliancenz/
Authorised by Sinead Donnelly, Care Alliance, 15 Guildford Terrace, Wellington.
Please Pray For ....
We pray for all the sick in the community, those recovering from surgery, those dealing with long-term health conditions and those who feel unsupported during this lockdown period. We pray especially for Richard Hutchings and Peter Wilson at this time.
Please pray for the recently deceased including Barbara Pirrit and John Lokes.
St John’s Prayer group
The St John’s Prayer group meets on Wednesday night on Zoom at 7.15 pm . Contact us for the link phone 427 8496 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We're sending food north...
In response to the current dire needs in the Far North, the Hibiscus Coast Parish will be sending a car- load of food to be distributed to communities there. This will consist of “packet and box” items such as basic cereals, long-life milk and any of the other usual goods.
Donations can be brought to either church as soon as they are open again.
Suggested items are tea, coffee, long-life milk, milo, sugar, flour, rice, pasta and basic cereals such as oats and weet-bix.”
If you need your food to be collected, ring Mary-Therese Caldwell 09 947 0408 or 0211407 544.
Our monthly free community lunches have been put on hold until we return to Alert Level 1.
Although the Liturgy Conference has been postponed until October 2021 Starting from Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd of October we plan to offer a series of digital presentations from Conference presenters.
If you have registered for the Conference or subscribed to the Conference newsletter, the link to this portal will be emailed to you. Please subscribe to the Liturgy Conference newsletter via the website https://wuss.org.nz/ if you want to receive the link.
ALONE AGAIN? A weekend away to help those suffering the heartache of Separation, Divorce, or Widowhood 6-8 November. The Beginning Experience is a non-profit organization that provides support for the grieving single again, and offers an opportunity to turn the pain of loss into an experience of positive growth.
The total cost for 2 nights’ accommodation, meals, and materials, plus a follow up event is $350 with Early Bird cost $325 if paid by 25 Sept.
For further information please phone Kelly 0276864416 or Bev 09 298 9943 & 0272481631 - www.beginningexperience.org.nz
Broadcast Mass Shine
The Diocese continues to provide Broadcast MassShine TV Sunday 2.00pm Free-to-air TV Channel 25 | SKY TV Channel 201. This is also available to download from 6pm Saturday on the diocesan website https://www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz/.
Worshipping under Southern Skies
All members of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland community are warmly invited to theLiturgy Conference, Worshipping under Southern Skies: Weaving Together Liturgy and Life, to be held at Baradene College from 1st – 3rd October.
Excellent keynote speakers, a mouth-watering variety of Breakout Sessions. See https://wuss.org.nz/. This will be a time to grow deeper in faith, to grow stronger in community, richer in love, more vibrant in our communal prayer and celebration of the liturgy.
A short video of invitation from the director of the National Liturgy Office for sending out, posting on FaceBook etc. https://youtu.be/fZpxFUp3z4
Greetings from Marriage Encounter:
Due largely to the Covid restrictions we have regretfully cancelled the Marriage Encounter Weekend scheduled for the 2-4 October.
In these uncertain times we are not scheduling any further Weekends in Auckland this year.
Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics
The Nathaniel Report, published by the New Zealand Catholic bishops’ Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics.
Articles include scrutiny of the euthanasia and cannabis referendums being held at the same time as the October 17 general election.
The issue is also online here: www.catholic.org.nz/assets/Uploads/Nathaniel-Report-61-FINAL.pdf
Residential Individually Guided 6 day Silent Retreat
In the dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola.
‘Come and See’ - October 25 (10am)– 30 (4pm) at St Francis Retreat Centre, 50 Hillsborough Road, Auckland.
Cost $770. There are still a few places available on this retreat. For more information contact email@example.com
Billings Ovulation Method Natural Fertility Training Seminar
Auckland, Friday 2nd-Saturday 3rd October. The Billings Ovulation Method is a means of natural fertility regulation used by couples to prevent or achieve pregnancy and protect reproductive health. It is highly effective if used correctly. This seminar will be beneficial to Health professionals, and those wishing to become accredited teachers of the Method. It will also be beneficial to those wishing to use the method and those involved in pre-marriage counselling.
For further information: P|0800 693 378 Efirstname.lastname@example.org
17th September is Special...
It's Deacon Greg's birthday.
Wishing you many happy returns of the day.
If you, or someone you know needs help please don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Parish Office – Fr Emile Frische 09 426 5599
- If you have no access to other support networks you can phone Auckland Emergency Management 0800 22 22 96
- St Vincent de Paul – 09 815 6122 or email: email@example.com
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired.
Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines.
They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine fixed, but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.
The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated, "This is where your problem is."
The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.
The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded with the following account:
Knowing where to put it: $49,999
It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.
A sergeant is interviewing three cadets who were training to become detectives. To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows the first cadet a picture for five seconds and then hides it. "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"
The first cadet answers, "That's easy, we'll catch him fast because he only has one eye!"
The sergeant says, "Well...uh...that's because the picture I showed is his side profile."
Slightly flustered by this ridiculous response, he flashes the picture for 5 seconds at the second cadet and asks him, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"
The second cadet smiles, and says, "Ha! He'd be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!"
The policeman angrily responds, "What's the matter with you two? Of course only one eye and one ear are showing because it's a picture of his side profile! Is that the best answer you can come up with?!"
Extremely frustrated at this point, he shows the picture to the third cadet and in a very testy voice asks, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" He quickly adds, "Think hard before giving me a stupid answer."
The cadet looks at the picture intently for a moment and says, "The suspect wears contact lenses."
The sergeant is surprised and speechless because he really doesn't know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not.
"Well, that's an interesting answer. Wait here for a few minutes while I check his file and I'll get back to you on that."
He leaves the room and goes to his office, checks the suspect's file in his computer, and comes back with a beaming smile on his face. "Wow! I can't believe it. It's TRUE! The suspect does in fact wear contact lenses. Good work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?"
"That's easy," the cadet replied, "he can't wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear."
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During the lockdown period our weekly newsletter is still being produced. Please pass the message on to others that if they would like the newsletter sent to them directly, to visit the parish website www.hbcparish.org.nz and