Today, we were all very sad. We were forced back to lockdown on Friday 25th June from 6pm. The Bishop dictated “No public Masses, no Adoration and no use of church buildings.” Therefore, no Legion of Mary etc. Meanwhile, the State of Origin football match still went ahead on Sunday.
It hasn’t been like this for over a year. We were one of the lucky states, with a Premier who was the most reasonable, compared to those of other states. Everything actually felt almost back to normal.
A cluster of suburbs had been put into lockdown about a week ago, because there was a ‘cluster’ of people emerging (supposedly stemming from a “Quarantine’ driver). They announced that it was a very contagious strain. It was announced on Saturday, in the afternoon, that from 6pm, the lockdown would apply to all of greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. It didn’t seem warranted.
Our priests flew into action, organizing livestream Masses and sending emails out to their database of parishioners. Others alerted people via word of mouth. Two parishes yesterday quickly organized a 5pm Mass, and spread the news, so that there could be a Mass because there would be none today. I found out also that one parish, courageously against government rules, still held their Sunday Masses today.
While watching the Live-streamed Mass, the readings for today spoke strongly to me.
Firstly The Introit (Opening prayer) – this verse echoes surely, the prayer that was in the hearts of many people today:
Hear, O Lord, my voice with which l have cried to Thee: be Thou my helper, forsake me not, nor do Thou despise me, O God, my Savior. (Ps. 26: 1) The Lord is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I fear?
Next we hear in the Collect words of Hope – we are reminded that our hearts must turn to God, so that we can obtain all that He has prepared for us
O God, Who hast prepared for them that love Thee good things unseen: pour into our hearts such love towards Thee, that, loving Thee in all and above all, we may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire.
In the Epistle, St Paul tells us how to prepare our hearts and the reason why:
Dearly beloved: Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble, not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this you are called, that you may inherit a blessing. For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil and do good; let him seek after peace, and pursue it: because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers, but the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil things, And who is he that can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if also you suffer anything for justice’ sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled: but sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts.(1 Peter 3: 8-15)
St Paul in the reading above, tells us the things which we must avoid. In other words, thoughts and words can be sinful – that our hearts must be pure – and thus God will hear the prayers of the just. He tells us we must not be afraid, but “sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts”
In the Gospel, Jesus emphasizes St Paul’s message – that we cannot have anger in our hearts, or we will be judged:
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Except your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother: Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say: Thou fool, shalt be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother; and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. (Matthew 5: 20-24)
We cannot have anger in our hearts against our enemies – be they our government leaders, or bishops or others in the church hierarchy. We have to love our enemies. We have to sanctify our hearts!!!
In the Book of Truth, Jesus tells us:
“When love is missing I am absent in the soul
9 January 2015 @ 3:30pm; Message 1307
“…To love one another is never easy because of the existence of sin. To love your enemies places a great burden upon you but if you pray for the graces to do so, then you will find that your love for Me grows. If you love Me truly you will be free of hatred, and then you will find true peace of the mind and the soul. …
Love quells every kind of hatred but, unless you remove your souls from those who incite hatred, you will be plunged into despair. …Peace and love can only come from God. Always seek Me out for I Am Love. When love is missing I am absent in the soul.”
“My Love for humanity is infinite
11 October 2014 @ 1:00am; Message 1235
“…I will lift all of you, who have warm and tender hearts, in an instant, into My Sacred Heart and save you, such is My Love for you….”
“I never criticized sinners. I never cursed them. I never hurt them
20 September 2014 @ 4:38pm; Message 1219
“…When you love Me, you will never deviate from the love that I taught or the way in which you must imitate Me. I never criticised sinners. I never cursed them. I never hurt them and I never denounced them. So, too, must you do as I did.
Embrace sinners. Pray for them. For, if you do not, you will defy My Will and your actions will serve only your own flawed view as to Who I Am. You cannot say you are of Me if you preach the opposite to what I taught. Never look down on those you believe to be sinners in My Eyes. Pray for them but never judge them for this is not your right.”
“Worry about your own soul first then pray for others”.
17 August 2014 @ 5:18pm
“…Each one of you is a sinner. … Do not denounce another person before Me and declare him to be evil; for who are you but just a sinner in My Eyes? … You must, therefore, worry about your own soul first and then pray for others. When you do this I will shower My Mercy upon all of you. When the man who exalts himself before Me and speaks ill of another man, he will come before My Seat of Judgment last, while the man who humbles himself before Me will come first….Why do you say you are of Me when you show hatred to others? You will never become worthy of My Kingdom until you discard your cloak of self-righteousness and your armour of pride ”
Lord help us not to judge – even our enemies – for they are all your children. Who are we to judge? We are but sinners. Help us to conquer evil with good. Help us to be joyful in the good priests we have, and pray for those who are not. Help us to rejoice in the injustices and in the chastisements, because You are here with us and we are heirs to Your Kingdom.
“Be mindful of Your creatures Lord, whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood.”
Cover us all with your precious Blood, to wash away our sins; to make us whole and make us all holy.
Sanctify our hearts, O Lord!!!
To hear the sermon on today’s readings, you can watch the live-streamed Mass (just skip forward to the sermon) at :
The readings can be found here: