Our Gospel Challenge this week is to ......
"Pray daily about all things big and small."
All the readings for this week speak of foreigners who have accepted faith in the one God. The gospel tells of a great learning moment for Jesus. He ignores the pleas of the Gentile woman but, ultimately, she forces him to recognise that salvation is available to all people who have faith. This would have been a salient message for those in Matthew’s community who struggled to come to terms with Gentiles entering their community.
Jesus is astounded by her faith and gives her the desire of her heart. Some scholars believe Jesus was testing the woman by not responding to her requests right away. Others say Jesus learned from her that his mission was larger than Israel. This seems strange to those of us who were taught that Jesus had the mind of God from the time Mary first laid him in the straw. But if Jesus is also fully human, he’d have to grow in wisdom and grace, as Luke says Jesus did.
This woman summoned up the courage to tell Jesus how to run his own ministry. The best of the prophets and saints showed this kind of spirit, sparring with God over matters of importance to them. Who knows what could happen if more people prayed with such confidence? Who knows how many of us could wrestle with God like Abraham, Jacob, Hannah, and the Canaanite woman - and win?
What it does teach me is to show some boldness! Resolve to pray for the things that are most important to us - peace in the world, an answer to hunger, safety for friends and family or a vaccine for COVID-19. Pray unceasingly, as Paul says, or sing your prayer, as Augustine recommends. But pray most of all unfailingly. We certainly have a lot to pray for at this time.
On the front page of our Home Learning Site I have placed daily prayers based on the each Sunday's readings. Download the Powerpoint file and share some prayerful time with your family.
Feast of the Assumption - August 15
It seems that the past week in the Church’s calendar has been a festival of the feminine, with the feasts of Mary MacKillop, Clare of Assisi and Mary, Mother of Jesus occurring within one week. I have read that the feast of the Assumption, August 15, is the oldest of all the festivals of Mary and that it was given even greater significance when in 1950, the idea that Mary was bodily taken up into Heaven was “dogmatically and infalliby” defined by Pope Pius XII. We explain the feast day to students as follows: The Assumption is a celebration of God’s love and of Mary’s love for God by saying YES. Mary is the mother of Jesus. God trusted her to be the mother of Jesus and to look after Him as He grew up. In raising Mary to heaven, God shows us how special she was –as a mother and a person who followed Jesus with all her heart. There are people in our lives that remind us of the important role Mary was given by God. One of the people in your life would be your own Mother and the love she shows you everyday.
Up until a few years ago homelessness was something that many of us actually never saw but this has changed dramatically. Even this afternoon I saw a person walking up and down Whitehorse Road looking for somewhere to rest for the night. This year we were hoping to organise, with our Social Justice Team, a 'Sleepout" to raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness. Vinnies Sleepouts give you a glimpse into the realities of homelessness by ‘sleeping rough’ for a night to raise awareness and funds for Vinnies homelessness services. This experience challenges our sense of home and offers unique insights into the complex issues faced by people experiencing homelessness.
Thank you to the members of our school community that 'slept rough' on Friday night. We hope to hear more about your experience and thoughts in the coming weeks.
We can see the need for justice in the world and stop poverty and do something about it by participating in Socktober 2020. We need your help! We invite all parents to register their children as Socktober Stars at the link below so they can be part of it: http://www.socktober.org.au/fundraising/schools/st-johns-primary-school-mitcham
Should you choose, please consider helping your child set a target and fundraise for vulnerable children, to fulfill their basic needs. Once registered, students can ask their friends and families to sponsor them in tackling each week’s activities and kicking goals for kids around the world. Thank you to those that have already registered. Already the St John's Community has raised $176.
St John's Parish Website
Please remember that Fr Dispin is recording his Sunday masses and they are on the parish website. So too are many other resources that may assist you Spiritually during this time of isolation. https://stjohnsmitcham.com.au/