November 24

Thursday November 24 – Luke 21:20-28
Opening
Let us place ourselves in the presence of God.
Close your eyes.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Gospel
Luke 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let those within the city escape from it,
and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment
when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword
and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.”

Reflection – Feast of Saint Andrew Dung Lac
andrew-dung-lac
November 24th marks the feast day of Saint Andrew Dung Lac and the 170 martyrs of Vietnam. During the 1800s over 100,000 Christians were put to death under the emperors Minh-Mang (1820-40) and Tu Dúc (1847-83). Emperor Minh was often known as the Nero of Vietnam. Imprisoned bishops, hardly 30 years old, were given a piece of bamboo as crozier (or Bishops staff) and a paper mitre (or hat) in order to demean them, while older priests were put on display in cages to be publicly mocked, although often with the opposite effect. Poor peasants were murdered for refusing to trample on a crucifix. Some of the tortures were quite barbaric and the persecutions have been compared with those of ancient Rome. Saint Andrew Dung Lac was imprisoned several times, but he refused to give up his faith in Jesus. Eventually he was beheaded on 21 December 1839.

It often seems quiet strange from our comfortable and stable culture as to why would a person give up their life for their faith and Christianity? Surely we could renounce our faith at certain times in order to survive the possibility of being put to death by political hatred. St Paul answers this question by placing the idea of faith, as one part of a bigger picture. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul talks about faith, hope and love. Stating that you cannot have faith without love.

The hidden and real dimension of faith emerges when love and hope are active. Today in Syria many millions of people have left the country because of the civil war. Countless hundreds of thousands of people have already died. The Marist Brothers also were asked to leave. They refused. Knowing that if they left the many children that they care for would probably die. They have remained. With bombs dropping. No running water. Little to eat. The Marists stayed because of the love they had for the people. Soon the Marists were not just caring for the children in Aleppo, but many families and Muslims. The love that they have for the people they serve now brings hope in the face of severe devastation. Faith brings new life amongst darkness, because of love.

Today, how can we be an instrument of faith, with love, to bring hope?

Video

Pause for 1 minute to reflect on the Gospel….

Intentions
We bring these intentions to God.
1. We pray that we might be isntruments of faith, hope and love. Lord hear us.
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

2. We pray for those today who face suffering and even death for their faith. God be with these people. Lord Hear us.
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

3. We thank God the hope that Christ brings to us.
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

Leader – Are there any other intentions?
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

Prayer for Peace
Spirit of God,
give us the openness, deep within us
to recognise, daily,
all people as made in your image and likeness.
Help us to learn from one another the ways of being fully alive,
at peace with ourselves and with those around us.

Give us the courage to transform
those parts of ourselves and our world
that separate and create enmity.

Help us to take steps to stop
the cycle of violence
in our homes, in our workplaces,
in our neighbourhoods, in our country,
in our world.

May we be open to our deepest yearning
for a world alive with your justice and truth,
to dream of a society
where all are treated with respect,
and, with the power of your Spirit,
to take steps to bring it about.

Taize – Come Holy Spirit
1. Veni Sancte Spiritus
2. Veni Sancte Spiritus
3. Veni Sancte Spiritus
4. Veni Sancte Spiritus
5. Veni Sancte Spiritus
6. Veni Sancte Spiritus

Source

Saint Andrew Dung-lac and companions

http://maristsolidarity.net.au/newsfeed/entry/letters-from-aleppo-syria-a-country-in-crisis