Wednesday, 13 June 2018 16:49





11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

June 17, 2018

Suggested formula for recognition of indigenous people and their land.

(Any of these can also be recited by all in the congregation)

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we stand

We pay our respects to them for their care of the land

May we walk gently and respectfully upon the land

that was never given away.


I acknowledge the living culture of the ……..people,

the traditional custodians of the land we stand on,

and pay tribute to the unique role they play in the life of this region.


We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land where we are now gathered,

(the ……)  and recognise that it continues to be sacred to them.

We hail them: as guardians of the earth and of all things that grow and breed in the soil; as trustees of the waters – [the seas, the streams and rivers, the ponds and the lakes] - and the rich variety of life in those waters.

We thank them for passing this heritage to every people since the Dreamtime.

We acknowledge the wrongs done to them by newcomers to this land and we seek to be partners with them in righting these wrongs and in living together in peace and harmony.


We acknowledge the …………………….people the first inhabitants of this land.

We honour them for their care of the land

on which we gather today, and with them,

and as we pray for justice and their constitutional recognition

may we also be mindful that the land has never been given away.



Reading 1 Ez 17:22–24

Responsorial Psalm Ps 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16;

Reading 2 2 Cor 5:6-10

Gospel Mk 4:26-34

Penitential Rite

Christ Jesus, you provide each of us space to grow in our faith: Jesus, have mercy.

Christ Jesus, you give your Church opportunities to grow in unity and a spirit of service: Christ, have mercy.

Christ Jesus, you give our world the time to grow in peace with justice: Jesus, have mercy.

Opening Prayer

O God, patient One,

may we learn to accept

that all true growth comes from you

and that we can only plant the seed,

and you make it bloom into a mighty tree

that lets us give shelter to all.

May we not try to impose

your truth and justice and peace

on a Church and a world

not yet disposed to welcome them.


O God,

at whose bidding the seed will spout

and the shoot grow to full stature,

hear the prayer of your gathered people.

Make us trust in your hidden ways,

that we may pray with confidence

and wait upon the reign now growing in our midst.

General Intercessions

Introduction: The tiny seed needs time to become a plant and it is God who give it the power to grow. Let us pray to God and say: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      For Pope Francis, and those who exercise leadership and ministry in the church that they may lead God people in the way of peace with justice and a deep compassion for all that expresses the love in the heart of God, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That asylum seekers, migrants and refugees will find a welcome befitting their dignity as human beings as they seek a safe place to rebuild their lives, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That migrants, refugees, international students and foreign workers may be afforded respect and dignity and justice in this land, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That political leaders, legislators and public servants may enhance laws that promote a true welcome and protection for refugee and migrant people , let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That those who have died in the attempt to seek safety and protection in this country, as well as those who come to this country as seasonal workers and who have been denied the protection of fair wages and conditions and also died may have justice and live in the loving presence of God, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That the tiny spark of faith in the hearts of all may lead towards embracing people, particularly those who are most disadvantaged, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That the timid seed of peace may grow again into a flourishing effort of dialogue and understanding, that our world may see the end of wars, terrorism and civil strife, especially on the Korean peninsula as well as the Middle East, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That the seeds of hope may be sown among all people who are discouraged as they seek work and a living and just wage, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That educators in may implant into the hearts of young people the seeds of generosity and service, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

*      That all who are gathering in this congregation may continue to sow the seeds of the Good News despite indifference and hostility, let us pray: R/.May the reign of God finally come.

Concluding Prayer: Ever-loving and faithful God, hear our prayer so that our hearts may be there for one another as we work to build a world of compassion, justice and peace.

Prayer over the Gifts

O God,

we bring before you our gifts

that have grown from tiny seeds.

By the power of your Spirit

they will become Jesus present among us.

Let the seed of his life and message

bear fruit among us,

and make us the body of Christ to the world.


Prayer after Communion

O God,

you have sown among us in this Eucharist

the seed of all that is good and true,

Jesus your Son.

Give us the hope and the courage

that we can be one in a community

where justice, truth, and freedom will prevail.

This Week

June 16 International Day of the African Child

June 17 National Refugee Week begins Sunday 14th June to Saturday 23rd June

#WithRefugees is the 2018 theme for Refugee Week 2018 in Australia. More than ever a global movement is needed to demand the safety and rights of refugees are protected. It is the responsibility of our Government, and each one of us to ensure people forced to flee from their homes can live with dignity and with hope. A ‘Refugee’ is a person; boy, girl, woman or man. Not a label, but a human being with a beating heart. The refugee experience can be prolonged or it can be fleeting. Today there are more refugees than ever, and only by standing together #WithRefugees can we begin to change this.

We have the opportunity this week to recognise and better understand the courage and contribution of refugees. Hearing their stories reminds us that these powerful people are defined by so much more than their past. People who today are making many valuable contributions to Australian society and who show immense courage and resilience.

When history looks back will it be to see them standing alone or will it see we were standing #WithRefugees’.


Refugee Council

Australian Catholic Migration and Refugee Office resources (August)

June 17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Further Resources

May the God of Surprises delight you, inviting you to accept gifts not yet imagined.

May the God of Transformation call you, opening you to continual renewal.

May the God of Justice confront you, daring you to see the world through God’s eyes.

May the God of Abundance affirm you, nudging you towards deeper trust.

May the God of Embrace hold you, encircling you in the hearth of God’s home.

May the God of Hopefulness bless you, encouraging you with the fruits of faith.

May the God of Welcoming invite you, drawing you nearer to the fullness of God’s expression in you.

May God Who is Present be with you, awakening you to God in all things, all people, and all moments.

May God be with you.



To be the heart of God in our world

Blessed are you peacemakers,

who say no to war as a means to peace.

Blessed are you peacemakers,

who are committed to disarm weapons of mass destruction.

Blessed are you peacemakers,

who wage peace at heroic personal cost.

Blessed are you peacemakers,

who challenge and confront judges, courts & prisons.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who help those who are hurting.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who befriend perfect strangers.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who open doors for acting justly,

loving tenderly and walking humbly with God

and all people of good will.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who welcome, encourage and inspire.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who offer hope and healing.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who care and comfort.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who help find answers.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who provide stability not insanity.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who help restore faith and love.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who delight in creation, art & creativity.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who see the good in others.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who never give up.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

who give and give and give.

Fr. Paul Milanowski Grand Rapids, Michigan


Secret of the Seed by Jan Richardson

Blessing that Holds a Nest in Its Branches

The emptiness
that you have been holding
for such a long season now

that ache in your chest
that goes with you
night and day
in your sleeping,
your rising:

think of this
not as a mere hollow,
the void left from
the life that has leached out
of you.

Think of it like this:
as the space being prepared
for the seed.
Think of it
as your earth that dreams
of the branches
the seed contains,
and of the nest
the branches will hold.


Our Small Difference

by John Laar Sacredise January 16, 2015

We may not be able to confront queens,

or challenge presidents;

We may not have the capacity to divert resources,

or uplift communities;

We may not have the voice to silence the noise of war,

or the words to negotiate peace between armies;

But, as we follow you, O Christ, we are able to do something.

And so, we pray that you would inspire us

to commit to and act on

the small difference we can make:

May we bring peace

through small acts of gentleness

and reconciliation;

May we bring wealth

through small contributions

and collaborations;

May we bring safety

through small acts of consideration

and acceptance;

May we bring wholeness

through small acts of care

and service.

And in the small ways, O God,

may our small difference make a big contribution

to your saving work in our world.


Patient Trust (Prayer of Teilhard de Chardin)

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

The Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing.

Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 2

Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way.

Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 49

People say, ‘What good can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time. We can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fishes.

Dorothy Day, Loaves and Fishes

‘The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?’

Dorothy Day

‘Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.’

Dorothy Day

‘I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.’

Dorothy Day

‘What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute--the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.’

Dorothy Day

‘Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed.’

Dorothy Day

‘The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.’

Dorothy Day

Whoever is on a journey towards God goes from one beginning to another beginning. Will you be among those who dare to tell themselves: ‘Begin again! Leave discouragement behind! Let your soul live!’

Brother Roger of Taize

O God,

Help us to hear the word and put it into practice.
Let us hear again the challenge of the great prophets.
Let us do what is right and love with enthusiasm.

Sophia – Wisdom: Help us to hear the word and put it into practice.
Help us to discern the way of peace.
Help us to discern the way of right action.

God of heaven and earth: Help us to hear the word and put it into practice.
Let us hear again the stories of our ancestors in faith.
Let us create new stories today – stories of faith in action.

God of peace and justice: Help us to hear the word and put it into practice.
Help us to listen to the world and the cries of those in need.
Help us to respond in solidarity with all those in need.

Holy Spirit: Help us to hear the word and put it into practice.
Fill us with an enthusiasm and joy for what is right and good.
Fill us with virtue that we might do what is good for all.

Dear God,

make us unexpected agents of change

for the world around us.

Remind us that faith is not

remaining content with the way things are,

but catching your vision of the way things can be.

Give us courage in the present.

Empower us to speak

when the odds appear against us.

And grant that we may see

the surprising results that can come about

when unexpected people bring about

unexpected transformation.


The Seed

Adapted from author: Novoneel Chakraborty

Once upon a time, there was a seed and because it was only a seed, nobody noticed it. Thus, the seed had a sense of inferiority, and gave no importance to its existence. Then one day, a wind picked him up and threw him mercilessly on an open field under the sweltering sun. He was confused. Why would the wind do such a thing? But instead of any logical answers, he was provided with rain (in addition to sunlight); sometimes in drizzles and sometimes in torrents. Meanwhile time flew by and years later he saw a traveler sitting by his side. ‘Thank you God for this. I really needed some rest,’ he heard the traveler say. ‘What are you talking about?’ The seed promptly asked. He thought the man was making fun of him. Sure, he had witnessed many people sitting by his side - more so in recent years - but no one ever spoke to him like that. ‘Who is speaking?’ The man was said.

‘It is me. The seed.’ ‘The seed?’ The man looked at the giant tree. ‘Are you kidding me? You are no seed. You are a tree. A goliath of a tree!’ ‘Really?’ ‘Yes! Why else do you think people come here?’ ‘What do they come here for anyway?’ ‘To feel your shade! Don't tell me you didn't know you had grown over time.’ A moment passed before the traveler's words struck the chord of realization with him. The seed, now a Redwood tree, thought and smiled for the first time in his life. The years of relentless tortures by the sun and the rain finally made sense to him. ‘Oh! That means I'm not a tiny- flimsy seed anymore! I wasn't destined to die unnoticed but was actually born to be of service to others. Wow! Now that's a life worth living, I am important, I have a value!’

In Jeremiah 1:5 we read, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you,’ Isn’t that beautiful, before you were formed in the womb, God had a plan for your life. Before you were born, God loved you and gave your life purpose. Troubles have come into your life, they weren’t accidents, God needed to teach you something so he gave you specific problems to overcome and they would help you to grow in faith and maturity. When you were immature you only thought about yourself. As you matured you began to think about others. You went from the small seed, one among many, in a barren field of the secular world and the Holy Spirit picked you up and blew you into a field of faith, your church. There you became the giant Redwood God had planned you to be. Through your deeply imbedded roots in the church you absorbed the word and doctrine you needed to have in order to grow in the fertile field of the Church.

You now radiate God’s love and the fulfillment of his purpose to yourself and others. You have now become the giant Redwood who took in the word of God through your roots and that nourishing has made you a large tree, a more committed Christian who lives in a forest of believers. The world may have viewed you as just one insignificant seed but God never viewed you that way. You see you didn’t know what purpose he had in mind for you. You see He needed to gradually teach you some lessons. Some were painful, some joyful but each one was in God’s purpose for your life. Maybe you’re still searching for that purpose but rest assured, If God had a plan for a mustard seed, how much greater is God’s plan for you?

Reflection on the readings

It seems that Ezekiel and Jesus are looking at low expectations. The prophets admitted that very few people listened to them and even fewer were prepared to change their lives. It is clear that God is not into ‘numbers’ as God seems content to work with a few courageous people. God does not lose sleep over the many who do not take that step. God in the words of Ezekiel says, ‘I (Yahweh) will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it.’ This small shoot (small group of people) will grow into a faith - the old tree could never produce. The only hope for meaningful change demands the destruction of old institutions and the opportunity to start from scratch. But to achieve the future God intended for them the people had to be willing to start small. Some people, if not many, must have thought that Jesus was wasting his time preaching to people when many who heard him would not remember anything he said. Some might recall a few things. But, one or two people would change their behavior. This might not justify the effort involved. However, if one accept the apparent wasteful of farmers or gardeners, then we must accept the wasteful preaching of Jesus.

Fr. Karl Rahner bemoaned the fate of those parts of the world where Christians are in the majority. Wherever Christianity becomes socially acceptable, it can lose the ability to bring about the changes Jesus intended his followers to implant in the world around them. And those who commit to carrying on Jesus’ ministry can be regarded as ‘radicals’ even by fellow Christians.

The imperceptible growth of the seed in today’s gospel reminds of the time when I worked as a psychologist. I had the belief then that whatever is fast does not last. Growth was slow, tedious, long, often painful yet very real.  It sometimes took months and years though some people expected a ‘fix’ in very short frames. This was not the kind of work for anyone expecting quick results.  But the incremental changes in people was worth waiting for as people came to accept themselves, value their strengths, humbly accept their weaknesses, but at the heart of it – their dignity and beauty. This often enabled them to be open to greater service of others. The ‘seed’ would become ‘productive’ once what is hidden has been disclosed, once what is secret has been revealed. This was evident as people who embraced themselves became witnesses to others, allowing God’s presence to be revealed through their agency. As these people often saw very little change, the gospel tells how God works through unexpected means for unexpected results. And the point of the gospel is that building God’s reign, doing life differently with others in solidarity comes through the agency of ordinary people.

For Paul, life in Christ represents a new creation whose goal is the reconciliation of all humanity to God. This is the beginning of our justice and peace work. All the readings exhibit the unexpected and dramatic nature of God’s activity. God’s reign comes through agents of change, ordinary people, that (outwardly at least) appear inconsistent with the surprising outcome. We have seen people who may appear as the mustard seed (something seemingly incapable of producing great results), who by their presence, despite who they are, bring about God’s reign.  

This year, the assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero will be canonised along with Pope Paul Vl. It is important for us to recover a fundamental truth by asking a question. Is it our duty to evangelise and be holy or is it our duty to work for a better world by opposing exploitation and injustice. Often the work of justice has been considered as optional – not for everyone but the preference of a few people. This view is not tenable.

Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio or ‘On the progress of peoples’ in 1967 pointed out the discernible convergence between evangelisation and work for justice. The recognition of Oscar Romero as a martyr brings these two together – evangelisation and justice go hand in hand. These two trajectories have finally merged in the church. The recognition that Romero was killed out of hatred for social justice means that he was also killed out of hatred for the faith. This has and still makes many conservative people in the church, including leaders, uncomfortable. There appears to be a misreading of the gospel. It was okay to recognise Romero for his holy life but did not want his ministry for the poor and challenging human rights abuses to be seen as a vindication of the central truth of liberation theology: that Christians, the Church, cannot avert their eyes or be silent before the struggle for justice. A choice must be made where we stand, sit and who we sit with.