Rachel Weeping

A guest post by Don the Kiwi, who is a Deacon in New Zealand, from a homily he gave on Monday:

 

 

Our first reading today speaks of new life -” Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons,” – I must add that daughters are included. But He also adds, “ even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials. “
Our gospel speaks of those things which keep us from giving all that we have so that we will have treasure in Heaven . Sadly for most of us, even though, as the rich young man says, “ Master, we have kept all these commandments from our earliest days” -we will nevertheless fall short of that total giving that Jesus asked of the young man , and will depend on God’s mercy and forgiveness with our full repentance, for us to gain His promise.
Hearing these readings, it brings to mind the people of Ireland who have voted in a referendum to repeal a law which severely restricted abortion. We will now see Ireland, for many centuries a guardian of Faith and protector of Life, descend into the abyss that the rest of Western Society has sunk into – that of killing our most innocent and most vulnerable children in the womb – the ultimate in child abuse.
I can’t help recalling the prophecy of Jeremiah – “ A voice was heard in Rama, of great lamentation and bitter weeping. It is Rachel weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted, because they are no more”. This prophecy is repeated by Matthew in his gospel when he reports on the slaughter of the Holy Innocents when Herod, for his own selfish purpose, was determined to kill the new born Jesus. This is one of the things that Peter speaks of in his letter today when he says we will be plagued by all sorts of trials – where that new life promised by God will be stamped out by men of Herod’s kind.
How easily does this make us think of the rich young man in the gospel, who cannot give up his wealth, because he will be deprived of what he is comfortable in. Likewise, we as a society – Ireland is but the latest country in the Western world – we are prepared to accept all kinds of abominations to protect our own comforts and lifestyles and free us from the consequences of our own actions and decisions.
The great G.K.Chesterton made a rhyme -“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.” For the Irish, this is a war that will not be merry, and in their history of repression and persecution of the past several centuries, the Irish are known for their sad laments expressed in song.
I am prompted to re-phrase the prophecy of Jeremiah – “ A voice was heard in Erin, of great lametation and weeping – It was Brigit – and Patrick and Columba – weeping for their children; they refuse to be comforted, for they were no more.” But Ireland is not alone in this – just the latest to fall in this war against Life and the unborn.
Our God is the architect of all life. These laws and actions against life are against God, and cannot ultimately last. Let us pray to the Lord of Life that these heinous laws throughout the world will eventually be repealed so that the unborn may enjoy the promise of a fulfilled life in accordance with the Will of God.

9

Of Kiwis and Chickens

 

Hattip to my bride.

This is not an April Fool’s story:

 

 

New Zealand Post has announced its couriers will home-deliver KFC fast food, in a trial that could provide a recipe for success as letter volumes continue to dwindle.

Under a pilot scheme that started this week in the North Island town of Tauranga, KFC customers can order online and have their food delivered by NZ Post drivers.

KFC operator Restaurant Brands NZ said that while it knew how to produce food, it had no experience in logistics, making the postal service a natural fit.

“NZ Post has an extensive delivery distribution network around New Zealand, and KFC is available in most towns nationwide,” chief executive Ian Letele said.

“With the support of NZ Post, we hope to service the home delivery needs of many more KFC customers throughout New Zealand.”

 

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9

Don the Kiwi on the Hard Sayings

christ-and-the-rich-young-ruler

 

Long time commenter Don the Kiwi is a Deacon, and in line with my Hard Sayings post, here,  has sent me a homily he recently preached.  I only wish I had been present to hear him deliver it!

 

 

Life is very much about CHOICES, and the decisions that stem from them.  Should I buy a good second hand car, or a new one?   Should we send our son to university to gain a degree, or should  he take up a trade?  Should we go to a movie, or watch TV?  Should we take the kids to McDonalds  or Burger King?  The choices we make  affect our livelihoods, our lifestyles, our entertainment  and how we fill our bellies – some  decisions  are important, and some  quite trivial.  The choices we have and the decisions we make, can have positive or negative consequences in our lives. Some decisions are right, and unfortunately, some are wrong. And we can be sure that the choices we make also affect our prospects of eternal life.

Over recent weeks the gospels have been giving us warnings. In today’s gospel, Jesus is asked, ” Will there be only a few saved?” Jesus shifts the focus with a metaphor  – “Try your best to enter by the narrow gate, because I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.” He is suggesting HOW we can be saved, rather than how MANY will be saved. Gates separate those on the inside from those on the outside, and this suggests that we need some qualification to get through that gate. The gate is narrow – so we can’t bring all  our baggage with us because there is insufficient width. We would need something to  identify us  to ensure that we qualify- an invitation or a ticket. We would need to know the person inside to be able to get in, and we would have to follow certain rules and fulfil certain obligations to be allowed in.

Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” The narrow gate is the Way – Jesus. The baggage we carry  is our sins, our wrong ideas, our poor choices and bad decisions, which we must leave behind if we wish to enter through the gate. Our identifying mark – our invitation – is our Baptism, which allows us to participate in the life of God; and we need to know Jesus, the person inside the door. But if we don’t follow the rules and fulfil our obligations, we will not gain entry. Continue Reading