TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Jesus said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord’, she said, help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir, but even the house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.
The ability to really benefit from and enjoy one’s vocation in every respect (be it as a priest, religious or lay person) does not come without work, commitment and dedication (not to forget kenosis). Touching people’s lives with one’s own requires risk-taking, transparency and honesty; it requires authenticity: being oneself – being the person God has called and chosen; it requires generosity, constant conversion, openness and spiritual renewal!
For the past three decades I have been strongly influenced by the writings of Bernard Lonergan. One of his famous phrases: “Man achieves authenticity in self transcendence” made a deep impact on me and on my pastoral ministry. To allow God’s all-embracing, transformative love to work in and through one, fills us with tremendous joy and satisfaction. Sharing in Christ’s mission to ‘the lost sheep of the House of Israel’ and to those who may feel excluded or barred, is what our lives should be all about.
I thank God for the past five years I have spent with you and for the opportunities he has given me to minister to you. I also thank God for all you do, in your homes, with your families and friends and here in this parish.
I thank YOU for assisting me in my ministry.
Let us constantly acknowledge the great things God can do in us and through us as we pray the words of St Paul:
Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20)
Fr Philip Sainter