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22 Sunday in Ordinary Time – 28.08.2016

Dear sisters and brothers,

Today we gather for the parish Family Fun Day. I’m not sure if this is what Jesus had in mind when he said, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.” Whatever the make-up of our parish family, we gather as one today.

Any parish can fragment into particular Mass times. Leaving aside our regular Mass times, we are attempting to say more today then simply “let’s have some fun”. I hope everyone has fun today, but beyond that, I also hope we catch a glimpse of the deep bond that we share as friends on the path of discipleship. We are not merely individuals or small circles of friends or acquaintances; collectively, we are so much more than this. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews expresses this relationship simply and eloquently today: God has placed us within “the spirits of the saints”. That is, we are part of a larger story than we can see. By gathering together with people that we know, or with whose faces are familiar but we may not know their name, or with people we have never seen before, we are prompted to realise that there is always more going on than meets the eye. Today, take the opportunity to say “hello” to someone you have never spoken to before. Expand “the spirits of the saints” by offering a smile or an “hello” to someone unfamiliar to you. If we let God do the rest, we will realise that we are all connected in ways beyond our wildest imaginations.

On behalf of the parish community, I would like to thank all those who have been part of the planning for today. The idea for today’s extravaganza emerged from our parish planning day held earlier in the year. The pastoral council established a sub-group and this group has worked hard to put today’s festival together. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Eileen Duncan and Erin Bledsoe from the pastoral council, and their sub-committee of Ainsley Crutcher, Mariana East, Delia Ambroselli-Domanti who is providing the sweets. Also, I would like to acknowledge the support of Carol Sayers and the St. Agatha’s school community for their partnership in bringing together today’s celebration. Finally, the parish staff always makes a significant contribution to the organisation of events such as this, and I wish to acknowledge the efforts of our parish staff, Rosemary Greer and Jane Cameron.

Thank you for your participation. A parish family fun day is not possible without the presence of our parish family. Enjoy.

Fr. Anthony

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Sep 2, 2016 22 Sunday in Ordinary Time – 28.08.2016 Listen Download