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33rd Sunday In Ordinary Time – 15 November 2015

Dear sisters and brothers,

I celebrated my 18th anniversary of ordination during this past week. These moments mark a progression, but they are also occasions of reflection. These 18 years have taken me in directions I never dreamed when I was ordained. And like any journey of life, there have been highs and lows, successes and failures. These are all part of the rich texture of life.

Gratefulness is one of the cornerstones of faith. On occasions like anniversaries or birthdays, as people of faith, we are called to recognise the blessings that come to us as gifts from God. Indeed, true gratefulness is the ability to say, “I am grateful for everything – even the not so good stuff!” To recognise everything as ‘gift’ – even the moments that we wish didn’t happen – is to acknowledge that God is ultimately in charge and always working away for our good. As St Paul once wrote, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

One of the great gifts of priesthood for me is the diversity and variety of experiences that have come my way. I enjoy parish life, and walking together with a community of faith. I am also involved with the formation of those studying for ordination at Holy Spirit Seminary, Banyo, and enjoy the opportunity to shape the future priests of Queensland. In addition, I work with Brisbane Catholic Education which has such an important and pivotal role in the mission of the church here in our local diocese. These roles offer me the chance to learn, to stretch myself, to work with many people in a variety of situations, and to offer in service whatever gifts I might have. All this ensures that I am never bored!

So anniversaries of ordination are an opportunity to be grateful, and to stand before God in humility, and ask for God’s continued care and mercy in life. And I am also grateful to this community for your welcome to me in these early weeks. May we all walk together to the future that God has in store for us, taking one small step at time. Markers along the way, like anniversaries, help us realise how far we have come – thanks be to God!

Peace and best wishes for the week ahead,

Fr Anthony

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Jun 15, 2016 33rd Sunday In Ordinary Time – 15 November 2015 Listen Download