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Week beginning: Sunday, 18th of April 2021

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From the Heart of Your Loving Shepherd

PEACEFUL BLESSEDNESS OF EASTER AND THE WRETCHEDNESS OF BETRAYAL

Peace promotes peace and always builds harmony, concord, and serenity! On the contrary, intentional thoughts, deeds, and treacherous acts of betrayals not only destroy a relationship but totally ruins and annihilates the one who, plans, foments the process, and executes acts of betrayal. The most evident example of the latter is the life of Judas ISCARIOT, who though lived and moved in the sanctifying, spiritual ambient and company of Jesus was always secretively, totally hand in glove with the satanic forces dubiously! In this week's reflection, I wish to conclude our focus on Judas ISCARIOT the betrayer and the traitor.

The Gospel of John 13:21-27., very clearly describes the persona of Judas ISCARIOT, which is worth considering for our continual reflection this week as well in comprehending the PROFILE OF THE TRAITOR: "Jesus informed his disciples during the Last Supper that one of them will betray him. When they asked who it would be, Jesus said: “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” He then dipped a piece of bread in a dish and handed it to Judas, identified as the “son of Simon Iscariot.” After Judas received the piece of bread, “Satan entered into him.”

The author Sarah PRUITT in her article, "Why Jesus Was Betrayed by Judas Iscariot Once one of Jesus’s most trusted disciples, Judas became the poster child for treachery and cowardice," says: "From the moment he plants a kiss on Jesus of Nazareth in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot sealed his own fate: to be remembered as history’s most famous traitor."

I would like to conclude my reflections of Judas the Betrayer and the Traitor from the following viewpoints of Professor B. URAGUCHI, A.M.., Professor in Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, from his article entitled: PSYCHOLOGY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT." Who says, “Considered by psychological analysis his personality presents a mental condition very similar to the common consciousness of present-day people, and to the sympathetic student of human nature, it contains much that is nourishing to the spiritual life. Some have regarded him as a most inhuman devil. According to their simple logic, as a Chinese proverb says, "The worst form of ingratitude is to betray one's teacher, while it is still worse to betray one's master."

The author continues in the article, “It was at the time of Simon's feast held at Bethany when Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with a valuable ointment of spikenard.” According to this writer, “it was Judas alone who found fault with this act of Mary's as wasteful of ointment. "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor ?" The reason given by the writer for this murmur is "because he was a thief, and having the bag, took away what was put therein." On the other hand, Matthew remarks that the disciples showed indignation at this deed, and Mark says that there were some that murmured against her. These three different accounts given by the three different writers are of important consequence upon the estimate of Judas' character. In short, it is the Fourth Gospel alone that considers the alleged avarice of Judas as the preparatory factor of his act of betrayal. It seems that the writer of this Gospel was a man of the intellectual type who could not leave any problem unsolved and that he had not much direct knowledge of Judas himself.

JUDAS THE CO-OPERATIVE CONSPIRER

It was at the table of the Last Supper that Jesus made for the first time an open announcement of the betrayal. This occurred three days after the curse of the barren fig tree description. As one of the facts recorded in all the four Gospels, no one can doubt the reality of the fact itself. To the disciples, this open announcement was a sort of abrupt revelation, something like a bolt from the blue. There is, however, another question of more vital consequence in our study of Judas Iscariot. That is the question, ‘What motive had he for his resolution?’ Supposing that he conspired with the priests after the Bethany feast, his motive was not at all the mental reaction coming out of dissatisfied avarice, as is popularly supposed.

If Judas' conspiracy with the chief priests was concluded on the Tuesday evening of Passion Week, we find still more data for our inference concerning the real motive of his betrayal. “(...)., Judas Iscariot suffered much from this unsettled state of mind.”

BETRAYAL, TRAITORSHIP and OWNING THE RESPONSIBILITY:

Judas Iscariot recognized his blunder is confirmed by his own confession recorded in Matt. 27:4 that Jesus was righteous. No sooner had he perceived this than he was ready to hold himself fatally responsible for his deed. At the same time, his mind turned to the question of how to dispose of thirty pieces of silver he had received. Here we have to observe, above all, his character as a man of inflexible austerity, whose mind worked quickly and systematically upon the basis side of any question. The subjective side of his aim in the betrayal was more for deliverance from his own mental miseries than for the bribe from the priests. Accidental evidence of this is in the amount of silver offered. “His business-like management of the affair has in it something really admirable, judged by the standard of Japanese Bushido. His suicide was his method of honorably discharging his own responsibilities for the betrayal. But before he took this step he undertook to return the sum to the chief priests and elders. Pitiable were those who could not understand his noble intention but refused to receive the money out of a mean suspicion that he was thus attempting to evade his own responsibility.“

In concluding, I would like to sum up the intentions, deeds, and actions of Judas ISCARIOT the betrayer of the goodness and spiritual nobility of Jesus thus: Every betrayer and betraying attitude and traitor ship springs from the indwelling deep-rooted Bitterness of the heart of the betrayer. What is really interesting is that this 'Bitterness,' can never have it's finality and the purpose for which it was intended as it is very evident in the case of Jesus' resurrection.

(To be continued with the INNOCENT and PENITENT BETRAYAL of PETER)

Your Loving Shepherd Servant,

Fr. Joseph AMAL SDB., Parish Priest

Invite Our Lady to Touch Your Heart

Sunday 2 May 2021,

We have invited the Nuns of the Alliance of the Two Hearts to come to our Parish. They will lead us in the Living Rosary. If you have been before, you will know how beautiful and prayerful it is. If not, come along and allow our Blessed Mother to touch your heart, as we pray the Rosary together in an outdoor setting.

This was an event we planned for last year and now it will happen in May, Our Lady’s month.

Rosary will take place after the 10:00am Mass

Reaching Beyond 2020

People of all trades and professions are being requested by communities abroad seeking to build the capacity of their organisations and the skills of their people. Restrictions this year have made communities’ needs acute, but your assistance will help to develop self-reliance and sustainable solutions to poverty.

Palms Australia will provide you with thorough preparation to ensure your readiness as travel resumes, and support on assignment.

See www.palms.org.au/ and talk to Roger on 0431-995-058, or email

Need For Volunteers
We are in urgent need of volunteers to:
  1. visit and bring Holy Communion to the sick and elderly in the nursing homes.
  2. clean the Parish Centre on a fortnightly basis.
  3. set up the Altar and arrange flowers.

Please see father or let the parish office know if you are able to help.

Thank you.

Stewardship Corner

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God."

1 John 4:15

How strong is your faith?

When you have an opportunity to defend your faith or clarify a question about your faith, do you do it? Or, do you remain silent so that others don’t think you are weird? 

Pray for the courage to be strong in your faith and share your witness with others.

Happy Families Pray Together

"The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on."

- John Paul II, Apostolic Letter on the Rosary of the Virgin Mary

View Rosary Prayer Card
Individual Confession vs. "General Absolution"
The Church hasn't banned the Third Rite which, by the way, consists in the general absolution of a large number of people at once without individual confession.

The rite was first introduced during World War I to allow priests to absolve a large number of soldiers before they went into battle when it would have been impossible to hear all the confessions individually. At the time of the World War II the conditions were extended to other circumstances of imminent danger of death, and finally in 1972 they came to include situations such as those in mission territories where, if the priest did not absolve a large number of people at once, they would have to go for a long time without the grace of the sacraments through no fault of their own.

The norms on what has come to be called "general absolution" were incorporated into the 1983 Code of Canon Law in Canons 961-963 and into the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 1483-1484 (cf. J. Flader, Question Time 1, Connor Court 2012, q. 80).

Up until some 15 years ago the Third Rite was used in many parishes in Australia. Significant numbers of people took advantage of it, partly because they were helped by the readings from Scripture, prayers and often a homily, and because many others were attending as well, emphasising the communal, ecclesial aspect of the sacrament. And since there was no need to confess their sins individually to the priest, they found it much easier than going to individual confession.

Why did it suddenly stop? Perhaps the more apposite question would be why it began in the first place. It is clear that the conditions required for its use simply do not exist in Australia, particularly the condition that if the priest did not absolve a large number of penitents collectively they would have to go for a long period of time without the grace of the sacraments through no fault of their own. While the number of priests has diminished somewhat, we are still well served with priests and parishes so that the sacrament of Reconciliation is readily available all over this country.

By the late 1990s the use of general absolution was fairly widespread, especially in some dioceses. During their five-yearly ad limina visit to Rome in 1998, the Australian bishops discussed this matter, along with others, with Pope [St.] John Paul and Vatican officials. At the end of their visit a long Statement of Conclusions was signed by representatives of the Australian bishops and of the Roman Curia. Among other matters, it encouraged the use of individual confession and, with respect to general absolution, said: "Unfortunately, communal celeb­rations have not infrequently occasioned an illegitimate use of general absolution. This illegitimate use, like other abuses in the administration of the sacrament of Penance, is to be eliminated. The bishops will exercise renewed vigilance on these matters for the future, aware that departures from the authentic tradition do great wrong to the Church and to individual Catholics" (n. 45).

Naturally, while general absolution is not to be used in this country, it still remains an option in countries where the conditions for its use exist.

Those who do take regular advantage of individual confession know how much good it does them. Apart from receiving forgiveness of their sins, they have an opportunity to do a thorough examination of conscience, to tell their sins personally to God through the priest and to receive helpful spiritual direction and encouragement. With the abundant grace the sacrament gives them, they begin their spiritual struggle anew each time, with their soul free from sin and filled with hope.

Pope [St.] John Paul II, in an address to priests at the beginning of Lent in 1981, said that "confession periodically renewed, the so-called confession 'of devotion', has always accompanied the ascent to holiness in the Church." And on 13 March, 1999, he told priests hearing confessions in the patriarchal basilicas of Rome: "It should not be forgotten that the so-called confession of devotion was the school which formed the great saints."

Would that more people made frequent use of this sacrament. Their growth in holiness through it would be a great blessing for themselves, for their families, for the Church and for the whole of society.

Fr John Flader
The Catholic Weekly, www.catholicweekly.com.au
12 May, 2013
Consecration of The House To The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Please speak to Fr. Joseph or the parish office to organize day and time.

Fr Joseph would like to congratulate everyone who had their house consecrated recently.

Consecration Of The Family

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Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary,

I consecrate my entire self to the Most Holy Love of Your Two Hearts. I wish to make reparation for all the sins of the world, including my own. I offer these things for the love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

I will keep my mind on beauty and turn my thoughts from evil things. I will hold my temper and bear the mistakes of others with love and a forgiving heart. I will admit when I am wrong and ask others to forgive me. I will not show off, but remain humble. I will offer up all my sufferings, sicknesses and hurts and seek God’s Will, not my own. I will show appreciation for the kindness and blessings that I receive, and thank God for all things. I will do everything in my life for love of God and I will love others as God has loved me.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the intercession of the Im-maculate Heart of Mary, receive the offering and consecration I now make of myself to You. Keep me faithful until death and bring me one day to the happy home in heaven. I desire to live forever with God the Father and the Most Holy Spirit and You my Lord Jesus, together with Your Most Immaculate Mother.

Amen.

Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
please protect us.

Pope Tells Teens:
Happiness 'Is Not An App'
Happiness is not an app you can download on your mobile phone, Pope Francis told thousands of teenagers on Sunday at a mass to mark a weekend dedicated to youth.

"Freedom is not always about doing what you want. In fact it is the gift of being able to choose the right way," he said in a homily punctuated by regular bursts of applause from the crowd on a packed St Peter's Square.

"Your happiness has no price. It cannot be bought and sold: it is not an application you download on a mobile phone. Even the latest version cannot help you to grow and become free in love."

An estimated 70,000 teenagers were in Rome for a weekend of events to celebrate Francis's Jubilee year dedicated to the theme of mercy.

In a surprise move on Saturday, the 79-year-old pontiff heard confessions from 16 of them and a video message from him was broadcast at a rock and rap concert in the Stadio Olimpico.

One of the teenagers chosen to confess to the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics said she had been trembling as she approached the chair on which the pope was sitting in St Peter's Square.

"But as soon as I sat down I had the feeling of being next to a normal person rather than the pope. Francis is really one of us," Anna Taibi, 15, told La Repubblica newspaper.

The Sicilian teenager said she had been touched by Francis's tenderness as he listened to her confession.

"I expected him to give me a penance ... instead he absolved me and let me go."

The importance of mobile phones to contemporary teenagers was also reflected in Francis's message to the concert.

Clutching an iPhone, he told his audience that living without Jesus was like not having any signal. "Always be sure to go where there is a network: family, parish, school," he said.

www.businessinsider.com/afp-pope-tells-teens-happiness-not-an-app-2016-4?IR=T

God's Mercy Is For All

'Hello friends. I'm actually filming this in my own office; I am doing it now this way, because I cannot film where I am to be on this Sunday of Divine Mercy, the second Sunday of Easter, because I'll be celebrating Mass that day in one of our prisons here, within the city of Melbourne. Over the last few years since I've arrived, I’ve aimed to try and celebrate the sacraments in our prisons every few months or so. But I want to let you know that in fact, all the prisons throughout Victoria are visited by chaplains every week, and it's been going on for many many years. And this is such an important ministry, that there is a way in which we reach out to those who are in prison, who are captive. You know the great parable of the sheep and the goats, and the Lord's says in that parable: "When you fed me, when you clothed me, when you visited me when I was in prison... Then, you will be received into the kingdom of God."

And so, I can't film there but I just wanted to share with you just the importance of that, and invite you to always be in a sense of prayer for those who are in prison. Yes, they're there for a reason, we all recognise that. But these are God's people too — in need of healing, in need of reconciliation, in need of the Lord's body and blood that might give them nourishment and strength through their difficult time.

So I invite you to pray for our prisoners; to support in whatever way you might prison ministry, and to always have a heart for those who are in need, who are captive in one way or another, and in need of freedom.'

https://melbournecatholic.org/news/divine-mercy-sunday-pray-for-those-in-prison

Help for Marriages Under Stress

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown may have caused stress to many marriages. Restore hope for your relationship’s future.

Visit: www.smartloving.org/breakthrough.

Serra International

Serra International - Prayer for Vocations

"Heavenly Father, help us respond to and live out our mission in the Church. Help all your people to know their vocation in life, and assist them to prepare for it.

For your greater glory, and for the service of your people, call many to be Priests and Religious. Give those whom you call the grace to respond generously and to persevere faithfully. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Amen."

For information about Serra or Vocations:

www.scanzspac.org

View / Download Prayer Card (296kB)

Altar Servers
Presently the parish has few altar servers.

Their service and prayerful presence enhances the liturgical celebration.

Fr. Joseph is calling for more children to take up this ministry.

What It Means To Be An Altar Server (Video)

Take Mary Home

As we noticed that our lady statue (Take Mary Home) has been on the bench every couple of weeks in a month. With great thoughts and inputs from various members in the leadership team, considering the weight of the original statue as it is quite heavy to be carried, we would like to make it much easier for our parishioners to take an alternative statue (Our Lady of Fatima) which is much lighter to carry and it also comes in a box where the statue could be handled more safely. We are happy to leave both the statues on the bench behind the divine mercy image. Make yourself comfortable to put your name in the book with your contact details, the tone of the mass which you are planning to take and also which statue as well based on your convenience. I hope and pray that the above arrangement would help the parishioners to take the statue every week so that Our Lady visits every family in our community to intercede for our families and community.

Thanks for your cooperation and understanding.

Rosy Paul

That you may Believe!

Our belief in the teachings and resurrection of Jesus prompts us to be a part of the Christian community.

In turn, our experience of Christian community strengthens our faith.

It was only when Thomas was with the other disciples that he met the risen Christ and came to believe in him. It is a simple truth that faith builds community and community builds faith.

We Need Your Help
We would like to hear from tradies, handymen and technicians in our community who would like to be included in our directory.

We may have odd jobs around the Church and would very much appreciate your help.

Please contact the parish office or get in touch with Fr Joseph.

Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, Readers & Counters

Our parish would like to invite parishioners to become Readers and Extraordinary Ministers for our Masses. These roles are a small but significant way to quietly participate in our parish community and your contribution would be greatly appreciated.

If you are able to assist, please contact Daphne Cheah (9720-3956) or the Parish Office (9801-8411).

Thank you to all who contribute their time and talent in this way.

To Love To The End: Who will make your choices?
is a Melbourne Archdiocese initiative to focus on an area of bioethics where we can positively contribute to building up a civilization of life and love.

The theme, "To Love to the End", deals with issues about dying and caring for our loved ones, the meaning and purpose of suffering and our duty as Christians to show love to every human being to the end.

Please collect a copy of the informative brochure and prayer card on this theme from the tables at the church entrances or you can view/download the brochure and card below.

View Respect Life Prayer Card (359 kB)

Overcoming Despair With Hope
Through Respect Life Sunday the church aims to equip Catholics to better love those around us by providing vital information about the dangers of the new abortion drug, RU486.

Pope Francis provided a beautiful example of how we reach out to women facing an unplanned pregnancy recently, when he took the time to listen to a story of a 35 year old Roman woman, then telephoned her to offer a listening ear, hope, encouragement and practical support for when the baby was born.

Read more when you pick up your copy of the green Respect Life brochure in the foyer, or

Rome Report

Address by Pope Francis before praying the Sunday Angelus, 24 August 2014

Dear brothers and sisters,

This Sunday's Gospel (Mt. 16, 13-20) is the famous passage, which is central in St. Matthew's account. Simon, in the name of the Twelve, professes his faith in Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus calls Simon "blessed" for this faith, recognizing in him a special gift from the Father, and he says to him: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church."

Let us pause for a moment on this point, on the fact that Jesus attributes this new name to Simon: "Peter", who in Jesus' language is pronounced "Kefa", a word that means "rock". In the Bible, this name, this word "rock" is referred to God. Jesus attributes it to Simon not for his quality or for his human merits, but for his genuine and firm faith, which comes from above.

Jesus feels a great joy in His heart, because He recognizes in Simon the hand of the Father, the action of the Holy Spirit. He recognizes that God the Father has given to Simon a "trustworthy" faith, in which He, Jesus, can build his Church, that is, His community. That is, all of us, all of us. Jesus has in mind to give life to "His" Church, a people no longer founded on ancestry but rather on faith, namely a relationship with Himself, a relationship of love and of trust. Our relationship with Jesus builds the Church. And so to start his Church, Jesus needs to find in the disciples a solid faith, "trustworthy." It is this that He must verify at this point of His journey. And that is why He asks the question.

The Lord has in mind the image of constructing, the image of the community as an edifice. That is why, when he hears Simon’s sincere profession of faith, he calls him "rock", the intention of building his Church upon this faith is manifested.

Tweet Others As You Wish To Be Tweeted
Tweet others as you would wish to be tweeted is a scripture based guide to social media for the Church.

It takes the command from Luke's Gospel to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and applies it to social media.

Further information: https:www.catholic.org.au/world-communications-day2015/

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