Seeking Compromise

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6: 37

In Luke 6:37-42 Jesus tells a parable about people judging others with the emphasis on your actions rather than your neighbours when faced with challenging situations where you feel angry and annoyed. So, Jesus is asking us to think carefully about what were my actions in the situation that led to me to being despondent and disappointed.

I often think the immediate reason is usually the reaction of the person or people involved in the situation. The words or actions on both sides might be considered harmful on how we can try to resolve the situation. Therefore, the onus is on the two parties to listen to each other’s points of view to achieve a fruitful outcome.

The next damaging factor to achieving a resolution is both parties holding steadfast to their position. If the other party and I approach the challenge facing us with a fixed mindset then we deny ourselves the opportunity to solve the problem. Thus, we need to be open and engage in dialogue that will present us with possibilities to determine a positive result.

Jesus, however gives us the message in Luke 6:37 to remain level headed and if we feel slighted to forgive that person rather than hold a grudge the next time, we encounter that person. Most importantly, reflect on how we can work through this issue successfully in the future.

My Mum

This Sunday, May 10th, all over Australia we celebrate Mother’s Day. This had me thinking about what kind of influence my Mum had on me. Firstly, she was always welcoming, providing relatives, friends and my own family hospitality without requiring notice. Thus, no need for invitation at our house as visitors were always warmly accepted.

Secondly, my mum from a young age was always there to lay down the foundation for my future by enrolling me in a Catholic School something that resonated with her own faith. She worked hard to provide me with an education that would assist me in my learning, gaining valuable life experiences and developing faith and beliefs that enabled me to form strong relationships with both God and people. It taught me to look beyond the inner bubble of family and friends as the importance of socialising with others ensured my knowledge and experiences would enable me to grow as a person.

Thirdly, my mum and I also shared some of the same interests, predominantly reading, having a perspective of world events and the need for a sense of humour, evident by the tv comedies she watched and stage plays she attended. I consider that it is meaningful for my mother and I to engage in dialogue about our passions as it created more stimulating conversations for both of us.

Finally, my mum has imparted on me pearls of wisdom from which I draw on throughout my life. One that particularly sticks in my mind is “a still tongue is a wise head.” Which to this day I interpret as only giving your opinion when it is relevant and informative, not just idle gossip and ensure you listen to what others have to say. Hence, when I have taken this advice on board it has helped me to make worthwhile and, in some cases, valuable contributions to discussions both privately and professionally.

Therefore, I am extremely grateful to my mum and how she has shaped my life. The significance of being hospitable, educated, sharing your common interests and being engaging and interactive in your dialogue with others has enabled me to build positive relationships with other people and grateful for what I have experienced throughout my life. I thank God for my Mum.

Holy Thursday

Please view below a re-enactment clip of Jesus sharing his bread and wine with his apostles at the Last Supper.

 

 

 

Where  you can view  Holy Week Events

There are a range of ways that we are being invited to join in the liturgical events of Holy Week and Easter in the absence of being able to attend services at Mass centres and in our parishes. Please find below initiatives shared from the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide through both live streaming and the use of Channel 44 on free to air television. Please share these with your school

communities.

 Live streaming and TV broadcast of Masses over Easter

 As indicated in the last RE Communique, Palm Sunday Mass was live streamed from St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral last Sunday. The Cathedral also commenced live streaming of daily Mass from today at 12.10pm. Please let your communities know that these can be viewed live and on demand on the home page of www.adelaide.catholic.org.au. They will also be available via Facebook or YouTube.

The following Easter services will be broadcast on free to air television on Channel 44, a community television station, at the following times:

  • Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
  • Good Friday – Passion of the Lord, 3pm – 4pm
  • Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, 6pm – 7pm
  • Easter Sunday, 9am – 10am

In addition, the Passionist Community at The Monastery, Glen Osmond, has pre-recorded the 2020 Stations of the Cross. This can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/l26jKw-KHwM.

Thinking of Others

As we approach Holy Week, I often contemplate how difficult it might have been for Jesus to carry out God’s will. Ultimately, it is surpassed by realising his death and resurrection were the fulfilment of his mission. Furthermore, what is most compelling to me during Holy Week is that despite what Jesus is going through he is always thinking of others.

In Matthew 26:17-35, Jesus prepares the Passover Meal for his disciples knowing that this will be the last meal he will share with them. There must have been conflicting emotions going through his mind as he sat down to eat knowing one of his disciples, Judas, was going to betray him and another disciple, Peter would deny him three times. Yet he ate, drank and broke bread together with them all. Jesus does not discriminate or judge but still includes them in his final meal. It causes me to reflect on how many times I have excluded others because of a breakdown in my relationships with them.

The story continues, when Jesus was brought before Pilate accused of false charges, he did not defend himself but remained silent. “But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.” Matthew 27:14 Jesus’ eyes were fixed on doing God’s will, not his own personal self-aggrandisement. Thus, it makes me think how often do I lash out when I feel aggrieved instead of maintaining self-control and looking at the bigger picture.

Furthermore, Jesus while nailed to the cross and struggling with pain looks to his followers in the distance. Matthew 27:55 This made me realise how frequently our family and friends are there for me in the most challenging times which I believe extols upon me to show my appreciation and recognise their kindness.

Holy Week concludes with Jesus’ resurrection, John 20:1-31. The fulfilment of the scriptures occurs when Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene. John: 20:15. Jesus’ selfless act of dying on the cross culminates in his glorious resurrection which enables everyone to enter God’s Kingdom and experience eternal life. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30

This inspires me to think how many things am I willing to sacrifice or let go to bring about change to a difficult situation because it is only then that I can see beyond the issue and glimpse with hope into the future. This can only be achieved if I think of others before myself just like Jesus did in his death and resurrection.

Great Expectations

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. In Luke 6:35 Jesus asks us to extend generosity to people without expecting anything in return. So, my first question is what is our motive when we reach out to others?

Firstly, I would like to think my intention is because I see a need and feel I can enhance that person’s life by providing assistance in some way unconditionally. I believe a positive response is all we require from that person as affirmation. Pope Francis expresses it best, “Believe in the existence of the most noble and beautiful truths” and trust that God, through the Holy Spirit, is ushering everything toward the good, toward “Christ’s embrace.”

Secondly, is to be appreciative of what people do for you. How many times do we expect people to carry out certain tasks yet we judge their performance? It is something I need to monitor in my own life as I subconsciously evaluate anything that occurs in my own life from the food, I eat to an episode I watch television. Could I do better probably not, so what gives me the right to appraise others? Pope Francis sums it up perfectly, Enemy No. 1 is not out there somewhere, but inside oneself. “Don’t make room for bitter or dark thoughts.”

In Conclusion I once again draw on Pope Francis’ wisdom, “Hope instead means living in expectation of the concrete encounter with Jesus. And wisdom consists in being able to rejoice in the “little encounters of the life with Jesus.” In other words when we do meet others expectations, we to are having an encounter with Jesus. Surely, that is what gives us hope and erases all expectations.

Being Aware


In Matthew 4:1-11 the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness the devil tries to tempt Jesus three times. Jesus rebukes him I believe because of his awareness in fulfilling his own mission and doing the will of his Father. In other words, he had his eyes on the prize.

Firstly, the devil preys on his Jesus’ hunger, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
To which Jesus replies, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:3-4)
Jesus was aware that the devil was trying to tempt him to satisfy his wants rather than his needs. Thus, refusing to what was going to give him pleasure and preferring to pursue carrying out his Father’s will. I believe I should be content if I have what I need instead of seeking the pleasures in life.

Secondly, the devil continues his temptation of Jesus by taking him to the pinnacle of the Temple and asking him to throw himself down saying God’s angels will save him.
Jesus aware of the devil’s deception remarks ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:7) Hence, the devil is asking Jesus to test God’s power however I believe we do not test God’s power but request it to bring positive consequences. Furthermore, this may empower others to create opportunities for others to be successful.
Finally, the devil attempts again to deceive Jesus by taking him to a high mountain and offering him all the Kingdoms of the World. But Jesus expresses his annoyance with, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” (Matthew 4:10) I would argue Jesus didn’t need the prestige of being materially wealthy his influence on others came through his words and actions which have been inspiring people all across the world for 2020 years. Thus, I need to be aware of Jesus’ influence by living according to his Gospel values rather than the influencers that abound across the globe in the mass media.

Going above and beyond.


Pope Francis believes, “for peace to occur in the world we need to go above and beyond, loving and forgiving others even when it is undeserved. Jesus inserts the power of forgiveness into human relationships. In life, not everything is resolved with justice.”  Thus, Pope Francis is asking us to resolve issues even if it comes at a personal cost. So, the question is what does it mean coming at a personal cost?

I believe the first down payment is swallowing your pride. Instead of getting involved in a power struggle where the resolution is defined by a positive outcome for my own benefit, I attempt to reach a compromise. Thus, a win, win situation for all parties.

My second instalment is time. Sometimes you just have to resolve issues over a longer period. It is better to take a while to sort the problem for all stakeholders then look for a quick fix. Therefore, your time may be diminished for other things you would rather be doing however spending time to achieve a solution may result in long-term benefits in your relationships with others.

My final payment is taking yourself out of your comfort zone. We all have a picture in our heads of how we want a certain situation to go however it never seems to pan out that way. Therefore, you need to be flexible and react in a calm manner otherwise you have no effective input into that situation.

Furthermore, when the conflict is ongoing, I put it in the hands of God inspired by this scripture, Ephesians 3.20

. “God will do abundantly, above and beyond all that you could ask for or think.” He says he is going to go past the reach of our greatest prayers. Then beyond all we could think or envision!”