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This was posted by Kieran O'Mahony, OSA of
Biblical Resources


Scripture Summer School 18-22 June

To see the full programme and to reserve your place, click here
Currently, there are ten places left. If you are thinking of it, please get in touch ASAP. The caterers need precise numbers in advance. 

The readings

There is something wonderfully appealing about the parable of the farmer asleep, a parable unique to Mark's Gospel. It speaks to us of grace, the sheer gift of God and of the miracle of new life. Pope Francis reflects on this very topic in his recent letter on holiness, where he writes: 

52. The Church has repeatedly taught that we are justified not by our own works or efforts, but by the grace of the Lord, who always takes the initiative. The Fathers of the Church, even before Saint Augustine, clearly expressed this fundamental belief. Saint John Chrysostom said that God pours into us the very source of all his gifts even before we enter into battle. Saint Basil the Great remarked that the faithful glory in God alone, for “they realize that they lack true justice and are justified only through faith in Christ”.

53. The Second Synod of Orange (AD 529) taught with firm authority that nothing human can demand, merit or buy the gift of divine grace, and that all cooperation with it is a prior gift of that same grace: “Even the desire to be cleansed comes about in us through the outpouring and working of the Holy Spirit”. Subsequently, the Council of Trent (1545-1563), while emphasizing the importance of our cooperation for spiritual growth, reaffirmed that dogmatic teaching: “We are said to be justified gratuitously because nothing that precedes justification, neither faith nor works, merits the grace of justification; for ‘if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise, grace would no longer be grace’ (Rom 11:6)”.


The notes

Full notes (PDF)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (tablet/smartphone)


Some Inspiration

When, in God’s presence, we examine our life’s journey, no areas can be off limits. In all aspects of life we can continue to grow and offer something greater to God, even in those areas we find most difficult. We need, though, to ask the Holy Spirit to liberate us and to expel the fear that makes us ban him from certain parts of our lives. God asks everything of us, yet he also gives everything to us. He does not want to enter our lives to cripple or diminish them, but to bring them to fulfillment. Discernment, then, is not a solipsistic self-analysis or a form of egotistical introspection, but an authentic process of leaving ourselves behind in order to approach the mystery of God, who helps us to carry out the mission to which he has called us, for the good of our brothers and sisters. Pope Francis, Exsultate et gaudete §175. 

If you haven't seen this video clip before, it is very moving. In it, a young boy asks Pope Francis about his father, an atheist, who has died. 


With very best regards to all, 

Kieran O'Mahony, OSA
Biblical Resources

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Prayer

Father of love, hear our prayers. Help us to know Your will and to do it with courage and faith. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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