THE PARISH OF BAULKHAM HILLS

Click here to go to St Michael's church site.

Email St Michael's at admin@parishofbaulkhamhills.org.au

Phone: +61 2 9639 0598

 

Click here to go to Our Lady Of Lourdes church site.

Email Our Lady of Lourdes at olol@parishofbaulkhamhills.org.au

                                 Phone: +61 2 9639 8385

 

 

       

PARISH UPDATE – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 23

A COVID SAFE PARISH 

 

Dear Parishioners,

Thank you for your continued support of the Parish in these difficult COVID and flu-like times. 

I hope you are continuing to keep well, and while grateful for some nice sunny winter days, remind you that if you are not feeling well to stay at home and watch the Mass via the link below.

Common Home

The parish working group is currently on the process of finalising the two survey forms that will be published shortly. 

MASS LINK

The Mass link for this Saturday for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sat 6pm) and available on YOUTUBE after that  https://youtu.be/9Hz2rz9Eh8s . Please copy the link into browser if it does not immediately work.

 

Mass is live streamed on Saturday evening at 6pm from Our Lady of Lourdes, and available for viewing afterwards via the link. We are also using FACEBOOK links via the Parish of Baulkham Hills FACEBOOK page. Thank you to Jim and Brian for your help with this every week

FOR THE DECEASED

Please remember those for whom prayers have been requested, especially for:

Recently deceased:   Moira Devine, James Fillery


Anniversaries: Mario Serracino-Inglott, Richard Cassin,
Lawrence Boffa,

  

SUPPORT DONATIONS

We really appreciate your continued support.  To assist with the proper recording for the second collection, please include your envelope number if you have one.

 

For EFT to the First Collection - supporting the priests

               BSB                                  067 950

               Account No                    000004265

               Account Name              Diocesan Clergy

               Reference                       6001 your name

 

For EFT to the second (envelope and loose) Collection – for support of the Parish,

               BSB                                  067 950

               Account No                    000000214

               Account Name              St Michael’s Baulkham Hills

               Reference                       Envelope Number or Your Name

 

If you wish to pay by credit card, please use this link https://www.bpoint.com.au/pay/stmichaelsparishbaulkhamhills

Parish Secretary Day – Office Closed
OLOL Parish Office will be closed this Wednesday, 28th
September, as the Diocese of Parramatta will be
holding an Expo Day for all staff. In need, contact St
Michael’s on 9639 0598 and a friendly priest will
answer your call.

 

Today’s gospel parable of the rich man and Lazarus requires little by way of explanation
and analysis. While its principal message is clear: that every follower of Jesus has a
responsibility to care for our needy sisters and brothers, it leaves us in no doubt that
this responsibility is not a take it or leave it option. Care for the poor and needy is a
Gospel imperative, for some, an uncomfortable and challenging one, but one to be
embraced as an essential expression of our humanity and Christian discipleship.
In exploring this parable of the rich man and Lazarus, I suggest it is worth noting what is
said and what is not said. For instance, there is nothing to suggest that the rich man was
evil or that he became rich through exploitation or extortion. Nor is there any hint of his
belittling or abusing Lazarus. Moreover, the parable does not have the simplicity of a
morality play in which a good person is vindicated and receives the reward of justice,
and a bad person gets the punishment he deserves. It is more like a Shakespearean
tragedy, in which the character flaws of a rich man lead to action (or inaction) that has
consequences.
The rich mas was so caught up in self that he just didn’t notice Lazarus. There is not even
a hint that the rich man knew the slightest thing about mercy and compassion, thus
resulting in his inability to empathise with Lazarus, even if Lazarus’ presence at his gate
caught his attention. Moreover, when the rich man ends up in Hades, he doesn’t grasp
the consequences of how he has lived. He asks for mercy rather than for forgiveness for
what he has failed to do. He asks for water, but not for life. To give him some credit,
however, we must acknowledge that he cares about his family. He seems to realise that
they are as insensitive as he has been, so he asks that they be given a wake-up call from
Lazarus, visiting them from the after-life.
The power, of course, of this parable, like the power of every good tragedy, is that it
impacts on us, challenging us to look at ourselves and our ability and willingness (or our
inability and unwillingness) to hear the promptings of God’s Spirit at work in our own
lives.
The prophets of the First Testament, followed by John the Baptist and then by Jesus
himself, called us all to a change of mind and heart, to conversion. The first step in the
journey towards conversion of mind and heart is to notice. The genius of this parable is
that we are pushed to look at a poor man who has a name. We are further compelled to
look at Lazarus because of the graphic description of the state of his body, which is
covered in sores that he cannot prevent the dogs from licking. He is not just an
anonymous member of a mass we call the poor. The description given of him reminds
me of a picture displayed by media across the world exactly seven years ago. It was of
the lifeless body of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a beach in the Turkish
tourist resort of Bodrum. His name was Aylan Kurdi. With his five-year-old brother and
parents and twenty other refugees he was heading for the Greek island of Kos which
offered safety. Their boat sank and Aylan and his brother both drowned. These two
youngsters were the sons of heart-broken parents. Lazarus and these two little boys
force us to move from thinking of poor people as an issue to seeing them as persons.
They are not just statistical casualties. The poor and destitute are our sisters and
brothers who offer us a way to conversion of mind and heart.
It is all too easy for us to focus on the issues of homelessness, destitution and refugees
without encountering real people whom we classify as belonging to those categories.
Today’s parable invites us to actually see these people in and through the man who is
identified as Lazarus. In his Gospel, Matthew reminds us that, when we see the
Lazaruses and the Aylam Kurdis of our world, we see and encounter Jesus (See Matthew
Ch. 25) To put it another way, through this parable Jesus is nudging us to face our own
vulnerability and to take the risk of relating to, and engaging with, the people who beg
on the corners of our city streets, the newly-arrived refugees from Afghanistan and Syria
and the Sudan; and to share with them something of our possessions, our time, our
skills, the benefits of our education and whatever else we have to offer.
We can take consolation from the fact that we are not caught in the kind of fixed
situation to which the rich man was confined when he died. While we credit him for
pleading with father Abraham to send Lazarus to bring his five brothers to their senses,
we need to listen to father Abraham’s answer: “If they don’t listen to Moses and the
prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead.” That
response is arguably the kernel of this parable as far as we are concerned. We are still
alive in our world, able to hear the voice of God in Moses and the prophets and to
encounter the risen Jesus, very much alive in the people we encounter every day, and
in his message embodied in the pages of the Gospels. Both Amos in today’s first reading
and Jesus in the gospel-reading are inviting us to reach out in love to others by sharing
our possessions and our gifts and skills. They are inviting us to do the right thing with all
we are and have simply because it is the right thing to do.