If you are looking at a particular sermon and it is removed it is because it has been updated.

For example Year C 2010 is being replaced week by week with Year C 2013, and so on.

Friday, 25 October 2013

30th Sunday of Year C

30th. Sunday Year (C)

(Sirach 35:12-14, 16-19; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14)

Human pride -- a somewhat ludicrous overflow from the primordial hubris of Satan -- was at the root of the sin of Adam and Eve.  I say a somewhat ludicrous imitation or version of that original catastrophe, because, following its lead, Adam and Eve:
           Started to build and could not finish the task!
With an overweening self-esteem and outrageous desire for self-exaltation, they gave credence to the supreme Liar, by trying to grasp for themselves likeness to God, at the instigation of his promise to Eve, “you will be like God, knowing good and evil”.
Those were indeed devilish words for they evoked in Eve what she could not personally cope with; therefore she spoke with Adam who, like his wife, also found himself unable to appreciate what was happening to them both: they found themselves desiring what they could not believe God would ever give them and mistrusting His will to understand them in their temptation and trial.  The beauty of God attracted them but they could not conceive the measure of His goodness, because of the disorder they were already experiencing in their hearts after having listened to Satan’s proposal so very alien to their native being (they knew it, they had sensed it!) and yet so attractive to their pride.   And so, yielding to that fatal attraction, they allowed themselves to be seduced by Satan, who thus become their chosen lord and master.  
Therefore, the wisdom and majesty of God would once again have to confront fallen Lucifer, hiding now behind a hostage-taken mankind!
And God would also need to find and rescue mankind anew by showing His wondrous beauty and infinite goodness in human form this time: Son of God become Son of Man -- an Infant born of a virgin – where divine Goodness is most attractive to men.  And there it was too that He would defeat and destroy Satan, through the virtue of humility and the practice of obedience, where His divine Power would be made unrecognizable for Satan’s hubris.
We can say, therefore, that lack of trust in God is ultimately a manifestation of inordinate ego-centrism: either that which is directed outwards in aggressive self-assertion and which we generally call human pride, or that which is turned inwards in perpetual solicitude for, and anxiety about, self.  It  highlights a fault-line in human nature as we have received it from Adam and Eve: men and women of all ages and all climes – be they important or non-entities, strong or weak, knowledgeable or ignorant, rich and successful or apparently poor and worthless – are subject to it and can be tempted and even led astray by it to such a degree of pride and self-love which would make them either intolerably superior and disdainful with regard to others, or else cripplingly anxious for themselves, fearful and hesitant in all things: thus alienating them from God and frustrating harmony with their fellow humans.
Our heavenly Father is infinite in holiness, power and goodness, and He wants to give us a share in His own eternal life, joy, and glory.  To achieve that He has willed to give His own Son to us, for us, the Son through Whom He also endows us with His Holy Spirit to work within and with us, so that we might indeed come to gradually experience and appreciate a little something of the glorious  destiny He has prepared for us.   Before such sublime wisdom -- shot through with divine goodness and compassion -- human self-love is clearly shown in the horror of its sinfulness: for our arrogant pride will not readily admit or humbly accept God as supreme Lord, whilst our anxiety and fearfulness cannot believe in, and will not trust, His infinite goodness as our loving Father.
Let us now see how the Pharisee prayed to so wonderful a God and Father:
God, I thank You that I am not like other men -- extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.
Notice that he addresses God first and then puts Him aside as a sort of bystander, whilst he concentrates his whole attention on himself and on his feelings for others, especially for the tax collector nearby.  He is not praying to God so much as proudly detailing his own personal performance and public awareness and appreciation.  In fact he is not praying to God personally at all, he is speaking to, addressing, Him as an important Pharisee; and the few words he directs to Him are merely rhetorical and conventional, the ‘politically correct’ language of a man of God such as he believes himself to be; and after having fulfilled his religious obligation with those few words ‘God I thank you’, he becomes as all men are, though, indeed, far prouder than most, especially with regard to the humble tax-collector nearby.
Our Pharisee is not even truly thanking God for enabling and guiding him to ‘fast twice a week’ and ‘give tithes of all he possesses’, for that would, indeed, have led him to understand somewhat better, and perhaps even feel a measure of compassion for, the tax-collector and all ‘such people’.   As it was, his words to God were nothing more than ritualistic assertion of his professional commitment and success; whereas his personal commitment is shown most clearly in his vehemence against society as a whole, and against the tax-collector individually who happened to be praying so disgustingly close to him in the Temple of God!
Notice how Jesus describes such prayer when He says:
          The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself.
On the other hand, however, Jesus contrasts the tax-collector’s prayer with that of the Pharisee by not only mentioning, but even gently emphasizing, his humility before God:
The tax-collector would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed…
before finally, and most approvingly, revealing  his words  of self-accusation:
          God, be merciful to me a sinner!
There God is supremely important, being recognized as all-holy and most merciful; as for the tax-collector himself, he is just a sinner, humbly acknowledging the fact.  Only two persons are pictured there and the prayer is a truly personal bond of union between them.
Centuries earlier, the Psalmist (Ps. 91:14) had written words perfectly applicable to the tax-collector’s prayer:
I will set him on high, because he has known my Name (known Who I am -- the all-holy God – and what I am -- infinitely merciful).
That was lovingly confirmed by Jesus, Who alone knew His Father in the true splendour of His glory and fullness of His goodness, when He went on to say:
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.
As for the Pharisee whose pride allowed him little more than notional appreciation of God, Jesus could add:
Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
People of God, whoever sets out for a distant destination must always keep their eyes fixed on some object that establishes the right direction: if one were to walk looking at one’s feet, it would be impossible to arrive at the desired destination.  So too in our spiritual life, we need always to have our mind and heart, our intention and our desire, fixed on Jesus in the Church.  Of course, it might be objected that he who does not look where he is putting his feet is asking for trouble; and there are some who allow themselves to be convinced by such an argument and feel encouraged to continue either worrying about themselves or else congratulating themselves for their imagined prudence.  However, the great falsehood hidden in such behaviour is, of course, that it is not we who are going heavenward of ourselves, but rather it is God Who is calling us and seeking to guide us: we attain the destination He plans for us only if we trust His goodness and follow His guidance.  As St. Paul said in our second reading:
The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
Jesus wished to impress this upon His disciples when He warned them of pressures to come that would, if they did not take care, lead them to worry overmuch about themselves:
You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak, for it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.                     (Matthew 10:18-21)
We all know that the apostle Paul suffered more than any of the apostles for Jesus, and the hearing of only a few of his sufferings and trials fills us with admiration for his steadfast proclamation of the Good News (2 Cor. 11:24s.):
From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep.   
How could he endure such punishments and survive such sufferings?  And where did he find the courage and strength to continue his witnessing to Christ?  Listen to him again:
By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant. (2 Corinthians. 3:5-6)
My dear people, it is not only necessary for our eternal salvation, but it is also a much happier and more fulfilling experience for us here on earth to delight in God, and to be able and willing to trust and thank Him at all times and under all circumstances.  No one is happier than one who is grateful, none stronger than he who trusts in God.
Trust in God is absolutely essential, being the very hallmark of true love.  Trust in God is not, indeed, an integral part of our human nature, it is a gift from God; but like the talents in Jesus’ parable, it is a gift entrusted to us that we can and should develop, an endowment we are exhorted to use, work with, and profit from.  We need to pray constantly for greater trust in God, for a more instinctive and childlike reliance on Him, and we should also seek to support such prayers by resolute endeavours to turn aside from our over-elaborate selves more promptly, through simple and ever more whole-hearted commitment to Him and His purposes; loving Him and doing His will, after the example of Jesus.
As trust grows it brings with it such a deep peace and quiet joy that one wonders how one could have been so foolish as to have relied on, or worried about, self so much before.   Moreover, with a deepening awareness of and trust in the goodness of God to ourselves, we can all the more sincerely sympathize with others in their faults and failings, as we come to recognize ever more clearly where we ourselves would be, were it not for God’s bountiful blessings filling up our emptiness and satisfying our needs.
Dear friends in Christ, unshakeable trust in, and heart-felt gratitude to, God the Father -- for the love and commitment embodied in Jesus crucified and gloriously Risen, and abiding ever with us in the grace and power of His Spirit in the Church – such love and trust, I say, bring us and offer all believers, a fulfilment and peace beyond anything else this side of heaven.   Taste and see that the Lord is GOOD!

Friday, 18 October 2013

29th Sunday of the Year 2013

29th. Sunday of Year (C)

(Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:2; Luke 18:1-8)

On looking at our three readings for today’s celebration the most striking passage for me is also the last, those mysterious words of Our Blessed Lord which, enigmatic as they are, can serve as the key to interpret all the rest:

            When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Faith, that is, in Himself, the Son of God made man for our salvation: The Son of God Who, through the Immaculate Virgin and by the power of the Holy Spirit, willed to assume our flesh so that, as Son of Man, He might be able to take upon Himself the burden -- but not the guilt -- of our sins, making an atonement in which He would suffer and die on the Cross of Calvary before, on the third day, rising from the dead in bodily glory and ascending back to His Father in heaven for our salvation.

Jesus was surrounded by questioning voices on the occasion of our Gospel reading:

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” (17:20-21)

The disciples said to Him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.”  (17:37)

‘When?’, ‘where?’, also, no doubt, ‘how?’  How often was Our Lord tormented by a multitude of inquisitive and distracted observers, sardonic and critical opponents, as well as some few humble seekers, trusting followers, possibly committed disciples!  Now, somewhat wearied, Jesus simply says, almost sotto voce to Himself:

            When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Let us now look at our readings to find out what help they can give us to appreciate, protect, and hopefully develop our faith in Jesus, our abiding Glory and sure Shield, on Whom are fixed all our hopes and aspirations, in Whom our complete trust and confidence rest secure.

In our first reading we heard that:

Moses, said to Joshua, “Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”

The battle was long and hard, going now this way and next the other; and since Moses was old he became seriously tired, whereupon:

They put a rock in place for Moses to sit on, while Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Looking at Moses we can see prayer losing its ease and probably some of its fervour, but, what we most certainly need to clearly recognize in Moses and re-discover for ourselves today, is his unflinching and unyielding appreciation of the absolute necessity and ultimate efficacy of the prayer to which he was committed.  At this crucial juncture Moses’ prayer was, indeed, far from easy, time was dragging on and pressing down hard upon him, but it was, as Moses could see, saving prayer.   Looking on the battle raging below him between the children of Israel under Joshua and the pagan tribe of Amalek he was forced to forget himself, to humble himself, and to trust God through ‘thick and thin’, as the prospect of victory switched again and again from one side to the other, from the marauding, pagan, nomads of the southern desert land to God’s ‘chosen people’ under Joshua. 

            When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Yes -- Mother Church who has juxtaposed today’s readings assures us -- Jesus will find the faith He expects in all who will to pray like Moses, in all who are earnestly looking for, and are seriously willing to suffer for, the well-being of God’s People and the advancement of God’s purposes and glory, rather than supinely allow themselves to become alarmed at, or be dissuaded by, the opposition of others or the personal experience of difficulty or distress.

This understanding  is confirmed when we recall that St. Luke explicitly tells us, Jesus told His parable in today’s Gospel so that:

Men always ought to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1 NKJV)

Was it because of the danger of such weariness overwhelming some – many? – of His disciples, then, now, and in the future, that Jesus went on to say:

            When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Our Blessed Lord, therefore, told the parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow to encourage ‘men’ to pray, and to strengthen them for perseverance; and yet, immediately, so that it seems almost to be part of the parable, He says aloud, or ‘sotto voce’:

            When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

It would seem quite certain that Jesus was acutely aware of the threat to mankind’s redemption and salvation posed by worldly dissipation and distraction, self-love and faint-heartedness.

Our first two scriptural readings today certainly fit in with such an interpretation; for faith in Jesus as Son of God and Son of Man, conqueror of Death and Lord of Life, our Saviour, totally true, loving, and sure, proclaims and demands that despite whatever may threaten us from within our own selves or from without, we can never be forced, nor should ever allow ourselves, to yield to weariness or despair.

Let us now turn our attention to the second reading from Paul’s pastoral letter  to Timothy his protégé:

            Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed!

Those words can be regarded as another example of St. Paul’s remarkable fidelity, not only to Our Lord’s Gospel teaching but also to His Personal pre-occupations and desires.

Let us find out how Paul would back-up the teaching and encouragement of Jesus’ parable.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, proclaim the word; (because) all scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness.  (Be) persistent, whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand (and) encourage, through all patience and teaching.

‘Proclaim the Word’, that is, proclaim Jesus as the Christ of God in accordance with the Scriptures.  Too many ‘supporters’ of Jesus and even some, always too many, priests think that they have to make Jesus popular; and they aspire to do this ‘good’ by tampering with -- watering down – aspects of Gospel teaching labelled extreme, and the so-called inhuman rigidity and ‘objectivity’ of Catholic doctrine; and/or by trying to make themselves (especially priests, so closely aligned with Jesus) popular, in the hope that their personal popularity might brush off, so to speak, on Jesus.  Paul, however, had no sympathy with popularity polls of whatever sort, for he insists that Christ be authentically preached and proclaimed:

            persistently, whether it is convenient or inconvenient;

neither does he shrink from risking popular abuse and personal vilification by insisting that Timothy:

            convince (and) reprimand (as well as) encourage, 

in order to teach patiently, which means inevitably, perseveringly.

How many priests today are intimidated by the fear of appearing to teach!  Children, O.K., but teach adults who may like to think they already know!!

Yes, I repeat, Mother Church -- who has juxtaposed today’s readings -- assures us that Jesus will find the faith He expects in all those who, in accordance with Paul’s advice to his beloved Timothy treasure what has been handed down to them in Mother Church, will proclaim what they themselves have experienced, learned, and come to know in accordance with the Scriptures of Mother Church solely for love of Jesus and the ‘gospel-good’ of those who will hear them, without fear for themselves or pandering to popular opinion.  But always and in all things, with Christian patience and sincere humility.  

There is still one further aspect of Jesus’ final words (or thoughts) in our Gospel passage: namely that Jesus does not seem to expect what commonly concerns most Catholics, namely a desire for the Faith’s popularity.  The proclamation of the Gospel, love for others, does not require, does not even directly involve, personal popularity, but rather a concern for integrity and humility: integrity -- at the personal, institutional, and doctrinal levels -- in our proclamation, preaching and presentation of Jesus; humility in our response to and relations with those we personally  serve or encounter.

The implications of popularity are widespread and often they are most harmful to Mother Church, of which we have a quite recent and baleful manifestation.   We have a splendid Pope in Francis and a splendid pope-emeritus in Benedict, Francis a blessing from God because of the evangelical simplicity of his following of Jesus, and Benedict because of His inspiringly beautiful writings on the teaching and Person of Jesus.   Why do some people think that to praise Francis they must in some way denigrate Benedict??    

Dear People of God, let us endeavour to give thanks to God with wholehearted simplicity for His unfailing goodness and beauty, especially as we have just been allowed to appreciate something of the wondrous wisdom He has bestowed on Mother Church as has been evidenced for us in her choice of texts made to accompany the Gospel for our celebration today.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

28th Sunday of Year C 2013

 28th. Sunday, Year (C) 

(2 Kings 5:14-17; 2nd. Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19)

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Gospel reading gives us guidance and perhaps a gentle warning concerning our spiritual life.   All disciples of Jesus want, or at some time did want, to become a fervent disciple, one who really loves the Lord, one who, indeed,  might be worthy of an intimate, personal, relationship with Him.  Recently we have heard advice from Jesus on how we can achieve that desire: just last week we were told by the Lord that we must not look for quick, earthly, rewards since here on earth we are servants whose job it is to work for the Lord, not to look for personal comforts; earlier, we were encouraged to treasure our faith and to have confidence in its power to raise us up with Christ; and yet earlier we might still remember being told to persevere in knocking, seeking, and asking.
Today, we have another piece of essential advice for our spiritual growth … and by that, of course, I mean our growth as children of God before our Father in heaven, not before human beings, whomsoever they may be, here on earth.
Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  As He was entering a village, ten lepers met Him.  They stood at a distance from Him and raised their voices saying, ‘Jesus, Master!  Have pity on us!’
When He saw them, He said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’  As they were going they were cleansed.   And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him.  He was a Samaritan.  Jesus said in reply, ‘Ten were cleansed, were there not? Where are the other nine?  Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?
Jesus had healed the ten men, all lepers, in rather a strange way:
When He saw them He said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’
All passed this test, obediently setting off to go to the priests as Jesus had commanded them to do; and then, on their way, they were cleansed!  Try to imagine that instant when they first realized, almost incredulously, what had happened to them!!  That horrible, flesh-devouring, corrupting, process, that cursed plague which had shut them off from all familiar contact with their loved ones, their family, even from all healthy human society, THAT … IT … was obliterated; it had simply disappeared and they found themselves well again, no longer ugly and repulsive; they were normal, like everyone else, and they would soon be able to meet with others in homely and familiar surroundings, doing ordinary, every-day, things, so lovingly remembered and so deeply missed!
It is hard, indeed, perhaps impossible to imagine that moment of utter and stupendous joy and relief …. But, what else, do you think they might well have felt?  Surely, at the centre of that volcanic upsurge of joy and relief, they must have felt burning sense of gratitude too?  We know for a fact that at least one of them did.  Others perhaps were so excited at their recovery of health that they simply forgot all else.  And it might also be that some were so desirous of getting the priests to witness their new-found cleanliness -- which was necessary before they could officially be allowed to join ordinary people once again -- that they did not avert to any such  feeling of gratitude until after they had been certified clean by the priests and had first of all been to visit family and friends to begin picking up the threads of their previous lives once again.   In those cases, the grace of God may well have moved them to a certain measure of gratitude but – not having responded immediately -- they lost the supreme opportunity to give expression to it, for Jesus, saddened by their failure to return with their Samaritan companion, had gone on His way.
Now, that is something of the utmost importance in the spiritual life, People of God.  We are blessed if we feel in our hearts gratitude to God for whatever it may be … we are indeed blessed if we experience moments of clear awareness of the beauty of God’s creation, if for an instant we are awe-struck at manifestations of His power or with a sudden appreciation of His goodness to us, if we are astounded at His wisdom in the Scriptures and at His supreme goodness and love in the gift of His Son ….. there are countless ways in which God and His grace can move our hearts and every one of them is a priceless blessing if indeed we respond to that movement of grace and give ourselves to praising, thanking, loving, admiring Him as we are moved.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.   And he was a Samaritan.
You notice that only one, a Samaritan, responded immediately and came back gratefully to thank Jesus, and he was not considered to be a religious man as were the other nine, at least according to Jewish appreciation of those times.  But then, religion is -- for some people – impersonal, being centred upon the objective performance of various duties and fulfilment of certain obligations, while for others it is, quite the contrary, being totally, selfishly, fixated on personal salvation.   Too few appreciate it aright as the most intimate and personal relationship possible, being a sublime response to, and expression of, the human minds’ highest aspirations and the fulfilment of our heart’s deepest longings: communion with the One Eternal God, Who calls mankind to Himself, in and through His Only-Begotten Son Who, by His suffering, death, and Resurrection in our flesh, has won for us the abiding presence of His Most Holy Spirit in the Church He gave us.
It is a supremely noble ambition, a truly admirable desire, to become a faithful and committed disciple of Jesus.  It is, indeed, the calling of all Catholics, and one which has tugged at the hearts, so to speak, of many Christians at some time or other; but sadly, too few of those who hear that calling persevere in their search for what originally delighted their heart and enthused their mind, so many turn aside from the blessings which God, in His great goodness, had planned for them:
Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’
And so, one of the great causes of Catholics and Christians thus losing their way has been shown us in today’s Gospel reading together with its remedy: count it a great blessing to ‘experience’, become aware of, the mysterious working of the Spirit of God in your heart, and respond immediately, for that is the supremely important first step on the way to intimacy with the Lord.
There is further instruction for us on this matter to be found in our first reading today where, as you will recall, Naaman, the Syrian army commander, had bathed in the Jordan at Elisha’s command and been miraculously cured of his leprosy.  Immediately (notice that!):                                                                      
Naaman returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in            all the earth, except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant.”                  “As the LORD lives whom I serve, I will not take it,” Elisha replied; and despite Naaman’s urging, he still refused.
Why did Elisha so bluntly, even so vehemently, refuse Naaman’s grateful gift? 
Let us turn back the pages of our Bible and read Genesis, chapter 14, verse 23:

Abram replied to the king of Sodom: “I have sworn to the LORD, God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth, that I would not take so much as a thread or a sandal strap from anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I made Abram rich.’           

Elisha, under God’s guidance and in imitation of Abraham, refused to accept Naaman’s gift – a gift offered in all simplicity and sincerity of heart – lest Naaman should have then thought that he had settled his debt to Elisha’s God, indeed, settled it with generosity.  God was choosing Naaman for purposes unknown to him with the result that, being unable to pay his debt as he would have liked, Naaman’s sense of honour would not allow him to just forget what had been done for him in the land of Israel by a prophet of Israel’s God.   Therefore he requested of Elisha earth from Israel in order to pray acceptably -- as he thought -- to the God Who had restored his flesh through the prophet’s intercession and by his washing in the Jordan.
Personal prayer of worship and thanksgiving to the God of Israel Who, through His servant, had cleansed him …. where would that lead Naaman?   What were God’s plans for Naaman?

             Go in peace – as Elisha said -- faith will save you.

Once more we are being taught about gratitude before God; and the example of Naaman is of the utmost importance, for Naaman did not only say ‘Thank you’ to Elisha, immediately; he took serious measures to make sure that he would henceforth remember, and be able, to offer acceptable gratitude to the God of Elisha, the God of Israel, even when he had returned to Syria to continue his work in the service of Syria’s ruler.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God is divine and so good that He wills to share His divine blessedness with us; we, however, are human and indeed sinful, and consequently must open up to Him something of the very best our humanity has to offer for our renewal and refashioning in Jesus by the Spirit: a grateful and needy heart, an attentive and humble mind, and a will committed to God in and with Mother Church.