The Final Word

Scripture at the Heart of the Church

Scripture at the Heart of the Church

Volume 18, Issue 13Continuing our reflection on the Word of God (using the Lineamenta for the 12th Synod of Bishops taking place in 2008,) we move now to the matter of the Sacred Scripture itself, and we ask ourselves: What place does the Scripture have in the Church – and specifically in the Archdiocese of Melbourne? The Lineamenta (available for reading on the Vatican website) poses some questions for the Bishops. Among these are:•    What is the faithful's approach to Sacred Scripture in liturgical and personal prayer? •    What is their understanding of the relationship between the...

Listening to the Word of God

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The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission. Participation in the Eucharist is the most profound encounter with Christ possible here in this life. Yet in making this statement, we cannot overlook the fact that the Church is born and lives by the Word of God.

Strengthen you brothers: the ministry of Peter

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Each year, on the 29th of June, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul. The Gospels for this day focus on the ministry of Peter. At the Vigil Mass we read about Peter’s great commission from the Lord from the Gospel of St John: “Feed my sheep.” (Jn 21:16) At the Mass for the day, we read the famous promise of our Lord to Peter from the Gospel of St Matthew: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Mt 16:18)

Of course, as Catholics, we are well aware that this commission and promise applied not only to Peter himself, but to his successors in the Church, the bishops of Rome.

Participating in the Eucharist

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Of all the things taught by the Second Vatican Council about the Eucharist, perhaps the two most often remembered are that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit’ of the Church’s mission and that there should be a ‘full, conscious and active participation’ by the laity in the celebration of the liturgy.

Ever since the Council, this second statement about the ‘active’ participation of the laity in the Eucharist has been repeatedly misinterpreted. There has been a huge change in our culture, so that the visible has come to be valued over the invisible, and activity has been prized above restfulness and silence. ‘Active participation’ used to suggest outward busy-ness rather than an interior reality expressed with heart and voice focused on the profound mystery of our meeting with our God.

The Holy Spirit and the Eucharist

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The occasion of the annual feast of Pentecost gives me the opportunity in this, the third part of my reflection upon Pope Benedict XVI’s Post-Synodal Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, to reflect upon the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist.

    1. The Holy Spirit Guides the Development of the Liturgy
There have been many changes in the 40 years since the Second Vatican Council to the way in which the Mass is celebrated in the Catholic Church. Where the liturgical norms have been faithfully observed (the phrase the
Holy Father favours is “with docility!”) these changes have been enriching for the life of the Church and have borne great fruit.