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Gospel Reflection – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Jul 28, 2023

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Dear Friends, Thank You!
As you read this I am either 30 or 31 days ordained a Priest and it’s been a wild ride already. Over these last 30/31 days there has been one clear theme for me – that theme being how generous and kind people are. Particularly how generous and kind you all have been to me during this ordination period.

Generosity, which is one of the fruits of the Spirit is an essential disposition for us all to cultivate because it is a virtue that articulates and orders people towards the source and goal of their Christian practice – God. Therefore, it is quite fitting that Holy Mother Church has prescribed the Gospel reading about the treasure, the pearl and the net. In these parables the essence lies not only in the act of giving but also in the rewards that follow. Jesus emphasises the abundant blessings bestowed upon those who embrace the virtue of generosity. When we give selflessly and wholeheartedly, we are promised the gift of finding something far more valuable than material possessions – a reward that can’t be measured by temporal goods.

Moreover, as we embrace generosity, we engage in acts of kindness that impart grace and goodness to the lives of others. The parable of the fishing net that is cast into the sea is a reminder that our acts of kindness create a ripple effect, touching the hearts of numerous individuals. This means that the rewards of generosity extend to the individual and their circle of influence, inspiring them to spread kindness and love to others.

Furthermore, the parable of the master of the house who brings out treasures old and new encourages us to cherish the wisdom passed down through generations. Those who generously share their insights and experiences (take St Augustine as one example of many) not only leave a lasting impact on others but also contribute to the enrichment of collective knowledge and understanding.

In other words, generosity can be shown through wisdom and knowledge as well as temporal goods. Therefore, the rewards of generosity are seen not only in the next life but in this life as well. Generosity allows us to discover hidden treasures that enrich our lives and the lives of those around us, and betters our chances at reaching the kingdom of heaven.

May the stories of the hidden treasure, the pearl of great value, and the other parables inspire us to continue to develop this wonderful spirit of generosity and kindness that is present here at Stella Maris Parish. As we share kindness, love, and compassion, we partake in a transformative journey that not only brings joy and fulfilment but also shapes a better, more compassionate world for all.

Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for the kindness and generosity that you have shown me over this last period. Thank you!

Fr Isaac Falzon

 

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