Pithy Parables – Thursday, 3rd Week in ordinary time – Mark 4:21-25

In Mark 4:21-25 we have two short parables of Jesus, one which is a matter of plain common sense and the other a bit obscure in its meaning. When the word parable is used, we normally think of long stories spanning several verses, like the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-9) or the famous parable of the prodigal son (Luke15). But as we know, a parable is literally “something thrown beside something else”; it’s a comparison of something earthly with something spiritual. So, they can be long narratives or short, pithy comparisons of a verse or two. Today’s text illustrates how Jesus could use the shortest of little comparisons to illustrate deep spiritual truths. Both the parables are two verses long, separated by a warning in the middle.

In the Old Testament, a lamp is a metaphor for three things: God, Messiah, and the Torah. The original Greek text does not read as ‘a lamp’ but THE LAMP. In short, Jesus is revealing his identity and mission in this text, indicating that the lamp refers to himself as the Messiah. Putting all this together, Jesus is saying, “Does THE lamp come to be put under a measuring bowl or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lamp stand?”

Jesus wants his followers to let his light, his teaching shine out. Jesus the light, is not a searchlight to expose, shame or embarrass others. Some have mistakenly interpreted verse22 as referring to the sins of humans and that on judgment day; everything we have ever done will come to light. While this may be true it is not the correct interpretation within this context. So, if sins being exposed is not what Jesus was talking about here, what was he talking about? Verse 22 begins with the word ‘for’ indicating that verse 22 is a continuation or an elaboration of verse 21 concerning the eventual revelation of Christ’s divinity.

We have seen in Mark’s Gospel, as in the case of the leper in chapter one, that Jesus concealed his identity as God for a time. Rather than immediately boldly declare he was God and get himself killed before he had hardly begun his ministry, he first established his uniqueness through his healings, his immediate and absolute command of demons and his amazing teachings. So, when Jesus says, “For there is nothing hidden except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light,” he is speaking of himself. That which was hidden about him, even from his most ardent disciples up to this point—that is, his divinity and his mission to go to the cross and pay the penalty for sin—would eventually be revealed so that it should all come to light.

When Jesus, the light of truth shines, all is understood and forgiven. One has no need to hide nor does one need to choose to stay in the dark, be indifferent or hostile. The Gospel reading also tells us that Good News is to be shared; Jesus must be spoken about. Pope Francis, speaking to people who were concerned about the shortage of priests spoke about people who lived authentically Christian lives as being preachers of the Good News in today’s world.

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Mass time 7 pm
Mass link: https://bit.ly/fr-warner-youtube

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Entrance: I’ll turn my steps

I’ll turn my steps to the altar of God,
I’ll turn my steps to the gladness of life

Lead me on with your power and strength,
And my courage will never be spent.

Fill my heart with your truth and your light
As I enter with joy in your sight.

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Response – Your words, O Lord, are spirit and life

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Offertory: जब सौंप दिया

जब सौंप दिया इस जीवन का,
सब भार तुम्हारे हाथों में ।

इस जग में रहूँ तो ऐसे रहूँ जैसे जल में कमल का फूल रहे।
है जीत तुम्हारे हीथों में, है हार तुम्हारे हाथों में । ।

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Communion : मैं तेरे हाथों को

मैं तेरे हाथों को पकड़ा रहूँगा ।
प्रभु तेरे वचनों मैं चलता रहूँगा । २ ।

तेरे ही वचनों में जीवन सन्देश है ।

तेरे ही वचनों में आशा का दीप है ।

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Recessional: The Mass Is Ended

The Mass is ended, all go in peace.
We must diminish and Christ increase.
We take him with us where’er we go.
That through our actions his life may show.

We witness his love to every one
By our communion with Christ the Son.
We take the Mass to where one may be,
So Christ may shine forth for all to see.

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Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany. Each time God manifests himself we speak of that event as an Epiphany. Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan by John is a second Epiphany in this season.

The text of Jesus’ baptism is taken from the Gospel of Mark. Mark is the only book in the Bible that announces itself as a “Gospel” (Mark 1:1), the ‘good news’ about Jesus. There is no word in Mark’s Gospel about the birth or youth of Jesus. He starts right in with this ‘good news’ of Jesus’ baptism as the beginning of his ministry. It is the fulfilment of the “messenger” promised by the prophet Isaiah (40:3. Malachi 3:1

Baptisms in our country are predominantly a family celebration unlike a wedding which has a more social celebratory focus.  Today’s baptism has the Blessed Trinity in attendance; THE Father, THE Son and THE Holy Spirit; this is a family celebration and we are drawn into the embrace of the three persons of the Trinity to be joined in this family celebration.

The text of today is loaded and we need to listen carefully to its message. We are told that Jesus was coming out of the water when he SAW the heavens TORN APART and the Spirit descending LIKE A dove on him. And a VOICE came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.

The dramatic revelation comes “from above”. First, the heavens are torn apart. The heavens are rent open to indicate that Jesus belongs in the divine realm. The word “torn open” (schizo) used of the heavens occurs again at the crucifixion in Mark 15:38 when the temple curtain is “torn apart” at the moment when Jesus breathes his last, implying a connection between the baptism and crucifixion.

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Second to another yet first among many –  Saturday after Epiphany – John 3:22-30

We come to this passage immediately following the conversation in chapter-3 between Jesus and Nicodemus. Jesus has just finished His interview with Nicodemus in which Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again. Following that conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus and His disciples traveled about 50 miles to an area called Salim which is located along the Jordan River.  John (the Baptist) was at the same place and was baptising people on the other side of the Jordan River.

This reading marks a stage in the transition from the preaching and ministry of John the Baptist to that of Jesus. Some of John’s disciples had joined Jesus at John’s prompting, “Look, here is the lamb of God” (John 1:36). Those that remained with John now seem to be upset that “all” are going to Jesus for Jesus ministry has begun to flourish and John’s influence is being eclipsed by Jesus ministry. What is the real issue here? Well, we could translate their feeling as, ‘he is getting more attention and it is making us feel less important, less successful. They suggest to John that perhaps it would have been better if he had not borne witness to Him and that he should stop mentioning His name. They are worried that John might lose his following.                                           

What would we call that? Jealousy! It is comparison that is rooted in insecurity that breeds resentment. Without the Holy Spirit working grace in our hearts, that is the natural, human response we all have to such kinds of situations. We want other people to succeed, but not more than us! We would all like to think we are above it but most of us know that it is a potential in us.

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Mass time 9 am
Mass link: https://bit.ly/fr-warner-youtube

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Entrance: मुझे तेरा बुलावा मिला

मुझे तेरा बुलावा मिला
मुझे जीवन मिला प्यार का ।
प्रभु क्या मैं तुझे मोल दूँ
तेरे अनमोल उपहार का ।।

मेरे पहले दिवस में मुझे
तेरे हाथों ने पावन किया ।
जहाँ हूँ, वहाँ मैं
तू ही आधार , आधार का

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GLORIA

Glory to God (3) in the highest
And on earth peace to people of goodwill.
We praise you we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you We give you thanks for your great gloryLord God Heavenly king, O God Almighty Father
Lord Jesus Christ only Begotten Son.
Lord God Lamb of God Son of the Father
You take away the sins of the world have mercy on us
You take away the sins of the world receive our prayer
You are seated at the right hand of the Father 
Have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy one, You alone are the Lord
You alone are the most high Jesus Christ
With the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father
Amen (3)

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Response: Here I come, here I come, here I come to do your will

I waited, waited, waited for the Lord,
He stopped to hear and listen to my cry,
He drew me from the deadly pit
and from the miry clay.

You do not ask for sacrifice or gifts
But for a list’ning and an open ear;
You do not ask for holocaust,
Instead, Lord, here I am.

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Acclamation: ALLELUIA
We have found the Messiah, which means Christ;
grace and truth came through him.

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THE NICENE CREED:
(for Sundays of Ordinary time, solemnities and feasts).

I BELIEVE in One God, / the Father almighty, / maker of heaven and earth, / of all things visible and invisible. / I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. / God from God, Light from Light, / true God from true God, / begotten, not made, / consubstantial with the Father; / through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation / he came down from heaven, [all bow) / AND BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, / WAS INCARNATE OF THE VIRGIN MARY, / AND BECAME MAN. / For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, / he suffered death and was buried / and rose again on the third day / in accordance with the Scriptures; / He ascended into heaven / and is seated at the right hand of the Father. / He will come again in glory / to judge the living and the dead / and his kingdom will have no end./ I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, / who proceeds from the Father and the Son, / who with the Father and the Son / is adored and glorified, / who has spoken through the Prophets. / I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. / I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins / and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead / and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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Offertory: तन – मन – धन

तन – मन – धन सब अर्पण है, तव चरणों में प्रभु ,
जीवन अपना लाये हैं, ग्रहण करो हे प्रभु ।

दाखरस रोटी की भेंट चढ़ाते है ,
येसु मसीह के संग हर्षित आते हैं ,
ग्रहण करो प्रभु हम सब जन को,
इन उपहारों के संग । (2)

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Communion: Lord, Make me like you.

Lord, Make me like you
Please make me like you
You are a servant, make me one too
Oh Lord, won’t you give me your strength everyday
To build a community, to follow your way.

Whoever among you desires to be great, must be the servant of all
For even the Son of man came to serve
And give his life for the world.

The Spirit anoints me and calls me by name
To bring Good News to the poor,
Release to the captives and sight to the blind,
To set the prisoners free.

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Recessional: I Now No Longer Live

I now no longer live;
Christ, my Lord, lives in me.
Christ: for ever my joy.
I must walk in his love.

Christ in my mind, my life, my heart.
Christ to the world with joy I must bring.

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