Ministers of the Word

Ministers of the Word are those who are commonly referred to as readers but they are much more than that.You read a newspaper or a novel, you might read to your children. But with Ministers of the Word it is different. They are proclaiming the Word of God. This is God speaking to all of us….. This is what I believe The following is a copy of a document from The Liturgical Commission Of The Catholic Church

MINISTERS OF THE WORD

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40: 8) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119: 105) The Word of God endures, creates, gives life. The importance of scripture in liturgy was perhaps lost to some extent in the Catholic Church until the reforms of the second Vatican Council reminded us of its central place.“The Church has always venerated the Divine Scriptures just as she venerates the Body of the Lord.” (Dei Verbum 21)“Christ is present in his Word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church.” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy 7)The Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass spells out the link between scripture, faith and worship.“The preaching of the word is necessary for the sacramental ministry. For the sacraments are sacraments of faith and faith has its origin and sustenance in the word. The Church is nourished spiritually at the table of God’s word and at the table of the eucharist.” (LMI 10)

The only contact that many Catholics have with the living word of scripture occurs at Sunday Mass. It is vital that this encounter be a positive experience so that they will develop over time a “warm and living love of scripture”.

Those who are called to be readers at Mass, then, take on an important ministry. In fact they are not ‘readers’ at all. Almost everyone can read, but only some can effectively proclaim the word of God. Those people who serve the liturgical gathering by proclaiming the scriptures are best described as ‘Ministers of the Word’.

What is needed to someone to carry out this role effectively? The basic requirement is faith in the word of God. A reader must be someone with a love of scripture who believes that it is alive and active and gives guidance.

Readers must understand what they are reading in order to clearly convey the meaning of a passage to others. Such understanding is achieved by careful preparation, starting well before the person is scheduled to read. This involves reading the scripture passages through several times, slowly coming to grips with what the words are saying. Readers should also have access to a readers’ workbook or scripture commentary to assist them. Practising reading the passages aloud is another important aspect of the preparation process.

Finally, ministers of the word need to have the skills required for reading aloud in public, including a strong voice which can be projected clearly and the ability to use speech techniques such as pace, pause and pitch to give vitality and variety to their reading.

I am often asked by parishes to recommend resources for training their ministers of the word. It seems that not everyone has discovered the addition that was made to Break Open the Word, the preparation book for readers published by The Liturgical Commission in Brisbane, several years ago. In the back of the book are a number of Readers’ Formation pages covering topics such as the arrangement of the lectionary, reading skills and a model for preparation. This material may be used with groups of readers in a parish setting or by readers individually who wish to improve their understanding and skill.

The Word of God is proclaimed rather than just read, which involves the Minister reading the text in prayer and reflection beforehand, so that the Word is actively heard, rather than passively listened to by the Assembly. Training and resources are provided and a current Blue Card is required. New Ministers are welcome. Please contact the parish office to register your interest in this Ministry.

Office Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Friday - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Email: coomera@bne.catholic.net.aumail-icon-128
Phone: 07 55299144 call icon

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Weekly Readings

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Weekly Reflection

Dear Parishioners, friends & visitors,

On this fourth weekend of Lent, our gospel pericope is taken
from the fifteenth chapter of Saint Luke’s gospel. This chapter
of Saint Luke’s gospel has been aptly described by some Scriptural scholars as ‘the gospel in the gospel’ because it appears
to contain a very distilled essence of the good news which is
the heart and soul of Christ’s Messianic ministry. The entire chapter contains three
related parables: the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7); the parable of the lost coin
(Luke 15:8-10) and the parable of the prodigal son or the forgiving father (Luke 15:11-
32). These parables arose out of Christ’s response to the Pharisees and Scribes who
were accusing Christ of eating and dining with those they tagged as sinners. The
Pharisees and Scribes called anyone, who did not worship like them, a sinner, unclean
and an outcast. They had no business associating with people who were different from
them. In fact, they had rules and regulations that ‘when someone was labelled a sinner
or an outcast, such a person must not be trusted with charitable funds or public money,
should not be allowed to offer witness in court or anywhere, shouldn’t be entrusted
with a secret, nor be appointed to be a foster mum or dad to an orphan or even be
accompanied on a journey. Such a person could not even be a guest or host to a
Pharisee or be allowed to have any form of commercial dealing with a Pharisee or
Scribe. In fact, the Pharisees and Scribes hated them and looked forward not to the
redemption of those they regarded as outcasts but to their eternal damnation. No
wonder they were mortified when they saw Jesus Christ eating and drinking with
them. The difference between Christ and the Pharisees and the Scribes was obvious.
The Pharisees and the Scribes maintained that those they labelled as sinners must
become ritually clean before they had any dealings with them. Jesus on the contrary,
reached out to everyone regardless of their state of life. Christ invited people to
conversion through His table fellowship and everyday interaction.
In the gospel of this weekend, unlike the pervading belief of the Pharisees and the
Scribes that God rejoices over the death of tax collectors and sinners, God rejoices not
over the damnation of sinners, but over their repentance. This is obvious in the parable
of the prodigal son or forgiving dad. In narrating this parable Jesus said that ‘a man had
two sons, and the younger son said to his dad, ‘father, give me my share of the
estate.’ So, the dad divided his property between the two boys. “Not long after that, the
younger son got together all he had received, set off for a distant country and there
squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe
famine in that whole country, and he began to feel the pinch. So, he went and hired
himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to the fields to feed pigs. He
longed to fill his stomach with the husks that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him
anything…,” (Luke 15:11-16).
While the younger son may have appeared to be initiator of this drama, he cannot be
seen as the protagonist. This parable is about a loving, kind and merciful father who,
despite his son’s rude behaviour, was eager to have him back in his arms and restore his
rightful place in his household. Reconciliation always leads to celebration. When the
prodigal son came to his father and demanded his share of the estate, he kind of said to
his dad: ‘give me now the part of the estate I will get when you die, let me get out of
this place.’ For whatever reasons, he didn’t want to be with his family again. His father
did not argue. He gave the set share of the estate to his son who then took off. When he
left home, he embraced a life of pleasure and emptiness and pain. It wasn’t until he ran
out of money and found himself in a deplorable condition that he decided to return to
the family he had previously abandoned. Thank God he came to his senses and was able
to return to his father. He knew that he had messed up and was underserving of his dad’s love. There was true
repentance and humility in him. Unlike his elder brother, who did not leave his dad and
did not ask for his own share of the estate but he didn’t feel like a son who was part of
the household. He felt and worked like a slave. That is why his father had to remind
him: “My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.” He wasn’t even
happy that his younger brother had returned home safe and alive. He would have been
happy if the police had rung the door one day to inform them that his brother’s corpse
was found along the motorway. The characters in this parable are obvious. There is a
loving father who always forgives and shows love, a son who doesn’t care about anything except himself and the older brother who has always been faithful but is now
filled with resentment. If we picture ourselves undertaking any role in this parable,
which of the characters do we think we will be? Would we be the loving and forgiving
dad, the prodigal son or the faithful but resentful brother and son? Regardless of the
character we assume in this parable, we all stand to witness to the power of love, fidelity and reconciliation. May the Lenten season continue to be for us a special time when
we strive to renew our relationship with God and with our fellow human beings as well
as making ourselves instruments of Christ’s love, forgiveness and mercy in our world.

God bless you all.

Fr. John Ikechukwu Echewodo

Parish Priest

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Christmas 2016

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CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS 2016

All  events and holy mass  will be held at the St. Mary’s Worship Center, Upper Coomera

Saturday, 24th December (CHRISTMAS EVE)

4.30pm –  Carol Singing   | 5:00  – Holy Mass 

9.30pm –  Carol Singing  | 10:00 pm –  Holy Mass 

Sunday 25th December 2016 (CHRISTMAS DAY)

7.30am Holy Mass

9.30am Holy Mass

Saturday, 31st December (NEW YEAR’S EVE)

6pm – Holy Mass 

Sunday 1st January 2017 (NEW YEAR’S DAY)

7.30am Mass  |  9am Mass | 5pm Mass 

 

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Lenten Progam

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HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE 

SAINT MARY’S CATHOLIC CHURCH

COOMERA

Ash Wednesday – Mass at 7pm

Stations of the Cross – Every Friday at 7pm

Mass Times :

                (NO 5 PM EVENING MASS ON EASTER SUDAY)

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Christmas Message from Archbishop Mark Coleridge

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