Friday 19 August 2022 Week 20 in Ordinary Time
The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army. Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
Psalm 106 O give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’
Saint John Eudes 1601 – 1680
He was born and died in Normandy. He was ordained priest and spent many years preaching parish missions. He organized a congregation of nuns that grew into the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, and a congregation of priests dedicated to the running of seminaries. He was active in encouraging devotion to the Sacred Heart, and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
For Jesus, total love of God is inseparable from the love of our neighbour. We are to love others in the way God loves them. It is our loving relationship with God that empowers to love others in this God-like way. We remember, 1 John 4:19-21, “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
To love God in our neighbour, is to have recognised the sacred in them. I remember the Sanskrit greeting, “namaskar”, when the Soul in one person acknowledges and honours the Soul in another. “I recognise the divine light within you.”
The whole House of Israel said, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” But God binds these dry bones together once again and through the breath, the Ruah or Spirit of God, gives them life.
May we honour the breath of God in one another.
May that breath give us life and hope.
May that lead us to love God totally, as God first loves us totally.
Remembering Fr. Barry Brunell MSC RIP, Friday 19 August 2022
Barry turned 83 this month. He made his first profession on February 26th, 1959. He was sent to Rome as a student in 1963, studying at the Gregorian University, and ordained in the scholasticate chapel, Via Aventina, March 26th, 1966. In the 1990s, He returned to Rome and was superior of the MSC International Students’ Community, Via Aurellia, doing some lecturing at the Gregorian. May he rest in peace.