Reflection: The Season of Autumn

by Fr. Kevin Canty, CM (National Director), published in AMM Bulletin Autumn 2024

I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity of spending two years –1984-5 in Boston in the US.  It was good to have had the opportunity of experiencing the seasons of the year in the northern hemisphere, especially Autumn. And I remember how a group of us travelled north into the state of Maine, where the Autumn colours were in a grand display. In the back yard of our house here in Ashfield, we have a beautiful tree that provides something of the Autumn colours that we can enjoy in parts of Australia. I have taken photos of the tree in each season. I believe the Blue Mountains are presently well worth visiting.  I remember a Spiritual Director’s Conference I attended in Hobart a few years ago.  Someone from the Tasmanian group, who lead the prayers and liturgies each day, provided in our opening prayer on the first day, a reflection entitled Listening to Autumn, from a book “The Circle of Life”. I found it an excellent reflection and was struck by the following few lines.

I am listening to the song of transformation, to the wisdom of the season, to the losses and the grieving, to the turning loose and letting go. I am listening to the surrender of autumn.

from “The Circle of Life” by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wierderkeh
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Reflection on Christmas

by Fr. Kevin Canty, CM (National Director), published in AMM Bulletin Christmas 2023.

In our first reading from Isaiah for the Christmas Day Mass, the prophet Isaiah announces the return of the Israelites from exile in terms that speak of “good tidings”. The Hebrew word for good tidings lies at the root of the New Testament ‘evangelion’ or gospel. Paul took up this very text and applied it to his own apostolic work of preaching the gospel in Romans 10:15, and it probably influenced Jesus’ own proclamation of his message of the kingdom or reign of God.

The use of the passage in the liturgy for Christmas suggests another application. It can be referred to the angelic proclamation at the nativity. This is indeed a proclamation of good tidings, a proclamation of salvation, an announcement of the beginning of the dawn of God’s reign. It is in the annunciation that the church sees the return of Yahweh to Zion to comfort his people and to Jerusalem. The angel at the nativity, Paul in his apostleship, and the church today all make the same proclamation: ‘Your God reigns’ – through the sending of Jesus into the world.

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