“Singing is good for the soul”, they say, so why not give it a try!
We are appealing for new members to join the Parish Choir (especially parishioners who usually attend Mass on Saturday evening). This will enable us to enrich both weekend liturgies and services at special feasts.
Should you be someone who says:”But I can’t sing” remember that together we can make a lovely sound, all we need is a willingness to take part and enthusiasm
With Christmas on the horizon, the Choir are turning their thoughts to music for the festive season, so now is an exellent time to join us.
The Choir practices every 2 weeks, (more frequently before Christmas and Easter). The next practice is on Wednesday 18th October at 3.30pm. We look forward to welcoming you to our small group.
New rotas are being prepared for January.
For those not already on a rota, (and those able to volunteer for more), there is always room for extra help with keeping the Parish working…..hoovering, flower arranging, laundering altar linen, counting collections, hospitality after Sunday Masses, Children’s Liturgy, reading, helping with our online presence and the production of the Weekly Bulletin.
We should all be mindful of opportunities to volunteer, which we know is at the heart of Christian service and engagement with our Parish.
Please hand any amendments or new contact details to Lorraine Miller or leave a note marked for her attention in the Vesting Sacristy.
Sales last weekend totalled £105. Thank you to all wo helped and supported.
The one thing which always angered Jesus of Nazareth was hypocrisy.
Whether it came from the chief priests, scribes, pharisees or his own apostles and followers, he roundly and directly rejected it.
It included refusal to accept the truth which is staring one in the face, for selfish reasons, such as greed, fear of losing control and power or loss of ‘face.’
Although todays Gospel reading is directed towards the Jewish religious leadership of the day it is as easily applicable to the religious leadership of today.
Even in the last fifty years many of God’s servants, both clerical and lay, sent by God to remind the tenants of the vineyard that it was not theirs to do with as they pleased and that they owed the owner his proper share of the harvest, have been expelled from the vineyard (the Church) and metaphorically stoned.
We today (both clergy and laity) have to shed our hypocrisy also. Looking deeply into my heart I must ask myself are my prayers and devotions, declaring my love and gratitude to God, authentic and true, or merely compliance, and a covering of my posterior? Are my declarations of undying loyalty to my God largely motivated by fear and a desire to ‘gain’ a place in heaven, or avoid ‘hell’? Is our failure to inspire our children, grandchildren and friends with an appreciation of the goodness and love of our God, the result of the lack of such appreciation, gratitude and love in my own dealings with God?
This is hard for I and you to accept.
Far from wishing to condemn, we must accept the fact that in this matter we have largely failed.
But as Jesus of Nazareth said; “The truth will set you free.” Free to recognise my hypocrisy, discard it, and move forward to a proper relationship with my God, based on understanding, gratitude and a total trust in the goodness of God, no matter what situation I find myself in.
This is true religion. This is authentic religion. Anything else is counterfeit and will immediately be recognised as such by our children, grandchildren and friends.
I for one, have for many years lived a false religion and a false God.
No wonder so many have rejected our religion and our God.
My aim is not for us to look back in guilt, or allow ourselves to become disheartened, discouraged or depressed. Rather that we should rejoice that we are now beginning to understand our past hypocrisy and are moving towards a good relationship with the true God. A God who is happy, joyful, compassionate, forgiving and totally good.
Pope Francis is today gently removing from the vineyard (from church leadership) the original tenants and trying to replace them with tenants who will give God his rightful share of the harvest.
This is sparking great opposition and protests just as it did in Jesus’ time.
So in our Faith, in our Church, in our parish, in our lives, let us move forward together, with joy in our hearts and a total trust in our God, for whom ‘all things are possible.’
The latests diocesan briefing has just been published:
Clifton Diocese regular briefing October 2017 V2
If you forgot your envelope for this weekend’s appeal, or missed the collection, and wish to donate online, this can be done at https://cafod.org.uk/
Today is Prisoners’ Sunday. Please remember in your prayers all prisoners and their families.
Pope Francis has issued a new apostolic letter “Magnum Principium” which reforms canon law for the mechanisms for preparing and approving new translations of the liturgy.
From now on, the Holy See will not be playing any active role in the drafting or amending of new translations of the liturgy. In future, episcopal conferences will have responsibility for the whole process, the Congregation for Divine Worship will merely give a final confirmation once the local bishops have voted.
In practical terms, it seems that all future translations of the liturgy will be carried out by local bishops’ conferences, who alone will be responsible for the “faithfulness” of the translation; the necessary approval of the Holy See will be an act of simple ratification and not provide an opportunity for specific changes or improvements.
This would seem to leave the way clear for reverting to previous translations, or adopting the liturgical translations which were originally submitted to Rome by the Bishops and then discarded.
Parishioners are invited to email/write to Bishop Declan indicating their support, and which option they would prefer.
It was obvious to Jesus of Nazareth, as it was to his Disciples, that because of his lifestyle, his opposition to and his preaching against, oppression, injustice and intolerance, that if he went to Jerusalem (the seat of power of his enemies) for the feast of the Passover, he would almost certainly be arrested and imprisoned or executed.
Jesus well understood that he could run and hide from his enemies but not without being untrue to his preaching and example. He could save his life but not without losing his credibility. He could run but only at the cost of vitiating his message and the power of his example.
At this particular time Peter and the Apostles did not understand this way of thinking. They could only see the looming danger and try to avoid it irrespective.
Having slapped down this approach pretty smartly, Jesus proceeded to explain why and what his point of view was.
What follows is all about freedom. The freedom of the children of God. The words free and freedom appear many times in the New testament.
What is the freedom of the children of God?
It is the freedom to do the right thing. It is the freedom to do good. It is the freedom to love. It is the freedom to forgive. It is the freedom to give things away. It is the freedom to do the will of the Father.
To quote Jesus of Nazareth in John 8;
‘I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me…. I always do what is pleasing to him….. If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’
If he selfishly gave in to his Apostles importuning to run and hide he would save his life but would lose credibility and his message would be forgotten and lost. Hence his words, “whoever wishes to save his life will lose it.” But if he remains true to his calling and to his preaching, if he wants his message to be noted and preserved, then he must go to Jerusalem for the feast and accept the consequences, “those who lose their life (for my sake) will find it.”
The best way I can explain this is to tell you a true story about on person in South Africa. Khandy was a young catholic lady who came to mass from time to time. She was about twenty or twenty one and had finished her secondary education two or tree years before. She had been trying to get accepted into a nearby teachers training college – so far unsuccessfully. A couple of years later she succeeded and eventually emerged as a trained teacher. The next few years were spent trying to get a teaching position in a school. Eventually in her late twenties she got the job. Then about a month later she arrived in to see me. She handed me a fat A5 size envelope. I was a bit nonplussed, so I opened the envelope to see what it contained. It was full of Rand notes to the value of about eighty pounds. I asked what this was for and she said it was an offering to the church. At my obvious confusion she explained that when she was trying to get a place in the teacher’s training college she promised God that if she succeeded and got a job she would give half her first month’s salary as an offering of gratitude to God. I was totally gobsmacked. Not because of the amount of money but because I knew that up to now she had been totally dependant on her parents handouts and must for years have longed for her own money so that she could buy some of the things she so much desired. Despite her promise to God it must have taken an extraordinary degree of self-denial to give away, to lose, half her first month’s salary. I am sure that if her parents or peers knew what she had done they would be scandalised and regard her as a fool. At that moment she was truly free. Free to do what she understood to be the right thing. Free from the slavery to money.
I still remember what she did. I even remember her name, when so many others have faded from my memory. Many of you too will remember what she did.
And what about God? Will her God not remember that supreme act of selfless freedom for all eternity?
Am I free? If someone suggested that I was not free I would bridle indignantly.
A simple test will tell me the truth. I know that if I were to give half of next months income to some worthy cause it would be a very good thing and would not greatly affect my financial situation. But am I free to do it? Try it and see.
That is what todays Gospel reading is about.
Of course the presumption is that, to quote Jesus of Nazareth, ‘when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing.’
Volunteers are requested to bake/make for the Parish Harvest Supper.
This is a fundraising event for our Parish Projects (MSF and Borderlands) and all help will be gratefully received.
Please sign up on the lists on the noticeboard if you can bring anything – savoury or sweet!
Further details from Jane Wragg.