NOTICE: FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT ADVICE AND IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE ALL OUR PARISHIONERS TO ‘STAY AT HOME’, THE PARISH TEAM HAS DECIDED TO SUSPEND ALL PUBLIC SERVICES
THE CHURCH IS CLOSED
FROM MONDAY, 11TH JANUARY
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
MASSES WILL CONTINUE TO BE CELEBRATED PRIVATELY AND YOU ARE MOST WELCOME TO JOIN US ONLINE ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
24 January 2021
In last Sunday’s Gospel from St John, we were told of the scene where John the Baptist pointed out Jesus saying: “Look there is the lamb of God”. As a result, two of John’s disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round and said, “what do you want?” They ask: “Rabbi, where do you live?” “Come and see” replied Jesus.
In that scene and dialogue, we have the whole message and the foundation of the Gospels. We too can ask the question to ourselves, “what do I want?” Or “whom do I want?” “What am I seeking out of life?” “Who has the message of eternal life?” We know that the answer is in the person of Jesus. This is what St Mark will be exploring with us, as we listen to the Gospel in the weeks ahead.
There is a sense of urgency in today’s readings. Jonah sets out for Nineveh, but only after running away from the Lord. We remember the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale. He realises that there is no point in trying to escape from the Lord. He set out on his mission to the great city of Nineveh. To his surprise, when he proclaims the words as directed by God, the people repented and return to the Lord.
Likewise the urgency in St Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Our time is growing short’. At this stage Paul was convinced that the second coming of Christ would happen in his own lifetime. He later learns that the end is not so soon.
Twice in the Gospel we see that when Jesus calls Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew and James and John, AT ONCE they leave their fishing and follow Jesus. There is no hesitation or procrastination – their meeting with Jesus personally, was enough to convince them to follow him.
What do we learn? We too are called to be disciples of Jesus. In our Baptism we have that mark of approval. But the problem is; we get so used to the idea of being a follower of Jesus, that we can become complacent. We can feel comfortable on our spiritual journey – that’s good! But we could take many things for granted. That is why we need to respond to Jesus on a daily basis. Each new day is a blessing from God. It gives us new opportunities of loving, serving, forgiving and just learning more about the mystery of who Jesus is in our lives. We are on a journey towards God. That means we can’t be static – our faith has to be ‘alive and active’ as Hebrews says. There are always new beginnings in serving God and one another. Think of what extra you might do in the week ahead!
Have a good week. God bless you,
CHURCH CLOSURE /OPENING?
A number of people have been asking when our church will re-open. The simple answer is – we do not know. We have been pondering the same question.
There are numerous factors to be considered. We have a clear message from the Government:
STAY AT HOME!
We note the cases of deaths in London are increasing. The week of 10th January – 1,052; the week of 17th January – 1,107; 19th January – 1,600 deaths. Hospitals are full and overwhelmed and staffs are at breaking point.
The schools are still closed as are so many other premises in our country.
We just need to be careful at this junction as the numbers of positive cases of Covid-19 seem to be on the decline. Now is the time for vigilance.
So at the moment our church will remain closed and as soon as it seems sensible we will re-open.
Thank you for your patience. Keep safe.
POPE FRANCIS DECLARES YEAR OF ST JOSEPH
On 8th December, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter entitled Patris Corde (‘With a Father’s Heart’). He has proclaimed 2021 as a special ‘Year of St. Joseph’.
We are suspending our next Confirmation programme until 2021 or whenever it is safe to meet as a group in person. If you are interested in receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, please fill in a form and we will contact you when we start the sessions.
There is possibility for a simple requiem Mass with a maximum number of 30 attendees including people ‘working’. Please contact the Parish Office for more information.
WE PRAY FOR THOSE ON OUR INTENTIONS BOARD
- our beloved deceased and their families
- those who are ill
- those with birthdays and anniversaries
- …and all other special intentions.
SANITISERS & STEWARDS NEEDED!
It would be most helpful if we can have a few more helpers to clean and sanitise the church so that we can keep it open and safe.
Do let us know if you are able to spare an hour a week to volunteer as a steward – we would really appreciate your support!