22nd Sunday Of Ordinary Time

22sofot16

Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.

Humble behaviour is the mark of the Christian, as it always was the mark of someone “in favour with the Lord.” In the Gospel, we see Jesus watching the Pharisees: it’s almost amusing to picture them shuffling for the best places, the polite “After you!” to put themselves in a better position. How would they have reacted to his teaching? They may well have remembered the passage we read from the Old Testament, and realised that Jesus was teaching the teachers something they should be well aware of.

 PSALM

The just shall rejoice at the presence of God, they shall exult and dance for joy. O sing to the Lord, make music to his name; rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence. Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, such is God in his holy place. God gives the lonely a home to live in; he leads the prisoners forth into freedom. You poured down, O God, a generous rain: when your people were starved you gave them new life. It was there that your people found a home, prepared in your goodness, O God, for the poor.

 

First Reading:    Eccl 3:1-21, 30-31

Second Reading: Heb 12:18-19,22-24

Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1,7-14

 

22nd Sunday Of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

 

 

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21st Sunday of Ordinary Time

21sofot16

Men from east and west will come to take
their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

It’s probably a nightmare we all share to some degree or other – being locked out of the house, the sales, the big match, or missing the train, the boat or plane. Contemplating watching the crowds that have got inside, while we can do nothing, can be unnerving. Complacency can leave us in this situation: today the Lord warns all who listen to him to be careful, taking nothing for granted, but making sure that we are (spiritually at least) like the people waiting with their sleeping bags and thermos flasks by the front door of the ticket office.

PSALM

O praise the Lord, all you nations, acclaim him all you peoples! Strong is his love for us; he is faithful for ever

 

First Reading:  Is 66: 18-21

Second Reading: Heb 12:5-7,11-13

Gospel Reading: Luke 13: 22-30

 

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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The Almighty has done great things for me, he has exalted the lowly.

This great feast is a twin to the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Then, if you recall, the preface of the Mass contained these words: “Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church; where he has gone, we hope to follow.” Today we celebrate the first of us to do just that, as we remember Mary following our Lord into heaven. She is the first to follow him – but not the last: this feast should help open our eyes to our final destination, heaven. So this feast pushes us right back to Easter, to thoughts of death and resurrection: it is the second reading which underlines all this. It talks of the “gradual” resurrection of the dead: Christ first, then “those who belong to him”.  Of these, the first is Mary, she who was without stain of original sin, she who was “most blessed of all women.” In her, today, we see the fulfilment of the vision of the first reading: the end of death and the victory of life in Christ.

PSALM

The daughters of kings are among your loved ones. On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words: forget your own people and your father’s house. So will the king desire your beauty: He is your lord, pay homage to him. They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the kings.

 

First Reading: Apoc 11:19; 12:1-6,10

Second Reading: Cor 15: 20-26

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56

 

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

19sofot16

You too must stand ready

Vigilance: we wait for glory or ruin, salvation or disaster. This is the choice that faces the Christian each and every day, as we wait for the Lord to return, as he promised he would. We often live our lives leaving such things to a distant, shadowy future – like the person who is going to fix that faulty lock or window-frame, but in the end doesn’t get round to it before the burglar comes. The lamps of our lives should be lit and shining, filled to the brim with the oil of prayer and charity, singing the hymns of the fathers as we wait for the Master to return.

PSALM

Ring out your joy to the Lord O you just; for praise is fitting for loyal hearts. They are happy, whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as his own. The Lord looks on those who revere him, on those who hope in his love, to rescue their souls from death, to keep them alive in famine. Our soul is waiting for the Lord. The Lord is our help and our shield. May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all hope in you.

 

First Reading: Wis 18:6-9

Second Reading: Heb 11:1-2,8-19

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-48

 

19th Week in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

18sofot16

This hoard of yours, whose will it be?

Today we contemplate a great truth about our life: you can’t take it with you. The old phrase there are no pockets in a shroud is what we confront today, in the preaching of both Ecclesiastes and the Lord Jesus. What Jesus makes us think about, however, is not just this truth, but the consequences of it: if we are not to build up treasure here on earth, what are we to do? The answer is simple: by our way of living we make ourselves rich in the sight of God!

PSALM

You turn men back into dust and say: “Go back, sons of men.” To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, no more than a watch in the night. You sweep men away like a dream, like grass which springs up in the morning. In the morning it springs up and flowers: by evening it withers and fades. Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? Show pity to your servants. In the morning, fill us with your love; we shall exult and rejoice all our days. Let the favour of the Lord be upon us: give success to the work of our hands

 

First Reading: Eccl 1:2; 2:21-23

Second Reading: Col 3:1-5,9-11                 

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:13-21

 

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

17sofot16

Ask, and it will be given to you.

When we see the child in the sweet shop nagging and moaning at mum or dad for something, we probably don’t think of it as a model of our prayer lives! And yet, if we take the word of God seriously today, that is exactly what our faith teaches us to do! The message is persistence – never giving up, even if prayers do not seem to be answered. We shouldn’t ask why they are not answered on the spot (God’s probably got a reason), but should just continue beating on the door of heaven in faith and hope.

 

Psalm

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart, you have heard the words of my mouth. In the presence of the angels I will bless you. I will adore before your holy temple. I thank you for your faithfulness and love which excel all we ever knew of you. On the day I called, you answered; you increased the strength of my soul. The Lord is high yet he looks on the lowly and the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of affliction you give me life and frustrate my foes. You stretch out your hand and save me, your hand will do all things for me. Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands.

 

First Reading: Genesis 18: 20-32

Second Reading: Col 2: 12-14

Gospel Reading: Luke 11:1-13

 

17th Week in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

Please pray for Canon John and the pilgrims who are travelling to Lourdes with the Welsh National Pilgrimage. On Tuesday the Grotto Mass will be concelebrated by Bishop Tom Burns, Canon John and other welsh priests at 8.30am French time (7.30am here). The Mass can be viewed on http://en.lourdes-france.org

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

16sofot16

Martha welcomed Jesus into her house. Mary has chosen the better part.

Sacred Hospitality is our theme: as the letter to the Hebrews says: “remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” True hospitality lies in two things: first the welcome, encouraging the stranger to enter the house and be at home there: secondly, the gift – not just of food or drink, but of time: listening to the stranger, and giving of ourselves to them. This is what makes hospitality costly, but holy, and a true service of Jesus Christ.

PSALM

Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain? He who walks without fault; he who acts with justice and speaks the truth from his heart; he who does not slander with his tongue. He who does no wrong to his brother, who casts no slur on his neighbour, who holds the godless in disdain, but honours those who fear the Lord. He who keeps his pledge, come what may; who takes no interest on a loan and accepts no bribes against the innocent. Such a man will stand firm for ever.

 

First Reading: Gen 18:1-10

Second Reading: Col 1:24-28

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:38.42

 

16th Week in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

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