7th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

“Love your enemies.”

Love your neighbour as yourself.” These are words we associate so clearly with the teaching of Jesus and the way of life the Gospel calls us to. But it may be a surprise to some people to hear that these words come first from the Old Testament, in the mouth of Moses himself. Moses was speaking the Lord God’s instruction for the community – the community of the people of Israel in flight from Egypt in their long sojourn in the wilderness. God’s instructions were about how that community had to work without grudges, resentment or vengeance, but with love and forgiveness and tolerance. When Jesus comes with the message of the Kingdom of heaven, it is the same – instruction for a perfect, God-guided society, which depends on how each of us lives with others. The wisdom of this world, which Saint Paul mentions in the Second Reading, will not teach us this: the world will believe in vengeance and friendship only for your friends. Each of us must ask how we can embrace the apparent folly of Jesus teaching: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

 

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2017 Newsletter

 

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6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

“You have learnt how it was said to your ancestors; but I say this to you.”

Back in the 60s some groups adopted” Jesus Christ as an icon of rebellion, overturning authority and tearing up the rule book, possibly because of the frequent confrontations between Our Lord and the Pharisees. Today’s Gospel, however, shows us Jesus not as rule-breaker, but as rule-fulfiller, bringing an even greater depth to the rule that had guided the people of Israel for centuries. Jesus does not throw out the rulebook – or as the first reading says, He does not command us to be godless!  He challenges us in this Gospel to see how far our keeping God’s Law will go: will it just be about the letter of the Law (I have never killed anyone”), or will it look deeper (“Have I ever been angry? Have I been violent in my thoughts?). The challenge of the Kingdom of Heaven is to keep the commandments first and foremost from within, so that our outward behaviour conforms to the requirements of God’s Law.

 

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2017 Newsletter

 

LENT 2017

Ash Wednesday this year falls on 1 March. This means the feast of St. David will be celebrated in the Diocese on 28 February.

3rd March – 7th April: Lenten Talks and soup lunch at the Salvation Army. Soup served from 12noon -1.15pm

3rd March: Women’s World Day of Prayer at Holy Trinity Church, Pontnewydd at 7pm

10th March: CAFOD FAMILY FAST DAY

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5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

You are the light of the world

While the world may seem to be very indifferent to Christianity most of the time, it can be very critical of Christians who do not seem to be following the most basic tenet of their faith – to be a people of “good deeds”, as Jesus teaches in today’s portion of the Sermon on the Mount. While we may sometimes feel indignant about the world’s criticism of our faults, we have to remember that we are in a vital relationship with the word we are to be its light. This means that we should welcome the world’s gaze and scrutiny of our actions and beliefs and we should, in a sense, be accountable to the world for the way we live. We should never be salt that loses its taste. This openness to the gaze of all is not for our own glory, however: it is so that others may find what we have found their way to the Father.

 

PSALM

He is a light in the darkness for the upright: he is generous, merciful and just.
The good man takes pity and lends, he conducts his affairs with honour.
The just man will never waver: he will be remembered for ever.
He has no fear of evil news; with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear; open-handed, he gives to the poor;
his justice stands firm for ever. His head will be raised in glory.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 58:7-10

Second Reading: 1 Cor 2:1-5

Gospel: Mathew 5:13-16

 

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2017 Newsletter

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4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Last week we heard Saint Matthew describing the beginnings of Jesus’ public ministry. This week Saint Matthew begins the most important summary of the proclamation of the kingdom of God – what we refer to as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This great collection of Jesus’ teachings begins with the Beatitudes – the Charter of the Kingdom. It is essential to understand these, if we are to understand what we will read in Saint Matthew during the rest of this year: the key, as underlined by the First Reading, is that the values of this world are not the values of the Kingdom of God – the Kingdom will see things turned upside down: happiness and blessing belong to those whom this world would ignore or mistreat. If we truly wish to live out the Gospel, we would do well to reflect on the virtues laid out in this familiar passage.

 

PSALM

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the Lord, who sets prisoners free.
It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind, who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger and upholds the widow and orphan.
It is the Lord who loves the just but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever, Zion’s God, from age to age.

 

First Reading: Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
Second Reading: 1 Cor 1:26-31
Gospel: Mathew 5:1-12

 

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2017 Newsletter

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3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

He went and settled in Capernaum:
in this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled.

We will spend most of the Sundays of the coming year in the company of Saint Matthew. His Gospel (like the others has its own characteristics. He is writing for a Jewish audience, and so is always at pains to stress one thing: that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah. He does this by reference to Jesus’ teaching and miracles, and very often by quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament to show that Jesus was their fulfilment. Today is a perfect example. “Zebulun and Naphthali” was an old name for the area round Capernaum by the side of the Lake of Galilee, a busy fishing and trading area, with many Gentile towns and settlements: it is here, rather than in the dangerous town of Nazareth, that Jesus “settles” and begins his ministry. This is where the proclamation of the Kingdom of God begins, as was foretold, and the first followers are invited to join Jesus.


PSALM

The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?
There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long,
to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life,
to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple.
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord!

 

First Reading : Isaiah 8: 23-9:3
Second Reading: 1 Cor 1:10-13,17
Gospel: Mathew 4:12-23

 

3rd Sunday Ordinary Time 2017 Newsletter

 

 

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th -25th January

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

6pm

7pm

12noon

7pm

Unity Service St David’s

URC, Old Cwmbran

Methodist Church

Salvation Army

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2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

There is no break between Christmas and Ordinary Time – one flows almost seamlessly into the other through the Baptism of Jesus. We ended our Christmas Season thinking about the “revelation” of the Son of God – people realising who this “Jesus of Nazareth” actually was – and this continues today, as we interject a passage from Saint John before we begin our weekly reading through Saint Matthew’s Gospel. New Year is about beginnings, and as we return to the beginning of Our Lord’s public ministry there is a sense of something exciting about to happen – even though we know the story, we dive into it once more, like returning to a favourite novel or film. So it is with joy that we stand in the country of the river Jordan, and recognise Jesus of Nazareth as the Chosen One of God, who offers himself to do God’s work.

 

PSALM

I waited, I waited for the Lord and he stooped down to me;
he heard my cry. He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God.
You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I.
In the scroll of the book it stands written that I should do your will.
My God, I delight in your law in the depth of my heart.
Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 49:3,5-6

Second Reading: 1 Cor 1:1-3

Gospel: John 1:29-34

 

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th -25th January

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

12 noon

7pm

12noon

9am

10am

6pm

7pm

12noon

7pm

St Mary’s Croesyceiliog

Hope Methodist

Siloam Baptist

Richmond Road Baptist

Prayer Walk

Unity Service St David’s

URC, Old Cwmbran

Methodist Church

Salvation Army

 

2nd Sunday Ordinary Time 2107 Newsletter

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The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

“We saw his star and have come to do the king homage.”

In the East, this Season of Christmas is called the ‘Time of Manifestation’, or Showing. Today is the ‘Feast of the Manifestation’, or the Showing of the Saviour to the whole world, to all nations. In the wise men who travel from the East, we see all the nations other than the people of Israel being welcomed at the New Temple of the New Covenant – the new born child in the manger. A look at the Psalm response shows this: “All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.” The same is true of the key word in the second reading: “Revelation”. Remember that for the people of Israel this was to be their Messiah, come to restore their fortunes. By this feast, we proclaim God’s plan was to extend his salvation to men and women of every nation, of every time and every place – including us. In many ways this is our Christmas Feast, when we celebrate the Good News of the Saviour’s birth revealed at last to us.

PSALM

O God, give your judgement to the king, to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice and your poor in right judgement.
In his days justice shall flourish and peace to the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea, from the Great River to earth’s bounds.
The kings of Tarshish and the sea coasts shall pay him tribute.
The kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring him gifts.
Before him all kings shall fall prostrate, all nations shall serve him.
For he shall save the poor when they cry and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak and save the lives of the poor.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6

Second Reading: Ephesians 3: 2-3, 5-6

Gospel: Matthew 2: 1-12

 

Epiphany 2017 Newsletter

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