26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.

Following on from last week, “You cannot be the slave of both God and money”, we see a practical illustration of what this means. The division between rich and poor was very striking at the time of Jesus: popular understanding, however, said that to be rich was a blessing from God. Jesus reminds people that riches carry their own responsibility – the duty to notice the poor man, especially when he lies at your own gate. In this parable, Jesus is subtly attacking the people’s lack of acceptance of the teaching of the prophets. –They have Moses and the prophets, but they obviously haven’t listened to them. The twist in the last line is powerful: “…they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.” Since our world still sees a division between rich and poor, how true those words have become!

 

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.
It is the Lord who loves the just, the Lord, who protects the stranger.
He upholds the widow and orphan but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever, Zion’s God, from age to age.

 

First Reading: Amos 6:1,4-7

Second Reading: Tim 6:11-16

Gospel Reading: Luke 16:19-31

 

26th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

Requiescat in Pace

Please pray for the soul of David Fitzgerald who died recently. Our deepest sympathy to his family. Funeral Service at St David’s on Tuesday 27th September at 10.30am

 

Please pray for the soul of Patrick Devlin who died recently. Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends. Funeral arrangements to follow.

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25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

25sofot16

You cannot be the slave both of God and money

How easy to take the words of Jesus out of context: “Use money to win you friends, is one of those lines that sounds strange to us outside the context of the parable and the teaching in today’s Gospel. Even the parable itself can seem a little strange is Jesus really recommending that we act like dishonest stewards? No, of course not! The point that reveals this is hidden half way down: “The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind…” Jesus in a way praises the effort of the dishonest steward, but wishes that it was directed less to worldly things, but to the things of heaven. And this is the message that we are to take: where do we direct our energies – to making money, fame, fortune and success, or to finding friends in heaven?

PSALM

Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed both now and for evermore!
High above all nations is the Lord, above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down, to look down upon the earth?
From dust he lifts up the lowly, from the dung heap he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes, yes, with the princes of his people.

 

First Reading: Amos 8:4-7

Second Reading: Tim 2:1-8

Gospel Reading: Luke 16:1-13

 

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

 

World Day of Prayer for Peace

Pope Francis has invited Catholics throughout the world to join him in a day of prayer for peace, Tuesday 20th September. He has composed this prayer especially for this day:

God of all grace, call the nations of the earth to cease from strife, that all may join to fight not one another but their common foes of ignorance and want, disease and sin.

Lead humanity back from the way of death and into the way of life; from destruction to the building up of a world of righteousness and peace, liberty and joy.

End the dark night of lies and cruelty. Bring in the dawn of mercy and truth. Amen.

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24th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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HOME MISSION SUNDAY – PROCLAIM THE JOY OF LOVE

There will be rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner.

 

The message of God’s forgiveness is one that we are familiar with, but which the Lord still wishes to emphasise. Our human approach to forgiveness is so often flawed – we hold grudges, erect barriers, make demands and establish conditions. Jesus wants to remind his listeners and us that God’s forgiveness is overflowing and bountiful. Saint Paul was well aware of this: he had persecuted the Church, calling himself “the greatest of sinners; and yet, thanks to the inexhaustible patience of God, he can count himself a believer. We must be open to the gift of forgiveness for ourselves, and also (as the Parable of the Elder Brother shows) open to that forgiveness offered to other whom we would condemn.

 

PSALM

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise.
My sacrifice is a contrite spirit; a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

 

First Reading: Ex 32:7-11,13-14

Second Reading: Tim 1:12-17

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-32

 

24th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

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23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

23sofot16

None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.

This is a very difficult set of readings. The Gospel itself starts with a saying which many find hard to understand: must we really “hate” our family to be the Lord’s disciples? The point is that it is relative: what are we prepared to give up for the Gospel? Are we going to try and make our own cross, or accept whatever we are given? Jesus is probably trying to discourage the crowd of sensation seekers and hangers-on who are crowing round him. He wants real disciples, who are aware of the possible cost: not like the incompetent builder, or the useless king. To be a disciple, one must be prepared to follow Jesus anywhere, whatever it might cost in possessions, family or friends. We may never understand why, but then, “who can know the intentions 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: Wis 9:13-18

Second Reading: Phil 9-10,12-1

Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33

 

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

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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

 

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2016 Newsletter

 

 

 

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