17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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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

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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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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Who is my neighbour?”

Both first reading and Gospel today invite us to be “down to earth” about the Law of God. It’s very easy to become an “expert in religion” – knowing all the right answers, remembering all the right quotes, and so on. But for Moses and for Jesus, if God’s Law is to be kept anywhere, it must be in our hearts and in our everyday lives. We are not to be concerned with keeping our eyes fixed on heaven, if it means that we cannot see the poor man at our feet.

PSALM

This is my prayer to you, my prayer for your favour. In your great love, answer me, O God, with your help that never fails: Lord, answer, for your love is kind; in your compassion, turn towards me. As for me in my poverty and pain let your help, O God, lift me up. I will praise God’s name with a song; I will glorify him with thanksgiving. The poor when they see it will be glad and God-seeking hearts will revive; for the Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains. For God will bring help to Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. The sons of his servants shall inherit it; those who love his name shall dwell there.

 

First Reading: Deut 30:10-14

Second Reading: Col 1:15-20

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37

 

 

15th Week in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Your peace will rest on that man.”

 

The link between the First Reading and Gospel is not immediately apparent today, until you look at the “headings” which are always chosen “to make the connection between readings of the same Mass clear.” (Introduction to the Lectionary n.123.) The “headings” present us with a simple picture today: a river of peace flowing out from the Lord, which we see in the Gospel as the flowing of the disciples as they are sent out on their first mission. From the Lord of Peace, others, like ripples in a pool, flow out carrying his simple message: “Peace to this house!”

PSALM

Cry out with joy to God all the earth, O sing to the glory of his name. O render him glorious praise. Say to God: “How tremendous your deeds!” “Before you all the earth shall bow; shall sing to you, sing to your name!” Come and see the works of God, tremendous his deeds among men. He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the river dry-shod. Let our joy then be in him; he rules for ever by his might. Come and hear, all who fear God. I will tell what he did for my soul. Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer nor withhold his love from me.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14

Second Reading: Galatians 6:14-18

Gospel Reading: Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20

 

14th Week in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem.”
“I will follow you wherever you go.”

There is a sense of urgency about discipleship – almost like emergency services responding to a crisis, in the Gospel today there is no time to wait for any normal human moments, no reason to delay: the hand must be placed immediately on the plough, the work must begin NOW! It can feel as though Jesus is being a little abrupt in this passage – even a little too intense! But it is a question of priorities: for the Lord, the work of salvation, or proclaiming the Gospel, brooks no delay. Perhaps this intensity is a valuable reminder for us – we can tend to “tame” Jesus, and forget that he was passionately and totally dedicated to the Mission his heavenly Father had entrusted to him – even to the point that he left Nazareth to become a homeless preacher with nowhere to lay his head.

PSALM

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you. I say to the Lord: “You are my God.” O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my prize. I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart. I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm. And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay. You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence at your right hand happiness for ever.

 

First Reading: 1Kings 19:16, 19-21

Second Reading: Gal 5:1, 13-18

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:51-62

 

13th Week in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

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12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“You are the Christ of God. The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously”

Out of a seemingly innocent question comes the dark shadow of the cross: Jesus must teach his disciples that to be the “Anointed One”, “the Christ”, means to follow the path of sacrifice to the very end. He is not a King who comes with armies, but a King who comes with truth and humility, prepared to die for that truth about God’s Kingdom. But the mourning is always to be seen in the light of Easter – “being raised on the third day”, when “a fountain will be opened”, the fountain of Baptism and eternal life in the death and resurrection of the Lord.

 PSALM

O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.   For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise. So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy. For you have been my help; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.

 

First Reading: Zechariah 12: 10-11, 13:1

Second Reading: Gal 3:26-29

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:18-24

 

12th Week in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Her many sins have been forgiven,
or she would not have shown such great love.”

The “theme” of the First Reading, Psalm and Gospel today is “forgiveness of sins”. We hear the touching Gospel story, of the “woman with a bad name in the town” coming to anoint Jesus’s feet. Living inspired by the love of Jesus is the key to our discipleship – his crucifixion is the sign of his love, which is in itself the forgiveness of sins.

PSALM

Happy the man whose offence is forgiven whose sin is remitted. O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile. But now I have acknowledged my sins: my guilt I did not hide. I said: “I will confess my offence to the Lord.” And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin. You are my hiding place, O Lord; you save me from distress. You surround me with cries of deliverance. Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you just! O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart.

 

First Reading: 2 Samuel 12: 7-10, 13

Second Reading: Gal 2:16, 19-21

Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 36-8:3

 

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

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