Hello everyone. It was a quieter Wednesday for me this week. I quite missed the fifty or so phone calls booking places in church for Mass. I hope that you are all coping somehow with the new lockdown rules, and the never-ending gloomy reports on the news of increasing positive testing for Covid19 and sadly large numbers of deaths each day. Everyone seems slightly buoyed up by the discovery of a vaccine. It is a gleam of hope that the all-pervading threat to ordinary life is not going to last for ever. I haven’t heard anyone mourning the ‘defeat’ of President Trump. Several of you responded to that New Year’s Eve homily of Pope Francis we published last week, selecting individual phrases that struck you. Amazingly they were all different! I don’t know how he manages to deal with all the worries and insoluble problems he faces from day to day. May God bless and support him.
I confess to being slightly confused by two requests made recently for days of prayer: one by Lymm Churches Together to pray on November 15, and one by the bishops of England and Wales the following Sunday November 22, both suggesting a concerted joint effort to ask God’s much-needed help to face all the difficulties the pandemic has brought. Please feel free to follow either initiative or maybe both. We may be shamed into action by our Christian neighbours, or dutifully led by our bishops. I suspect we don’t necessarily need either form of motivation. Let us pray!
This weekend’s scripture readings are a mixed bag. The first is that somewhat whimsical sounding passage from the Book of Proverbs describing the good fortune of one who has found the perfect wife. St Paul’s letter talks about staying awake so as not to be caught out as if by a thief in the night. The gospel tells the parable of the talents – the more you have, the more will be expected of you. Are you conscious of what talents you have been given? Have you buried yours in a hole in the ground somewhere? Worse, are you yourself buried in a hole, the repressed part of you wallowing in negativity? God’s plan is to be able to congratulate each of us on a job well done, and to reward us with the eternal happiness of heaven. Plenty to think about during our day of prayer!
I have offered Mass this week for Valerie Doolan who is sick; on the first anniversary of the death of John Malpas; and for Alma Shuttleworth’s intentions. Next week in the last Sunday in the Church’s year and the feast of Christ the Universal King.
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God bless you all.
Fr Tony Elder