Good news for a change! This weekend there are three virtually fully booked up Masses, so I am delighted that so many of you have decided to ‘take the plunge’ and come along. I do believe my words of last week, where I said that coming to church is one of the safest places you could be, thanks to the controls in place, the faithfulness of the volunteer stewards in carrying out their responsibilities, and the co-operation of all the worshippers. It is easy to organise when people take the trouble to phone on Wednesdays between 2pm and 10pm – even those with a job like reading or distributing Holy Communion, and the stewards themselves. It becomes more important to do so when we get maximum demand, like this week.
This weekend in chapter 4 of St Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi there is some really encouraging advice, repeating the frequent ‘There is no need to worry’ and then saying how God is influencing even our hearts and thoughts. The opening prayer at mass daringly asks God to ‘pardon what conscience dreads’ and to ‘give what prayer does not dare to ask’. The so-called ‘Captivity Epistles’ (to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians) are full of joy, the ‘good news’ the disciples were commissioned to spread.
We are familiar with the parable about the vineyard and the vinedressers, and Isaiah using the same picture some six hundred years before the gospels were written, to sing of the Lord’s love for his vineyard, and his dismay at the poverty of the grapes that were being produced by his servants. Does your life in Christ bear fruit as it should?
We are asked at this time of the harvest to be generous and considerate to those lacking the basic necessities of life. There are envelopes from CAFOD in church for people to contribute to the welfare of the poorer people of the world. Please use the envelopes and then they can all by placed in the one collection basket as you go out of church.
Some not-so-good information for you. Since February there have been over 45,000 deaths of people affected by the corona virus. During the same time there were over 23,000 women in England and Wales who aborted their babies. You are invited by SPUC to learn the truth about the new DIY abortion supported by the government, and to save women and their babies from the tragedy of abortion. Phone 020 7091 7091 to order some leaflets you could pass on door to door, or just go the SPUC website.
I have offered Mass for the sick relatives and friends of the Kelly family and for the Martin family; for special intentions of P Young and P Townson; for Susan Malpas; and this weekend for the Clayton and Heffernan intentions. Please join with me in praying some of the rosary daily during October – one way is by naming a different intention with each Hail Mary. Wednesday is the feast of our Lady of the Rosary. It is ten years that Bishop Mark has been in charge of our Diocese.
God bless you all.
Fr Tony Elder