A special message for the young people who have been anxiously awaiting exam results – congratulations if you have received the news you wanted, and if you didn’t, don’t give up hope – some people are crushed by their first experience of failing; others learn to deal with it, come through it, and are better and stronger people. To fail to achieve what you want does NOT make you a failure! It may make you more dependent on God, as well, which is never a bad thing.
I would love to hear from those parents whose children were to receive their First Sacraments. They have been left in no-man’s land, but have not been forgotten. Could you find a way to come to Mass as the children start to return to school? We will see what can be done for you.
Thank you all for phoning and booking a place at Mass. We have just the two Mass times that have been filled again. The 10.30am does not seem so popular yet. People can book for 10.30am next week if they wish, but if there are not enough wanting to come, it will be cancelled again and you will be offered a place at 5.45 or 9.00am.
Don’t forget, phone Wednesday afternoon from 2.00pm onwards, until 10.00pm. Please don’t leave a message, as that messes up the whole scheme, which seems to have worked well so far.
I did mention at Mass two weeks ago that it is now twelve years since I came to serve at St Winefride’s, the oldest priest ever to do so. Sometimes I feel as though I have got younger in your company. At other times it isn’t quite like that. I hope I shall be given the health and strength to serve another year, but please let me know when you think it is time for me to pack up. That is what I asked the Bishop last time he came here.
The readings at Mass on the twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary time are partly about God putting people in charge and promising them help. In the gospel narrative, Jesus has been training his followers, and asks them what they think. “Who do you say that I am?” he asks. That is a question we can try to answer honestly. If we can give the same answer as Peter, or Martha the sister of Lazarus (John 11: 27) then we are truly blessed. Paul in his letter to the Christians in Rome continues to express his wonderment at his discovery of the greatness of God.
I have offered Mass for James Comerford and for Marie and Harold White who are sick, for the late Tony Cooke and Patrick Cosgrove, and for Mary Jones’ intentions. I invite you to pray with me for all those who are unwell, and for those whose lives are particularly being blighted by the coronavirus. I hope the prospect of a return to school is not too stressful, and ask everyone to continue to take the safety guidelines seriously. Thank you all for your ongoing prayers for me.
Fr Tony Elder