Newsletter- 23rd Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

This coming week many of our schools begin back after the summer break. The new term begins at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, on Monday 5th September, do pray this coming week for all who work and study in our school, especially for the new members of staff and students who will begin there this coming term. 

In our Gospel reading from St Luke, set for this Sunday, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus is speaking to people gathered at the table about the difficulties of following him. This group of people is suspicious about Jesus, looking to catch him doing something wrong. Jesus speaks to them in parables, emphasising that although there is a right way to be a disciple and enter the kingdom of his Father, it is a difficult path to follow. Many, even some of the guests at the table, reject the invitation. So, Jesus turns to the crowds and speaks to them about discipleship. Jesus explains that, when it comes to making a choice for the Kingdom of God, nothing can get in the way. When Jesus describes “hating” one’s father and mother, he is not talking about feelings. Rather, he is emphasising very strongly that choosing to be a disciple means that everything else—family, money, our own life—must come second. In Matthew’s version of this same story (Matthew 10:37), Jesus refers not to “hating” father or mother, but to loving them more than Jesus. Jesus makes it very clear that being a disciple is not easy. It means we will often have to bear our own crosses in life. These difficult sayings of Jesus are followed by two brief parables (a person constructing a tower and a king marching into battle) which make an obvious point—don’t start what you cannot finish. Discipleship is difficult and is something we can commit to only if we are prepared to put the Kingdom of God before everything else.

Little Church is resuming, next Sunday 11th September, initially twice a month. I do encourage families with young children (up to 7 years old) to make use of this group. It will we hope, be a fun and informative shared time together, for all those attending, with a little gentle catechesis, creative input, and some simple prayer. Parents are very welcome to accompany their children and there will be a corner for babies and toddlers too (one parent must accompany babies and very young children please). Those wishing to attend Little Church should gather in church at the start of Mass with their families and they will be invited to go out to the hall after the opening Collect, returning to join family members at the Offertory. 

I am very grateful to those who have offered their time to help run Little Church, without their commitment and support Little Church would not be able to take place. We can though always do with a few more volunteers to help ease the load, so do get in touch with me if you would like to join our small band of willing helpers! No prior knowledge is needed other than a willingness to engage and encourage the young children to grow in a deeper knowledge of the Faith.

With prayer for you and for your families during the coming week, 

Your parish priest and friend,

Father Jonathan


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