Newsletter- 28th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

If you are like me, I suspect that you love a good meal with your friends and family. Whenever we share a meal with those we love, there is a sense of joy, community and belonging which is experienced by those around the table. Stories are told and new memories are created.

The same was true at the time of Jesus. We know from the gospels, that Jesus sat and ate with many people. To share a meal with another person then was sign of equality. All those around the table were seen as equals as they often ate from the same plate or bowl. However, if you were sick in any way, you were not allowed to sit at the table with others, even members of your own family. To be sick was to be seen as a sinner who was being punished by God. The Pharisees, Scribes and the Jewish elders decided who could come into the Temple and sit at the table to share a meal. If a person didn’t reach the standards that they laid down, then they were ignored, dismissed and unable to eat with others. Jesus was very aware of this. He himself often ate with those who were ignored, hated, and dismissed. 

In the first reading and gospel on this Sunday the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the image and symbol of the meal and banquet are used to let us know how generous God is. The first reading tells us that the Lord will prepare a meal of rich wine and food. The Lord will remove the veil of sadness and all people will be invited to this celebration. In the gospel, Jesus continues this message. The table is set, and the food is ready. However, those invited gave various excuses why they could not go to the feast. In response, the king invited and welcomed strangers, good and bad alike. They were the ones who enjoyed the food and wine.

Jesus calls us by our name and invites us to come to the feast. It is up to us whether or not we accept his invitation. We are all invited personally to the table of the Lord. When we gather to celebrate the Eucharist Jesus is the host and we are his guests. We come as we are, not how we would like to be. The Eucharist is offered to us freely and we are invited to respond freely. It is God’s gift to us, and no one is to be excluded, for as our Holy Father Pope Francis often reminds us: ‘the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak… the Church is a place for everyone, with all their problems.’ We are all welcome if we accept Gods invitation to us!

Looking ahead to November

November is the Month of the Holy Souls. You will find in the entrance to church the November Dead List Envelopes, and printed sheets for writing the names of deceased family members and friends to be included in the envelope with a donation, which can either be given to me or dropped through the letter box of the Rectory. The names of your deceased relatives and friends and all for whom you wish to pray will then be placed in a basket close to the Altar throughout the month of November and at the end of November I will divide these names up into special Masses for the intentions of ‘The Holy Souls – November Dead List.’ These Masses will be offered by me throughout the year. 

Aid for Chad and Peru: at both the Weekend Masses on Saturday/Sunday 4th/5th November we will welcome again two parishioners from St Joseph’s Oakham who will set up stalls in the Link Room where you will be able to buy a selection of beautiful hand-crafted items made in the shantytowns of Lima to help support the work of the charity: ‘Aid for Chad and Peru.’ Do pop into the Link Room on your way out from Mass that weekend as I feel sure you will find some high quality and very charming Christmas presents and stocking fillers. All the funds raised from your purchases will go directly to support the work of this small but important charity.

On Sunday 12th November we keep Remembrance Sunday. The Parish Mass at 9.30 a.m. that day will be a Requiem Mass in anniversario for all who died in the past two World Wars and all subsequent conflicts since. At this Mass there will be an Act of Remembrance, a Trumpeter playing the Last Post, then we will keep Two Minutes Silence, after which the Trumpeter will play the Reveille before we hear the Kohima Exhortation and receive the Final Blessing from the altar. We keep in our prayers on Remembrance Sunday all who died in the service of their country and for our freedom.

On Sunday afternoon, 12th November at 2 pm, I invite you to join me at Grantham cemetery for the yearly Blessing of Graves. This will be a simple liturgy of prayer and blessing with holy water of all our Catholic graves. A chance too to pray for the repose of the souls of family members and friends buried in the cemetery grounds. Please meet at the stone archway as you enter the main cemetery gates.

With my prayers for you and for your families during the coming week ahead,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan


2023 15th October 2023– Newsletter – Download