Newsletter- 32nd Week of Ordinary Time
November is now upon us, the month of the Holy Souls’, and this Sunday 6th November, at 2 pm we shall have the yearly Blessing of Catholic Graves. I invite you to come to Grantham cemetery and to meet me at the stone archway as you enter the main cemetery gates.
Changes to Mass Times this week: From Monday 7th November – Thursday 10th November I shall be in Norfolk taking a short break with my mother. We have traditionally gone together to Norfolk during this week as on 11th November it is my Father’s Years Mind. During my time away there will be No Public Worship on Tuesday 8th November. I am very grateful to Andrew for offering a Service of Word and Holy Communion on Wednesday 9th November at 9.30 am and Thursday 10th November at 11 am. Mass will be celebrated as normal by me on Friday 11th November at 9.30 am. Friday 11th November is Armistice Day and I invite you on this day to pray for peace within our world.
Welcome to Mgr. John Hadley: Fr John has come to “retire” to Grantham and many people will have already met him during the past week at some of the Masses. Fr John continues working as the Chancellor for our Diocese and teaching at St Mary’s Seminary, Oscott but has retired now from full time parish ministry. He will be offering cover within other parishes of the diocese from time to time too and so I have put “retire” in inverted comas as he will still be very busy! I know you will welcome Fr John warmly into our community here at St Mary’s and I am personally delighted that he has chosen to come to live amongst us here in Grantham.
Remembrance Sunday: Next Sunday 13th November we keep Remembrance Sunday and the 9.30 am Mass that day will be a Requiem Mass in anniversario for all who died during the past two World Wars and all subsequent conflicts since. At this Mass before the final Blessing there will be an Act of Remembrance and we shall keep the Two Minuit’s Silence as we remember all who died in the service of their country and for our freedom. The Saturday evening Vigil Mass at 6 pm that weekend on 12th November will be the normal Sunday Mass for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Aid for Chad and Peru: I have received a lovely note of thanks and I had a long telephone conversation with Elizabeth Keogh who came with Hilary Davis from St Joseph’s Oakham last weekend to sell handcrafted items made in the shanty towns of Lima after all our Masses. They were both overwhelmed by the welcome and hospitality that they received here at St Mary’s and by your great generosity to them and to their charity. Last weekend’s sale of craft goods has helped them to raise £533 for the peoples of Chad and Peru. This is the largest amount they have ever raised in any parish! They have asked me to thank you all on the charity’s behalf. All the monies raised will go directly to support some of the poorest peoples in Peru and Chad through the Sisters mission in the shanty towns. I am hoping we can make this an annual event and so I will be looking at a similar date for Elizabeth and Hilary to return to the parish next year.
The readings for this Sunday, the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C ask us how far we are willing to go in practicing our faith and ask us to consider what the next life will be like. In today’s Gospel, we hear about an encounter between Jesus and some Sadducees. The Sadducees were a party of Judaism active in Jesus’ time, descended from the priestly family of Zadok. They were literal interpreters of the written Law of Moses, which means that they disagreed with the position of the Pharisees, who offered an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses.
The Sadducees are described in the Gospel as opponents to the belief in resurrection. In the dialogue presented here, we see an example of the means of disputation that was common in first century Judaism. The Sadducees use the example of Levirate marriage, found in the Law of Moses, to disprove belief in the resurrection. According to Deuteronomy 25:5-10, if a man died without producing an heir, the man’s brother should marry his wife and the offspring of this union would inherit the property and carry on the name of the man who had died. The Sadducees use this as an example to challenge belief in the resurrection.
Jesus argues from the same written Law of Moses to show that there is resurrection. Using the texts from the Book of Exodus (Chapter 3) that describe Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush, Jesus shows that God is the God of the living, not the dead. Here Jesus uses the same method and texts of the Sadducees to counter them. As the Gospel text suggests, he beat them at their own game!
More importantly, in this discourse Jesus shows the limits of our imaginations when it comes to eternal life. The Sadducees argued against resurrection because of the limits of earthly existence. They did not imagine another possibility for existence and relationship with God. Jesus proposes that the possibilities of resurrected life are beyond our imaginations. Jesus’ conclusion suggests something else as well: To spend time worrying about resurrected life is to miss the point. The point is eternal relationship with God is possible, for God is the God of the living, “. . . for to him all are alive.”
First Holy Communion Preparation resumes January 2023: I am very grateful to Catherine Pritchard for taking on the role of lead catechist for this coming year, and to all our previous catechists for so kindly agreeing to continue in their roles. It will be very important though that in addition to our catechists we have some volunteer helpers to assist our catechists drawn from the parents of those children who may be seeking to make their First Holy Communion next year. The involvement and support of family members along with members of the parish community and our catechists is very important in helping our young people in their journey of faith and it is all our responsibility to support them in preparing to make their First Holy Communion. If you are a prospective parent and can help, it won’t be too arduous! Please get in touch with Catherine Pritchard, her contact details are to be found in this week’s Sunday Bulletin, along with the details of how to apply for a place for your child on our next First Holy Communion Preparation Course.
I ask for your prayers for me while I am away this week and be assured of my own for you and for your families too.
Your parish priest and friend,
2022 6th November – Newsletter – Download