Newsletter- 3rd Week of Ordinary Time
Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity: last Wednesday, 18th January, we began the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity with the 9.30 am Mass in our parish celebrated for the unity of all Christians. As I mentioned last weekend in the Bulletin Churches Together in Grantham are planning a special service to be held this Sunday 22nd January, at St Anne’s Church, Grantham, at 6.30pm. Sadly this year I shall be unable to attend as I have a previous long-standing engagement that evening, but if you are free do consider going to support and join in prayer and fellowship with the other Christian congregations from our town. The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity will end this coming Wednesday on the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul. For the 2023 Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, the CTBI are being guided by the churches of Minneapolis to seek and to explore how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice across all levels of society. As we join with other Christians around the world for this year’s Week of Prayer, let us pray daily that our hearts will be open to see and hear the many ways in which racism continues to destroy lives, and to discern the steps we can all take as individuals and as communities to heal the hurts of the past and build a better future for everyone.
White Flower Appeal 2023: next weekend 28th/29th January we will have a retiring collection after all our Sunday Masses for the work of SPUC and the White Flower Appeal 2023. The Society for the Protection of Unborn children (SPUC) are currently campaigning to protect Pro-Life speech. Pro-Life witness is being restricted now more than ever before; please be as generous as you can to help SPUC defend unborn babies and their mothers. Information is now available in the entrance to church from SPUC regarding the White Flower Appeal 2023.
Today’s readings at Mass on this Sunday of the Word of God proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, the light of the world: a beacon who draws all peoples to himself. In our first reading we hear that when the old tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali were being deported to Assyria, Isaiah promised that their land, then deeply overshadowed by turmoil and war, would one day witness a great light in their midst. In the Gospel, St Matthew sees the fulfilment of this prophecy. Jesus was, and is, that light. At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus settles in Galilee, a region that corresponds to the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali. After proclaiming the kingdom of heaven, it is striking that his first action is to call his first disciples. The task of witnessing to the kingdom is not something to be done by Jesus alone. Rather he calls followers to share in and continue this work. In our second reading we are reminded by St Paul that if we are to walk in the light of Jesus, we must always be wary of tribalism, differences, and division. The Responsorial Psalm is an eloquent prayer of trust, where the psalmist calls on the Lord as his light and his help. This week, we may like to ask the Lord for that light and help in our own lives too. Let us pray that we may find ways of sharing Christ’s light and compassion with all whom we meet in our daily lives, all who may be suffering in any way at this time.
With prayer and best wishes for you and your families during the week ahead,
Your parish priest and friend,
2023 22nd January– Newsletter – Download