Mass Times and intentions: Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th September
Saturday 19th 5.00 p.m. People of the Parish
Sunday 20th 9.30 a.m. Elisabeth McConnell
10.30 a.m. People of the Parish
9.30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Saturday 26th 5.00 p.m. Geoffrey Owen R.I.P.
Sunday 27th 9.30 a.m. People of the Parish
10.30a.m. People of the Parish
Welcome and Thanks
This weekend we welcome Fr. Mervyn Williams SDB, who will be with us until Christmas and we thank Fr. Marco Villani for celebrating mass for us last weekend.
Our Spiritual Life
Thursday 24th September 7:30—8:30pm—prayer before of the Blessed Sacrament.
Sacrament of Reconciliation now available from Fr. Mervyn by appointment.
Our Ministry—Calling All Stewards and Readers
A big thank you to those of you who offered to help out as stewards or readers.
We still have an urgent need for more stewards.
Please contact David May on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gift Aid Envelopes
If you use Gift Aid envelopes these are available. Please ask a steward to collect yours.
Scripture Reflection—Deacon Paul
Charles Bowen quipped “The rain it raineth on the just And also on the unjust fella; But chiefly on the just, because The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.” It can feel like that sometimes at work or in our peer groups. Jesus invites us to reflect on our acts of service to others, not just what we get out of it. Our integrity is worth more than ambition; our obedience to our mission in life more than money. Equality in society is an objectively good system; tarnished by the collective “me first”.
Praying Together - David May
Dear Members of our Parish Community
When I was 5 years old I fell and broke my arm. Breaking an arm is a rite of passage and a common occurrence in childhood. The difference in my case is that on the day I had the plaster cast removed I fell again (clearly a clumsy child) and re-broke the arm, so was back in plaster! Many years later my eldest daughter broke her right arm. Unfortunately, while her arm was still in plaster, she fell, and broke her left arm. A daughter with two arms in plaster did raise eyebrows!
Some experiences should not be repeated. Breaking arms is one of them, falling out of a tree another, but attending Church, joining together as a worshiping community, is a practice we should encourage.
It is very encouraging therefore, that as families return to Church, we are seeing a number of our young people coming forward to make their First Holy Communion. Their preparation has been tested by lock-downs and the restrictions imposed by the corona virus, but with the help of their families and the grace of the Holy Spirit, these young people are ready to experience the love of Jesus as expressed in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. We should welcome them, encourage them and pray for them.
This week-end we welcome Fr Mervyn to Our Lady Help of Christians. He will be with us until the New Year and with his arrival we will be able to return to a regular pattern of week-day Masses. In welcoming Fr Mervyn we are grateful to Fr Kevin and Fr Marco who have celebrated Mass for us since Fr Chris sailed to Reading.
We cannot fully understand God, especially His generosity. The Readings for Sunday remind us that God’s ways are not our ways. God’s gifts go to those God chooses, not those we choose.
In our first reading, Isaiah rebukes those who accuse God of ‘giving in’ by forgiving the wicked man who turns back to God. Isaiah reminds the exiles in Babylon that God is more merciful than they are, and more forgiving.
In his letter to the Church at Philippi, Paul writes that he wants to die to be with Christ, but also would like to continue to support and encourage Church. Faced with these alternatives he abandons himself in obedience to God’s will and grace.
Jesus, in Sunday’s Gospel, tells the story of a landowner who hired labourers at five different times during the course of one day to work in his vineyard but paid the same wage for a full day’s work to all of them. The landowner’s generosity evoked a mixed response. On a human level it defies what we would call common sense and natural justice, but on a deeper level, it shows us God’s love and generosity.
God loves us and is always willing to forgive us and to show us mercy. The parable of the generous employer teaches us that God will continue to invite us over and over throughout our whole life and if we answer that invitation in a positive way, we are assured of the same reward - salvation and life with God in heaven.
Keep safe. Keep smiling. God bless you.