News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September 2022: The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
We join with the Nation, the Commonwealth and the World in expressing our grief at the very sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For seventy years, Her Majesty devoted herself to the service of our country; and in her capacity as Sovereign, was Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Church of England web-site offers the following prayer for us to use:
Gracious God, we give thanks for the life of your servant Queen Elizabeth, for her faith and her dedication to duty. Bless our nation as we mourn her death and may her example continue to inspire us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen
It is uncanny that the liturgical readings for this Sunday allude to different losses; and the response to Psalm 50 could not have been more apposite, given the circumstances: “I will leave this place and go to my father.” Those who have sadly lost a family member or close friend will be quick to point out that grief is not a passing emotion. We have heard on a number of occasions in the past ten years at Saint Mary's, the description of grief that was expressed by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: “Grief is the price we pay for love.” There is no doubt that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was greatly loved – not just by her family and close friends, but by us all. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
It can be very frustrating! You know that you had it a short while earlier, and now you just can't seem to find it anywhere! Is this a familiar story? I think it would be pretty unusual if it hadn't happened to you at some time or another. Some of us are 'better' at losing things than others – and I have a sneaky suspicion that increasing age has something to do with it: although I know of several children and young people who are often far too reliant on their older relatives to help locate lost toys or items of clothing that they want to wear!
So the Good News in the Gospel according to Luke should resonate with many of us. “What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say, “I have found my sheep that was lost.” We don't have a lot of sheep here in Kenton; but I think we can understand that feeling of elation experienced by the shepherd in Jesus' parable when he finds his lost sheep. Perhaps it also gives us just a glimpse of God's compassion: “In the same way , I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.” The longer version of this Sunday's Gospel (Luke 15:1-32) retells the parable of the Prodigal Son. This exemplifies God's overwhelming compassion, just as the father demonstrates compassion towards his wayward son in the parable. However, what we must not overlook is the contrition shown by the son when he returns to the father. We must do likewise.
The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 10th September at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 11th September at 10.30am.
“Your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”