News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th September 2021: The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Have you heard the saying: “Actions speak louder than words”? It's what St James is saying in his Epistle which is our second reading on Sunday: “If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, 'I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty', without giving them the bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.”.
We cannot help everyone in need. That is unrealistic. Those who are homeless and living on our streets; those who have come to this country with little or nothing because they are refugees; those who have lost their homes and possessions through wild fires, floods or hurricanes; those who are imprisoned unjustly in countries around the world; those who are persecuted for their religion, race, ethnic background or religious beliefs; the list is endless. So many people suffering and we are helpless? Well, perhaps not entirely. For Jesus tells his disciples: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
In many ways our readings remind us the hymn by Sydney Carter “When I needed a neighbour” which is based upon the words of Jesus in the Good News from Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 25 in which he says: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”. If we can help just one person, or just one family through some good deed, then we are putting our Christian faith into action. We must renounce ourselves, by making a commitment to Christ, just as those newly Baptised and Confirmed did last Sunday; we must not only take up our own crosses, our own troubles, our own suffering – but meet that suffering in the lives of the people we meet and do something to help; and it is only then that we can truly be followers of the one who gave his life for us, because he loved us so much.
Bring your crosses to Our Lord and meet him this weekend at St Mary's. First Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 11th September at 6.00pm. The Parish Mass is on Sunday 12th September at 10.30am.
When I needed a neighbour, were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour, were you there?
And the creed and the colour and the name won't matter,
Were you there?