News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August 2022: The Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
This Sunday, the response to Psalm 116 succinctly defines our mission and our commission: “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.” So we turn to the Gospel according to Luke to see what Good News we can proclaim to the whole world; but it would appear that Jesus has set us a challenge: “Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.” There is a similar verse in the Gospel according to Matthew: “Yes, many are going to be called, but few are going to be chosen.” Does this suggest that there is a finite number of souls who can be accommodated in heaven? No, but it does mean that our place in heaven should not be seen as 'automatic'. We have to make an effort in getting to know Jesus. This is what Jesus says: “Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door saying, 'Lord, open to us' but he will answer, 'I do not know where you come from.'” Remember our commission: “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.” Is that what we are doing? Are we really working to grow God's Kingdom here in Kenton? Are we growing closer to Our Lord, so that when our time comes and we knock at the door he will not turn us away?
Today (18th August) is the day that students receive their 'A' level grades. If they have done well, it will inevitably reflect upon the effort that they have applied to their studies. Putting in more effort generally leads to better grades – and for many young people, that opens more opportunities such as an apprenticeship or a place at University. Are we putting much effort into “proclaiming the Good News.”? Perhaps, like the comments often attributed to many student end of year Report Cards, we “could do better!” Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) we don't get graded on our attendance at church, our “homework” (prayer life) or our stewardship. If we were, I wonder how many of us would expect an A* – or perhaps we would be closer to the other end of the grading system? With the new term starting in just a few weeks, as the children and young people are getting themselves ready for a new academic year – perhaps we ought to be getting ourselves ready and making a special effort in readiness for Fr Richard's arrival as our new Vicar.
The first Mass of the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time will be on Saturday 20th August at 6.00pm. Parish Mass will be at 10.30am on Sunday 21st August. If you are willing and able to contribute to the reception and party after the Induction, please give your contributions to Gloria, Johnette or Ken.
Fr Jason at St Andrew's Kingsbury has asked me to mention a concert they will be hosting on Sunday 28th August at 3.30pm. Mozart's “Cosi fan Tutte” – sung in Italian with an English narration. Entry is free, with a retiring collection. Perhaps something to keep in mind if your Bank Holiday plans are scuppered with an unexpected rain shower! Of course, that is if you haven't yet started those spiritual keep-fit sessions ….
“Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.”