News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October 2022: The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ours is a world in which so much is said, but so little is heard: social media means that we can give voice instantly to our thoughts and feelings and opinions, and yet the resultant discourse often involves people more talking past one another and over one another, rather than actually talking with one another in authentic dialogue.
The first reading at Mass this coming Sunday reminds us that, in the midst of this noise and chatter, yet God 'listens to the plea of the injured party. He does not ignore the orphan's supplication, nor the widow's as she pours out her story.'
From this we can first draw comfort, recognising that – at those times when we may feel overlooked or underappreciated, yet God is always ready to listen to us, to recognise, respect and cherish us as His children; but from this also we should derive inspiration, to act this way ourselves in our dealings with others – to listen particularly for the quieter voices, the voices of the marginalised and weak.
God, we remember, spoke to the prophet Elijah not in wind and fire, but in a still, small voice: ought we to listen less to the wind and fire of our own context, and more to God speaking to us through the poor, the lonely and the unloved? Where in our work this week is God speaking to us, perhaps in unexpected ways?
A devout but foolish man once refused to leave his village as flood waters rose around him. 'God will look after me!' he said. As the waters rose, departing neighbours called the man to join them. 'I will wait for God!' he said in reply. As the waters rose further, a man rowed past in a dinghy: 'Climb in!' he said. 'I need only God, not the help of mortals!' the man confidently replied. The waters rose yet further, forcing the man onto his rooftop. Suddenly a rescue helicopter flew into sight. The crew dropped a rope ladder, right in front of the man: 'Climb up and save yourself,' they pleaded from above. 'I need no help other than what God gives me,' the man shouted back. The helicopter left, and the waters rose higher, dragging the man from their roof and down into a watery grave. As he stood before God at the gates of heaven, the man spoke accusingly to the Lord: 'I put my trust in you, Lord, that you would deliver me: what help did you give me when I was in need?' The Lord looked at the man with amazement: 'My child, I sent you neighbours, and a helicopter, and a boat!'
Do we recognise God's guidance and help in our lives? Do we listen for his voice in our daily work? Let us thank God that He is ever ready to listen; and let us pray God that we would be ready to do the same.
May you meet God in the voices of the humble in the days remaining of this week; and may that encounter encourage and inspire you, to be His witnesses in the world.
It's a busy time ahead, starting tomorrow (Saturday 22nd October) with a Macmillan Coffee Morning in the Church Hall from 10.30am – 3.00pm. Please support this if you can – and if you cannot attend in person, a donation will always be most acceptable. Please give it to Bernadette, or to one of the Churchwardens.
Please note some changes to Mass and Divine Office which are being introduced from this Sunday. Morning Prayer before the Parish Mass will now start at 9.45am. Mass on Friday morning will now be at the earlier time of 9.30am. There are also some changes to Morning and Evening Prayer.
There will be a Sung Mass for All Saints Day on Tuesday 1st November at 6.30pm. The following day is The Commemoration of All The Faithful Departed with two opportunities to come and pray for your departed family members and friends at 9.30am and 6.30pm. Please add names of the departed to the list at the back of church and indicate at which Mass you will be attending to pray for them.
And of course, our St Leonard's Day celebration, party and fireworks on Sunday 6th November at 6.00pm. Have you invited anyone yet?
We look forward to seeing you soon.