News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September 2021: The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Do you have someone or something that really annoys you? A particular politician or television presenter; an acquaintance or a friend-of-a-friend that you find just unbearable; or perhaps it's the sound of loud car and motorcycle exhausts as they race along the road; or the menace of electric scooters? And what about global issues? Are we sympathetic to the actions of the Extinction Rebellion crowd blocking the motorways or the constant stream of refugees and asylum seekers trying to cross the English Channel? They may have very good motives or reasons, even if their actions don't necessarily present themselves in an ideal manner or in a way that we find acceptable. In the Good News of Mark's Gospel, Jesus is saying that we must be more tolerant. When John approaches Jesus and says: “We saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.” Jesus is somewhat taken aback. “You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.”
All of us are individuals. We have our own likes and dislikes. We must accept that some people will have different beliefs and opinions to ours. Some will act in different ways and say things that we don't agree with. But Jesus isn't asking us just to be tolerant. He is asking much more. He asks us to be sympathetic and to try and understand the person or people that we sometimes find hard to accept. The disciples found that difficult, so it's no surprise that we do too! Look around you in the local area, nationally, globally … we are God's kingdom and everyone has a right to be part of it, regardless of their religious beliefs, their race, their ethnic diversity, their political beliefs. We are all God's children. Remember what Jesus said in the Gospel we heard last Sunday: “Anyone who welcomes one of these children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” Let us try and be more welcoming to all those in our society who challenge our tolerances, for in the eyes of God each one of us is one of his children.
The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 25th September at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 26th September at 10.30am.