News for Sunday 30th January: The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th January 2022: The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am writing this on 27th January – Holocaust Memorial Day. “One Day” to reflect upon the atrocities of the past; not only those who were the six million victims of Nazi persecution during the Second World War, but the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. On each occasion, pledges are made that these violations of humanity should never happen again. But we know that similar persecutions are currently taking place in Myanmar against the Rohingya community, and similarly against the Uyghur people in China. However, this is not the plight of minority groups. It is believed that over 300 million Christians around the world are living in fear of persecution. In Burma, China, North Korea, Iran, Nigeria … just some of the many countries where it is dangerous to be a follower of Jesus! The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day this year is “One Day”. At this time, we can only pray for that one day when these atrocities will finally cease.

In the readings this Sunday, we are given some very familiar words from Saint Paul's Letter to the Corinthians: “Love is always patient and kind: it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.” If only we could learn to love? Not just to love those who are members of our family or close friends, but to love those who are marginalised. We cannot start to imagine what horrors were experienced by those who suffered at the hands of their oppressors; but love for our neighbour is absent in all forms of racism, discrimination or oppression. Not just on one day, but every day. “In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.”

It is reassuring that we have been able to move to Plan A of England's Covid restrictions and some of us will be pleased to enjoy greater freedoms. However, we are advised to continue to be vigilant in keeping Covid at bay. Some of those imposed restrictions, such as hand sanitising, is good practice against the spread of other viruses and if we are singing in church, then there is a greater risk of airborne particles travelling further if we are not wearing masks. Please take care and assess the risks.

The First Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 29th January at 6.00pm. The Parish Mass for The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time is at 10.30am on Sunday 30th January.

David Griffiths