News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th July 2021: The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
This weekend follows the great Solemnity or Feast on Tuesday of this week, 29th June, which commemorates the martyrdom of two celebrated men, Saint Peter and Saint Paul. There is much to be said about both of these and this short review cannot possibly do justice to their achievements during their lifetimes. Often, we tend to focus on how 'unworthy' they both would be if we were describing our 'perfect picture' of a saint: Peter, who betrayed our Lord three times after Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Are you not one of his disciples?” “I am not!” Peter replied. And Paul, who prior to his conversion to Christianity, was responsible for the persecution of the early church in Jerusalem. In many ways, their 'unworthiness' gives hope to all, that our God is a forgiving God who recognises the goodness in each of us, even though we are sinners. If we are truly repentant, then we can receive absolution.
It is no coincidence then, that this is the weekend when many will begin their ministry in the church following Ordination as Deacons or Priests – in the footsteps of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; and why today (1st July) we are able to congratulate Fr Edward on 37 years of Ordained Ministry as a Priest; and within a few more days, can extend the most heartfelt congratulations to Fr John on his 60th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood. How fortunate we are to have such dedicated and long-serving priests; and it has been such a pleasure to see this same vocation realised in Fr Mike in his first few years of Ordained Ministry. We are richly blessed.
Receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders (being Ordained) creates an indelible change in the recipient. This may not be outwardly visible – and even our Lord experienced something similar in the Good News from Mark's Gospel which we will hear on Sunday: “Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him?” Jesus tells them: “A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house.”
In some countries, taking on this Ministry however is a 'life or death' decision. Our ACAT (Harrow) Prayer Case of the Month features Ramy Kamel who has been defending the right to religious freedom, particularly in denouncing the discrimination and violence suffered by the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
Please pray for all those who are embarking upon this sacred vocation and for those who are celebrating their anniversaries of Ordination. The first Mass of Sunday is at 6.00pm on Saturday 3rd July. Parish Mass on Sunday 4th July at 10.30am.
(From the Rite of Ordination)
In the name of our Lord, we bid you remember the greatness of the trust in which you are now to share: the ministry of Christ himself, who for our sake took the form of a servant. Remember always with thanksgiving that the people among whom you will minister are made in God’s image and likeness. In serving them you are serving Christ himself, before whom you will be called to account.
With the help of God, I will.