News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th February 2022: The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Platinum Anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen's Accession to the Throne
Seventy years ago, Princess Elizabeth (as she was then) and her husband of five years, Prince Philip were enjoying a short break at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya during a tour of several Commonwealth countries. Just a few days earlier, her father King George VI had waved them off at London (Heathrow) Airport on a tour which he should have been leading. Instead, after a series of operations for cancer, his failing health prevented him from travelling. He returned to Sandringham shortly afterwards and sadly died in his sleep on 6th February 1952. At the age of 25, Elizabeth acceded to the throne. This weekend, we celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's Platinum Anniversary of Her Accession. She is the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee and we wish her every congratulation on this achievement! However, we must remember that this also marks an anniversary of the death of her father. Perhaps it would be appropriate to describe this remarkable event as 'happiness, tinged with a degree of sadness'. This week, we also commemorate the feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita. You can read a little about her on “Sunday Plus”. But it is interesting to read a quote from Saint Josephine before her death: “The whole of my life has been God's gift.” and in many ways, this can also be said of Queen Elizabeth's reign. At Her Coronation, she promised “The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.” and throughout her reign, she has made it absolutely clear that her duty has been first and foremost to God.
Regretably we continue to hear about the violations of human rights in many countries around the world. This month's Prayer Case of the Month informs us once again of the injustice of the authorities in Myanmar, where journalist Min Nyo has been detained and beaten. Please pray for him and so many others.
In our Liturgy of The Word this Sunday, there are examples of those who have given themselves to the service of God. In the First Reading, the prophet Isaiah writes: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?” I answered, “Here I am, send me.” In Saint Paul's Letter to the Corinthians, he confesses quite openly that before his conversion, he persecuted the church of God. Yet now, by the grace of God, he is preaching God's message as one of the apostles. In the Good News of Luke's Gospel, Simon Peter, James and John leave their jobs as fishermen to follow Jesus. Do we take time to listen to God asking us: “Whom shall I send?” And are we ready to commit ourselves in the service of God by responding: “Here I am, send me”?
The First Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 5th February at 6.00pm. The Parish Mass for The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Anniversary of Her Accession to The Throne, is at 10.30am on Sunday 6th February.
God Save The Queen!