News for Sunday 7th February: The Fifth Sunday in O|rdinary Time

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th February 2021: The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I often wonder if we are “preaching to the converted” in these weekly news bulletins? The statistics show that less than half of those on the mailing list actually get any further than just opening the e-mail. Whether it is then immediately despatched to the 'Trash' or read from top to bottom is unknown. But we are only sending it to those who have asked to be on the mailing list; and if that's the case (as indeed it is), we are not reaching the 26,000 parishioners who live in Kenton and are not receiving these e-mails! Those who DO read them are, in all likelihood, the same ones who regularly attend worship (or in these “Covid-times”, tune in to the services on Facebook or YouTube). Interestingly, preaching is what our readings on Sunday are all about.

The Good News from Mark's Gospel tells us that Jesus was preaching in his local neighbourhood. In some ways, perhaps he was preaching to the converted too. In fact, the whole town came crowding round the house where he was staying because they knew that he was explaining the scriptures in a way that they could understand, and bringing to him those who needed healing. It would have been very comfortable for Jesus just to stay there with people who appreciated his teaching and his ability to heal those who were unwell. But he tells his disciples, “Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.”

We can get very comfortable in our own surroundings. Perhaps “lockdown” has made us even more reluctant to be outgoing and spread the Good News to the wider community? We all have a duty to preach about our faith; not necessarily in an evangelistic way, but more in a manner to explain why we are Christians and why we follow Jesus. We are delighted that over the next few weeks, we will be welcoming Archdeacon Catherine and Bishop Jonathan, to preach at the Parish Mass. Details on this week's Pew Sheet. Mass as usual this weekend will be on Saturday 6th February at 6.00pm for the Vigil Mass of Sunday. Parish Mass at 10.30am on Sunday 7th February.

This week we also have ACAT (Harrow)'s Prayer Case of the Month featuring a young man, Joshua Wong, who has been detained by the Chinese authorities in Hong Kong for “unlawful protesting”. Please pray for all those who are facing opposition to peaceful protest, and especially to all those who are risking their lives by preaching the Christian message in areas of the World where this is forbidden.

David Griffiths