News for Sunday 8th May 2022: Good Shepherd Sunday

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May 2022: The Fourth Sunday of Easter

There are no prizes for working out why the Fourth Sunday of Easter is commonly known as 'Good Shepherd Sunday' as one only has to look at this Sunday's readings. The response to Psalm 99 is “We are his people, the sheep of his flock.” and in the Good News of the Gospel according to John: “Jesus said: 'The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.'” In many ways, it is somewhat reassuring being part of that flock; following Jesus 'The Good Shepherd' and being counted as one of his cherished ones. However, if you have ever had occasion to watch a herd of sheep, either in the countryside or on television, being herded by a shepherd (often assisted by one or more sheepdogs), the sheep can often be seen blindly following one another. There may indeed be a few astute sheep in the flock who know where they are going and look to the shepherd for direction; but many are simply “followers”, taking their lead from other sheep. In that respect, we are not like sheep at all. We know exactly why we are following Jesus: like the apostles, we have been witnesses to his death and resurrection. We are not following blindly – but with our eyes open and our hearts full of love for our Lord and Saviour who gave his life for us that we might be saved.

It's a busy few weeks ahead and there's a lot of information in this week's Parish News. We have an update from ALMA (The Link between the Diocese of London and the Church in Angola and Mozambique). It is exciting to know that we are supporting the work they are doing to spread the Good News to very rural communities in Africa.

We also have the ACAT (Action by Christians Against Torture) Prayer Case of the Week. It is incredulous that Pablo Lopez Alavez can be subjected to a 30 year jail sentence for standing up for the conservation of the Mexican forests and ecosystems. Please pray for him, and for his wife, who is also an environmental campaigner and subjected to death threats.

We look towards the end of this month and the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen. Plans are coming together for a Community Tea Party at St. Mary's on Bank Holiday Friday 3rd June and details are attached. A poster to display and also notes of the first planning meeting that was held after the Parish Mass last Sunday – so that you can see what is being planned and how you might be able to help.

The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 7th May at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 8th May at 10.30am. And if there is any doubt about 'Good Shepherd Sunday' – just remind yourself of the 23rd Psalm ….
“The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”

David Griffiths