News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st January 2021: The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Last Sunday, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time was also “The Sunday of The Word of God”, instituted by Pope Francis to remind us of the importance of Sacred Scripture for the Christian life, as well as the relationship between The Word of God and the liturgy. There are some additional notes with this week's news which explains a little more about the reasoning behind this. One of the points that Pope Francis makes in his Aperuit illis (Apostolic Letter) is that through the biblical readings in the liturgy, God speaks to his people and Christ himself proclaims his Gospel.
We make every effort to reflect on the Sunday readings in these bulletins; and the “Sunday Message” that forms part of our weekly pew sheets also contains valuable teaching. Obviously, our main teaching comes in the homily or sermon (regrettably shortened during this Coronavirus pandemic). This Sunday's Good News from Mark's Gospel recalls Jesus teaching in the synagogue and commanding an unclean spirit to leave the body of a man who had been possessed. When Jesus speaks, the congregation listen. He is teaching with authority; and the unclean spirit recognises that authority too when Jesus commands: “Be quiet! Come out of him.”
Do we listen attentively when we hear the scriptures being read? Perhaps we tend to drift off into our own thoughts, because someone else is taking responsibility for the liturgy at that moment in the Mass. However, it is only by reading and hearing the scriptures, and responding to them, that we can be assured of following in the footsteps of Christ and obeying the Word of God.
The first Mass of Sunday takes place, as usual, at 6.00pm on Saturday 30th January. Parish Mass is at 10.30am on Sunday 31st January. The week ahead is tinged with celebration and sadness. Celebration as we remember the life of a dear friend and fellow worshipper 'Lady' Margaret Shand. Margaret's body will be received into church on Monday 1st February. Her Requiem Mass will be at 11.30am on Tuesday 2nd February, the Feast of The Presentation of The Lord or Candlemas, as many will know it. We give thanks for her life and witness, and for her devotion to The Word of God. Amen.