16th September 2018 Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

 

Chapter 8 of St. Mark begins with the feeding of four thousand, followed by the healing of a blind man. It was in this context that Jesus asks the disciples (Note: Not just Peter as spokesman and not yet chosen as leader) “Who do people say I am?” It’s asking for more than: ‘what are people saying about me?’.

So they said, some say “John the Baptist”, “others Elijah” and “others again one of the prophets”. But then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter spoke up “you are the Christ” (i.e. Gods anointed one that Israel has been waiting for). Jesus said, “Don’t tell anyone about this for now”.

 

Why? Because it becomes crystal clear that Peter had no idea of whom this Christ was in Jesus’ understanding of the term. The anointed one of God that was expected, would come as a liberator like King David who would set the people free from foreign interference. Not so said Jesus. It is by suffering, service, the cross, death and resurrection that the Messiah would be identified. Peter was horrified, and in anger rebuked Jesus for such lowly thoughts of failure – you can see for yourself how they all love you when you perform miracles (his mind was telling him). But Jesus was having none of this, ‘Get behind me Satan (the tempter) because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s’.

 

So that’s the deal, to serve the Lord with all your heart and your neighbour as yourself. The early Christian community in Rome would remember these words, when they were blamed for the great fire in the ancient city in 64AD by Nero and duly persecuted, because they would not acknowledge Nero as a God or worship the many idols of the day.

  • On Thursday last, Helen and I went to Cobham to be updated on Data protection and what must be done to keep peoples details, as held by the parish, secure.
  • It’s on Tuesday of this week that we are asked to go to Arundel to hear the outline of the Diocesan Plan – so keep praying please.
  • The Harvest Festival will be celebrated on Sunday 7th October (watch the newsletter for more details and how the children can get involved)
  • In July the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) met with the leaders of the main groups within our parish, as well as those with key responsibilities. We discussed what provision the Church currently provides for those aged 0-21 years of age and what we would like to offer in the future. The feedback from this meeting is now being discussed amongst the PPC and we are looking to see how we can implement some of the ideas that were suggested. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kate Shaw at: kate.shaw@hotmail.co.uk or tel. 07810 893943.
  • The Book of Remembrance is being taken to the Calligrapher to be updated. If you have someone you would like to be included in this book then please fill in one of the slips of paper (which can be found on the table next to the newsletters). Please then put the completed slip of paper in the box on the table in the Church porch by Sunday 7th October at the latest. Thank you.

 

Finally, if you think some day this week did not go so well, give this a thought. ‘If’ you had food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep – you are richer than 75% of humankind.

God bless,

Fr John


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