23rd September, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

            One of the main aims of Matthew’s Gospel is to tell us clearly that the apostles found it impossible to understand and take on board literally what Jesus said about his having to suffer. (So in last Sunday’s Gospel we had the 1st prophecy of the Passion) “The Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously and be rejected…” In Chapter 9 we have the transfiguration account (which had them on a high) only to be followed by the second prophecy of the Passion. “He was telling them, the Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death…” and all they could think about was “which of them would be the greatest…” (9:31) So they were still thinking in human terms (man’s way not Gods). How could it be otherwise? The gift of faith in Jesus and his word must be so hard to come to terms with. In the values he treasures most and seeks from his followers, it is the weak, the sick, the incomplete and unaccepted face of human nature that is successful. Hard to take on board indeed and not got through human wisdom. The struggle of the apostles is not for us discouraging but rather a reminder of the gap between the values of our world culture and God’s way. Little wonder that not just as individuals but the Church as an institution fails miserably over and over again. How appropriate that at Holy Communion time we say “Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof”, not the words of an apostle but a Roman Centurion who was pleading for his son’s health.

 

            Diocesan Pastoral Plan You will see on the yellow sheet, a press release by Bishop Richard on aspects of where we are in his view re. the mission of the apostles and their successors. This is precisely the same old problem that confronted the apostles in Jesus’ own time. You can hear yourself say, surely it’s enough to say the teaching at regular intervals to “change our minds”. But it did not work for Jesus himself, so why should we be surprised at our stubborn hearts now?  Fortunately we are all encouraged to be part of exploring a deeper experience of mission which will be based on prayer and scripture for all age groups. Bishop Richard wishes to give further details himself when he visits the Deanery, for us in the Woking Deanery that will be on Wednesday 7th November at St Dunstan’s, Woking. This is open to anybody who wishes to attend. It will be an evening event, exact time later. You will also see a prayer which Bishop Richard has asked us all to recite and make our own every day.

 

  • 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.
  • On Wednesday of this week there will be a Liturgy of the Word and Holy Communion at 9.30am.
  • Bereavement Support Group: This group which welcomes everybody on an ecumenical basis meets at St Peter’s & St John’s Church Hall, Caesar’s Camp Road once a fortnight. See poster in the porch for dates and starting time, also invite a friend if you wish.

 

Finally: As if you did not know already, when a politician says “yes” they mean “perhaps”, when they say “perhaps” they mean “no”. Anybody who says “no “is not a politician.

God bless,

Fr John


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