2nd September, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,


We return today to reading St Mark’s Gospel after 5 weeks of St John.  Jesus is in the early stages of travelling among the      people and has gained a reputation as a healer.  Many suffered from genetic conditions as well as poor diet etc, so he could  not have a better calling.  He did great good but his critics were always at hand.  The Pharisees (priestly cast of the Temple) criticising him for healing on the Sabbath and the Scribes, the custodians of the letter of the Law of Moses criticising him and the disciples for not observing the ritual rules which were man made and introduced over time, eg. The washing of hands before eating etc.


Matthew gives a fuller explanation of their hypocrisy in Chapter 2 of his gospel.  Jesus rounds on them and accuses them of hypocrisy (never flattering either then or now).  He quotes Isaiah 29:13, “This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me.  The worship they offer me is worthless the doctrines they teach are only human regulations”.


Jesus addressed the scholars of the Holy Book that they would be only too well acquainted with.  Isaiah lived at a time of material prosperity that depended on the exploitation of the week. 


Is there anything familiar with this state of affairs?


  • Pope Francis had a hectic visit to Ireland last weekend.  The Irish media and indeed all media channels were very busy with challenging him about the sins of many church people, men and women.  It is entirely right to exercise this kind of scrutiny and it seems as if an exercise of truth and reconciliation like they had in South Africa from 1995/96 in an attempt to allow the victims and perpetrators of apartheid to tell their story and to be rigorously questioned so that society could get an image or pictures of what happened in their name.  There will never be a satisfactory answer for all ears, but the great suffering caused will forever remain a massive blemish in the history of our culture in the church and state if we do not allow people to tell their story.  I am not suggesting this is a solution in itself but a next step towards a healing of open wounds.  History will judge us harshly if we try to silence the living.
  • Dublin was a really great experience for the people I have spoken to already who were there.
  • We pray for the victims of floods in Karala and the Rohingya people of Burma and the displaced people of Venezuela and other countries.
  • A new school year begins for so many this week.  Let’s pray for the pupils, the parents and carers, the schools staff and all who help in any way.
  • The Diocesan Pastoral Plan will be given its first public airing at Arundel on Tuesday Sept 18th.  Pray Bretheren.
  • Scripture readings for September are in the porch.
  • If you are new to the Parish- Welcome and please fill in the pale blue form on the porch table in your own good time.


 Finally: Penitant@ “Father, I want to tell you I am dreadfully upset and embarrassed about what I am going to confess.”

 Priest: “Don’t worry my dear, I have read all about it on Facebook already.”

God Bless,

Fr John



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