14th Sunday of Ordinary Time – 7th July 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters
First of all, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Simon and Sophie who were wed in our church here in Cranleigh on Saturday. It has been wonderful to get to know these two lovely young people and to prepare them for marriage, and now, we pray that they will have a long and fruitful life together as companions and friends in a covenant of love. Congratulations too to John and Diane Federer – the happy parents.
It’s good to start a weekly blog with happy news as today’s liturgy is all about the joy and happiness of our faith. Just prick up your ears today to how many times you hear words, or ideas, that speak of happiness. From the opening prayer, through the first reading and the psalm right through to the Gospel of Luke. The only downer from this happy trajectory is from today’s reading from St Paul who has been scolding the church in Galatia – but precisely because they have departed from the good news of the Gospel of Christ as preached by St Paul to follow another version preached by someone with no authority to do so.
Which is a kind of useful message in a way for us today. We do need to hold onto the fact that our religion is a joyful religion. It is all about the amazing fact that through Jesus’ mysterious death on a cross we have gained a freedom that we couldn’t have had before. Freedom from what, or for what, is a good question.
Well we have been freed from the fear of death – we now know what can await us on the “other side” – and that is life – a new kind of life sharing in the glory of the risen Christ. This has important ramifications. If nothing can, ultimately, destroy us then there is nothing at all, absolutely nothing to fear except one thing. And that is the fear of losing God’s healing forgiving love. How can we lose this love? Only by rejecting it or debasing it to such an extent that it is impossible for God’s love to live “in” us. We have a term for this – it is called mortal sin.
This shows us that another aspect of our freedom is a freedom from our slavery to sin. All of us, without exception, have some attachment or other to something that “locks us in” to behaviours, or thoughts and actions, or even as the general confession has it, to inactions that are signs that we have not fully understood, or accepted the love of God. These attachments can be to material ‘props’ in life that can make us look good, or important, or ‘cool’ or clever and wealthy and mark us out as not like those people. Or we can have a kind of pride in our intelligence, or our on trend with-it-ness, or our gift for, say, playing an instrument or football for example that we feel set us apart from the crowd. Lots of things in fact that get in the way – not because lovely things, beautiful clothes, amazing talents aren’t good in themselves but because we use them, or can do so, as a substitute for a relationship with God and with others.
God’s love for us is something that, in a way, we could and should take for granted. And out of this confidence we can then build a relationship with Him and with others that are built on love and in a familiar phrase, become ‘gracious’ – an easy flowing of friendship, compassion and empathy, amongst other things that are enabling of communion and community.
To go back to where we started – we should be, and need to be actually, a people for who our Easter faith is a catalyst for action in a world beset by doubt, anxiety and fear. As the gospel is announced we sing Alleluia! Alleluia is a cry really, a rallying shout of joy that in Christ all things are made alive, all is loved and celebrated except sin and that we are given our freedom to be who we are – who we are in God’s eyes not in our own narrow, often limited view. It’s an altogether grander vision. Praise the Lord. God bless you. Fr David
I am pleased to announce that Patrick Bergin has kindly agreed to take over the Chair of the Finance Committee with immediate effect. I am very grateful to Patrick for this kind and generous move and I look forward to working with him, and the other excellent members of the Committee to consolidate and improve our finances.
Plants by Anne Miller
Hospitals – Are you, or someone you know, or love, going into hospital soon? Or is there someone in hospital that you think might like to see a priest? If you don’t tell me personally, I find it very difficult to know! I am always most happy to visit our own RSCH or other local hospitals or arrange for a chaplain in more distant places to visit. If you are going in for a planned visit it is a good idea to tell me before hand as I can visit you at home and even anoint you in serious cases.
Contact the Office 272075 to inform and arrange.
Are you, or someone you know interested in becoming a catholic? If you are then you need to make contact for an initial chat. We start the programme in the autumn and this runs through until the following Easter with some significant milestones along the way. I should stress that it is a process of discovering what God is calling you to and not a conveyor belt. You can delay for another year or even change your mind altogether. We want to accompany you in your journey of faith. Contact the Office or Fr David. 272075
16th July the Parish Trip to Cowdray Park will now be by car and if you would like to join in the car share please contact the Parish Office. Leave Cranleigh 2pm for a visit to the tea room and walled garden and will depart Cowdray at 5pm. Please sign up using the Parish website events page or let the Parish office know that you would like to attend.
18th July – The St Cuthbert Mayne Year 6 Leavers Mass will take place in Cranleigh at 1.30pm.
27th July – The Bereavement Mass will take place in Cranleigh from 10am. This Mass is open to all members of the Cranleigh Community along with a gathered coffee meeting at 10.30am. If you think someone may benefit by joining this Mass or Coffee, please invite them.
Now that Pentecost has passed, we hope you have enjoyed expanding your talents. Please arrange for the multiplied monies to be returned to the Parish Office along with your original allocated number. The Parish Office is still available to assist you in any way that help your endeavours so please make contact.
ENCOUNTER EVENING (for 16-35s) THIS THURSDAY AT ST DUNSTAN’S WOKING
This Thursday (11th) at 7.30pm sees the next ENCOUNTER evening in Woking. Don’t worry, you can still come if you didn’t make the first one. Everyone is welcome, and it’s a great way to make friends and explore your faith. There is food, music, prayer, and a bit of input. See you there!
Fully escorted Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine, Ireland, 26th August 2019. £649.00 per person sharing. Price includes flight with 10kg hand luggage, all transfers, 4 nights’ in Knock House Hotel with Full Board. All entertainment and excursions included. Wheelchair accessible rooms in the hotel. Limited single rooms at supplement of £100. Groups and Individual bookings welcome. Contact Patricia on 01268 762 278 or 07740 175557 or email . Knock Pilgrimages is a member of the Travel Trust Association and is fully protected by ATOL T7613.