15th Sunday of Ordinary Time – 14th July 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters
One of the consequences of the Church’s faith is that we need to have a full understanding of who Jesus is. And the answer that the Church has come up with is that Jesus is true God and true man. This is not just because of the resurrection, even though that amazing event set the seal on our understanding, but because of the things Jesus said and did in his ministry. What sort of person can forgive sins? Who, but God, can heal the sick and restore life to the dead? How is it that Jesus has power over demons and the dark forces that seek to enslave people and ultimately destroy them? Who can die a shameful death on a cross but be raised up three days later?
The answers to these questions lie in the person of Jesus and, today, St Paul sets out in a quite beautiful way the beginnings of the answer to these and other questions. “Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God… and the firstborn of all creation” And “Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity.”
But Paul does not stop there because he understands that something new has happened through Christ Jesus. Not only was Christ Jesus the “firstborn of all creation,” he is also the firstborn “from the dead” so that he should be “first in every way.” This is so that all things can be reconciled in Him.
That last sentence reveals the whole purpose of Jesus life and death. He was born and came and lived among us in order to reconcile all things to God. He is the image of the God we sense all around us but cannot see directly. He embodies the invisible God and shows us not only who God is but what he is like. He is compassion and love. He is slow to anger and rich in mercy. He cares deeply for the poor and marginalised. He desires to be known. He reaches out to us in our poverty and quite literally empties himself of his glory in order to walk alongside us as our friend and healer. He is also the head of the Body – the Church.
This is of course another great mystery. We are the Body of Christ and Jesus Christ is the head of the Body. Yet we are not perfectly his body – in the sense that we reveal perfectly and without distortion who Jesus is. We are a Church on pilgrimage towards a great hope – that all things will be made new in Christ. The Body, the Church, is scarred by sin – as an institution as we know, and through the weakness of her members – you and me. Yet she is also holy.
How can this be?
Because Jesus is the Lord of the Church and he is the light shining within her. He it is that is always strengthening her, healing her, nourishing her and forgiving her through his prayer to the Father for us. He showsus the “light of (God’s) truth” so that we may “return to the right path.”
He prays inus that we be open to the grace that enables us to “reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honour.”
The Jews were given a priceless jewel to help them keep to the right path – the pathway that leads to God. This jewel was the Law and it governed every aspect of their relationship with their God and saviour. It was never meant as a substitute for their relationship with God – it was not the focus in other words but a gift that enabled them to walk by his light. Jesus showed what this actually meant in his ministry. The Law was never meant to be the maximum limit but a kind of minimum. To keep it properly meant a kind of largeness of heart that reflected God’s own largeness of heart. That, we call love. To be restrictive in love is not to reflect God’s own love but to tarnish it. That is why the story of the Good Samaritan was so shocking. He wasn’t obliged to live by the Law but in his heart has an instinct for God that revealed itself in his attitude of compassion and service. That is a good description of Jesus, actually. Let us renew our attempts to live out our discipleship more authentically today.
God bless you. Fr David
Today is Sea Sunday, when the Church prays for all those who live and work at sea. Without them we would not have most of the items we buy in the shops.
Today’s second collection is for Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea), the Church’s official maritime welfare agency. It supports seafarers both practically and spiritually.
This collection is vital to enable it to continue its work, so please give generously and remember seafarers in your prayers. Thank you. To donate online please visit www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk
Craft sales at Bramley and Cranleigh converted £40 of Talent money into almost £400.
Maybe this could be repeated with more crafts closer to Christmas when people are looking for interesting presents. Thank you to all who contributed.
Rosa will be taking orders for Filipino spring rolls [x5] and noodles for £5 per serving after Mass in Cranleigh this coming weekend. Orders can also be placed 07545 53966 and can be collected w/e 27+28 July.
Remember us in your Will
Have you considered leaving a gift to your church in your Will? A gift in your Will can have a huge impact on the life of your church.
As is the case for many churches, regular giving is absorbed in ‘keeping the show on the road’ – paying the parish share, insuring and heating the building, repairing the roof and so on. A gift in your Will could support your church’s ministry in many ways.
Gifts in Wills are an important part of Christian giving. Many of us give regularly to the church each week or month from our income; why not from our estates too? It’s also a way to give thanks to God for the gifts of your life and lifetime. Read more on gifts in Wills and Christian giving here. If the value of your estate falls above the Inheritance tax threshold, there are also tax advantages from donating at least 10% of the value to charity – find out more on the HMRC website or the Sunday Times webdite
There are many ways to leave a gift to the work of the Church. A gift in your Will really could be the gift that makes possible your church’s future!
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.
First Holy Communion 2020 course for Year 3 in September 2019 please apply using the Parish Events link on the website.
Confirmation 2020 for Year 10 in September 2019.Please apply using the Parish Events link on the website.
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
Parish Trip to Cowdray Park [16/7] has now being postponed to an alternative date in the future. Please await further details or let the Parish Office know if you would like to arrange a coach to somewhere particular
18th July – The St Cuthbert Mayne Year 6 Leavers Masswill 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.