31st Sunday of OT 03.11.19
Special Collection for Retired Priests Fund today (Gift Aid)
Dear sisters and brothers,
This week Jesus draws our attention to those within our midst that are ‘lost’. As a dramatic revelation of what he means he demonstrates it directly by going up to a man hiding in a tree and inviting himself round for dinner. This serves two purposes. One, it surprises the hiding man, and, two, it outrages the crowd. Later on, people would ask whether the ‘true’ messiah would eat with sinners and tax collectors – revealing a prejudice that he certainly would not. Jesus demonstrates emphatically that He does. In this way, what was lost is found, and, as we can see, is dramatically changed by the encounter. Zacchaeus is contrite and penitent and makes use of the opportunity to right some of the wrongs that he is aware he has committed in the past. So, encounter with Christ becomes an opportunity for conversion.
Jesus often tells the holy people of his day that “unless you repent you cannot see the Kingdom of God” and I dare say that he would say the same to us too. This is because repentance, or conversion, is not, as some would have us believe, a once in a lifetime event but a daily commitment to follow Christ and search out the Kingdom of God in our midst. Everyone needs conversion of life and ways of thinking. We all carry cultural baggage that we have inherited from our parents, our friends, our society that needs to be compared rigorously with the values of the Kingdom that Jesus preaches.
For example, we can laugh at the way in which tax collectors were shunned in Jesus’ time. We can disapprove of the way the Pharisees looked down their noses at ‘mere mortals’ struggling to be holy. But are we even aware of the people that we shun or disapprove of in our day? Many white people will say, for example, “I’m not being racist but…” and then go on to say extremely racist things about black people, or Asians, or whoever. They know deep down that what they are about to say could easily be understood as racist (and is) but they, most of all, don’t want to be known as racist because that’s bad but ‘these’ thoughts are different. They are not. And, as the Labour party has been finding out to its cost, disapproval of the State of Israel and its policies can all too easily tip over into anti-semitism which is a collection of thoughts, actions, and things said or written that reflect a prejudiced view.
So, then, we are all called to conversion of life as a constant process. This can only be achieved through persistence in prayer, through praise of God in Jesus Christ and through a growth in charity. In Jesus, as scripture says “we see what we shall be” even if now we see only “as in a mirror, darkly” (1 Cor 13:12). If those who are lost begin to view us as a community, not of the ‘perfect’ but of those who are, possibly like them too, striving and perhaps failing then our community becomes a wholly different proposition for them. We are not judging but welcoming to fellow pilgrims on the road. We are not aloof as we recognise that “there, but for the grace of God, go I”. We always approve and engage with the attempt, the trying, to reach upward as it were to greater perfection and we are deeply forgiving of those who fail or who fall. We also practise what Jesus did – hospitality and boldness. I know we don’t all have the caché of Jesus, but sometimes a bold approach can be very effective. If you can’t imagine having a particular individual round for dinner all by yourself, you could always invite them with others and then by doing so you will have re-introduced old friends or made some new ones. But most of all we need to rediscover that ‘surprise’ that Jesus brings whenever we encounter him authentically. By inviting himself to Zacchaeus’ house Jesus challenged accepted views of right relationships and justice and invited a fresh perspective and response. We should emulate that, if we can.
Please check with Sandra if you would like to use the Bramley Parish Room to ensure it is not double booked. Can you please book the days or evenings you would like to use so l know when it’s free when l am asked. Thank you. Sandra.
|Through our worship in prayer and liturgy we seek always to become a
community of faith, hope and love, building inclusive
relationships with people of faith and none, reaching out to those in need
Parish Mission Statement
Calling all Readers – Father David has asked me to arrange a meeting for all readers. If you are already on the list you will receive a personal invitation, but it is hoped that some new readers will offer themselves for this ministry, especially our young people. We are fortunate to have the help of Emma Burdon from Dorking who is an experienced trainer in this field. The proposed date is Saturday 9th November at 10.30am in the Cranleigh Parish Room and the meeting will last about 1.5 hours. Please contact Win Bracking on 275573 as soon as possible to reserve your place.
Educaid: Please note we will welcome Miriam Mason as a guest speaker during NEXT weekend of 9th and 10th November informing us about Educaid which runs an educational network comprising of free schools, teacher training , and tertiary programmes in Sierra Leone.
Remembrance Sunday –The parade will begin for the churches at St Nicolas at 10.30am on 10th November and proceed to the War Memorial for the Remembrance Service. The 11am Mass with therefore take place at midday (12noon) and the blessing of graves will follow immediately after.
Blessing of Graves in Cranleigh will take place on Sunday 10th November after Mass (1pm). Candles can be bought from the Parish Office. Father David asks that if you would like a grave of a member of your family blessed that you might be present to guide him to where they lie.
There will be no Mass at Bramley on the morning of 12th November, however there will be a Mass for Deceased Clergy at St Joseph’s in Dorking at midday if you would like to attend.
All members of our community – a date for your Diary – Join Parents, Staff and Governors to celebrate the Feast of St Cuthbert Mayne on November 29th. We will be celebrating a whole school mass at 10am.
Bereavement Mass at 11am and Lunch at midday will take place on Saturday 30th November. This is open to anyone who may be bereaved and have lost a loved one recently, or at any time in the past, to come together with members of the community for support. The lunch is open to anyone and we offer it out to the wider villages community if you know of someone who may like to join. Please extend the invitation and RSVP to the Parish Office so catering can be arranged.
The next CAMEO evening will take place on Tuesday 3rd December in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. This is an informal gathering of the ladies of the Parish to come together for some spiritual prayer and then a cup of tea or glass of wine and an activity. On this occasion Joan Morris will be organising a quiz, so please come and join us. Further details can be obtained from the Parish Office
Reserve the date 8th December for 4pm Mass and the Parish Christmas Party including festive games and food in Cranleigh, Further details will be available shortly.
Make time, make space! An opportunity to slow down when life can be so busy . . to refresh and renew . . in a ‘Week of Accompanied Prayer’ from 8th-14th February 2020 at St Joan of Arc church, Farnham, GU9 8DJ. Make a diary note and watch out for more notices, information and booking forms coming up very soon!
You are warmly invited to join us for a CAFOD Faith in Action day. Previously known as retreats, the Faith in Action days are free and open to all; whether you are new to campaigning or you joined us a long time ago, you are very welcome.
From Trump to Brexit to climate, politics is everywhere. But when should we pray from the side-lines and when should we roll up our sleeves? The Church here and around the world has a proud history of encouraging Catholics’ political reflection and action. With amazing results.
At this CAFOD day, we’ll explore the links between faith and politics. Join us and reflect on Scripture and Church teaching. Be inspired by others and CAFOD’s campaigning and work overseas.
The day will be held at St John’s Wonersh on Saturday 23 November 10.00am- 4.00pm with lunch included.
Book your place at cafod.org.uk/events or call 0303 303 3030.
You are welcome to bring a family member or friend from your parish. If you can, please book well in advance to help us plan the retreat. Places are limited. Please honour your commitment if you do sign up. Someone may have benefitted from an unused place.
6pm JCROM Mass
11.30pm STM Midnight Mass
9am STM Mass at Cockcrow
11am JCROM Mass
|PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE 28th APRIL- 5th MAY 2020
10 parishioners have signed up to the pilgrimage. If anyone would like more information, I have a number of books written by the visionaries, sister Emmanuel and Father Leon Pereira. Many of the pilgrims felt called by Our Lady to go there. There is lots of information on the internet.
If you would like to consider joining the Pilgrimage for more information please contact me on 01483 272083 email: email@example.com. The cost £579.00 plus single room supplement of £125.00 with Aglow Pilgrimages. Joan.
|St John’s Seminary – Open Afternoon
St John’s Seminary at Wonersh, near Guildford (GU5 0QX) has been forming Catholic priests for service in the Church in England & Wales since 1889. A warm invitation is extended to the Annual Open Afternoon taking place on Sunday 1 December 2019 (the first Sunday of Advent). 3pm onwards for afternoon tea and tours. 4.30pm Sung Evening Prayer followed by Mulled Wine and Mince Pies. All are most welcome and there is plenty of parking. Please join us.