33rd Sunday of OT – 17.11.19
Special Collection for Arundel Cathedral Fund this weekend.
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Next weekend we celebrate the end of the church’s year with the lovely feast of Christ the Universal King. This feast is a reminder, very clearly, of the ‘now’ and the ‘not-yet’ of the Kingdom of God. Clearly, the kingdom is not yet fully here but neither is it a totally future event. Jesus inaugurates the Kingdom with his preaching – with the signs and miracles that he performed, and he announced that the Kingdom of God is ‘at hand’. He called followers to leave everything and follow him, which some of them did. They also questioned him over the perks that they, as the ‘early adopters’ might expect to receive. Jesus met opposition from many sides and regularly told those who scorned his message or ridiculed him in person that that was OK, but they were being overtaken, left behind, by the Kingdom. They were yesterday’s men with yesterday’s point of view. He was announcing something new – the reign of God and it was coming with an unstoppable force.
It’s easy to guess at how disappointed these followers were once Jesus was arrested and how their hopes all came crashing in after his death. But, as we know, the story did not stop there for those same crushed spirits were very soon announcing something new – that Jesus was alive and somehow reigning until all his enemies are put beneath his feet – and the last enemy is death.
This ‘now’ and this ‘not yet’ are significant issues for the Church and her message of hope. We call it a ‘blessed hope’ because it will bring untold blessings when it is complete, but also because it brings blessings whilst we wait. While we wait, we work to bring in the Kingdom by living to, and with, values that are the values of the kingdom. So, whilst we promote the Ten Commandments as values of the Kingdom, we live the Beatitudes as the attitudes of living that bring in and bring closer the Kingdom itself. Many of the Beatitudes end with ‘for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” So, to live life as Beatitude NOW is to make present the Kingdom in my own life, and by extension, to those around me. We do not need to defend this position as an argument – we just need to live it.
The living out of Beatitude – living a blessed life which blesses others is the adventure of faith. The essential point is that the beatitudes are counter cultural, as Jesus himself was. Anyone who lives with an expectation of another world with a set of values so out of kilter with the world’s is bound to be seen as strange, outside, suspect, and therefore worthy of suspicion and ridicule. Jesus says so himself. But – not a hair of your heads will be lost.
As we turn to the end of the year and turn towards another new year we turn into Advent. Advent is a time of expectation and renewal. It is a time for embracing the fullness of the Gospel message. Let the world focus on sugary, tinselly, brightly lit Christmassy-ness. It’s all a distraction from living out the Good News of the Kingdom – its saccharin in its sweetness and false in its brightness. The real Christmas is much better. It’s a message of hope for a fallen and broken world into which God breaks in with a message of peace and joy and with – us – ness. Many people like the idea of ‘God – with – us’ but are very uncomfortable with the reality of God with us as he chose to become. Vulnerable, non-violent, gentle, open and forgiving, probing and questioning, promising that answers are there but will take everything we have if we choose to follow him. The clear opposite of everything most politicians are claiming right at this moment!
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
Care group meeting will take place on 29th November 11am in Cranleigh postponed from 22nd November.
Nick Waite’s funeral will take place on 22nd November 11.15am at Milford
Mary Jacobs funeral will take place on 22nd November 10.30am at Cranleigh.
The Parish Lunch is on the 26th Nov in Bramley and sign-up sheets will be in the porches if transport is needed.
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. 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.
The Parish Mass & Christmas Party will be held on Sunday 8th December 4pm in Cranleigh including festive games and food.
Mass will start at 4pm and afterwards all are invited to join the party in the St Cuthbert Mayne School Hall next door. Please sign up to bring either a salad or pudding. We ask for donations towards the raffle which can be left at the Parish Office and transport can be arranged if needed.
Please note there will be no 9am or 11am Mass on 8th December. Only 4pm Mass.
A very many thanks to Emma Burdon who led the Readers Training Day on 9th Nov. Emma gave us much practical advice and with her encouragement we should all be able to raise our standards in this very important ministry. It was a very positive experience. Win Bracking
What is a Week of Guided Prayer? It’s a great opportunity to further your own spiritual journey wherever you feel you’re at . . . accompanied by a trained Prayer Guide. Intrigued? Interested? Want to know more? The week will be held from 8th-14th February 2020 at St Joan of Arc church, Farnham, GU9 8DJ. Keep a look out for more notices/information – and grab that booking form when it comes your way soon!
6pm JCROM First Mass
11.30pm STM Midnight Mass
9am STM Mass at Cockcrow
11am JCROM Mass of Christmas Day
All are invited to join the festivities of the St Cuthbert Mayne Christmas Fair following Mass in Cranleigh on Sunday 24th November. Bring friends and relatives.