Cranleigh and Bramley Parish
Divine Office Week 1 (Week 21 of the Year)
Mission Team – Outreach
The Outreach Team will begin making phone calls to parishioners identified as possibly being vulnerable or without means of communication to ascertain how we can offer increased levels of support in the months ahead whilst this COVID situation exists and beyond. Our aim is to reach out to parishioners and find out if we can support them and how; as well as updating our database. Please pray for those making the calls and for those who may receive a call. If you receive a call from our Team we hope that you will feel pleased and welcome the opportunity to be contacted.
Fr David’s Message for the Week
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Last week I put this notice in – because, being a bear of little brain, I got my calendaring confused! I know, how do you explain it? I have no idea either! In fact, it is this week that I’m on retreat! I will stay at home and use the time for a renewal of prayer and to do some reading and thinking. As you can see from the above, I will also be celebrating mass each day which you are, of course, encouraged to take part in. Also, if there is any urgent pastoral business to attend to, I will also try to make that a priority.
Next weekend (29th/30th) I am beginning a holiday for a week and will be away. I have not been able to find cover for the weekend’s masses as I write (although one may be found in due course!) and so the Bishop has given parish priest’s permission to arrange for Liturgies of the Word with Holy Communion to be celebrated in place of Sunday Mass. Ordinarily, this would not be sanctioned except in emergencies but as our Sunday obligation has been suspended in this time of Covid-19 it is acceptable although not, perhaps, the very best thing. But as many older priests who are the usual locums are shielding the supply pool is not great!
In the liturgical readings for Sunday mass this week we meet a character called Shebna who, we are told, is ‘master of the palace’ of King Hezekiah. As such, he would have wielded great influence and power, being ‘close’ to the king, and perhaps having his ear too. However, having great power and wielding it are two things that are difficult to achieve for most people without straying into pride and personal gain. Also, people who possess great power are often the subject of jealousy from others. Thus, keeping power and influence when it is actually in the gift of another can be tricky, to say the least. Shebna is deposed from office and replaced by Eliakim in something of a palace coup and the reason for this was probably Shebna’s pride and a mistaken sense of his own abilities – in other words he assumed too much and went too far. In his stead, Eliakim is given “the key of the House of David” and thus “should he open, no one shall close, should he close, no one shall open.” He is trusted with discernment, and with power.
In contrast to this we have the ‘election’ of Peter who is chosen by Jesus to be the leader, the first among equals, among the apostolic band. There is a striking parallel with the first reading as Jesus says to Peter “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.'” We all know that Peter is a warm hearted, enthusiastic and spontaneous person who also has an ability to get hold of the wrong end of the stick at times and who, also, isn’t as brave as he would like to think he is. But, despite not being the perfect human being, Peter is the perfect choice for Jesus’ church. Why? Because Jesus wants people who recognise their need of Him, who accept the assistance of grace, and who walk humbly before the Lord, loving tenderly and doing justice. (Micah). He does not need someone who feels they are independent of Him and presume to speak on His behalf when, in fact, they are only speaking from human, personal motives. This is why Peter, although he almost certainly wouldn’t ‘get the job’ if he applied today and went through a recruitment process, is the perfect choice for Jesus. Peter needs Jesus, and he knows it.
This is also why YOU might be Jesus’ choice for a task he has in mind for His Church today. You may not be given the keys to the kingdom, but you might be given another task, or role, that requires your humble service. The service God requires most of all is a humble, contrite heart (Psalm 50) which we are told God ‘will not despise’. That sense of humble service does not focus on the dignity of the service offered, or the position held, but on the person to whom that service is being offered. Namely, Jesus Christ.
With my love and prayers.
|Financial Information July 2020|
|Offertory||Month of July||So far this year|