6th Sunday of Ordinary Time – 16th February 2020
- Collection this Sunday for the Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund. Gift Aid.
- No Mass on Tuesday 18th February in Bramley
- 6th March Mass will move to 9am due to WDofP service
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As I was thinking about this week’s gospel, I couldn’t help but think that we have got something wrong in the Church of today. I will try to explain.
One of the liturgical acts that was put back into our liturgy in 1970 after the Second Vatican Council was the exchange of the sign of peace. At first Catholics were unsure of this ‘innovation’ as they had been brought up to view the Liturgy as 1) something that belonged only to the priest and 2) an essentially private affair between them and God. The ‘new’ liturgy emphasised the corporate nature of our liturgy; that is to say that it is the whole Body of Christ – priest and all people present who offer the sacrifice through the hands of the priest to God the Father. The priest acts as an alter Christus – ‘another Christ” and so liturgically speaking the fulness of the Church is present in our liturgy – the Head (Christ) and the Body (you).
Along with this sign of peace the Presentation of the Gifts was also restored to the people. The bread and wine, symbolising Christ and the fruit of our labours are offered to God through Christ to become His Body and Blood – the sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world.
What is not mentioned explicitly in either of these liturgical actions is precisely what our gospel is referring to. If you are coming to make your offering at the altar, and there remember that you have ‘something against your brother’ you are invited to leave your gift there, go and make peace with your brother, and only then, make your gift at the altar. In the Anglican Church (also renewing and rediscovering ancient liturgical patterns as the Catholic Church was) it was decided that the sign of peace should go right before the offertory procession. This is a very explicit liturgical reference to the command of Christ given in today’s gospel. In the Catholic Church the sign of peace existed (but was not shared) before Holy Communion.
In either case we can clearly see that we are being invited to examine our behaviour, attitudes and consciences before we dare to presume to receive Communion. Indeed, if we cannot in all conscience share the sign of peace with another person, whether they are present in church or not, we should obey the Lord’s command and go and try to make peace before we presume to come to Holy Communion. You see, the sign of peace is such an important liturgical sign and action. It is an action which should make concrete our desire to be at peace with one another. As far as God is concerned, he has given us His Son to take away our sins without making too many demands on us. Certainly not fully making up for our wrongs. But he does tell us that, if we wish to avail ourselves of the fullness of forgiveness (and therefore be at peace with Him) then we should do likewise. If we ask Him, as we do, to ‘forgive us our trespasses’ then we must work hard to forgive those who trespass against us. If we refuse to, or cannot bring ourselves to, we need to bring these things to a priest for spiritual council, and perhaps allow ourselves to be brought through God’s abundant grace to a place of forgiveness. For He can do ‘so much more than we can ever conceive of through the grace working within us’ as St Paul writes.
As Len present itself for spiritual growth and maturity I hope that more and more people will turn afresh to the Lord for His abundant mercy and hear the words of absolution not just convince themselves that ‘all is forgiven anyway’ It is, as a matter of fact, but hearing the words of Jesus spoken to YOU can be a wonderful remedy.
God Bless you all. Fr David
The next Parish Lunch will take place on Tuesday 25th February in Bramley, there are sign-up sheets in the porches, and you can also let the Parish office know if you would like to attend or know someone who may like to be invited. Mass will be at 11.30pm on this day.
This year’s World Day of Prayer service takes place on Friday March 6th at Cranleigh Methodist Church at 10.30 am with tea/coffee served from 10am. The service this year has been prepared by the Christian women of Zimbabwe and is titled “Rise! Take your mat and walk.”
St Thomas More is hosting the World Day of Prayer service for the local churches around Bramley, on Friday March 6th at 11am. All are welcome
Parish Social Evening:
We are holding another film and dinner night to give us all an opportunity to get together.
It will be on Friday 28th February in the Cranleigh parish room form 6:30 with the film at 7:30 ish. As before it is open to all and not just a men’s night.
We will probably go for curry again but if you have a particular aversion or dietary requirements then let me know and I’m sure we can accommodate.
The cost will be £15pp for the film and food but please bring your own drinks, any surplus monies will go to the hall fund. The film will be The Two Popes. Please spread the word and reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
Guildford Deanery Initial Safeguarding Awareness Training at Jesus the Redeemer of Mankind, Cranleigh, GU6 7AQ, on Tuesday, 21st April 2020 from 7-9 p.m.
- A reminder that this training is for everyone but particularly targeting those who work with or minister to Vulnerable Groups (Children and Adults at Risk. ) It is the expectation of the Bishop, Trustees and Safeguarding Commission that this initial training is undertaken and refreshed every three years. New Volunteers should undertake the Initial Training within the first year of being appointed. A Refresher Training Programme is now being rolled out. People are welcome to attend initial and refresher sessions in other Deaneries if this is more convenient.
- There is one Initial Safeguarding Awareness session per Deanery per year and one Refresher session per Deanery per year. The next Guildford Refresher Training session will be in October 2020. The date and venue will be advertised on the Website when it is accessible and has been arranged.
- We would be grateful to have names/numbers by Wednesday, 15th April for refreshment and hand out purposes.
- For those unable to attend this or an adjoining Deanery session and wish to undertake online training, please email email@example.com with name, parish and role, they will then be registered with EduCare, the National online Training Provider. The sections of the modules can be dipped in and out of so can be done when convenient, which is helpful. There is also Certificate provision on successful completion.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday the 26th of February.
COMING SOON – 2020 LENT COURSE: Our Lent Discussion Course this year will again be run jointly with the other churches in the Village. We are proposing to use a book called ‘This? How Christians Respond to Climate Change’ by Susan Sayers. As last year, there will be an opportunity to attend the course on either a Thursday Evening or a Friday afternoon, or to interchange. There will be 6 sessions starting on 27th/28th February and running through to the week before Holy Week.
We shall be hosting the sessions on a Friday afternoon from 2pm in our Parish Room at Cranleigh, but there will also be sessions held at Cranleigh Methodist Church on Thursday evenings.
The course begins on the Thursday and Friday immediately after Ash Wednesday and runs through up to the Thursday and Friday before Palm Sunday. Please do make a note in your diaries.
The next Coffee Morning will take place on Tuesday 10th March from 10.30am in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. This is open to all members of our community and you are welcome to bring a friend or suggest it to someone who may benefit from meeting with this friendly group.
Evening Prayer for Divorced, Remarried & Separated: Sun. 23rd February, at 3 pm: All those in our parish communities who may be divorced, remarried or simply separated, are warmly invited to come together with Bishop Richard at St. John the Evangelist Church in Horsham for afternoon tea, conversation and the celebration of Evening Prayer, which will conclude the afternoon. It would be useful to know approximate numbers simply to allow us to cater appropriately. If you be kind enough to send through the name(s) of those who are coming along, that would be useful. You can send the information to Katherine.Bergin@abdiocese.org.uk Thank you.
Vocations Weekend for young women
Theme: Discernment and Vocation
Dates: 28th Feb – 1 March 2020
The weekend is organised by the sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ).
There is nothing quite like religious life – it’s an extraordinary adventure into a deep relationship with God.
If you are wondering if God is calling you to religious life and would like to find out more why not come along? You are welcome to stay for the weekend or just come along on Saturday for the day. There will be opportunity for prayer, reflection and input, chance to ask questions and to meet others who are also wondering where God is calling them.
The Passage is a Christian Charity working with homeless people. Please support a St David’s Day concert in aid of The Passage at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster on Friday 28 February at 7.00pm.
The concert features the London Welsh Male Voice Choir with guest soloists Claire Jones (harp) and Aled Wyn Davies (tenor) and Guto Harri (Compère).
Please book online through Eventbrite stdavidsday.enventbrite.co.uk
Full details to book are on the website www.passage.org.uk
or telephone 020 75921856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpts form the MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE XXVIII WORLD DAY OF THE SICK 11 FEBRUARY 2020
“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
Dear brothers and sisters,
Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28) point to the mysterious path of grace that is revealed to the simple and gives new strength to those who are weary and tired. These words of Christ express the solidarity of the Son of Man with all those who are hurt and afflicted. How many people suffer in both body and soul! Jesus urges everyone to draw near to him – “Come to me!” – and he promises them comfort and repose. “When Jesus says this, he has before him the people he meets every day on the streets of Galilee: very many simple people, the poor, the sick, sinners, those who are marginalized by the burden of the law and the oppressive social system… These people always followed him to hear his word, a word that gave hope! Jesus’ words always give hope!” (Angelus, 6 July 2014).
On this XXVIII World Day of the Sick, Jesus repeats these words to the sick, the oppressed, and the poor. For they realize that they depend entirely on God and, beneath the burden of their trials, stand in need of his healing. Jesus does not make demands of those who endure
situations of frailty, suffering and weakness, but offers his mercy and his comforting presence. He looks upon a wounded humanity with eyes that gaze into the heart of each person. That gaze is not one of indifference; rather, it embraces people in their entirety, each person in his or her health condition, discarding no one, but rather inviting everyone to share in his life and to experience his tender love.
Why does Jesus have these feelings? Because he himself became frail, endured human suffering and received comfort from his Father…. At times human warmth is lacking in our approach to these. What is needed is a personalized approach to the sick, not just of curing but also of caring, in view of an integral human healing. In experiencing illness, individuals not only feel threatened in their physical integrity, but also in the relational, intellectual, affective and spiritual dimensions of their lives. For this reason, in addition to therapy and support, they expect care and attention. In a word, love. At the side of every sick person, there is also a family, which itself suffers and is in need of support and comfort.
Dear brothers and sisters who are ill, your sickness makes you in a particular way one of those “who labour and are burdened”, and thus attract the eyes and heart of Jesus. In him, you will find light to brighten your darkest moments and hope to soothe your distress. He urges you: “Come to me”. In him, you will find strength to face all the worries and questions that assail you during this “dark night” of body and soul. Christ did not give us prescriptions, but through his passion, death and resurrection he frees us from the grip of evil….Dear healthcare professionals let us always remember that diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic treatments, research, care and rehabilitation are always in the service of the sick person; indeed the noun “person” takes priority over the adjective “sick”. In your work, may you always strive to promote the dignity and life of each person, and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness.