Sunday 4th October
Fr Colin Writes:
We have started the Track and Trace System when you come to Mass. This means giving your name and phone number to the steward when you come to Mass. Alternatively, if you have a smart phone you can download the NHS COVID – 19 contact tracing app and scan the QR code which is on the notice board facing you when you enter the church. The information will be kept secure for 21 days. However, as in other organisations, this process is optional. You are not bound to give the information if you prefer not to.
I realise it is getting cold in the church because we are recommended to keep the doors open for COVID reasons. I can’t suggest huddling up together because we need to keep 2 meters apart, except for families and bubbles. My only suggestion is that you wear extra layers of clothing. We will be putting the heating on as winter approaches but we will lose some of the heat with the doors open.
Have a good week. Father Colin
CAFOD Family Fast Day
Next Friday, 9th October is CAFOD Family Fast Day when we are encouraged to give up a meal, part of a meal or some luxury and give what we save to the needy in the Third World. This time the theme of Fast Day is SURVIVE-REBUILD-HEAL, with the Coronavirus very much in mind. Local experts around the world are already working through our church family to save lives and rebuild hope on the frontlines of this emergency. Money raised by our parish in the past is already in action, setting up handwashing stations and providing PPE for health workers, providing children with the books and pencils so they can study from home while schools are closed, helping farmers safely sell their produce and delivering food packages to city-dwellers who can’t go out to work. Every country is affected by this crisis. So, now more than ever our help is needed. Please take an envelope from the back of the church and bring it back with your contribution next weekend. Alternatively you can donate online at cafod.org.uk/give.
Please note the boxes on the altar steps are for the main church collection. When there are second collections, there will be boxes at the exits for you to make your donation. Thank you.
"God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvellous light." 1 Peter 2:9
God, you call us out of darkness. May we hear your voice in the cry of our brothers and sisters in crisis. As you walk alongside us always, may we walk beside one another listening and responding in love.
Shine the light of your compassion through us, dispelling chaos, fear and despair. Breathe hope and courage into all our hearts as we work together to rebuild once more.
Strengthen us, Lord, and keep us steadfast. Bring healing and comfort to all and lead us renewed into your marvellous light. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
The total number of people at Mass last weekend, including those who had to stand outside was 273. We will have another count this weekend.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of BILL CARROLL, formerly of this parish, who died last week.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised at 4.PM this afternoon (Sunday) in the church.
Signing Secondary School Forms
I have left signed copies of the Certificate of Catholic Practice on the table at the back of the church. Please take one and enter the name of the child, address and date of birth. Please do not take one for somebody else. They must come to Mass to collect it. I am adopting this system this year because the parish centre is no longer open for me to have a signing session.
Finance Committee Meeting
The Finance Committee will meet on Thursday 22nd October at 7.30PM in the church.
More Counters Required
We are looking for more counters to count the Sunday collection as some of our counters are unable to continue. The counting normally takes place on a Sunday morning, but as we cannot touch money handed in for 72 hours due to COVID rules, we are counting the previous Sunday’s collection. With fewer people coming to church and more paying by standing order, the counting now takes less than 2 hours. If you would like to help in this way, please speak to Fr. Colin. Currently we have 5 teams of counters, so it would mean you going on a rota to count every 5th week. Thank you.
27th Sunday of Year A
The parable of the vineyard was addressed to the Jewish leaders, pointing to their failures in leadership. The parable also points to the forthcoming arrest and death of Jesus who can be seen as the son of the owner of the vineyard. For us, it can be seen as a parable urging us to care for God’s vineyard, the creation that God has given us.
In his parables, Jesus uses the life experience of the people to teach them about the kingdom of God and about the relationships that we need to develop if our lives are to reach their ultimate fulfilment in the kingdom of heaven. The stories relate to what the people know abut life at home—farming, fishing, building—and how to make these things work for the common good. The chief priests and elders to whom this parable was addressed were meant to be responsible people leading others towards the common good and not their own interests. The parable connects with the Isaiah prophecy in today’s 1st reading. There the vineyard only produced sour grapes, it lay unpruned, undug, overgrown, not cared for.
God had given the vineyard to responsible people and they did not respond. As a result, God will give the vineyard to others who will take more responsibility. This is an indication of how the Jewish leaders have failed and instead, God invites the Gentiles to be part of the kingdom.
In his ministry, Jesus often points to his forthcoming arrest, suffering and death. There are usually made in his words to his disciples. Some could not believe this would happen. But on this occasion he points to his own death in the context of a parable. Here, the owner of the vineyard (God the Father) sends his Son (Jesus) to collect the produce which the servants were unable to. But the Son too was seized and killed. Jesus was seized and killed by those in authority. So this parable is a further prophecy that the Son of Man will be put to death.
But what can we learn from this parable? It is a lesson for us to care for God’s vineyard. In other words, we are responsible for caring for what God created. This not only includes the other people but the whole of the environment. We are now in the season of creation when the church is following on God’s creation and the care of it. Each of us can play a small part in ensuring that God’s creation is in good order for future generations, for in the past the earth has been spoilt by those seeking their own interests and their own wealth without thought of others and the future. Each of us can play our part.
In all this, let us not forget the power of prayer. As St Paul tells the Philippians, there is not need to worry, but if there is anything you need, ask God for it. God listens to our needs and through the Holy Spirit guides us to make the right decision over our care for God’s people and the environment. At the same time, we must not neglect the prayer of thanksgiving. We must not forget to thank the Lord for all he has given us and not take for granted the creation that he has made for us.
Father, Lord of all creation, we praise you with all your creatures and the whole universe that comes forth from the work of Your hands. We acknowledge the privilege and responsibility that You give us as stewards of Your creation. In our ignorance we have done damage to our common home and our brothers and sisters are suffering.
Through faithfully following your Son guide and direct us to prepare for a better future. Teach us to contemplate You in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of You. Give us the grace to recognise, respect and protect all You have created, using wisely all that you have entrusted to us.
You, who live and reign, world without end, Amen.
Saints of the Week
Wednesday 7th Our Lady of the Rosary
Friday 9th St John Henry Newman (Now upgraded to a Feast Day)