Takehomenews 8 November 2020
Fr Colin Writes:
Now that we are back in a second lockdown, we have had to make changes to church opening times and other planned events. Please refer to the front cover or end paragraph on the web site for times that the church will be open for private prayer. The priests will offer private Mass throughout the week for the intentions which have already been arranged. The intentions are listed on the printed version front page.
Sadly we have had to postpone the baptisms for this month and also the rearranged confirmation dates.
We are making steps towards having Masses live-streamed from this church, but it will take time for this to be set up. In the meantime, I know that many of you will continue to watch Mass live-streamed from wherever you wish.
Keep Safe. Father Colin
Blessing of Graves
In November we normally have the blessing of the graves in Hendon Cemetery. Since we cannot now have large gatherings of people we suggest you approach one of the priests with a container of water which we will bless and leave you to make your own arrangements for a time to go the graveside, bearing in mind that there should not be more than 6 around the grave at any time. The following prayer can be used as you sprinkle the Holy Water:
Lord Jesus Christ, by your own three days in the tomb,
you made Holy the graves of all who believe in you,
and so made the grave a sign of hope that promises resurrection,
even as it claims our mortal bodies.
Grant that our loved ones
may sleep here in peace until they awake to Him in glory,
for you are the resurrection and the life.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 6th December at 4.PM in the church. This meeting will go ahead only if we come out of lockdown as suggested on 2nd December.
Sick and Retired Priests Fund
Today’s second collection is for the Sick & Retired Priests’ Fund. Please give generously and help ensure our sick and older priests are financially supported, having given us a lifetime of dedicated service. They have baptised us, welcomed us into the church, and offered comfort and prayer at times of sorrow. Now we have a chance to give back and ensure they have peace of mind during their senior years, when they may be facing failing health and declining mobility. Please give generously using the envelopes in the church. You can also donate online at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations - the envelopes and posters feature a ‘QR Code’ that you can scan with a phone camera to give online, reducing the risks to everyone of handling cash. Thank you in advance for your kindness.
32nd Sunday of Year A
Wisdom is seen as a divine gift that it is often spelt with a capital W when it appears in the middle of a sentence in the Bible. This is because God is seen as the equivalent of Wisdom. In fact there are several books in the Bible that come under the heading of the books of Wisdom. Today we have an extract from the book of Wisdom itself as our 1st reading, where it is given a feminine gender, being referred to as ‘she’ and ‘her’. The personification of Wisdom enables us to see her as equivalent to God. In today’s reading, Wisdom is referred to as being bright, readily seen, readily known, awaiting us, removing anxiety, looking out for us. In all this, we need to make steps towards her, to make steps towards God, who is waiting for us.
This reading is really an introduction to our Gospel today, another parable from St Matthew. It is about the ten bridesmaids, five of them were foolish and the other five wise. The wise ones had their lamps lit, the foolish ones had no oil. When the bridegroom arrived they were invited into the wedding hall. But the foolish ones had gone off to get some oil but were too late to enter the wedding hall. Like the parable we had a few weeks ago, the wedding feast is the kingdom of heaven, and each of us needs to be ready to enter it. We may not have much notice as to when the invitation will come. That is why we need to be wise and ready at all times. Our lamps must be alight
The theme of being ready will be very evident in the next few weeks as we move into the season of Advent: being ready for our own death and for the second coming of Christ. That is why this period is a time of reflection in our lives to see how prepared we are for the last days. It means seeking Wisdom, seeking God. This time can be one of renewal. Over the last few months, many of us have had to reflect on our way of life, over priorities, our survival, the adjustment of our activities and so on. So this is an ideal time to reassess our relationship with God and whether we seek him with all our heart. Now that we are in the month of November, we are spending time in prayer for all departed souls. Our prayers can help getting them into that wedding hall but will also help us in our pursuit towards the kingdom of heaven.
First Communion 2021
Children in Year 3 or above who would like to receive First Holy Communion next year are invited to complete a yellow—coloured application form from the table at the back of the church or from the office and return it by 13th December. At the moment we are uncertain how the preparation sessions will be arranged but it will certainly require more parental help at home. Once we have the number of applications, we can start making arrangements for the preparation and the First Communion days.
Those in year 10 or above who would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation next year are invited to complete a blue coloured application form from the table at the back of the church or from the office and return it by 13th December. At the moment we are uncertain how the preparation will proceed, nor of the date of the Confirmations.
Prayer for Today
“For all going through difficult pregnancies, we pray for an overwhelming sense of hope and joy to fill their lives, and for increased support to be given by their family, friends and local communities. Lord hear us.”
This Week’s Feast Days
Monday—The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the oldest and highest ranking of the four major basilicas in Rome. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, the official ecclesiastical seat of the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, not St. Peter's Basilica as so many mistakenly believe. The Basilica is also called the Church of Holy Saviour or the Church of St. John Baptist. In ancient Rome this was the church where everyone was baptized. It the oldest church in the West, built in the time of Constantine and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. This feast became a universal celebration in honour of the archbasilica, the ecclesiastical mother church, called "the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world" (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput), as a sign of love for and union with the See of Peter.
Tuesday—St Leo the Great
November 10. Saint Leo the Great held strong convictions about the importance of the Bishop of Rome and of the Church. He viewed the Church as the presence of Christ in the world. Dedicated to building up the Church in all areas, Saint Leo the Great was also a man of deep spiritual convictions.
Wednesday—St Martin of Tours
November 11. Saint Martin of Tours is often depicted as a soldier mounted on a horse sharing his cloak with a poor man. He became a monk and then a bishop, but he never lost his love for the poor. He spent a good deal of energy fighting for the Church, and for mercy toward heretics.
November 12. Saint Josaphat dedicated his life to healing the split within the Ruthenian Church. While he made some headway, sadly the division extends to today. But his life and efforts were not in vain, for both influenced many Orthodox to be united with Rome.