TAKEHOMENEWS SUDAY 17 JULY 2022
16 SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME ( C )
Jesus’ visit to the home of Martha and Mary may have seemed an insignificant event in Jesus’ ministry. But like many small events, they provide us with a significant message. Martha was busy with all the serving, providing hospitality for their special visitor. Meanwhile, her sister Mary simply sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to Jesus speaking. When Martha starts complaining that Mary has left her to do all the serving by herself, Jesus says that Mary has chosen the better part. It is an indication to us that listening to Jesus, listening to the Word of God is top priority. This is not to say that serving one another practically is not a good thing. In fact in today’s 1st reading, Abraham provides hospitality for three strangers, one of them reveals that his wife will bear him a son. The lesson for us today is to give priority to listening to God’s word but at the same time to welcome the visitor.
There will be a preparation session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised this afternoon (Sunday) at 4pm in the church.
The Parish Council meet this Thursday at 7.30pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. (please note the earlier time than usual).
Please pray for the repose of the soul of BERNARD MULLEN (Brian), formerly of this parish, whose burial takes place on Thursday.
FR DAVID IN LOURDES
Father David will be away in Lourdes from Wednesday 20th to Sunday 31st July.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported the Summer Fayre, from the volunteers, those who donated items, baked cakes etc. and to all those that attended.
A net total of over £1164.83 was raised.
RELIC TOUR OF ST. BERNADETTE
In September and October this year, the relics of St. Bernadette will journey on pilgrimage to England, Scotland and Wales for the very first time. This very special once in a lifetime event will provide the opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the special gifts and charisms of Lourdes in a church or cathedral near them.
Dates of venues will be issued nearer the time.
SAINTS DAYS THIS WEEK
Friday—ST MARY MAGDALENE Patron saint of perfumers, converts, and hairdressers Saint Mary Magdalene was among that troop of women who congregated on the outer edge of the twelve Apostles. These were probably women of means, who “provided for” Jesus and the Apostles “out of their resources” (Lk 8:3). When these women are named, Mary Magdalene is always named first, similar to Saint Peter’s position in the listing of the Apostles. Mary Magdalene is named many more times in the Gospels than most of the Apostles themselves, signalling her importance. The Gospel of Luke relates that seven demons were driven from her (Lk. 8: 2). But there is debate over whether Mary Magdalene is also the sinful woman who anoints Christ’s feet and if she is also Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Building on the presumption that the sinful woman was Mary Magdalene, medieval traditions wrongly described her as a repentant prostitute. Artistic depictions almost universally show her as sultry, forlorn, and repentant. Despite the dubious connection between Mary Magdalene and prostitution, this association continues today and will likely take centuries to purify.
A “combined Mary” understanding rolls all three of the above Marys—the woman from whom demons were expelled, the repentant sinner, the sister of Lazarus—into the one person of Mary Magdalene. Mary was an extremely common Jewish name. It requires, then, careful attention to the text to sift which Mary is doing what in the New Testament. Magdala was a town on the Sea of Galilee. So, when Mary from Magdala is referenced, the reader can trust that her town is adjoined to her name on purpose to distinguish her from other Marys.
An old Christian tradition justly refers to Mary Magdalene as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” The resurrected Christ appeared to her first, before all others. She is the proto-witness. Mary and other women go to the tomb of Jesus to anoint His body. They see the stone rolled away and enter. The body is not there. An angel tells them to not be afraid, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter” (Mk 16:7 & Jn 20:1-2), so Mary dutifully fulfils his angelic orders. It is a woman, then, who tells the men, who spreads the news of all news to everyone else. The men come running and verify her account. The tomb is empty. As usual, Mary respectfully remains on the fringe of the Apostles. She weeps outside the tomb while Peter and John are inside. Time passes as they try to absorb what this all means until, finally, the “disciples returned to their homes” (Jn 20:10). But Mary does not go home.
Saturday—ST BRIDGET OF SWEDEN Patron Saint of Europe, Sweden, and widows. The details of the first half of the life of Saint Bridget of Sweden evoke a place long lost to history—Catholic Scandinavia. For hundreds of years, the true faith thrived in these lands and incubated great saints such as Bridget. She was married at the age of thirteen and lived happily with her husband for twenty-eight years, bearing eight children. They were a pious couple, even completing the famous pilgrimage to the Shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. But her husband died while Bridget was only halfway through her life’s journey. Bridget then spent three years in mourning in a Cistercian monastery. During this period, the spiritual visions she had experienced throughout her life increased in number and vivacity.
Saint Bridget was canonized eighteen years after her death, in 1391, due to her Christian virtue, her deep and sincere piety, her life of strict poverty and assistance to the poor, her devotion to the Virgin Mary, and her many pilgrimages to the shrines of the saints. She was a saint who loved saints. But she became famous for other reasons—mainly because of her intense, highly detailed, and provocative spiritual revelations. The revelations were written down in both Swedish and Latin, translated into multiple languages, and then diffused throughout Europe. Christ’s arresting words on death and judgment, heaven and hell, and right and wrong sparked the imaginations of all who read Saint Bridget’s writings. Saint Pope John Paul II named Saint Bridget a co-patron of Europe in 1999.
FOODBANK FOR THE COMMUNITY
Items for the local foodbank can be left in one of the boxes in the porch. Many thanks to those who have donated already. It has been very much appreciated.
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