Newsletter

St James the Great Weekly Newsletter

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 2nd NOVEMBER 2020 SUN 8th NOVEMBER 2020 New

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NEWSLETTER MON 2nd NOVEMBER 2020 SUN 8th NOVEMBER 2020

A woman was taking her child around a very fine church in Paris. When her child saw the stained glass windows, she got very excited and asked her mum what they were. Mum replied that they were saints. The child, not to be daunted, asked, "And what is a saint Mammy." "They are very good people who have died and gone to heaven," mum replied. The child was not impressed. As they continued with their tour, the child got very excited and shouted mammy, mammy, I know what a saint is. Mammy is all ears. "A saint is someone who lets the light in." I don't think I can give you a better answer- They are people we all know who were a breath of fresh air when they were about, they brought light, joy and fun to our lives. As Pope Francis says. "A sad Christian is a bad ad for our faith." These are the fruits of the Holy Spirit: joy, love, fun, harmony, enthusiasm, generosity, co-operation and togetherness. I hope you are blessed with many of these gifts and that we will all be saints one day.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 26th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 1st NOVEMBER 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 26th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 1st NOVEMBER 2020

Our readings today are straight talking and if we read carefully there is no ambiguity about what we should do. The Book of Exodus originated in the exiled Jewish community of 6th-century BC and was written a lot later, around 1450 to 1400 BC. The need to take care of the stranger / migrant / immigrant, the widow and orphan, we could add many more to that list.
The Gospel talks about loving God and each other and again we could add in the planet. I have included with the newsletter, an open letter on the protection of the Amazon to the world leaders from Ecuador Indigenous leader Nemonte Nenquimo. The Amazon is one of the most vital landscapes on our planet: it not only contains 30% of the world’s rainforest but it is also home to 10% of all known species. More crucially, the Amazon plays a critical role in regulating global climate, the water cycle as well as its role in system resilience which is fundamental for planetary health. We also recognise that it is also a crucial economic resource for Brazil, for both now and in the future. Last year, widespread fires and destruction in the Amazon made news across the globe.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 19th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 25th OCTOBER 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 19th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 25th OCTOBER 2020

Today's gospel is a classic approach of a non-genuine person. I'm sure we have all met them. They come and patronise Jesus "We know you are an honest man........." Then they lay their trap. But Jesus can see their skulduggery. So he more or less ignores their question. The Pope sums up beautifully the answer:- "Christians are called to commit themselves concretely in the human and social spheres without comparing 'God and Caesar; comparing God and Caesar would be a fundamentalist approach. Christians are called to commit themselves concretely in earthly realities, but illuminating them with the light that comes from God. The primary entrustment to God and hope in him do not imply an escape from reality, but rather the diligent rendering to God that which belongs to him. … To live earthly life to the fullest, and to meet its challenges with courage. Pope Francis, The Angeles, Oct.22, 2017.
The image of Cesar may be stamped on the coin, but the image of God is stamped on each one of us. Be confident and hold your head up high, "You are worth more than many coins."

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 12th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 18th OCTOBER 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 12th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 18th OCTOBER 2020

Another familiar parable.
Let us just take a few simple lessons from today's gospel. How you dress coming to church is not important, you may say, Christ is more interested in the spirit in which you come. True. “But the dress often proclaimeth the person." Church going must never be a fashion parade. But there is a garment of the mind and of the heart and of the soul – the garment of expectation, the garment of humble penitence, the garment of faith, the garment of reverence - and these are the garments of which we ought to approach God. It is too often the case we go to God's house with no preparation at all; if every man, woman in our congregation came to church prepared for worship, after a little prayer, a little thought, and a little self-examination, then worship would be worship indeed - the worship in which and through which, things happen to people's souls and in the life of the church and in the affairs of the world.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 5th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 11th OCTOBER 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 5th OCTOBER 2020 SUN 11th OCTOBER 2020

A great parable to teach us many things: It tells us about God. It tells us about God's trust in people. The owner of the vineyard gives out the land and goes abroad.He totally trusts them to get on with the job.It tells us about God's patience with us. He sends messenger and messenger to tell us the truth and we refuse to listen. He even sent his own son and we refused to listen. It tells us about God's judgement. He eventually takes the job away from the people. What a horrible indictment?It tells us about people.How privileged we are. We are given everything necessary to do the job.The freedom we have got. We are left to get on with life as we can.We have got to be answerable for what we do or don't do.Tells us about the deliberateness of human sin. It tells us about Jesus.Tells us about Jesus' willingness to die for us. Jesus claims to be unique. He is the Son.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 28th SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 4th OCTOBER 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 28th SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 4th OCTOBER 2020

Two sons, two stories: It would be easy to criticise the rights and wrongs of the two, I'm good at that; the whole world passes every day before my tribunal. I've found plenty of guilt in politics, economics, slums, alcohol and the film industry. I see it in so many people, Christians, priests, politicians; all in all, in just about the whole world except me. Because of this many people pack up their faith, their going to church etc. The great pity about all of this is that people throw out the baby (Jesus) with the bath water. Paul wants people to believe in Christ so that they will be united in their love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing that would make us completely happy. We were made for love and outside of it we die very quickly.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 21st SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 27th SEPTEMBER 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 21st SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 27th SEPTEMBER 2020

Life is not fair but it is wonderful.
Looking at today's gospel that is all I can say, because most of us would think it is unfair. A few thoughts to guide us. I do not have a right to salvation. It is a free gift from God.
Everybody needs a just wage to live. The guy in the morning had 5 kids but so also did the guy who came in the evening have 5 kids, so..?
This spells out the fairness of Jesus: Concern for ALL people.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 14th SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 20th SEPTEMBER 2020

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NEWSLETTER MON 14th SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 20th SEPTEMBER 2020

Many of us have been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps a parent, teacher or coach constantly criticised you growing up; a friend sabotaged a project, or your partner had an affair. Or maybe you've had a traumatic experience, such as being physically, emotionally or sexually abused by someone close to you.These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger and bitterness — even revenge. But if you don't forgive, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. The real beneficiary of forgiveness is myself.

 

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 7th SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 13th SEPTEMBER 2020a Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 7th SEPTEMBER 2020 SUN 13th SEPTEMBER 2020a

Hello Everybody, Great to see so many of you today, I hope we can go forward on a positive note and continue to be an active part of God's family here in Peckham. If you did not make it, today, we hope to see you soon. Post Covid there will be many experts and know-alls in hindsight, easy to be wise after the event. Why is true joy harder to access and hold onto rather than anger, bitterness and fear?

 

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 3rd AUGUST 2020 SUN 30th AUGUST 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 3rd AUGUST 2020 SUN 30th AUGUST 2020

The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for
we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s
poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 27th JULY 2020 SUN 2nd AUGUST 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 27th JULY 2020 SUN 2nd AUGUST 2020

Aleppo has long been a martyred city. In the nine years since the outbreak of fighting in Syria, it has been at the heart of the clashes. As a consequence, it has lost four-fifths of its diverse
Christian population. There are only about 30,000 people left from the various denominations. Most of them are elderly. Most of the younger Christians have fled the war torn country.
Despite this dramatic situation, Aleppo's newly restored Maronite Cathedral was due to be re-opened on July 20. St. Elijah's Cathedral suffered severe damage from bombings. Its roof had been totally destroyed. "It is a sign of hope after the feeling of having lost everything," rejoiced Archbishop Joseph Tobji, Maronite Archbishop of Aleppo.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 20th JULY 2020 SUN 26th JULU 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 20th JULY 2020 SUN 26th JULU 2020

A Catholic priest and staunch critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fears he is being watched and could be arrested by the government after discovering videos and photos were taken of him and his congregation by police during a Mass in his Manila parish church. Activist priest, Father Robert Reyes of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Quezon City, said his parish’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera captured uniformed policemen taking photos of him during his Sunday Mass on July 12. Father Reyes said the discovery was disturbing and had left him fearing for his security and his parishioners. “Their behaviour was very suspicious. If they were on official business, they should have had the courtesy to ask permission,” Father Reyes said in an interview. Father Reyes is known as the “running priest” for bringing attention to social issues through running. In 2019, Father Reyes together with two other priests said they had received death threats
for speaking out against Duterte’s war on drugs. Father Reyes openly denounced extrajudicial killings saying they were contrary to the teachings of Christ.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 13th JULY 2020 SUN 19th JULY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 13th JULY 2020 SUN 19th JULY 2020

Thanks mum that was a lovely meal, I really enjoyed. Yes indeed! But much work went into that meal, shopping, paying, washing, preparing, cooking, serving and you enjoying. The soil that yielded a rich harvest in today’s gospel, only produce a full harvest because the farmer had done good work. Ploughing, harrowing, spraying, rain and sunshine. Yes a bumper crop. Think of any famous footballer/athlete, the immense training n they have to put in. During this time of lockdown we have plenty of time to prepare our Sunday readings. Reading, praying, thinking, discussing, meeting Jesus in his word. If your mum did not prepare you would go to bed hungry. And so as Catholics we go to mass on Sunday with no preparation and we leave hungry.  Very hungry.  And so we say mass is boring.  And I would agree.   No pain, no gain.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 6th JULY 2020 SUN 12th JULY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 6th JULY 2020 SUN 12th JULY 2020

A yoke is a bit of harness specially made for two particular animals. Made to fit, bespoke for the person wearing it.  And so to Jesus, His yoke is light, no more than we can bear, but more important He is the one pulling and working with us.  That is truly why it is light. As Paul says. “With God on our side who can be against us. ”Jesus is saying this to counteract the harshness of the attitude of the Pharisees.  And their problem was…. They were always looking in the wrong places. Jesus tells us to become like little children, with humility and simplicity. Listen to Him in this trying times, “Come to me all you who labour and overburdened and I will give you rest. Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.”

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 29th JUNE 2020 SUN 5th JULY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 29th JUNE 2020 SUN 5th JULY 2020

A feast of two great heroes of the Church.  Following Christ to the death. Peter, a fisherman and probably not to educated but with a heart as big as a house. Paul, a tent maker and a prolific writer. Like all of us they had their history/ humility. Peter who denied Jesus several times.  Paul who thought he was doing a great job for “god” by killing Christians. But both fiercely remained close to Christ and died for love of him. Our faith has to be a deep love rooted in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  And never more so than now.A few quotes from both of them. “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ.” “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 22nd JUNE 2020 SUN 28th JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 22nd JUNE 2020 SUN 28th JUNE 2020

There are many things in today’s world that can make us fearful, the pandemic, the threat of terrorism, the fear of job loss, anxiety connected with our children and family, lack of money. Unfortunately God is not a Santa Clause to take away our fear and give us what we want. However in the Bible God tells us no less than 365 times not to be afraid. So I believe, now more than ever we are called to an intimacy with God, to live in the present moment.  This is holiness.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.  The only true reality is now.  Yesterday may be full of guilt and failure.  Let it go, God has.  Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, it is here, live it. Some of us may have grown up with the fear of God, this later became reverence.  I love the word of young people today, “God you are awesome,” and he has replied; - “Jack your awesome.”  Relax and enjoy his company.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 15th JUNE 2020 SUN 21st JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 15th JUNE 2020 SUN 21st JUNE 2020

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Can this be true? Well a pie needs flour and if you make your own flour from scratch, you will need wheat and milling equipment.  To get that, you will need a farm and metal, soil and minerals and farming skills. You’ll need seed of course. Likewise for the apples –and don’t forget some bees for the pollination.  You’ll need to organise the climate also, else nothing will grow.

So throw in the clouds, sun, rain and seasons.  Invent electricity, add water and a few cloves and sugar to taste.  To truly say it was I who made the pie, you’ll have to make the primary elements which you would sweep up from the dead stars.  And don’t forget to create a dynamic order so everything happens at the right time and dovetails with everything else.

(Carl Sagan  and  I enjoyed it)

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 8th JUNE 2020 SUN 14th JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 8th JUNE 2020 SUN 14th JUNE 2020

Don’t just watch UK news only. You very quickly become isolated and forget there is a big world out there in need of our prayers. With God as Daddy we should never forget we are FAMILY.
While COVID-19 and the American disaster may unite us in a common bond, we need to be much more clearly united under the leadership of Jesus who loved us so much that He died for every single man, woman and child ever born. Who are we to think any less of any one? Let us stand as a generation that loves each other. July 4th has been a suggested day to going back to church. Got no details yet, but watch this space. Still need a few more volunteers/Marshalls for when it does happen. Don’t be shy.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 1st JUNE 2020 SUN 7th JUNE 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 1st JUNE 2020 SUN 7th JUNE 2020
The gospel is not idealism but realism plus. And we have got to hold the mystery without understanding it. At this time, I find that God can live in our emptiness. But staying connected as I said above and also “holding hands” with 2 or 3 other people, not just in service but in solidarity. As Jesus says; - “Where 2 or 3 people are gathered…….” Don’t forget the people in your own house partner, parents, children, brother, sister. Mother Theresa says: - “Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.” Let us go forward in hope but truly in humility.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 25th MAY 2020 SUN 31th MAY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 25th MAY 2020 SUN 31th MAY 2020
Dear Friends, I hope you, your family and friends are coping with the present crisis. I have been doing much facetime with individuals and groups. It is very supportive for all of us. Give me a call. Make the words of today’s psalm your own, “I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.”