Newsletter

St James the Great Weekly Newsletter

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 13th MARCH 2020 SUN 19th APRIL 2020 Popular

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If you love you will get hurt, probably killed. If you do not love you are probably dead already. Christianity is the door to infinity and that was never more true than today, Sunday of the resurrection. We are called out of the darkness of the tomb and to infinity. Jesus is preparing the future. True courage is not being unafraid, it is not being prisoners of ones fear. Peter and all the apostles denied and abandoned Jesus on Good Friday, but today they are transformed into men and women of courage and vision. Mary Magdalene rushes back, with love to tell the good news. They now are people of excitement, enthusiasm and energy. They will go on to change the world.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 6th MARCH 2020 SUN 12th APRIL 2020 Popular

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Dear Friends in Christ, so much has been said and so much to do. Words and apps can become very meaningless, at best empty. Tomorrow as we move into the Passion of Jesus, we have some chance of Light. The Passion was never more timely.Jesus endured the sense of being abandoned by the one He loved most, his Abba. He chose to experience all of humanity’s worst suffering. What does this tell us? Even though he couldn’t access their love, do you think the Father and the Spirit were there with Jesus on the cross? Given that this is immeasurable love, how do you respond to it? The Cross of Christ bears the suffering and the sin of mankind, including our own. Jesus accepts all this with open arms,bearing on his shoulders our crosses and saying to us: “Have courage! You do not carry your cross alone! I carry it with you.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 30th MARCH 2020 SUN 5th APRIL 2020 Popular

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For all those who have died from the present virus, we pray that they are with God in heaven. Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones. I celebrate mass for all of you and for the world every day. I walk around the church three times, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, asking God to embrace you all in your absence and keep you in his love wherever you are. We fight at times but it is lonesome without you. We all are the poorer. Whether you live or whether you die, you are in my hands says the Lord. If only I could trust Him. Many people are now living in very confined spaces for long periods. Parents may find they are not able to provide, money may be scarcer, nerves may be frayed and tensions could be mounting in these situations. Look out for each other, help where you can and remind your children to keep an eye on their friends too, friends are needed now, more than ever.

And trust in Him.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 23rd MARCH 2020 SUN 29th MARCH 2020 Popular

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Let us pray,
God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
The psalmist today tells us - "The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."Let these be our mantras as we go through this trying time for all of us. Like the footballer who never takes his eyes of the goal mouth, we must never take our eyes off God, otherwise we won’t win. When we take our eyes off God, we begin to see all sorts of funny things, like the people in today’s Gospel: Is this a wicked man since he is blind? Was he born blind because his parents were sinners? God has got the whole world in his hands, even in our crises. Of this we are sure. Don't blame him for one little bit of what is happening. Be strong in his name, He will conquer. Let us work together for the good of all.

 

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 16th MARCH 2020 SUN 22nd MARCH 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 16th MARCH 2020 SUN 22nd MARCH 2020

My favourite gospel...The woman at the well, or as we had in Ireland, the village pump. These meeting points were as good as any BBC and the precursor to the radio. People gathered every morning to get
water for the day and also to catch up with the local news, especially the local gossip. Hence the woman of Samaria could not go in the early morning since the chances are that she would be a big topic of conversation. She, like the Englishman, had to go out in the mid- day sun when she would be on her own. There she had a wonderful encounter with Jesus, probably the first man who respected her and did not want her for her body. First we have denial on the part of the woman, so Jesus’ first job is to get her to face the truth about herself and her life. As she does so we see her growing, as Jesus helps her to face up to the truth about her life. As she faces the truth about herself she grows in her understanding of Jesus.
Look at the growth:
I see you are a Jew,
I see you are a prophet
I see you are the Christ
You are the Messiah.
Only when we face the truth about ourselves can we come to know Christ.
Because He IS THE TRUTH.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 9th MARCH 2020 SUN 15th MARCH 2020 Popular

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This Gospel is all about encouragement.
Jesus takes three apostles up the mountain and gives them a glimpse of his Glory, so that when the going gets rough (crucifixion) they will stand strong.
I hope we all have had moments of transfiguration in our lives, good moments which will keep us going when times are not so good.
It is a message of hope, light and joy. But I have got to climb the mountain; prayer, reflection and contemplation.
This is the graft for the good time to come, when we feel God actually listens to us.
When we get a glimpse of Christ, we also get a glimpse of who we really ARE.. THE TRUTH ABOUT OURSELVES.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 2nd MARCH 2020 SUN 8th MARCH 2020 Popular

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An invitation to relationship with God
“Whoever believes this message rejects the lie that our life is ours to do as we will”.
Pope Francis says that during this season of Lent, he wants to invite the faithful to fix their eyes on the crucified Lord, and allow ourselves “to be saved over and over again”.
Jesus’ Pasch is not a past event; rather, through the power of the Holy Spirit it is ever present, enabling us to see and touch with faith the flesh of Christ in those who suffer”.
The importance of prayer
The Holy Father emphasises the importance of prayer during Lent, as a means of responding to God’s love, “which always precedes and sustains us”. We are also called to hear and respond to the Word of Jesus, in order to experience “the mercy He freely gives us”.
A commitment to building a better world
“Putting the paschal mystery at the centre of our lives means feeling compassion towards the wounds of the crucified Christ present in the many innocent victims of wars, in attacks on life, from that of the unborn to that of the elderly, and various forms of violence”. This means being personally committed to and involved in “the building of a better world”, Pope Francis concludes his message with a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary “that our Lenten celebration will open our hearts to hear God’s call to be reconciled to Himself, to fix our gaze on the paschal mystery, and to be converted to an open and sincere dialogue with Him”.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 24th FEBRUARY 2020 SUN 1st MARCH 2020 Popular

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Jesus says, "No one is good except God alone." Today He tells us, "Be you perfect." A tall order.
By now I believe we all know the meaning of perfect, translated as be you TOLERANT. We often get intolerant with people who don't see things our way. People who are different. People we do not understand. People who do not understand us.
And at times we may even think they are silly. We may want to throw them into prison and throw away the keys.
We even wonder why God does not reign down fire and brimstone on all nasty people. But no.
He is tolerant. And I thank God that he is tolerant with me.
He goes to the other extreme and forgives and loves me.

 

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 17th FEBRUARY 2020 SUN 23rd FEBRUARY 2020 Popular

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Chapter five of Matthew is a great chapter to help us understand the make-up of the Bible.
Revelation (understanding of God) is something that must be going on all the time in the life of the Church as a whole and in our individual lives, otherwise we are stagnant/dead.
We must continue to read, pray and grow.
Jesus says, "You were told," ("thousands of years ago") "But I say to you." The fulfilment of the Law is the icing on the cake, moving on and growing.
The third commandment says, "Keep holy the Sabbath day."
But I say to, "Come to mass on Sunday because you love me, not only because you have to."
Because you want to grow in your relationship with me, you want to know me as your Lord and saviour, as a friend and you want to build my Church here in Peckham, "so that the community may believe." This is adult faith.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 10th FEBRUARY 2020 SUN 16th FEBRUARY 2020 Popular

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Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumours!
Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 3rd FEBRUARY 2020 SUN 9th FEBRUARY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 3rd FEBRUARY 2020 SUN 9th FEBRUARY 2020

Known originally as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is a relatively ancient celebration.
The Church at Jerusalem observed the feast as early as the first half of the fourth century, and likely earlier. The feast celebrates the presentation of Christ in the temple at Jerusalem on the 40th day after His birth.
The first male child belonged to God so the parents had now to buy him back,so they presented the offering of the poor, two turtle doves.
It was also the purification of the mother, but since Mary was a virgin that was not necessary.
Here also we get the great prayer of Simeon, a holy man who spent his time waiting for the Messiah. He gives us that great prayer: - ”Now Lord you may dismiss your servant because my eyes have seen........."
What a great prayer to be able to say on our death bed. "I have completed the job the Lord gave me to do." Or like Jesus himself: - "It is accomplished."

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 27th JANUARY 2020 SUN 2nd FEBRUARY 2020 Popular

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"The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light." I hope you are one of those people who have seen a great light; not lost but knowing where we are going and knowing what we will receive. Surely this is the Good news. Then Jesus goes on to call the first four disciples. And from there he has been continually calling more and more, including us. Jesus calls us to build up the unity of the church, his body. Paul makes it a passionate plea. "I appeal to you brothers and sisters, for the sake of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to make up the differences between you and instead of disagreement among yourselves, to be united again in your belief and practice." And the dying prayer of Jesus was:- "That all may be one."

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 20th JANUARY 2020 SUN 26th JANUARY 2020 Popular

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I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. Joyce Kilmer (1913)

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

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This is my Son the beloved, listen to Him. The above is the result of parents taking their children's baptism seriously. Praying with their children every day and letting them see that God is important to mum and dad. Many parents do the above and you can see it in their children for whom church and God and praying is second nature. Thank you very much. Good families make good parishes like we have here in St James, a joy and pleasure to work with. They also make for a good country, filled with joy peace and love. With God all things are possible.

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

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Yes we all know about the Magi, the three kings from the East. They came to see Jesus, making it clear that Jesus came for all people and not just the Jews. It is an Epiphany, a sudden realisation. Now every Christian should be having epiphanies, realising new truths about their self, the gospel and Jesus Christ. We need to be continually growing in our faith, growing in our understanding and our relationship with Jesus. This present year is to be known as THE YEAR OF THE WORD. Let our word be our integrity; be men and women of our word: Reading the Word of God and preparing our mass during the week and coming to mass every Sunday on time, prepared . Then going away refreshed in the Lord.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 30th DECEMBER 2019 SUN 5th JANUARY 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 30th DECEMBER 2019 SUN 5th JANUARY 2020
Pope Francis on the Family Dear families, you know very well that the true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, from the fact that everything seems to be going well… True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. But the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God, the presence of God in the family and his love, which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all. And above all, a love which is patient: patience is a virtue of God and he teaches us how to cultivate it in family life, how to be patient, and lovingly so, with each other. To be patient among ourselves. A patient love. God alone knows how to create harmony from differences. But if God’s love is lacking, the family loses its harmony, self-centredness prevails and joy fades. But the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society as a whole. Dear families, always live in faith and simplicity, like the Holy Family of Nazareth! The joy and peace of the Lord be always with you!

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 23rd DECEMBER 2019 SUN 29th DECEMBER 2019 Popular

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Today is a wonderful day to celebrate St. Joseph, the transformation of a humble carpenter into one of the greatest saints the world has ever known. It appears that Joseph was not a man of wealth. When Jesus was taken up to the temple to be circumcised, Joseph only presented the poor man’s offering of two turtle doves to be sacrificed and not the specified lamb. However, when Mary and he were looking for lodgings in Bethlehem, he went to the hotels and hostels looking for a place to stay, and we have to assume he had the money to pay for them, so they were not destitute either. When he discovered Mary pregnant he was kind and compassionate. Another man would have thrown her out for having committed adultery and thus she would have been stoned to death. When told in a dream (the Annunciation to Joseph) what was going on, he really responded with all the vigour of a good father. He fed, clothed, educated and housed Jesus. At Bethlehem he stayed with Mary (having forgotten to book a room) to get a place for her child to be born. He moved to Egypt to get away from Herod. He is the patron saint of FATHERS AND WORKERS. A good role model for all men. Do you live to work, or do you work to live???????? Joseph would have prayed with Jesus and Mary, taught him carpentry and given him a good future. But then his Father intervened and had a different plan.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 16th DECEMBER 2019 SUN 22nd DECEMBER 2019 Popular

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Today’s Gospel frightens me. And it must challenge any church goer. Jesus reply to John’s disciples had to be in such a way that John would have no doubt about the genuineness of his messianic activity, and the message he sent back to John was about the blind receiving their sight, the lame walking, the lepers being cleansed, the deaf hearing, the dead being raised, and the poor having good news brought to them. He did not say a word about people praying more or going to the synagogue or making God the centre of their lives: the age of the messiah, as expressed in this report, does not concern “religion” in the traditional sense of the word. One knows that the messiah has come because a real change has taken place in society, a change that involves the liberation of those who have always been cut off from the “main branch” of society. We can turn the statement around to say that if the marginalised of society do not experience liberation, then Jesus is not the messiah. But Jesus is the messiah, and so the dead have come to life: those who have been unable to ‘live’ in a society that has written them off, are now alive with hope. The Gospel has truly been a leaven of liberty and progress in human history, even in its temporal sphere, and always proves itself a leaven of brotherhood, of unity, and of peace. Therefore, not without cause is Christ hailed by the faithful as ‘the expected of the nations, and their Saviour. Vatican II, Decree on Missionary Activity. Your comments and suggestions on the above would be appreciated.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 9th DECEMBER 2019 SUN 15th DECEMBER 2019 Popular

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Anything worth doing is worth doing well. We prepare for exams. We prepare meals. I prepare homilies. Without preparation things can’t work. And so we prepare for Christmas. ----------------------------------------- There is nothing like a common enemy to bring people together. We see the Pharisees and Sadducee who are normally arch enemies. Now come together against their common enemy, Jesus. John the Baptist has very harsh words for them...you brood of vipers. But again John is very fair and says if you are willing to repent and changes your ways, you too can be saved.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 2nd DECEMBER 2019 SUN 8th DECEMBER 2019 Popular

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Last Sunday I talked about Jesus raising humanity to a new level: Being faithful to his calling/commitment. Paul today gives us a similar idea: "Throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk becomingly as in the day." Allow God's vision of peace to inspire you: Positivity, honesty and integrity. Be vigilant, be prepared, be attentive and invite Christ into your life. This is as much about here as hereafter. At the time of Noah people were immersed in the things of life. They did not notice, they did not listen to what was going on around them. The Flood came.. A Thought --------Are environmentalists teaching us a lesson today?