Newsletter

St James the Great Weekly Newsletter

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 28th DECEMBER 2020 SUN 10th JANUARY 2021 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 28th DECEMBER 2020 SUN 10th JANUARY 2021

As we say goodbye to 2020, we look forward to 2021. 2020 probably tested our hope and our joy, but thank God we are alive. If any of your family or loved ones have died, we trust that they are happy with God in heaven. Sincere thanks to all the people who helped in St James’ parish over the past year, people with their time, talent and treasure have made this parish what it is, sincere thanks to you all. We look forward with hope to 2021 and with God there is joy in your hearts. Stay safe, lots of love, prayers and blessings.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 21st DECEMBER 2020 SUN 27th DECEMBER 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 21st DECEMBER 2020 SUN 27th DECEMBER 2020

"God our Father, you loved us so much you sent us your only Son, Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, to save us and lead us back to you. "We pray that, with your blessing, these images of Jesus might be a sign of your presence and love in our homes. "Good Father, give your blessing to all who gather with us this Christmas, family and friends. Open our hearts, that we might receive Jesus in joy, do always what he asks of us and see him in those who need our love. And we ask Him now to throw his mantle around each one of us during this pandemic. Keep us and ours safe and may we be faithful servants. "We ask this in the name of Jesus, your beloved Son, who came to give peace to the world. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen."

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 14th DECEMBER 2020 SUN 20th DECEMBER 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 14th DECEMBER 2020 SUN 20th DECEMBER 2020

There has been bad news with Covid, sad news with deaths and fake new with Trump, but like John the Baptist I come with Good News. Yet so often people do not want to hear it; the simple message is, "we all hear what we want to hear." As a cliché tells us in another place, "there is none so deaf as those who do not want to hear." So do we all in our own way add to the misery of the world? Each one of us adding a little bit of selfishness here and there, making up to a pandemic not necessarily Covid but a pandemic of selfishness and "I'll do it my way." Jesus came with a simple message of peace to all people of good will. And I do believe the more I see Christ in my own life, the more I see him in others.

 

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 7th DECEMBER 2020 SUN 13th DECEMBER 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 7th DECEMBER 2020 - SUN 13th DECEMBER 2020.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 7th DECEMBER 2020 SUN 13th DECEMBER 2020

As we move through advent, preparation to receive Jesus at Christmas should be top of our agenda. The gospel calls on us to move on, grow up, confess our sins, repent. The twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, all ask us to go contrary to our natural desires . . . they all deflate our egos. When it comes to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than Step Five. But scarcely any Step is more necessary to long time sobriety and peace of mind than this one step "ADMIT WRONGS." Once I admit, I can begin to grow. Accountability and healing is very necessary in the life of us all, especially the life of a Christian. So often I settle for, "I'm OK." I need a human mirror so that I can dump, ventilate, release, and be forgiven. Someone has to be prepared to sit in the “mercy seat” (Exodus 25:17-22) and declare with authority that what God forgives, they dare not hold against themselves, or one another. In short, admitting our wrongs in confession and not only moving on, but growing.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 30th NOVEMBER 2020 SUN 6th DECEMBER 2020 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 30th NOVEMBER 2020 SUN 6th DECEMBER 2020

As we move into Advent we remember Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. But today Jesus tells us, "Be on your guard, stay awake." Stay awake, HERE and NOW. Yesterday is history and gone, tomorrow may never come, so make the most of the here and now. Life is a journey and an adventure. Bur many people live with the obsession of wanting to arrive. I hope to go to heaven eventually but I WANT TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY here and now. That's why I enjoy being a member of the church, travelling together, helping each other along the way, support when you're under pressure. As you travel along, notice your neighbour, the smell of a flower, the beauty of the sky, the crispness of the autumn weather, the breeze on your face and in your heart the HOPE of spring/vaccine. So "stay awake," or so Jesus says.

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

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NEWSLETTER MON 23rd NOVEMBER 2020 - SUN 29th NOVEMBER 2020.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 23rd NOVEMBER 2020 SUN 29th NOVEMBER 2020

Jesus said, “What good is it to love your friend? Even gang members do that.” Okay, He really said tax collectors… but I figured gang members would be a modern day equivalent of the cliché bad guy.
Jesus routinely calls us to do more than love our friends. In Matthew 25 He tells us, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” We have to go beyond our comfort zone. We have to have charity that’s wider than our social circles. It doesn’t do us any good to only love the people we know. We also have to love the stranger and not just the well-to-do stranger, who could turn into our benefactor, who can pay us back. No, we’re called to have charity towards the least of these strangers. We’re called to love the invisible person. The person who means little to us, the person we hardly even think of; whose existence we barely notice. Instead of overlooking these individuals, we need to challenge ourselves to see Christ in them. To serve them as we would serve Christ Himself. "Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."

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

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NEWSLETTER MON 16th NOVEMBER 2020 - SUN 22nd NOVEMBER 2020.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 16th NOVEMBER 2020 SUN 22nd NOVEMBER 2020

We are all gifted in one way or another and some of us may feel we have been dealt a poor hand in life. Whether it be 5, 3 or 1, appreciate what you have been given. The real beauty of talents is not how many I have, but how well do I use my talent. We see many less well able people achieving great things with very little. But they are mega in their determination. We admire and congratulate people like them. As a young person growing up I was a fluent Irish speaker. I did not use it after leaving school and so I lost it. As we say; "Use it or lose it." So the land owner, Jesus is going off to a distant land, heaven. He has totally trusted us and given us, as his people, everything we need to make the world a good place for everyone. He has given us the tools, wonderful creation, sacraments, prayer, each other and he has given us all different gifts, talents to take care of it. Some of us could not manage five talents so Jesus, very kindly has given us what he knows 4, 3, 2, 1, according to our ability to be fruitful.

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

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NEWSLETTER MON 9th NOVEMBER 2020 SUN 15th NOVEMBER 2020

We now live in what the New Testament call the present age and we look forward to the age to come. But we already live in the age to come which began with the Death and resurrection of Christ. It is what you might say, “Already but not yet.” The new age has begun but its fulfillment is in the future. This is what we say every Sunday in the creed- “I look forward to the resurrection from the dead and the life of the world to come.” Look at what Paul is saying in the second reading. So start living the new life here and now if you have not already started.

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

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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 Popular

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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 Popular

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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 Popular

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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 Popular

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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 Popular

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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 Popular

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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 Popular

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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.