St James the Great R.C. Church Peckham Rye , 45 Elm Grove London, SE15 5DD UK
Published on 10 July 2020
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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.
Published on 03 July 2020
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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.”
Published on 26 June 2020
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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.”
Published on 19 June 2020
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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.
Published on 12 June 2020
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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)
Published on 05 June 2020
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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.
Published on 29 May 2020
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Published on 22 May 2020
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Published on 15 May 2020
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...Because our minds are closed. I have been so used to doing things this way, I can't change now. An arrogance of refusing to listen. To hear and be converted to Jesus Christ. Humility is an essential virtue for the Christian. Lack of it keeps me trapped in my own way in my own little miserable, narrow world. Refusing to open up to new ways, to the spirit of God which we are awaiting at Pentecost. In this time of pandemic Jesus is not leaving us orphans...
Published on 08 May 2020
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ZOOM connection for Tuesday the 12th May at 7.30. Be encouraging to see you.
Published on 01 May 2020
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You can't run from trouble. There isn't a place that far. However, today's Psalm gives us a place. Whenever things seem to be hopeless I, personally repeat different lines over and over again. It does work and He is our refuge, our only refuge. This psalm ends with the line: “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Maybe here in the UK if I say dog instead of sheep, we will better understand. Think of the relationship between a dog and his owner, how well the dog knows the voice of the owner, the dog listens to instructions of ‘heal, sit, fetch, come here, no’. Think of the excitement of the dog in seeing his owner, going for a walk, listening for instructions, the joy of being patted and told "good boy/girl." Who loves the most, the dog or the owner?
Published on 24 April 2020
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The two disciples are leaving Jerusalem. They had known Jesus for many years and had followed Him. No doubt they were devastated by his crucifixion. Furthermore they were undoubtedly frightened by the prospect of what might happen to them as followers of Jesus. On their way home, they meet a STRANGER. They begin with small talk but quickly they realise this man knows a lot about scripture. BUT SADLY THEY MAKE NO CONNECTION BETWEEN WHAT HE SAYS AND WHO HE IS. (could be any Sunday morning) Then in the house they recognise Him and RUSH BACK TO JERUSALEM TO TELL THE GOOD NEWS. Christ cannot be contained in our churches or homes. They may very well have headed straight into death like Jesus. Here we see the power of the resurrection.
Published on 17 April 2020
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Published on 10 April 2020
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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.
Published on 03 April 2020
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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.
Published on 27 March 2020
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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.
Published on 20 March 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 23rd MARCH 2020 - SUN 29th MARCH 2020.pdf
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.
Published on 13 March 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 16th MARCH 2020 - SUN 22nd MARCH 2020.pdf
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 prophetI see you are the ChristYou are the Messiah.Only when we face the truth about ourselves can we come to know Christ.Because He IS THE TRUTH.
Published on 06 March 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 9th MARCH 2020 - SUN 15th MARCH 2020.pdf
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.
Published on 27 February 2020
NEWSLETTER MON 2nd MARCH 2020 - SUN 8th MARCH 2020.pdf
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 prayerThe 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”.
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