Acts 4: 8-12 Psalm 117
1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18
THE GOOD SHEPHERD (JOHN 10:11-18)
One of the busiest occasions in the Church’s year is Good Friday when during the afternoon celebration of the Lord’s passion we venerate the cross. However, it was not until some centuries had passed that images of the cross became common in Christian devotion. The reality of crucifixion was too familiar and too horrible. Christians preferred to venerate their Lord as the Good Shepherd. We find such representations in the catacombs in Rome where Christians buried their dead. We can view them still.
Traditionally, this fourth Sunday after Easter has been called Good Shepherd Sunday because verses from the tenth chapter of St John’s Gospel, his ‘shepherd chapter’, are proclaimed as the gospel reading. Here Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd. He explains who a good shepherd is and what a good shepherd does. A good shepherd knows his sheep, brings them together when they are scattered, and above all – he repeats this three times – he lays down his life for his sheep. He does this in order to take it up again. In response, his sheep recognise his voice, know him and follow him. We are those sheep. We may apply to ourselves Jesus’ words at his arrest, ‘Of those whom you gave me, I lost not one’ (John 6:39; 18:9).
In Israel, the word shepherd was applied to kings and rulers. The prophet Ezekiel in his chapter 34 records God’s complaints about the failures and deficiencies of Israel’s kings, and God promises that he will himself become the shepherd of his people. He himself would search for his sheep and seek them out (Ezekiel 34:11). According to John’s Gospel, this divine promise found fulfilment in Jesus.
At the end of this Gospel, Peter, the leader among the apostles, is told three times by the Risen Christ to feed his sheep. He receives this commission because three times he professes his love for Jesus; shortly before, during the trial of Jesus, he had three times claimed that he had never known him (John 21:15-19). Thus, Peter undertook to exercise in his ministry the qualities of the Good Shepherd. Like his Lord, he was to know his sheep, to bring together the scattered and to be ready to lay down his life for those sheep. We hear many accounts of his work as a pastor of God’s people in the Acts of the Apostles. Solid tradition tells us that Peter died a martyr’s death in Rome; St Peter’s Basilica is built over his tomb.
Today is widely observed as ‘Vocation Sunday’. The Church, the ’flock of God’ (1 Peter 5:2), is always in need of shepherds to lead her members to Christ, to make his teaching and quality of life a reality in a hostile world. May this Good Shepherd Sunday bring all of us to a deeper knowledge of Christ and make all those who exercise responsibility in the Church shepherds according to the pattern of Christ, the Good Shepherd. May many hear the call to become shepherds of the People of God.
Fr. Peter Edmonds, S.J.
FREE LIVE PRAISE &WORSHIP
Come and join a free live music led by Armel (Armel Paul Marie) our Sacristan and Parish Secretary before the Blessed Sacrament. New songs and songs from the album Redemption will be performed at this coming Night Church evangelisation event in Leicester Square next Friday 27th April, 8pm beginning with a light supper. All are welcome! Venue: Notre Dame De France, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX. Please visit Armel Paul Marie on Facebook or YouTube for more information.
The March for Life UK is a mass annual rally for all pro-lifers in the United Kingdom. This national day-out is really a celebration of the pro-life message, with music and inspiring talks from famous pro-life speakers. Join them in London on May 5th for the March for Life! More details on marchforlife.co.uk
BUILDING A BRIDGE
The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council invites you to monthly reflections using Building A Bridge, a book by Fr James Martin SJ. The next one will take place in the Hall, 6.30pm – 8.30pm on Thursday 26thApril. Light refreshments available from 6.30pm, sessions start promptly at 7pm. This month’s theme is “care for those who are persecuted”. For more information please contact email@example.com / 020 8986 0807
PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK SHRINE
There will be a fully escorted Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine, Ireland on May 14th. It is £599 per person sharing and the price includes flights with 10kg hand luggage, all taxes, luxury transfers, 4 nights’ in Knock House Hotel with full Irish Breakfast each morning and 4-course dinner each evening. All entertainment, excursions and guided tours included. Wheelchair accessible rooms in the hotel. Limited single rooms at supplement of £100. Groups and Individual bookings welcome. Contact Patricia on 01268 762 278, 07740 175557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knock Pilgrimages is a member of the Travel Trust Association and is fully protected by ATOL T7613.
The St Francis Leprosy Guild is recruiting an Office Administrator who will be responsible for the smooth-running of the Guild’s day to day work, corresponding with leprosy centres around the world and administering the annual round of grants. Flexible working hours: 16-20 hrs per week – £24,000 pro rata. Working with the Director of the Guild, the Office Administrator will provide administrative and operational support to the volunteer Executive Committee. Committed to their mission, he will have office management experience, good communications skills as well as excellent skills and experience in using Word, Excel and Access and have a good understanding of using databases. A good understanding of the Catholic Church and empathy with it is essential. Experience of overseas development work would be advantageous.
If you are interested please contact Kieran Kettleton at email@example.com to request a job description and further details. Closing date: May 25th. Interviews: June 6 in London.
VOCATIONS WEEKEND FOR YOUNG WOMEN (20S AND 30S)
There will be a weekend organised by the sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) on 25-27 May in Liverpool. The Theme is: “Discerning God’s Call in my life”. The FCJ sisters will share on different aspects of vowed life, and time for prayer, and there will be reflection and discussion with other young women who are also considering a vocation to religious life. It’s an opportunity to live community life for a weekend and meet some sisters! For more information contact Sr Lynne fcJ at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.fcjsisters.org
JESUITS SAINTS PILGRIMAGE
Bookings are open for the 2018 Landings UK & Farm Street Jesuits Saints of England Pilgrimage, visiting Lindisfarne, Hexham, Durham and York. June 8th – 13th. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003; email@example.com For full details visit http://www.paxtravel.co.uk/landings-uk
FARM STREET CAMINO
Bookings are open for the Farm Street Camino in the Steps of St Ignatius, walking 200 km in the steps of the founder of the Jesuits through Catalonia, visiting the Shrine of St Peter Claver in Verdú, Igualada, the Abbey of Montserrat and Manresa, followed by a 3-day retreat and visiting the Ignatian sites in Barcelona. September 23rd – October 6th. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003; firstname.lastname@example.org For full details visit http://www.paxtravel.co.uk/robinson-fr-dominic
WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES
The next World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis takes place in Dublin from 21st – 26th August. This gathering brings together couples, families and individuals from all over the world to celebrate, pray, and reflect on the joys and challenges of marriage and family life. To find out about joining our Westminster Diocesan Group please email email@example.com, and to visit the World Meeting of Families website just type in www.worldmeeting2018.ie.
PAINTING IN THE CHURCH
Fr Geoff Wheaton SJ has recorded a short reflection on Andrew White’s Pieta along with an image of the painting that can be accessed on the Jesuit’s Website and also on YouTube by searching “Geoff Wheaton SJ”.
FRIENDS OF FARM STREET CHURCH
If you would like become a “Friend of Farm Street Church” to support our ministry and the care of this beautiful building please pick up a leaflet or see the application information online at www.farmstreet.org.uk/friends.php
We now have access for wheelchair users to gain access into the house and so will be able to participate in courses, meetings, etc.
The Bridge Club meets here every Tuesday evening, starting at 6.30pm, all levels are welcome. Funds raised go to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).
EASY WAY TO DONATE
You can now use your mobile phone to make donations to our Weekly Offering:
just text FARM02 £[enter your donation amount] to 70070
You will receive a reply text immediately, with an invitation to register the donations from your phone for Gift Aid.
REDEMPTION: MUSIC ALBUM
“REDEMPTION”, a bilingual English/French music album by our parish secretary and sacristan, is now available here at Farm Street in the bookshops, Sacristy and at Reception. In Côte d’Ivoire, it is already played on national television and radios. Please visit Armel Paul Marie on Facebook or YouTube to watch his stunning video and rediscover familiar places in London. Thank you for supporting his evangelisation project.
CD of the newly released album is sold here in the sacristy, the bookshop and at Reception.
CD: BOTH GOD’S & MARY’S SON
A musical portrait of Farm Street Church celebrating fifty years as a Parish. The album includes favourite selections from the choir’s repertoire, along with special commissions composed for the choir by Gabriel Jackson, for which the choir gave the premiere performances. Compact Discs available in the BOOKSHOP and at RECEPTION
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
Our Regular Events
• Midday Meditation: Every Tuesday 1.40-2pm
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed: 3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Next meeting: May 16, 2018)
Towards An understanding of Jesus Christ
Facilitated by Mike Smith SJ
Wednesdays, 25th April – 9th May 7-8.30pm
Jesus Christ was born just over two thousand years ago, though that was not his beginning. He was killed, but is still alive. His life deeply affects every one of us: in following the man who walked on our earth and whose death and resurrection saved us and made eternal happiness possible for us all; This course is an introduction to these aspects of Christology – the study of Jesus Christ.
So How Do You Build A Better World?
Facilitated by John Moffatt SJ
Thursdays, 26th April – 10th May 7-8.30pm
Christianity offers a language for reflection of ethical decision-making in the area of social justice with words like ‘solidarity’ and ‘common good’, but how does that language match up with the realities of a modern world and its competing models of economic progress?
This course will attempt to suggest ways of seeing the problem and offer some (necessarily) tentative ways forward for people who would like to help make the world a better place.
Psychology and Spirituality: Friends or Foes?
Facilitated by David Smolira SJ
Saturday 28st April 11am-4pm
This workshop aims to look at some of the major insights of, and trends in, modern psychology and see how these may relate to, compliment or contradict our understanding of ourselves as spiritual beings and the ways we try to connect with God. This exploration will done from the perspective of Ignatian spirituality.
For people without specialist knowledge of psychology, but with an interest in spirituality and how psychology influences our understanding of God, ourselves and the relationship between the two. For those in spiritual accompaniment, spiritual guides and those who train them and those with a more generalised interest in the relationship between spirituality and psychology.
Bereavement and Loss Group
Thursday 3rd May 11.30am–1pm
Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally and socially. There are many kinds of grieving… Sr. Catherine Quane RSM facilitates this welcoming and understanding group that meets on the first Thursday of the month from 11.30am to 1pm.
You are welcome to just come along or contact Sr. Catherine firstname.lastname@example.org or 0190 323 3904 for more details.
The Gospel of Creation: Reflections from St Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis
Facilitated by Brian Purfield
Saturday 5th May 11am-4pm
The title of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment Laudato si is taken from the first line of St Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures, which is one of the best insights into the saint’s vision for life. It is crucial to grasping how St. Francis understood the message of the gospel – and may offer a glimpse into Pope Francis’ own vision for the world.
Ignatian Retreat Day
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 12th May 11am-4pm
These are retreat days of prayer run in an Ignatian way, in which there is talk, time for personal prayer and the opportunity to listen to each other.
There is no need to book for these days, just come along.
More upcoming events on www.pathwaystoGod.org