Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm 137
I Corinthians 15:1-11 Luke 5:1-11
HERE I AM, SEND ME
I first began to read regularly at Sunday Mass, probably about the age of 16, the first reading I had to read was today’s passage from Isaiah. It made a deep impression on me then and has been important to me ever since. Isaiah has a vision of God in the Temple and is overcome with a sense of his own sinfulness and unworthiness. The angel touches his lips with a coal, signifying God’s power freeing him from those things. When he hears the call, “Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?”, he is able to say, “Hear I am, send me”. This is not because of his own talents and perfection, it is because he has experienced the healing touch of God. This reading spoke to me because I had desire to be of service to God but I was very much aware of my own inadequacy. That awareness of inadequacy, of sinfulness, of lack of ability, is something that has remained with me throughout my life as a priest. However, it has been the realisation that I am called in my weakness, that like Isaiah I am dependent on the grace of God, that has sustained me.
In the Gospel we have another story of a call, that of Peter. Peter’s realisation that Jesus really is the Christ comes thorough the miraculous catch of fish. Peter falls at the feet of Jesus and says “Leave, me Lord, I am a sinful man”. He too is overcome by his sense of unworthiness. Jesus response is that reassurance we find so often in scriptural stories of encounters with God, “Do not be afraid”. Peter, James and John respond to the call of Jesus not knowing where it will lead but confident in the one they are following.
Paul, too, talks about his own call in our second reading. He talks about his experience of the risen Jesus. As a former persecutor of the Church he sees himself as the least of the apostles but the grace of God is at work with him to enable him to preach the Gospel.
I imagine all of us, when faced with the call to live and proclaim the Gospel, have the same sense of inadequacy and unworthiness. At Mass, before communion, we acknowledge that we are unworthy to receive the Lord and our in need of that same touch Isaiah received: “only say the word and my soul will be healed”. It is as loved sinners, called to be instruments of the Holy Spirit, that we are all of us called, by our baptism, to share in the ministry of Christ. At the end of Mass we are sent out to glorify God by our lives. The glory is God’s, because we rely on his power at work in us, not on our own strength, virtues and talent. When we feel unequal to the challenges we face, when we doubt that we can respond to the situations we encounter, when we are discouraged at times by our seeming lack of success, then we can remember Isaiah, Peter and Paul. If we hear Jesus “Do not be afraid” then we can answer, “Here I am, send me”.
Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.
WHITE FLOWER APPEAL
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) will be holding its annual appeal today. SPUC is currently campaigning to stop the decriminalisation of abortion, which means taking abortion outside the law. This is the most dangerous threat to unborn children and their mothers in decades. Please be as generous as you can to help us defeat this latest attack on unborn babies and their mothers, and stop abortion getting even worse in this country by decriminalisation.
CATHOLIC UNION MASS
Cardinal Vincent Nichols will be celebrating a Mass for the Catholic Union of Great Britain on Thursday 28 February at 6pm at Farm Street church, followed by a Reception in the Hall. If attending the Reception, please register on 020 8749 1321 or at email@example.com. Come and learn more about the Catholic Union. All are most welcome.
TALK BY ANDREW WHITE ON ART
Andrew White, our artist-in-residence, will speak about his art as an expression of his faith, including his large work ‘The Last Supper’ and his forthcoming commission for Farm Street ‘Mother Mary’. This will take place on Sunday March 17th at 12:30pm in the Meeting Room
CHRISTIANS IN A MUSLIM WORLD
Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, will give a talk on the subject of Christians in a Muslim World: Signs of Hope, on Tuesday 5th March at 7pm, at the Church of Notre-Dame de France, 5 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX – by free admission and with a retiring collection in aid of Eastern Christians. The lecture is organized by the Catholic charity, Fellowship & Aid to the Christians of the East (FACE), which devotes itself to supporting Eastern Christians. For further information on the charity or the lecture, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WESTMINSTER DIOCESAN LOURDES PILGRIMAGE
To take place on July 20th – 26th 2019. If you are interested in joining the Westminster Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage, as an assisted pilgrim, helper or praying pilgrim, please speak to Fr Dominic or drop a line to email@example.com leaving your name and contact details
BRAVERY UNDER FIRE -POSTPONED
Bravery Under Fire, a docudrama feature on the life of Irish WWI Jesuit chaplain Fr Willie Doyle, will NOT be shown on Monday 11th February as originally advertized. This event will take place in the future, and details will be announced when a new date is determined. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Scripture from Scratch
‘A Journey Through Lent with the Gospel of Luke’ with Sr Anne Walsh OP. These five sessions explore the Sunday Readings of Lent, inviting us to open our hearts to God’s Word in preparation for Easter. Thursdays, 14 & 28 February; 14 & 28 March; 11 April (7.30-9.00 pm refreshments from 7.00). Suggested donation £5/session. Niland Conference Centre at Rosary Priory, 93 Elstree Road, Bushey Heath WD23 4EE (www.nilandconferencecentre.co.uk/programme-of-events or firstname.lastname@example.org for details).
LONELINESS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Westminster Faith Exchange is hosting an event discussing loneliness and mental health. This event will be an opportunity to hear from Westminster City Council and the services they provide to tackle loneliness. Faith leaders from a variety of traditions will also discuss their projects to alleviate loneliness. This event will take place on Wednesday 27th February at 5.30-7pm at the West London Synagogue, 33 Seymour Place, W1H 5AU. All are most welcome.
Farm Street Church is now able to process donations via contactless payment. Terminals for this can be found in the church and at reception.
TWO WEEKS TO GO
Mary’s Meals wants your unwanted clothing and bedding (no duvets or pillows please) and will be at our church until 12.30pm on Sunday 24th February to collect them all. Put your clothing/bedding into tied sacks and bring them to Mass where the charity Mary’s Meals will be here to pick them up. Amazingly 4 full black sacks of good quality clothing will feed a child one good nutritious meal every school day for a whole year! Mary’s Meals is a charity that sets up school feeding programmes in communities where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.
NEW FRONT ALTAR
The westward facing front will be replaced in June this year. The new altar, whilst being beautiful in its own right, will be of a simpler design which will allow a clearer view of the magnificent original Pugin altar. The new altar will be installed in June and dedicated by His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, on Wednesday 19th June at the 6pm Mass.
CATHOLIC & SINGLE?
Catholic Singles is an organisation which helps single Catholics of all ages (over 18 years) meet other single Catholics, either one to one or through social events. For further information visit www.catholicsingles.org.uk or tel. 0161 941 3498
MOUNT STREET JESUIT CENTRE
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
Why not come to our Regular Events?
• Drop-in Prayer
Every Monday 6.30-7pm
• Lunchtime Lectio
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: February 20th, 2019)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm
(Next meeting: February 14h, 2019)
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE AND MINDFULNESS
Facilitated by Chris Goodchild
Saturday 16th February 11am-4pm
This workshop will explore in detail how the Alexander Technique evolved, how it can be applied and, most importantly, how it can be combined with mindfulness in giving us tools to be more present in life.
SHOW ME the WAY I SHOULD GO: TOOLS FOR MAKING LIFE CHOICES
Facilitated by Chris Chapman
Saturday 23rd February 11am-4pm
How do we learn to become more aware of the presence and guidance of God in the midst of daily life? How do we discern the Spirit when we have to make choices about the work we’ll do, our relationships or our priorities?
Facilitated by Cathy Edge and Lynne Galloway
Saturday 2nd March 11am-4pm
This will be a digital free day, no devices of any kind from at least 11am-4pm, so yes that includes the lunch break!
A practical workshop which will begin with the opportunity to reflect on your use of technology, with questions like how often do you have your smart phone or tablet in your hands…? With the invitation to switch it off and do something different. Perhaps to ‘Log Off for Lent’!
BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP
Facilitated by Maria Shapero
Thursday 7th March 11.30-1pm
Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally and socially. There are many kinds of grieving…
You are welcome to just come along or contact Maria Shapero Mariashapero@hotmail.com or 0755 324 2322 for more details.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 9th March 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.