Isaiah 43:16-21 Psalm 125
Philippians 3:8-14 John 8:1-11
NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU
In the year C Gospel for this Sunday we have the story of the woman taken in adultery. It is one of the great examples of Jesus compassion and forgiveness, which stands in stark contrast to the attitude of those who bring the woman to Jesus.
All of us need to hear Jesus words of forgiveness addressed to ourselves. We are all aware of ways in our lives we have not lived up to the standards the Gospel demands of us. Even if we are not conscious of having broken one of the ten commandments in a serious way, we still unlikely to feel comfortable at Jesus command to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” or “love your neighbour as yourself”. Perhaps we are a bit like those men in the Gospel, ready to condemn others but less mindful of our own sins and weaknesses. On the other hand we may be like the woman in the story, aware of something serious in our past and not sure how to bring it to God and ask for forgiveness.
A couple of weeks ago we reprinted an article by the late John Edwards, S.J. on confession. This Sunday we will offering extended confessions before and after each Mass and from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, when there will be Exposition. This gives us a chance to hear the words of forgiveness spoken through the Church.
I may be five days since I last went to confession or it may be fifty years. In each case this time of Lent is a good time to go. In each case I will receive the same welcome. If it has been a while then here is an opportunity. Perhaps spend a moment thinking about today’s Gospel and noticing if there are particular things which may be weighing on your mind. When you go in:-
Ask the priest to pray for you because you have sinned.
Let him know how long it is since you were last at confession – there is no right time. If it has been a long time he likely to very happy that you have summoned up the courage to come.
Tell him the things that want to acknowledge before God. Do not worry if it sounds serious, you will not be first, or if it sounds trivial or if it is the same old stuff over again.
He may say a few words and will suggest something for you to do by way of penance and then invite you to say an Act of Contrition (you will find the words in front of you in the confessional).
The priest will then say the words of absolution and tell you to go in peace because your sins are forgiven.
Why go to priest and celebrate this Sacrament of Reconciliation. Yes, we can acknowledge our faults to God in our hearts, but there is a great psychological value in sharing these things with another person in a safe environment. Also we are not on our own in our relationship with God, we are part of his body the Church and it is the Church which was entrusted with this great gift. This is indeed a great gift to receive God’s forgiveness, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We can go in peace, knowing that our sins are forgiven.
Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.
Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse, Friday 12 April 2019
Cardinal Vincent writes: “In February 2016, Pope Francis asked each Bishops’ Conference to establish a Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse. In response, the Bishops of England and Wales designated the Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent to be observed as this Day of Prayer. This year, therefore, the Day of Prayer is Friday 12 April.
I ask that this Day of Prayer is observed in all our parishes and chapels. It is important that we do so. Day by day, the pain of those who have suffered abuse, and its lasting corrosive impact, are brought more fully into the light. The pain of that betrayal of trust is all the more profound when the abuse took place within the community of the Catholic Church. We also see so clearly the failures in leadership in the Church that have exacerbated the sufferings of those who have been abused. We have plenty of reasons to pray.
We pray for those who bear this pain. We pray for their strength and perseverance.
We pray for those who have been caught up in the circles of mistrust, silence and complicity which emanate from this abuse.
We seek repentance and renewal for all who have failed in their duty to protect and respond to the victims of these crimes.
We pray for a renewal in the life of our Church that has become a lodging place for this evil.
We pray in confidence that the Lord does not abandon His Church but constantly calls us to purify our ways of life.
We pray with Mary, our holy Mother, and finest expression of our Holy Mother, the Church.
For my part, I will keep the day with extra simplicity and self-denial and will celebrate the 5.30pm Mass in the Cathedral with these prayers constantly in my heart”.
We will be praying this prayer at all Masses on Friday April 12th.
Fr Dominic Robinson SJ
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place at Farm Street Church between 2.30pm and 5.30pm today. Priests will be available in the church to hear confessions during this time.
Novena for Syria
A Novena for Syria will be prayed at every Mass at Farm Street Church starting on today, the 4th anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr Frans van der Lugt SJ and ending on the 16th April. The Novena will be offered for the release of Fr Paolo dall’Oglio SJ. Farm Street Church is home to the Middle East Shrine which is a focus of prayer and solidarity for the region.
LANDINGS LECTURE 2019
Dr Gemma Simmonds, CJ will address the subject:
‘Happy Landings: Accompanying the Return to Faith and Practice’. This will take place on Thursday April 11th at 7:00pm in the parish hall. Mass in the church at 6:00pm; buffet reception to follow
Suggested donation: £10
All most welcome – to book e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or ‘phone Fr Dominic Robinson SJ on (020)-7529-4802
LGBT CATHOLICS WESTMINSTER
On the weekend of 26th- 28th April, LGBT+ Catholics Westminster will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Admiral Duncan pub bombing, and mark the 20th anniversary of Masses welcoming LGBT+ Catholics, their parents and families. An information stand in a Farm Street Church side-chapel will feature various aspects of hate-crime and how we can respond. There will be a prayerful history walk on Saturday, 27 April, 14.00-16.30, visiting West End sites significant in the history of LGBT+ Catholics, from Oscar Wilde to the present day. All are welcome – further details: email@example.com – www.lgbtcatholicswestminster.org”
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? (No need to book!)
• 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: April 17th, 2019)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm (Next: April 11th, 2019)
Book: “Man’s Search For Meaning” Viktor Frankl
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 13th April 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.
THE LOVING KINDNESS OF OUR GOD – WHO SETS US FREE
Facilitated by Michael Smith SJ
Saturday 27th April 11am-4pm
Jesus said “I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full” John 10:10
Now we are in Eastertide it is a good moment to reflect on the New Life that the Risen Lord offers to us, what we mean when we say that in his life, death and resurrection Jesus redeemed the human race.
This day based on Scripture, and later on Christian church teaching, will look at the meaning of the words redemption, salvation, atonement, and being freed from sin. Reflecting on how this work is being carried on today, focusing on what that means for each of us individually, and for the whole human race.
BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett & TBC
6 Wednesdays, May 1st – June 5th, 7-8.30pm
For those who are new to Ignatian spirituality, from any background. During each session you will be introduced to a different aspect of Ignatian spirituality or prayer, guided through a prayer exercise, invited to share your reflections in a small group and at the end of the session gathered together again in the larger group. You will be invited to pray the prayer exercise during the week, for just like physical exercise the more you ‘practice’ the more benefits you will feel.
BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP
Facilitated by Maria Shapero
Thursday 2nd May 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.
JOURNALLING AS PRAYER
Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett
Saturday 4th May 11am-4pm
Journalling is one of the best ways of deepening our prayer life, recommended by St Ignatius himself. In this workshop, we will try out and explore a variety of different journalling techniques as ways of deepening our relationship with God and our spiritual life.
Please bring notebooks and pens or your laptop with the battery well charged.