Acts 12:1-11 Psalm 33
II Timothy 4:6-18 Matthew 16:13-19
WHO WERE PETER AND PAUL?
Who were Peter and Paul? We honour them today as the apostles who in giving their very lives for Christ made possible the flowering of Christianity in Rome and its empire. The colour red at Mass today reminds us that they shed blood for their faith in Christ so we might have life and the Church grow.
However, it is not only the witness of the apostles’ death but also the example of their life and their writings that inspires us. Peter and Paul, sent out by the Lord, preached the Gospel with such inner conviction through their actions and through their words.
Paul had formerly been such a violent persecutor of Christians but had undergone a dramatic conversion, famously on the road to Damascus. So powerful was his experience of seeing the power of the cross of Christ that he dedicated his life, his work, and ultimately won the crown of martyrdom, for the Lord. In his writings Paul proclaims how the cross unleashes ‘the power of God’, a vital force which promises new life for all, pagans as well as Christians, if they too convert to him. In his letter to the Romans Paul proclaims that Christ died ‘for our transgressions and was raised for our justification’ (Romans 4:25). If Christ had not then been raised, says Paul in his first of two letters to the Corinthians, ‘you are still in your sins’ (1 Corinthians 15:17). The cross takes away our sins. But this is not the end. The cross opens a path from spiritual death to glorious new life. Through Jesus’ cross and resurrection, he says in various places in his writings, we become a ‘new creation’.
What can this mean to us today? The Church’s 1965 document on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope) explains exactly what Paul means. The power of the cross calls us constantly to be ‘inwardly renewed’. We are called to rise with Christ. We are called to see clearly, as St Paul did, our promise of eternal life, ‘called to one and the same destiny, which is divine’. This is the paradox of the cross. By his death Christ has given life abundantly to us (GS #22).
St Peter is a very different character. His faith is put to the test as he prevaricates during Christ’s agony in the garden. He has to be challenged directly by Christ before he finally commits himself to follow him all the way to the cross. Whereas with Paul it is dramatic conversion, Peter stands for the twists and turns of doubt and faith – and yet he becomes the rock on which the Church is built. St Peter’s confession of faith becomes the basic faith of the Church in which he is put in charge – faith that the Master he has been following is more than just another prophet, more than the one who shows us the way to God, but that Jesus is the Christ, is the incarnate God, God present in our midst.
Wherever we are on our pilgrimage of faith and doubt and uncertainty the lives of Peter and Paul can show us that we are not alone. The great founding apostles of the Church have been there before. So we can intercede of them that we can be given the courage to know God’s power to transform us in whatever way that is needed so we can respond to the call he makes of each one of us to bring him and his message to the world.
Fr Dominic Robinson, S.J.
The annual Mount Street Gardens Summer Fair takes place today between 12 noon and 4pm. This an event that Farm Street Church organizes in collaboration with the Grosvenor Chapel, St George’s School, and the Mayfair Library. There are stalls, games, delicious savoury and sweet food, and generous measures of Pimms! Do come along to what should be a very enjoyable afternoon!
We are very pleased to welcome back Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, Bishop of Oakland who will be celebrating the 11am Latin Mass this morning. Bishop Michael is visiting the United Kingdom from his diocese in California, and was a member of this community in 1996/97.
John Henry Newman – Next Doctor of the Church?
A talk by Fr Marcus Holden for the English Catholic History Association.
Saturday 6 July at 2pm in the Hinsley Room at Westminster Cathedral (entrance off Morpeth Terrace).
Admission £5 on the door. All welcome.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND PEACE FORUM
Westminster Diocesan Social Justice and Peace Forum on the theme ‘Our Place: How do we achieve the global UN Sustainable Development Goals on our level?’ – Saturday July 6th – 10:30am – 1:30pm – St Aloysius Church Hall, Euston. Talks by Christine Allen, Director of CAFOD, James Buchanan from Operation Noah and Edward De Quay from the Bishops Conference of England and Wales, followed by discussion in small groups, and then a shared lunch. Bishop Nicholas and Bishop Paul, who oversee the Forum, write: “the discussion on any outcomes of the forum will be shared with the Archbishop’s Council. This is an excellent opportunity not only to discuss the practicalities of bringing the values of justice and peace to the forefront, but to support the work of the Diocese of Westminster’s Justice and Peace Commission”.
If you would like to join me at this important event please see Fr Dominic Robinson or e-mail Lisa Fraser, our social ministries co-ordinator, at email@example.com
ST IGNATIUS DAY ALUMNI MASS
All are welcome, and most especially alumni/ae of Jesuit schools and universities here and abroad, to celebrate the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Jesuits, on July 31st at 6pm, when there will be a solemn Mass with the Farm Street Choir, followed by a party. All welcome to this joyful annual event – please do spread the word and bring friends and family.
Bookings are open for this year’s Farm Street Camino in the Steps of St Ignatius, walking this year in the steps of the founder of the Jesuits through the Basque Country from Alda on the Rioja border to Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius. The Camino is a spiritual as well as physically challenging experience, with prayer and Mass each day and a day’s retreat in Loyola followed by a final day of sightseeing in Bilbao. September 23rd – October 3rd 2019. 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 www.paxtravel.co.uk or request a brochure at Reception.
SOUP KITCHEN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
All and any help is needed throughout July and August for a soup kitchen run by the Companions of St. John of Malta.
We are at St James’ Spanish Place every Thursday – most helpers arrive between 1800-1900, after work, but any spare time between 1700-2100 is most welcome. Many soup kitchens close over the summer, but the need does not diminish. Our guest numbers normally rise from about 80 to about 120 at this time. Hands, hearts, time and prayers are especially welcome as helpers.
Any additional information is available via Patrick Howe – e-mail email@example.com or
020 7589 9178
Thanks for your attention and if time is too short, your prayers are as important as anything.
AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED SPONSORSHIP
Fr Dominic Robinson and three parishioners are taking on a 10 kilometre (6 miles) run this August to raise funds for Aid to the Church in Need. Please do consider sponsoring them as they raise money and awareness for the Suffering Church around the world. For more information, please visit the fundraising section of the ACN website, www.acnuk.org.
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
Would you be interested in learning more about AWN Pugin, the eminent Victorian architect who designed the High altar for this church and the interiors of the Houses of Parliament? The Pugin Society, founded in 1995, offers a lively range of events, study tours, talks and publications. Details: www.thepuginsociety.co.uk
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).
ITEMS FOR NEWSLETTER
If you know of any relevant event that should be in the newsletter, please contact the Parish Administrator, George McCombe, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The newsletter is printed on Thursday so items must be in before this if they are to be printed on the upcoming Sunday.
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!)
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed
3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm – except August (Next: July 17th, 2019)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm – except July & August (Next: September 12th, 2019)
Book: “The Brothers Karamazov” Dostoevsky
BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP
Facilitated by Maria Shapero
Thursday 4th July 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 13th July 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.
WE ARE WORKING HARD ON OUR 2019-20 PROGRAMME.
VISIT www.mountstreet.info FOR NEW EVENTS!