Jeremiah 38:4-10 Psalm 39
Hebrews 12:1-4 Luke 12:49-53
On the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Gospel introduces us to the young woman of Nazareth who, having received the Angel’s Annunciation, leaves in haste to be closer to Elizabeth, in the final months of her prodigious pregnancy. Arriving at Elizabeth’s home, Mary hears her utter the words that have come to form the “Hail Mary” prayer: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Lk 1:42). In fact, the greatest gift Mary brings to Elizabeth — and to the whole world — is Jesus, who already lives within her; and he lives not only through faith and through expectation, as in many women of the Old Testament: from the Virgin, Jesus took on human flesh for his mission of salvation.
In the home of Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah, where sadness once reigned for lack of children, there is now the joy of a child on the way: a child who will become the great John the Baptist, the precursor of the Messiah. And when Mary arrives, joy overflows and gushes from their hearts, because the invisible but real presence of Jesus fills everything with meaning: life, family, the salvation of the people. Everything! This joy is expressed in Mary’s voice in the marvelous prayer that the Gospel of Luke has conveyed to us and which, from the first Latin word, is called Magnificat. It is a song of praise to God who works great things through humble people, unknown to the world, as is Mary herself, as is her spouse Joseph, and as is the place where they live, Nazareth. The great things God has done with humble people, the great things the Lord does in the world with the humble, because humility is like a vacuum that leaves room for God. The humble are powerful because they are humble: not because they are strong. And this is the greatness of the humble and of humility. I would like to ask you — and also myself — but do not answer out loud — each of you respond in your heart: “How is my humility?”.
The Magnificat praises the merciful and faithful God who accomplishes his plan of salvation through the little ones and the poor, through those who have faith in him, who trust in his Word as did Mary. Here is the exclamation of Elizabeth: “Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). In that house, the coming of Jesus through Mary created not only a climate of joy and fraternal communion, but also a climate of faith that leads to hope, prayer, and praise.
We would like to have all of this happen today in our homes too. Celebrating Mary Most Holy Assumed into Heaven, we would once again wish her to bring to us, to our families, to our communities, this immense gift, that unique Grace that we must always seek first and above all the other graces that we also have at heart: the grace that is Jesus Christ!
By bearing Jesus, Our Lady also brings to us a new joy full of meaning; she brings us a new ability to traverse with faith the most painful and difficult moments; she brings us the capacity of mercy, in order to forgive each other, to understand each other and to support each other.
Mary is the model of virtue and of faith. Today, in contemplating her Assumption into Heaven, the final fulfillment of her earthly journey, we thank her because she always precedes us in the pilgrimage of life and faith. She is the first Disciple. And we ask her to keep us and support us; that we may have a strong, joyful and merciful faith; that she may help us to be saints, to meet with her, one day, in Heaven.
Delivered at his Angelus Address on the Feast of the Assumption, 2017.
FAREWELL TO FR BOB STYLES SJ
During the next week we say farewell to Fr Bob who has been part of our extended clergy team for the last few years. I’m sure many would like to thank Fr Bob for all his work at Farm Street, including his Masses and homilies and one-to-one work on the door as duty priest and in the sacrament of reconciliation in the church. We wish him all the best for his new assignment in the Jesuit Community at Sacred Heart, Edinburgh.
An exhibition of paintings by Victoria Brenninkmeijer is on the Ground Floor Gallery at 114 Mount Street from 1st August – 31st August. Victoria has had a lifelong interest in fine art, especially as a use for spiritual contemplation. After taking several short courses, Victoria completed the Art Foundation year, and is now studying at the Art Academy in London for a BA in Fine Art.
PROPOSED WALKING CLUB
A number of regular worshippers at our church have participated in pilgrimages over in recent years. In preparation for these, a small group of parishioners have organized one-day practice walks. It has been suggested that the time has come to set up a more formal walking club for the church and arrange future walks in a more organized manner. Membership will be free and all worshippers at Farm Street are welcome to join. It is envisaged that a walk will be organized about four times a year, and each will be up to ten miles in distance within travelling distance of central London. We will consult with members to choose walking destinations, paths and dates which are suitable for the majority.
If you are interested in this new venture, please contact Hossein Zand for more information at email@example.com or Tel 07949 999881.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Preparation start date: 6th October 2019
Celebration: 14th June 2020
If you would like your child to take part in this preparation, please contact us to request an Application Form or collect one from reception at 114 Mount Street.
Forms must be returned by:
30th September 2019.
We are in need of catechists to help on Sunday mornings with Children’s Liturgy of the Word & Holy Communion & Teenage Confirmation preparation. No special qualification is required. Please contact Fr Chris Pedley SJ (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Leninha (email@example.com)
Bookings are still 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.
All young people of the diocese are invited to ‘The Summit’ at Westminster Cathedral on Friday 18th October 2019, 6.30pm to 8pm, for an evening of inspiring reflections, contemporary worship music and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Cardinal Nichols and Brenden Thompson from Catholic Voices will be leading the reflections and the evening promises to be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our faith together. Please come along and encourage your friends, families, classes, youth groups, confirmation groups and any other young people you know to join us. More information at https://dowym.com/events/the-summit-westminster-cathedral/
FARM STREET CHURCH VACANCY
Farm Street is a very active city centre church in the heart of Mayfair in the care of the Jesuits. We are looking for a motivated, hard-working individual to assume the position of sacristan. The position is full-time at 31 hours a week with pay being set at £13.05 an hour. Working days are Saturday, Sunday, and three weekdays to be decided. Flexibility is required and overtime may be expected. Sunday hours are set at ten hours. Lunch will be provided on Sundays.
Duties include managing the sacristy, setting up for and assisting at Masses, baptisms, funerals, and acting as registrar for weddings. An additional £85 will be paid for each wedding (approximately 30-40 per year). Additional hours will be required at Christmas and Easter. The sacristan will report directly to the parish priest.
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?
• Mindfulness and the Alexander Technique
2nd and last Wednesday of each month 12-2pm
• Book Club *
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm – except July & August
Book: “The Brothers Karamazov” Dostoevsky
• Contemplatives in Action *
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm – except July & August
(*): No need to book
FOR YOUR DIARY: OPEN EVENING AND OPEN DAY!
Thursday 5th September 6-8pm
Saturday 7th September 11am-1pm
Come and meet the team, see what we do, sample workshops & ways of praying, etc. Drop in anytime. There will be friendly faces and cake!
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 14th September 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.
INTRODUCTION TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
6 Tuesdays, September 17th-October 22nd, 6.30-8pm Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett & Mary Dodge
Repeated 6 Thursdays, September 19th-October 24th, 11.30am-1pm Facilitated by Lynne Galloway
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.
CONTEMPLATIVES IN ACTION
Facilitated by Theodora Hawksley CJ
Thursday 19th September 7-9.30pm –3rd Thursday of each month
Seeing the world through God’s eyes leads us to loving action for justice, and action leads us back to prayer. These sessions provide an opportunity for those engaged in work or volunteering in social justice to reflect on their practice, and deepen their understanding of Catholic social teaching. Each session has some short input followed by time for reflection and sharing.
PICK UP OUR 2019-20 PROGRAMME AVAILABLE AT THE CHURCH DOORS.
AND VISIT www.mountstreet.info!