Ecclesiasticus 3:17-29 Psalm 67
Hebrews 12:18-24 Luke 14:1-14
WHEN YOU GIVE A PARTY…
“Vergelt’s Gott!” This expression (“May God repay you!”) is very common in Catholic areas of Germany (although it was suppressed during the Nazi period) and is a standard way of saying “Thank you”. The challenge which Christ puts to his disciples in today’s reading from Luke is one which runs throughout his teaching: we are to act towards others without any expectation of reward or benefit to ourselves in the normal sense. We are to look to God alone as the end and justification of our actions.
The theme is set out programmatically in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 and 6) and developed more fully in many of the parables and sayings. Behind this theme stands lies Christ’s proclamation of the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God. This is to be understood not only in terms of God’s judgement on this world but as a call to live the values of that Kingdom now. This “eschatology” leads us to a new freedom – for example, freedom from the claims of this world and its systems of status – since we are to live a new kind of life as “children of God”, dependent only on his love and providence. In this new order of things all is reversed: “The first shall be last, the last shall be first”; “The one who would be greatest in the Kingdom of God must be least of all and servant of all”. Christ’s injunction regarding invitations and places of honour is therefore not simply a lesson in humility (the virtue praised in today’s reading from Ecclesiasticus) but a challenge to reverse our whole way of thinking and acting.
“But surely Our Lord doesn’t mean it literally?” we might ask, “Are we really expected to invite the poor, the lame and the blind to our table in preference to family and friends?” Jesus seems to be speaking of the danger of inviting only the people on our “preferred” list (with a view to expecting invitations in return). As the Gospels show, he was noted for sharing the table-fellowship of every class of person and this inclusiveness becomes itself a sign of the imminence of the Kingdom. Nevertheless, it is always interesting to see how readily we can dismiss the commands of Christ when they interfere with our daily routine of life. Are we meant to take literally the commands to give up our belongings, to submit to unjust treatment, to be compassionate “as your heavenly Father is compassionate”, to love our enemies, to walk the extra mile, to “give to everyone who asks” and never expect repayment for a loan? This is hardly a realistic way to run society! But this is the point surely: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Can we surrender a “risk-averse” Christianity for the radical call of Christ?
Fr William Pearsall, SJ
From the archives. First published 2nd September 2007.
PUGIN ALTAR FRONTAL
The copy of the original Pugin Altar that adorned the old altar is now in St Augustine’s Shrine, Ramsgate. On Sunday 8th September, there will be a ceremony at St Augustine’s to mark its arrival. Latin vespers will begin at 4.30pm followed by a celebratory service at 5.15pm. All are most welcome to attend.
Are you an adult who is thinking about joining the Catholic Church or who has not yet been confirmed?
Our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults will begin in October preparing for baptism, receptions into the Church and confirmations at Easter next year. For more information contact Fr Chris Pedley (email@example.com) or the Parish Administrator.
DOWRY OF MARY PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
The Society of Our Lady of Lourdes is organizing a pilgrimage to Walsingham on Sunday 8th September to be led by Rt Rev Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia. Coach pick-ups leave Westminster Cathedral at 7.30am and Golders Green at 8.10am. The cost is £20 for adults and £15 for children. If you would like to attend, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or ‘phone Felcy on 07424 865 354
On Thursday 19th September at 6.30pm, Serena Fass will be giving a talk on her book, ‘St Mark the Evangelist’. The book follows the footsteps of the Evangelist, and contains a foreward by Archbishop Angaelos of London and an introduction by the late John Julian Norwich. All money raised will go towards supporting the work of Aid to the Church in Need. While booking is not obligatory, if you are interested in attending this interesting event, please do RSVP to email@example.com
CLIMATE CHANGE TALK
Jesuit Missions invites you to an evening in conversation with the Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC on Friday 13th September, 18.30 at Farm Street Parish, 114 Mount Street. Lady Scotland will be speaking about climate change in the Commonwealth. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and teas and coffees. All welcome.
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.
For further information about the parish please visit our website www.farmstreet.org.uk. To apply for this position please e-mail George McCombe at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.
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 (email@example.com) or Leninha (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANDREW WHITE ART
Copies of Andrew White’s paintings of the Last Supper and Pietà can be found in reception for £10 each.
If you regularly attend the 17.30 Sunday Mass and sing or play a musical instrument, you would be most welcome to join the 530 Music Group which accompanies these Masses on 2nd & 4th Sundays. We gather for a music practice at 16.45 on these Sundays. If interested, please contact Neil Cocking – 07850 790747.
MOUNT STREET JESUIT CENTRE
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
PICK UP OUR 2019-20 PROGRAMME AVAILABLE AT THE CHURCH DOORS
AND VISIT http://www.mountstreet.info
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
Or 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 7-8.30pm –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.
AN EXTROVERTS’ GUIDE TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
Facilitated by Athena Barrett & Liz Waldy
Saturday 21st September 11am-4pm
Have you ever felt as if silence and spirituality is not for you? That it is only for quiet and earnest people and you would find it impossible to be silent for more than one minute? This is the one-day workshop for you: we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, introverts and extroverts alike, and God has something for you, as you are.
Come and spend the day trying new ways of praying and encountering the God who loves you, just as you are.
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
Book: “The Brothers Karamazov” Dostoevsky
• Contemplatives in Action *
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm
(*): No need to book