Exodus 32:7-14 Psalm 50
I Timothy 1:12-17 Luke 15:1-32
THERE IS REJOICING IN HEAVEN OVER ONE REPENTANT SINNER
The Gospel today includes various parables illustrating God’s concern and mercy towards sinners. The long version of the Gospel is mainly taken up with the parable which is usually called the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”. This is one of the most famous of the parables but also one which repays careful reflection. One question to ask as you read it through is, “Who am I in this parable?”
Perhaps the most obvious person we might identify with is the younger son, the one who goes off, squanders the gifts he has been given, but then comes back to his father. We can probably all recognise ourselves as sinners. Many of us may have had time in our lives when we did things we regret, times when we lost sight of God. Like the younger son we come back to recognising our need of God. We come back, perhaps, with a feeling of shame and unworthiness of God’s forgiveness. However, the Father is there, waiting for us. The Father who simply rejoices that we have come back. Yes, most of us are aware of our need of the Father’s forgiveness and are grateful for his overwhelming love. This can be an important parable if, for example, we have been away from confession for a while and are not sure what kind of welcome we will receive. One of the joys of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is that we experience the reality of God’s merciful love.
However, the people to whom the parable was addressed did not see themselves as sinners. They saw themselves as the good people and were outraged by the way Jesus went around with people they looked down on, the tax collectors and sinners. The key figure here is the older son. He is the good boy, the one who has done everything his father asked. He is the one who has kept the rules. Now his wastrel brother comes back having lost half the family property and is welcomed home with a feast. The older brother is resentful. He feels hard done by. The danger for religious people is that we can be like the older brother, we can be like the scribes and the Pharisees. It is easy to be self-righteous, to condemn “them”, the ones who do not live up to the teaching of the Church as we understand it. We can look at how hard we try to live a Christian life. We look at all we do for the Church and for other people. We can get upset and resentful if we see “them” being welcomed into the Church. Perhaps there is something of this in the response in some quarters to Pope Francis’ stress on the mercy of God. We need to hear the words of the father in the parable, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right that we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”
Perhaps the one we really need to use as are model, actually, the father. Here is the son who has squandered many of the things we worked for and yet the father shows nothing but love and forgiveness. Maybe we need to ask that we can be like our Father when we think about those who may have offended us or do not live the way we think they should.
Fr Chris Pedley, SJ
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
AN EVENING WITH CHRIS PATTEN
The Tablet is holding an evening of discussion and insight with Chris Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, on Monday 23rd September at 6.30pm. A talk by Lord Patten will be followed by Q&A, drinks and canapés, and book sales and signings. Tickets for Tablet subscribers are £25 each and £35 for those who do not possess a Tablet subscription. Tickets may be purchased either through the Tablet website or telephoning the Tablet switchboard on 020 8748 8484.
ART AND THE BODY OF CHRIST
On Thursday 31st October at 7pm, Maria Cristina White-da Cruz will give an illustrated lecture on the meaning, form, and function of the Eucharist in relation to Early Church writings and its representation in art. The lecture explores the ultimate purpose of the Eucharist to nourish God’s people, the mystical Body of Christ. Tickets are £10 at the door or via Eventbrite.
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 or the Parish Administrator.
Thank you to all who donated to those participating in the recent Olympic Distance triathlon. £555 was raised for Aid to the Church in Need.
CAFOD INFORMATION AFTERNOON
CAFOD will be hosting a supporter’s information afternoon at 2.30pm on Wednesday 18th September. Come and hear how CAFOD is helping communities, thanks to your support. The location is CAFOD’s Volunteer Centre, 29 Bramley Road, London, Bookings taken on 0208 449 6970 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Your donation could be worth 25% more to us and it won’t cost you an extra penny. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider using the Gift Aid donation envelopes available on the pews for your weekly offering.
Farm Street Church is now able to process donations via contactless payment. Terminals for this can be found in the church and at reception.
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 or Leninha.
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
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.
NEW: ‘FROM SCRATCH’ SERIES
SCRIPTURE FROM SCRATCH – THE OLD TESTAMENT
Facilitated by Brian Purfield
2 Saturdays 21st and 28th September 11am-4pm
Or 4 Tuesdays, 1st – 22nd October, 11am-1pm
Or 4 Wednesdays, 2nd – 23rd October, 7-8.30pm
Always wanted to know more about scripture, but didn’t know where to start? This course explores how the Old Testament took shape and the kinds of literature it contains. We will also consider the role of Scripture in the life of the Church.
GOD AND EXPERIENCE: INTRODUCING PRACTICAL THEOLOGY
Facilitated by Michael Smith SJ
Saturday 5th October 11am-4pm
This day will examine where theology does not seem to fit in with our understanding of the world, and look at several examples, including how liberation theology has led to a change in the way we view and participate in God’s saving action.
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: to be announced on the website
• Contemplatives in Action *
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm
(*): No need to book