Exodus 17:8-13 Psalm 120
II Timothy 3:14-4:2 Luke 18:1-8
GUARDED UNDER THE SHADOW OF GOD’S WINGS
n a visit to Paris when I was young, one of the treats which lay in store was a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Famous since its construction for the World Exhibition at the beginning of the last century, it had become one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Of course I had seen photographs of it and television shots of it, so in many ways I was prepared to see it. However, nothing could really have prepared me for what I saw for myself, to look at it closely, to touch it, and to ascend the lift to the top to see the panorama of Paris laid out before my eyes.
My first surprise, even ‘though I was familiar with it, was to see its colour. I thought it would be sort of rusty or copper, patchy in places and worn down by the weather and scratched. What I did not expect was the even chocolate coating which ran up and down its length with a uniform consistency and which gave it a mellower, warmer and softer appearance instead of it just being a huge rusty metal construction. However, what struck me most of all was the sheer size of the thing: it was enormous. Although I knew it was big, I had never seen anything so massive in my young life; it just took my breath away seeing its columns plunge into the earth and curving upwards, on and on until it narrowed and finally tapered into the blue sky above. A vast immovable structure making me and my friends feel somewhat insignificant beneath its shadow.
The theme of today’s reading reminds us of another kind of towering figure, but in this case it is the vastness of God. We are asked to reflect on His power and presence everywhere. This is not something we should be afraid of, in the ordinary sense of that term, since God is our friend and his Son Jesus calls us brothers and sisters. Still, when we think that, as the Entrance Antiphon says, that we shelter under the shadow of His wings, then we can get a sense of just how pervasive God’s presence is. You see, it’s all very well hearing about God from a pulpit but as in this case with my experience of the tower, there really is no substitute for a personal encounter with Him. And this is there for the asking for each one of us, as today’s Gospel reminds us.
As I was left with a sense of awe at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, so too should we have a similar sense about being in the presence of God ourselves at every moment of our lives. God is there, watching over us, stepping in to help us when he thinks we need it or leaving us to ourselves to see how we get on without Him. All of our lives, every moment of every day, are spent under the shadow of the towering figure of God whose presence fills the universe. Let us then not be afraid of anything or anyone and let remind ourselves of the Gospel reading from St Luke that God is there and to turn to Him to ask for help or simply to thank for all He has given and continues to give to us.
Fr James Campbell, SJ
From the archives. First published 21st October 2007.
We give thanks for the canonization last Sunday of St John Henry Newman. A number of items belonging to the saint are currently on display in Farm Street Church. We continue our focus on St John Henry Newman by welcoming Fr Michael Lang, parish priest at the London Oratory, to preach today at the 11am Mass.
CATHOLIC UNION TALK
On Friday 25th October at 6.30pm, Fr James Hanvey SJ will be presenting a talk on the vision of Pope Francis for the Church. This event is being organized by the Catholic Union and hosted by Farm Street Church. Refreshments will follow the talk. All most welcome.
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 door or via Eventbrite.
Farm Street Church is now able to process donations via contactless payment. Terminals for this can be found in the church and at reception.
PRAYING FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
You are invited to a special Mass at 11.30am on Wednesday November 6th here at Farm Street, to pray for Britain’s young people. This is organised by Catholic Women Praying Together, a group bringing together the main Catholic women’s groups in Britain. For those who wish, a buffet lunch follows at £25 each:
RECEPTION VOLUNTEER NEEDED
We need help at the front reception on Thursday evenings between 5pm and 8:30pm and Sundays between 9.15am and 1pm. If you are able to help, please call Leslie Giltz on 0207 -408-1234 and press option 1.
BROTHER JAMES HODKINSON RIP
Brother James Hodkinson SJ, who for many years was a member of the community at Mount Street, died on Friday 4th October. He was 90 years old and was in his 73rd year of religious life. His funeral will be at Farm Street Church at 2pm on Wednesday 23rd October. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
UNITED SERVICE FOR THE THIRD WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
On Sunday November 17th 2019 at 3pm all are invited to a special ecumenical service at Farm Street Church to pray for and raise awareness of the plight of the homeless in our city of London. On this day we will join other communities around the world hosting Tim Schmalz’ Homeless Jesus sculpture to pray for the most disadvantaged in our society. Various homeless agencies, religious leaders and congregations, and local government officials have been invited to this inaugural event. The preacher will be the Reverend Richard Carter of St Martin-in-the-Fields. A reception will follow. All are welcome
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.
Parish Coffee Morning
We are having a coffee morning to welcome all parishioners. We hope as many of you as possible will be able to attend. Please join us on Saturday 2nd November from 10:30-12 for a cup of coffee and a slice of homemade cake.
The Ground-Floor Gallery is currently displaying photographs installed by the Amelie & Daniel Linsey Foundation. The Foundation was set up in memory of the victims who lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, and is committed to raising funds to support the families of victims and improve Sri Lankan medical facilities. The exhibition will be available for view until the 31st October.
WORRIED ABOUT SOMEONE’S DRINKING?
AL-ANON can help and is held every Monday (except Bank Holidays) 12-1pm in the Meeting Room at 114 Mount Street. Contact Jane 07962 967443 or Angela 07971 953744. www.al-anonuk.org.uk
BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP
The Bereavement and Loss Group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 11.30am at 114 Mount Street. Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally, and socially. This support group is for those who wish who are experiencing the effects of such grief. You are welcome to just come along or contact Maria Shapero Mariashapero@hotmail.com or 0755 324 2322 for more details.
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 offers a lively range of events, talks and publications. Details: www.thepuginsociety.co.uk
MOUNT STREET JESUIT CENTRE
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7529 4844 or
THE ART OF LIVING
Facilitated by Nick Austin SJ
Series of 2 Saturdays,
October 19th & October 26th, 11am-4pm
Drawing on the Christian tradition, philosophy and literature the workshop will explore topics such as Happiness, Character, Wisdom, Sin, Justice and Love. It is suitable for anyone interested in theological, philosophical and ethical questions about how to live, and their relevance in our lives.
THE HELPLESSNESS OF GOD –BIBLICAL MODELS OF LEADERSHIP
Facilitated by Nicholas King SJ
Saturday 2nd November 11am-4pm
At a time, when Pope Francis is demonstrating a very new way of doing leadership in the Catholic Church, this day will reflect upon the role of discernment in good leadership, drawing on key Scripture texts, and the Spiritual Exercises of
St Ignatius of Loyola.
‘FROM SCRATCH’ SERIES SCRIPTURE FROM SCRATCH –
THE NEW TESTAMENT
Facilitated by Brian Purfield
4 Tuesdays, 5th – 26th November, 11am-1pm
Or 4 Wednesdays, 6th – 27th November, 7-8.30pm
Or 2 Saturdays, 23rd & 30th November, 11am-4pm
This course is an accessible way in to the riches of the New Testament. We will explore how the New Testament as we have it today took shape in the first centuries of the Church’s life.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 9h November 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.
GOOD BOOKS AT THE LONDON JESUIT CENTRE
RUPERT SHORTT “DOES RELIGION DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD?”
Wednesday 13th November, 7pm
If you enjoy a good book, you will enjoy hearing recently published authors speaking about their work in discussion with experts in the field and the audience. Join us for a convivial evening of conversation and the occasional controversy!
Booking required on EventBrite
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
• Contemplatives in Action *
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm
(*): No need to book
PICK UP OUR 2019-20 PROGRAMME AVAILABLE AT THE
CHURCH DOORS AND VISIT http://www.mountstreet.info