FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE C. 7TH JULY 2013. YEAR OF FAITH.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear people,
When Pope Benedict XVI was elected he delivered a lovely sermon to the College of Cardinals. It was published by the CTS because the Pope’s first sermon is very meaningful. He asked for the prayerful support of us all and said that he felt serene about accepting his Election to the Papacy because our Lord had comforted him in a kind of enormous outpouring of consolation. He also mentioned in the sermon a line from the Gospel of today's holy Mass. He implored us to pray for him that he would be a good shepherd of the flock Christ had entrusted to his care and that he would safeguard them against the wolves, bent on devouring the flock of Christ.
That is pretty strong stuff for a Pope to say in his first Homily. He was telling his Cardinals that he expected their help in safe-guarding the flock of Christ for he was not able to do it alone. Each Bishop was to take seriously this safe-guarding the flock from the wolves. Pope Francis too only last week was speaking to Diplomats of the Holy See whose crucial role is to prepare for the Pope lists of suitable candidates to become Bishops in their respective countries. The Pope went on to say that these priests must be real pastors and shepherds, able to WATCH OVER THEIR FLOCK, KEEP THEM UNITED, PROTECT THEM FROM DANGER AND, ESPECIALLY NOURISH THEIR HOPE, sustaining with love and patience the plans that God is working within his people. "Shepherds need to be in front of their flocks to indicate the path, to make sure none is left behind."
My dear people, the wolves do not come in wolves' clothing you know. They can often be even clergy of the Church and people employed by the Church in official positions. Over the years I have know many a person IN THE DIFFERENT DIOCESE I HAVE BEEN IN, Westminster, Arundel and Brighton, Dunkeld and our own– sometimes even nuns, appointed to advise the Catholic schools for example about the teaching of our Religion.
In my judgement many of them have been ravenous wolves - watering down the faith of the Church to make it more "modern". One of these nun advisors went around the schools of one diocese telling teachers not to teach about the Infant Jesus because the children will get stuck in this mode and not with the adult Jesus. What rubbish- ! -She had problems with the reality of the Incarnation. I could go on about those who denied Guardian Angels - those class teachers too who did not want the English Martyrs taught in class, those that forbad the Church’s term "transubstantiation" to be used with the First Communion children because it was a "head trip". (Needless to say I made sure our School of St Kentigern/Divine Mercy never adopted such practises.)
These are all serious matters of Christian Doctrine Divine Revelation indeed. - I won't go into the struggles about Christian Morality in High Schools, otherwise I would be writing a book. I was once a full time Chaplain to an 11-18 school and it was a struggle to get the teachers to keep to our Teaching as a Church and that was 1977. I even became a qualified Teacher to be able to argue from a Professional standpoint as an equal.
Imagine what it is like now! Needless to say - the wolves do not always come looking like wolves at all. In fact those who come to us hating us and wanting us to be diminished or abolished are easier to deal with for one can see the enemy clearing marked "Wolf".
So – I understood the Pope’s plea. ( Pope Francis too has mentioned the Devil so many times since his election and warned us about temptation.) Benedict had stood shoulder to shoulder with Blessed John Paul for Twenty-five years as the Head of the Congregation of the Faith - dealing with all kinds of deviant teaching and writing from so many continents and regions so he knew what was going on.
Our Lord warned the disciples that he was sending them out like lambs among wolves. How much more of a threatening image can you get? But - the harvest is rich for those who do go out and fight those wolves and bring Christ’s beloved flock into the sheepfold which is Christ Himself - the one who won against the Devil on behalf of all humanity. He is victorious and He is the Victor and the Chief Shepherd of the flock.
Pray for us priests who are charged with safe guarding the flock of Christ from the modern wolves. Wolves don't like being called that you know and they fight back! Pray for the Bishops and Pope Francis.
"Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven".
Father Tom Connolly
SEAMAN'S MISSION RETIRING COLLECTION THIS WEEK AT ALL MASSES. PLEASE USE THE ENVELOPES IF YOU PAY INCOME TAX BUT GIVE FOR THE SAKE OF THE MANY CATHOLIC SEAFARERS WHO NEED THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH AS THEY CALL AT THE PORTS OF GREAT BRITAIN.
HOLY LAND CHRISTIANS From Bethlehem and Nazareth are coming next week end to sell us the olive wood wares, rosaries, statues etc they make - aids to prayer. They have a real hard time caught between Muslims and Israelites.
Gapulunya Foundation Charity wishes to thank all who supported our fundraising event. We have raised £1700.00. This money will help support young vulnerable orphans to give them a better chance in life. Lydia Ina (Founder).