St Teresa & St John Southworth Churches, Cleveleys
Fr Chris Cousens—Phone: 853340
Rev Bernard Ward (Deacon) (Tel: 858346)
Enquiries for St John Southworth: Phone: 853340
13 June 2021
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Contents: Gospel Reflection
Reflections for the coming week
Jesus said to the crowds: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting, and growing how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of it sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
Gospel Reflection : The Answer Doesn’t Always Just Lie In The Soil
One of the strangest seeds in the world is the seed of the Chinese bamboo tree. It lies buried in the soil for five years before any growth above ground.
Think of it – five years! All during that time the seed has to be cultivated, watered and fed regularly. But then comes the big surprise.
When the bamboo seedling finally emerges from the ground, it grows to a height of nine feet in just six weeks.
Why does the seedling take so long to emerge? Why does it grow so fast once it does emerge?
The experts say that during its five years in the soil the bamboo seed is busy building an elaborate root system. It is this root system which enables it to grow nine feet in six weeks.
Alongside our reflection on the mustard seed Jesus talks about in the Gospel this Sunday. it all just makes you wonder how tall we could walk, how deeper our spiritual lives could be, if we cultivated our own root system – not just our faith but our own inter-connectedness too – and let them nourish us more each day.
We Remember In Our Prayers John Joyce whose Funeral Service is at St. Teresa’s on Monday, 14th June, Harriet Wardrop whose Funeral Service is in the chapel at Poulton New Cemetery on Monday, 21st. June, and Dr. Max Romer whose Funeral Mass is at St. Teresa’s on Thursday, 24th June. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
For Now The Mass Times At St. Teresa’s and St. John Southworth Remain The Same
Sundays : St. Teresa’s : Saturday Vigil Mass 6.30 pm, Sunday 9.00 am and 10.30am (live streamed)
St. John Southworth : 5 pm
Weekdays : St. Teresa’s : Mondays and Fridays 9.30 am
St. John Southworth : Wednesdays 9.30 am
In Our Daily lives, The KIngdom Of God Grows Slowly
The first steps any of us make are faltering and slow.
It takes time to learn to walk, and our first words are unclear,
just mumbled sounds. It takes time to learn to talk.
The KIngdom of God grows slowly, according to Jesus,
and often we don’t notice its growth.
Within each of us the kingdom of God grows.
Its qualities are compassion and courage,
forgiveness and faith, hope and harmony, peace, joy and love.
As we need patience with learning in our first words and steps –
for these are skills learnt gradually –
we need similar patience as God’s life grows within us.
And patience with others too –
as we watch a child learn to walk and talk, we rejoice in the small successes.
We watch with love and encouragement.
Can we have the same patience with the increase within us and others of the Kingdom of God?
And the increase of the Kingdom ofGod is the growth of love,
and the increase of love among people is the increase of God within each of us.
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Oscar Romero)
It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The
Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in one lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water the seeds already planted, knowing that they hold the future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities. What we do may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
Scripture (Mark 4: 26-29)
Jesus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, at once he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”
Christ came to redeem, and he came to show us how to become whole again. There is a startling paradox in this, that he who came, as he said, to give life to all, is known as “the Man of Sorrows.” At first sight, one would be tempted to say that he had fallen in love with our suffering. He suffered loneliness, betrayal, injustice, the spurning of his love, utter desolation of spirit, the sense of despair and death. But it was not with our suffering that Christ fell in love with; it was us. The secrets of the healing of suffering and of human fulfilment were told two thousand years ago, by Christ, to the motley crowd of poor, ignorant and suffering people who flocked to hear him speak.
Scripture Ephesians 1:3-5, 7-11)
He chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before him in love, marking us out beforehand to be adopted children, through Jesus Christ. Such is the richness of the grace which he has showered on us in all wisdom and insight. He has let us know the mystery of his purpose, according to his good pleasure which he determined
beforehand in Christ, for him to act upon when the times had run their course: and it is in him that we have received our heritage, marked out beforehand as we were, under the plan of the One who guides all things.
Wednesday (Evelyn Underhill)
We see in this muddled world a constant struggle for Truth, Goodness, Perfection; and all those who give themselves to the struggle for redemption of the world from greed, cruelty, injustice, selfish desire and their results, find themselves supported by a spiritual power. Christianity shows us in the most august of all examples the violence of the clash between evil and the Holiness of God. It insists that the redemption of the world, by the health-giving power of love – bringing in the Kingdom of God – is a spiritual task. Once we realise this, we can accept – even though we cannot understand – the paradox that the world as we know it contains much that is evil; and yet, that its Creator is the one supreme Source and Object of the love that will triumph in the end.
Scripture (1 Corinthians 2: 20-25)
Do you not see how God has shown up human wisdom as folly? Since in the wisdom of God the world was unable to recognise God through wisdom, it was God’s own pleasure to save believers through the folly of the gospel. While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, we are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the gentiles foolishness, but to those who have been called, a Christ who is both the power and the wisdom of God. God’s folly is wiser than human wisdom and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength
Thursday(Fr, George Aschenbrenner, SJ. Notes on the Examen)
Only the Holy Spirit can help me to know myself as a son of the Father and a companion of Jesus. Too much attention to our own victories and failures can make us self-absorbed and confirm us in the illusion that we manage our own lives. Examination is a question of examining how I respond to God’s loving action in my life. A true awareness of my sinfulness is still a gift granted in love by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I can express sorrow for the ways in which I have failed to respond to his love at work in me. This can lead to wonder at constantly being brought home, joy and gratitude because I share the victory of Christ
Scripture (Luke 1: 68-70)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy men, those who were his prophets from of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our fathers is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. As for you, little child, you shall be called the Prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the Lord to prepare a way for him, to give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of all their sins. He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace.
Friday (A Carthusian)
To give that supreme grace of becoming one with that Man to each one of us, God stops at nothing. That is all he wants, all he can want: the whole plan of divine providence is directed to that end. All that happens to us must be regarded in the light of this final end. That is why we all suffer – to become ‘other Christs’; to be Jesus over again, and, like him, misunderstood, persecuted, made to bear our cross. Looked at from any other point of view, suffering would be incomprehensible and intolerable. On the other hand, when we contemplate our divine Example, suffering assumes a beauty which God has permitted here below, just as death is the most living of realities of this life.
Scripture (Romans 8:35, 37-39)
Can anything cut us off from the love of Christ – can hardships or distress, or persecution or lack of food and clothing, or threats or violence? No, we come through all these things triumphantly victorious, by the power of him who loved us. For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power, nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever, will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.