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
29 August 2021
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : The 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Contents: Gospel Reflection
Reflections for the coming week
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow, and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prosphesied in this passage of scripture:
‘This people honours me only with lip service,
While their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless,
The doctrines they teach are only human regulations.
You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’
He called the people to him again and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean, it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean
Scripture Reflection : Changes A-Foot – Help At Hand
Coming as we are to the end of the summer holidays and the beginning of the school year, it is comforting to think of something, someone, who does not change. This Sunday the reading from St. James reminds us : “with Him (God) there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow of a change”, referring to the fact that God’s love and care is always with us, including through others.
Of course the trek to the shops for new school clothes has probably shown how much the children have grown, and changes are afoot in more ways than one. Some Nursery children are moving up to Reception Class, and last year’s St. Teresa’s top year pupils now move on to Cardinal Allen or some other High School.
And then the journey to College or University marks the end of daily life as parents and their newly emancipated sons and daughters have known it. Perhaps grandchildren, nieces and nephews, once eager for an afternoon in the park, are now too busy with their own friends to call.
As we are about to start the new educational year, we put our trust in a God whose love and care for us never changes, no matter what our age. And we pray for students everywhere, and all those whose chosen role it is to selflessly care for them too.
We Remember In Our Prayers Barry Jones whose Funeral was last week, and Frances (Frankie) Tillotson, formerly of Meadowcroft Avenue, whose Funeral is at Carleton Crematorium on Tuesday 7th September at 2 pm. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
5th Cleveleys Rainbows, Brownies and Guides have spaces for new members age 4-14 years. Our new term starts in September. If anyone is interested in this good news, please contact Kathryn Brimelow on 07522 146571. We thank Kathryn for this, who says “We are also recruiting new leaders”. So if anyone would like to consider helping this much-appreciated group, please phone Kathryn too.
The Eyes of the World are On Us
Britain will be hosting a major international conference – ‘UN COP26’ It will be held in Glasgow, 1 – 12 November, where world leaders will come together to agree on the next steps to tackle the climate crisis. As host, Britain is in a unique position to exercise global leadership in the journey towards a greener and fairer world after the pandemic.
We, as a parish community, should be exercising our own responsibilities by putting our faith into action. Through our updates over the forthcoming weeks, we hope to inspire more people to answer Pope Francis’ call for us to play our part in caring for our Common Home-this earth.
The Annual Pilgrimage to the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes at Cleator is on Sunday, 12th September, with Mass and the Blessing of the Sick. The principal celebrant and preacher is Bishop Paul Swarbrick.
Our theme this year is taken from the Litany of Our Lady ‘Our Lady, help of the sick – pray for us’. It really needs no explanation! We are aware that the situation as regards Covid is still a changing one; and also that many people may not feel safe coming to a large gathering. But we still wish to go ahead –to pray for our world; to recall those who have died; and to show our faith in the future.
We regret that we cannot provide the hospitality, in the form of refreshments that we normally would. We would ask people to bring their own.
Our hope is that the weather will allow us to celebrate mass outside. And we expect that infection levels etc will not cause us to cancel the Pilgrimage. But if we feel constrained to do so, for whatever reason, we will give as much notice as possible.
As well as having a beautiful replica of the Lourdes grotto, we also have in the grounds of the shrine at Cleator statues of the Cure of Ars and St Therese of Lisieux. The pilgrimage will be an opportunity not only to honour Mary the Mother of God, but also these two great saints, and to ask their intercession for healing and consolation.
The Service Of The Heart
The Lord looks on each of us
and sees into our hearts
He sees within each of us
the secrets and richness
that others often miss.
He sees the whole person :
what we do and fail to do;
what we want to do
and the love we want to offer
to others and to Him.
To God, many of the faults are seen as struggles,
and many of our sins as mistakes.
God sees what we would like to be
as much as what we are.
And Jesus sees in each of us
a brother and sister, a child of God.
And maybe it’s also true
that He sees the pride,
what may sometimes be cloaked in generosity,
and the bits of selfishness cloaked in love,
and He understands and forgives.
The Lord wants us to honour Him
with the love of our hearts,
not just the observance of religion.
His desire for our faithful love
encourages us in weakness
and challenges us in strength.
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Meister Eckhart)
We must learn to break through things and to grasp God in them, allowing him to take form in us powerfully and essentially. It is the same as when someone wants to learn to write; if they wish to learn this skill, then they must practise hard and often, however difficult it may seem, even to the point of impossibility. If they do that they will master the art of writing, although of course they will at first have to concentrate on every letter and commit it to memory. But then, when they have acquired this skill, they will no longer have any need for the image or the concentration, but will write freely and spontaneously. Thuswe should be permeated with the sense of a divine presence and be in-formed with the form of our beloved God and be so established in him that we see his presence effortlessly.
Scripture (Mt. 22:34-40)
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they got together and, to put him to the test, one of them put a further question ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said to him ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second resembles it; you must love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two
commandments hang the whole of the Law, and the prophets too.’
Tuesday (The Desert Fathers)
A brother came to Theodore of Pherme and began to talk about matters of which he had no experience. Theodore said to him, “You’ve not yet found a ship to sail in, nor put your luggage aboard, nor put out to sea, and you’re already acting as if you were in the city which you mean to reach. If you make some attempt to do the things you are discussing, then you can talk about them with understanding.”
Scripture (Ps. 14)
Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain? Those who walk without fault, who act with justice and speak the truth from the heart. Those who do no wrong to their brother and sister, who cast no slur on their neighbour, who hold the godless in disdain but honour those who fear the Lord. Those who keep their pledge come what may; who take no interest on a loan and accept no bribes against the innocent. Such a person will stand firm for ever.
Wednesday (St. Augustine)
What the law of works enjoins by threat, the law of faith secures by faith. By the law of works, God says to us ‘Do what I command’; by the law of faith we say to God ‘Give me what you command.’ This is why the law commands—to advise us what faith ought to do, so that the person to whom the command is given, if they are as yet unable to perform it, may know what to ask for. In the Old Testament the finger of God was written on tablets of stone; in the New Testament it was on our hearts.
Scripture (Dt. 4:1-2,6-8)
You must add nothing to what I command you, and take nothing from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God just as I lay them down for you. Keep them, put them into practice, and other people will admire your wisdom and prudence. Once they know what all these laws are, they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and as prudent as this great nation!” And indeed, what great nation has its gods as near as Yahweh our God is to us whenever we call to him?
Thursday (Anthony de Mello)
The local priest was often seen talking to an extremely attractive woman of bad repute—and in public places too—to the great scandal of his congregation. Eventually he was summoned by his bishop for a dressing-down. When the bishop had finally finished, the priest said, “Your Excellency, I have always held that it is better to talk to a beautiful woman with one’s thoughts set on God than to pray to God with one’s thoughts fixed on a beautiful woman.”
Scripture (Mark 7:5-8, 15)
The Pharisees and the Scribes asked Jesus ‘Why do your disciples not respect the traditions of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ He answered, ‘How rightly Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites in the passage of scripture: ‘This people honours me only with lip service while their hearts are far from me. Their reverence of me is worthless; the lessons they teach are nothing but human commandments.’ You put aside the commandments of God to observe human traditions. Nothing that goes into someone from the outside can make that person unclean; it is the things that come out of a someone that make the person unclean.’
Friday (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
How exactly does the righteousness of the Pharisees differ from that of the disciples? Certainly the Pharisees never imagined that the law must be taught but not obeyed. No, it was rather their ambition to be doers of the law. Their idea of righteousness was a direct, literal and practical fulfilment of the commandment, their ideal was to model their behaviour exactly on the demands of the law. This is where the righteousness of the disciples exceeds that of the Pharisees; it is grounded solely upon the call to fellowship with him alone who fulfils the law. It is the real and active faith in the righteousness of Christ. Jesus Christ and he alone fulfils the law, because he alone lives in perfect communion with God.
Scripture (Galatians 3:21,23-26)
Is the Law contrary to God’s promises? Out of the question! If the Law that was given had been capable of giving life, than certainly saving justice would have come from the Law. Before faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law, locked up to wait for the faith which would eventually be
revealed to us. So the Law was serving as a slave to look after us, to lead us to Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. But now that faith has come we are no longer under a slave looking after us; for all of you are the children of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus.