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
17 October 2021
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
The 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel: Mark 20:35-45
James and John. the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised? They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’
When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called to them and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
Gospel Reflection : Not To Be Served But To Serve
We all know people who are ambitious, and their ambitions for top jobs, money, possessions and respect take over. They would do a lot to be well-thought of. In the Gospel today Jesus challenges the ambition of James and John to be top of the group of Apostles, and he challenges the others in their anger at them.
Of course not all ambition is negative. St. Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, “be ambitious for the higher gifts”, and he lists how to be ambitious for love, that is ‘giving it’ not just ‘receiving it’. When you think of it, Jesus himself was an ambitious man. He says, ‘I have come to serve not to be served’. This is his ambition fitting in with the mission in life given him by his Father.
We can see this in all that he did, including all that he suffered. He challenges James and John that the calling would be to live as he did, ‘to drink the cup he would drink’. To the others who were angry with James and John, Jesus gave the ambition which is the same for every follower of his, ‘you must be the slave to all’.
This is at the heart of our Christian life. Our faith leads us to the gospel of Jesus, to hear his word and let that word fill us, and then to move us out into the generous service of others. It is a vision of life well worth following, for the good of the world, and the good of Creation whose servants we are.
We Remember In Our Prayers Alice Aquilina whose Funeral Service is at St. Teresa’s on Thursday 21st October, followed by burial at Fleetwood Cemetery, and Alan Andrews whose Funeral is at Carleton Crematorium on Friday, 22nd October. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
CAFOD Family Fast Collection – A Very BIg Thank You
Your great generosity in this annual collection is really appreciated. The total collection at both our churches was as follows :
St. Teresa’s £927. 98, St. John Southworth £211.72, and these figures do not include any money which people may have paid on line.
The amounts sent to CAFOD for the Family Fast this year are the highest we have on record. Considering too that the number of people attending church at the moment is less than two thirds of the number we were having in ‘normal times’, this is a magnificent achievement. The words really don’t seem enough, but – thank you very much indeed!!
Something Else To Care For And Repair
In 2023 our Church is holding a Synod in Rome, a meeting for people representing every part of the Roman Catholic Church, and not just those in authority. This will discuss everybody’s opinions about our Church, and make some decisions about how we should be, and how we can repair it where it needs repairing. This initiative of Pope Francis is a very important enterprise, in which we are all asked to be involved, and that starts now. Please listen carefully to the letter from Bishop Paul which he asks us to read at every Mass this weekend. The principal documentation from Rome can be freely accessed directly at www.synod.va/en.html
In Our Lives Right Now The Lord is Very Near
In the moments of life
when we need care beyond the ordinary,
and in the ordinary cares,
God is near in Jesus,
the light of the world.
In admitting our need for God
God is near.
In the moments of life
when others need God,
and approach us in their needs,
we feed them with the love
we find in Jesus, in his word and his deeds.
He came among us as
the Word made flesh.
We need God
in our cries to him.
We feed God to others
in our service of them –
the child who is helpless and nourished by love,
the quarrelling couple healed with forgiveness,
the lonely person enlivened by friendship,
all fed by God through us.
For God is so near
in the love and care of others.
Monday (Clement of Rome)
Christ belongs to the lowly of heart, and not to those who would exalt themselves over his flock. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the sceptre of God’s majesty, was in no pomp of pride and haughtiness—as it could so well have been—but in self-abasement. You see, dear friends, what an example we have been given. If the Lord humbled himself in this way, what ought we to do, who through him have come under the yoke of his grace.
Scripture (John 13-17)
When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand,’ he said ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Master and Lord have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you. Now that you know this, blessed are you if you behave accordingly.’
Tuesday (Cardinal Basil Hume)
When we think of our lives in terms of service of God, we cannot, must not, neglect the second commandment. We have to love our neighbour as ourselves. Our spiritual lives are not ways of being comfortable, of finding peace and joy for ourselves only. Our striving for union with God is a personal and private matter no doubt. But the Gospel command to love other people is very clear. And this does not mean just having a vague sense of goodwill towards people. It involves not only wishing good things for other people, but helping them to obtain them. It will involve action.
Scripture (Mark 10:35-39, 41-45)
James and John said to Jesus ‘ Allow us to sit one at your right and one at your left in your glory.’ Jesus said’ You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I shall drink, or be baptised with the baptism I shall be baptised with?’ They replied ‘We can.’ The other ten began to be indignant with James and John, so Jesus said ‘ You know that among the gentiles those they call rulers lord it over them. Among you this must not happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant. For the Son of man himself came not to be served but to serve, and gave his life for the ransom of many.’
Wednesday (Henri Nouwen)
When Jesus asked James and John if they could drink the cup he would drink, they had not the faintest idea of what they were saying when they said yes. They hardly understood who Jesus was. They heard about being a servant instead of being a master, about seeking the last place instead of the first, about giving up their lives instead of controlling other people’s lives. Each time they had to make a choice again. Did they want to follow the way of Jesus or look for someone else who would give them the power they desired? Drinking the cup is not a heroic act with a nice reward It is an act of selfless love, an act of immense trust, an act of surrender to a God who will give what we need when we need it.
Scripture (Titus 3:3-4)
Remind them to be ready to good at every opportunity; not to go slandering other people but to be peaceable and always polite to people of all kinds. When the kindness and love of God our saviour were revealed, it was not because of any upright action we had done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own faithful love that he saved us, by means of the cleansing waters of rebirth and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which was so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our Saviour; so that, justified by his grace, we should become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Thursday (Martin Luther King)
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgement. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?
Scripture (Philippians 2:1-7)
Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of humility of mind everyone should give preference to others, everyone pursuing not selfish interests, but those of others. Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God did not count equality with God something to be grasped. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are.
Friday (Jean Vanier)
A community is only a community when the majority of its members is making the transition from ‘the community for myself’ to ‘myself for the community’, when each person’s heart is opening to all the others, without any exception. A community is a place where everyone—or, let’s be realistic, the majority! – is emerging from the shadows of egocentricity to the light of real love. Love is not a sentimental or a passing emotion. It is listening to others, being concerned for them and feeling empathy with them. It means answering their call and their deepest needs. It means feeling and suffering with them. It means wanting others to fulfil themselves, according to God’s plan and in service to other people.
Scripture (Isaiah 53: 6-7,10-11)
We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and Yahweh brought the acts of rebellion of all of us to bear on him. Ill-treated and afflicted, he never opened his mouth. It was the Lord’s good pleasure to crush him with pain. If he gives his life as a sin-offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his life. After the ordeal he has endured, he will see the light and be content. By his knowledge, the upright one, my servant, will
justify many by taking their guilt on himself