Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 29th July 2018
Blue Book Page 184
The “Acts of the Apostles” leaves more questions than answers… Coming from the same author as the Gospel of Luke the two books are similar yet completely different. Whereas the Gospel describes the life of Jesus during three years and surveys a distance of little more than 60 miles, the Book of Acts telescopes more than 30 years into a similar number of pages and spans a distance of several thousand miles. It scans events from as far and wide as Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Greece and Rome. In reality Acts only describes events in the life of the two Apostles Peter & Paul. Paul was a late comer and not one of the original twelve so it leaves us wondering? What happened to all the others? John has a few cameo parts in the early pages, James (the less) remains in Jerusalem, and James (the great) the fishing brother of John is soon executed by Herod Agrippa in Acts 12v1. Other than that, we hear nothing more of Thomas, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thaddaeus, Matthew, Simon (the Zealot) or Matthias (who replaced Judas) except that they were all together with the Mother of Jesus on the day of Pentecost. Now on their travels there were no mobile phones to touch base and report their progress.
Traditions outside the New Testament tell us that John lived to old age at Ephesus, Thomas ended in India, Bartholomew in Armenia, Thaddaeus in Edessa and Andrew has long been associated with Greece (and ultimately Scotland where his bones are said to have been transported). More than that is little more than speculation. Some must have died on the road and others no doubt fell to illness and infection in foreign parts. Nevertheless, we are left with a cliff hanger: Given that Peter & Paul are the two apostles on which he focuses, why doesn’t the writer describe their glorious martyrdom in Rome. Peter mysteriously disappears “to another place” in 12v17 and the text ends with Paul subject to a not inconvenient form of house arrest where he is still able to welcome guests and visitors as a Roman citizen.
The answer I believe lies in the preface; Luke was writing for a Roman Nobleman called “Theophilus”. It seems likely that Theophilus genuinely wanted to understand the whole Christian story. It is also likely that he had responsibility as a Roman Governor who had to answer to the emperor. Not all Romans were bad. Most would have wanted to do the right thing in situations of uncertainty. At the end of the 1st Century a certain governor called Pliny wrote to the emperor Trajan for advice. He was uncertain what to do with the Christians who were being denounced in his territory. Trajan replied saying that he should not search them out, but there again, if they refused to worship the old Roman Gods they should suffer the penalty. Luke is writing his account for such a Governor. The last thing he wanted was to give examples of how the Apostles were publicly put to death at the hand of Roman officials. Hence Peter discreetly disappears and Paul continues under house arrest in Rome. Thus the book draws to a close. All these thoughts come to mind because last week we commemorated James the brother of John. In just one line and without further ado he is swiftly despatched with a beheading in AD44. But that was at the hands of the wicked King Herod and not a Roman concern!
Friends at both churches will be sad to hear of John’s passing at Lewisham Hospital last Saturday evening. A Dublin born man he & Teresa have lived for many years in Greenwich. They were married at St Josephs in 1959 and are just one year short of their Diamond Anniversary. John & Teresa are much loved both at OLSS & St Josephs. His Funeral is arranged at St Joseph’s on Thursday 9th August at 11.00am.
We keep Teresa and the family in our thoughts and prayers (Cremation Falcon Wood 12.30)
Donna is a young woman who attends St Joseph. She needs to furnish her home and is appealing for any furniture such as a wardrobe, chair, table or cupboard (except a bed) Please see contact details in the newsletter in the church.
St Ursula’s School
TEACHING ASSISTANT required from September Fixed Term contract. Salary: Scale 1C F/T 5 days per week, term time only. Closing date: Monday 20th August Interviews Sept 3rd Info at www.stursulas.com.
Mums (& Dads) and Tots etc
Welcome again this Thursday at the Ursuline Convent 66 Crooms Hill from 2.30
Please remember among the sick:
May (Eltham Respite Care)
Margaret (Lew Hs)
Jenny (Now Home)
Anthony (Guys Hs)
Peter (Duncan Hs Thamesmead)
Myra (Farnb’ Hs)
Fr Kevin & Mick hit the papers this week on the front of your local NewsShopper
So far there is no sign of the installation of parking meters. We are simply requesting the Local Authority for a site meeting, entreating that a “Funeral Cortege” space should be a designated, adjacent to the church. Also, that the current parking restrictions alongside our school in Commerell Street should continue as at present, only applying on weekdays thereby allowing legitimate parking on the yellow zigzag lines on Sundays. None of that would impact on local residents as this is all the perimeter of our own property. Even at this date we have still received no response from Richard Cornell “Head of Parking Services” at Greenwich Council.
So much for professional courtesy.
What was that song? “It pays paradise…” Don’t it always seem to go!
Spelling: I am also grateful to Mick who after seven years has corrected our spelling of the word Anniversary/ies he says that as a “he cannot bare bad spelling”! Which doesn’t say much for our other Cambridge graduates as they failed to notice!
Mark B, Catherine M, Mrs Kiernham, Catherine F, Constance C, Sr Mary Sparks OP, Michael & James C, Fr John Lavery, Mary O, Sr Bernadette Rennison OSU, Dan B, Frank B
May they Rest in Peace
Edward 100km Charity Walk
Edward is planning a charity walk at the end of August. He would like to promote his project at OLSS this weekend.
MASS CALENDAR FOR 29th JULY-Aug 5th 2018
Saturday 28th Holy Baptism Jack, Rafael, Rory, Florence & Mia 12.30 OLSS
Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Fr John Lavery (RiP)
Sunday 29th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Niko & Monika (Wed Ann)
17th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Parish & People
in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: John F (RiP)
Monday 30th No Mass on Monday
Tuesday 31st Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Parish & People
Ignatius Loyola Mass St J’s 7.00 Int:
Wednesday 1st Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Kevin H (RiP) Funeral Today
Thursday 2nd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Abbi G (Sp BD)
Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Ann C (RiP)
Friday 3rd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int:
Saturday 4th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Michael B (RiP)
Sunday 5th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Frances D (Thg/WB/BD)
18th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: John O (RiP)
in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Galwey Family
Here is a good job for the hottest day of the year: Paddy & Tony excavating a fractured sewer pipe and adjacent drain at St Joseph’s Friday 27th July. For all types of building work and repairs call 07834 827190
Congratulations Lucy & Gustavo. They have been worshipping at OLSS for some time. They were previously married in a civil ceremony. They were pleased to convalidate their marriage according to the rites of the church at a celebration with their family in Sth America at the end of June.
Post expires at 5:29pm on Sunday September 2nd, 2018