Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time 26th AUGUST 2018
Blue Book Page 123
This Sunday marks the first Anniversary of the death of Alice, just as the Mass begins at 9.05 on the 26th. Such a beautiful and elegant woman aged just 49. She had suffered a long battle with a complex cancer related illness but encountered everything with gentle Catholic fortitude and the tireless support of her devoted husband Max and family:
Occasionally, my wife would turn to me and ask “why DID you marry me?” I’d swiftly reply “I didn’t have any choice”. Not perhaps the most romantic response, but I knew what I meant and I think Alice also understood completely. Judging by the frequency of the enquiry, she was always keen to hear the same answer knowing that something so overwhelmingly powerful had me out of control.
Of course, my choice in asking Alice to marry me, was still dependent on her choice of answer. In later years, I quizzed her why she’d said yes and was rather taken aback by her reaction: “Because I couldn’t say no”. It was a stark reminder that choice is a two-way street. Something inside Alice was similarly playing a much bigger part in proceedings and I realised that having rather less choice or indeed having a choice made for me, could also be a wonderful thing.
I now see, we were being led not only by a faith in each other, but by faith itself. Spiritual choice is neither dependent or arbitrary, it does not exist in a parallel universe to practical choice. Material choice is transient, but spiritual choice is eternal and rests in our hearts. As Pope Benedict XVI so eloquently observed… “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”.
The readings today speak to us of choice, the challenge we face in making decisions and the consequences thereof. Joshua 24 and John 6 remind us of the choice to follow God or abandon all hope in him, while Ephesians 5 introduces us to an analogy of contextual wedded options and commitment. The latter perhaps draws contemporary unease at the suggestion that “The husband is the head of his wife”. Certainly, a tendency to be submissive was never part of MY wife’s idea of a matrimonial blueprint! I do though have greater acceptance of the concept “two become one”, not least because throughout her all-too-brief life Alice made extremely good decisions. My localised burden of choice was indeed lightened.
Quite a few of us may remember a time when there were only two TV Channels. Nowadays in an age of rogue entitlement, we are swamped by a plethora of TV and digital feeds which confuse and divert our attention. Can we really say that such extensive choice is a good thing? Quantitative options have very little relevance to qualitative value. Yet, often we feel pressured by the weight of options. Goodness, what catastrophe awaits should we err in discretion or discernment! Aaargh, too much choice.
Thankfully, there is but one primary resolution… to live life with an open heart, where anxiety departs and faith enters. With an open heart, faith surely chooses us. As we gather again here at OLSS, perhaps we should ask ourselves “are we here today by choice, or by faith?”
Kerala Floods: an SVP appeal
As you’ve probably seen in the media, and as Fr Roy reported last week, terrible floods have been taking place in Kerala in southern India. Hundreds of people have been killed and many more are missing; countless homes have been washed away, and the monsoon season is set to continue until early September. Kerala is the most Christian state in India – it has more churches than any other region. The leading Catholic volunteering charity, the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is very active there and doing great work helping the victims of the flood in local communities. However, they desperately need funds. Please contribute to the SVP’s Kerala appeal. To donate visit www.svp.org.uk, telephone 020 7703 3030 or send cheques made out to SVP (write ‘Kerala appeal’ on the back) to SVP, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JB. Please remember our sisters and brothers in Kerala in your prayers. Roy’s family are unaffected but he has many friends and colleagues who are not so fortunate.
Please remember among the sick:
May (Eltham Respite Care)
Jenny (Now Home)
Anthony (Guys Hs)
Peter (QEH following a fall)
Olivia (Road Accident)
Alice H, Eileen G, Rita O, Lena P, Eileen B, Sr Marie Therese McGough, Frederick H, Mary D, John R, Krystyna G, Martin H, John B, Ken S, Paul C, James W
May they Rest in Peace
If you are seeking the Baptism of a Child either at OLSS OR St Joseph the next meeting will be on Wednesday 12th September in the Parish Rooms at OLSS when we look at the responsibilities of parents and Godparents and consider carefully the diary for both churches.
Mums & Tots etc this Thursday
Ursuline Convent 66 Crooms Hill from 2.30
Ursuline School TEACHING ASSISTANT
Required from September F/T – 5 days per week, term time only experience in supporting SEN pupils in a school setting is essential.
Closing date for applications: Monday 3rd Sept Info: www.stursulas.com. Louise Shackel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret died at Lewisham Hospital on Thurs 2nd her funeral is arranged: AT OLSS on Tuesday 4th September 12.00noon
(Cremation at Hither Green)
CALENDAR FOR 25th AUGUST- 2nd SEPTEMBER 2018
Saturday 25th Nuptial Mass 12.30 Jeff & Joy
Holy Baptism OLSS 3.00pm Sonny, Amelie, Lorenzo, Jacob, Arielle & Isabelle
Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Paul K (RiP)
Sunday 26th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Alice H (RiP)
20th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Felix H
in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Parish & People
Monday 27th Wedding Liam & Ji-Hyun (Jennifer) 1.00pm
Tuesday 28th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Faith B
St Augustine Hippo Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: Family Ramos
Exc JohnBapt 29th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Sr Petra OP. (Prof Ann)
Thursday 30th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Guidance of a Husband
Ss MgCl AnLn MgWd Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Sue B
St Aidan (below)31st Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Anne F
Saturday 1st 1.30 Wedding Rite Amy & Domenic
Nuptial Mass 3.30 Lucy & Brendan
Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Gus P (RiP)
Sunday 2nd Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People
22nd Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Fr Roy’s Last Sunday (Bptm Thien)
in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Carlo B (RiP) Welcome Fr Michael Branch
PARISH QUIZ NIGHT! Friday, 12th October @7.15pm St Ursula’s school dining hall. An evening of fun, trivia and prizes for ages 10to110! Ideally for teams of 6 to 8, (or as an individual, a couple or part team and we’ll join you with others to make up a full team). Only £5 per person. All proceeds to the parish funds. Limited number of tickets available!! Tickets must be purchased in advance, on sale after weekend Masses in September. Alternatively, see contact details in the newsletter in the church.
Post expires at 9:07pm on Saturday September 29th, 2018