FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER 12th MAY 2019
Mauve Book Page 268
And we, shall we be faithless?
shall hearts fail, hands hang down?
shall we evade the conflict,
and cast away our crown?
Now, to which hymn does this lesser known verse belong? It goes well with the Gospel this week because the Fourth Sunday of Easter is commonly known as Good Shepherd Sunday. It is also a day when we pray for vocations to the Sacred Priesthood and all forms of consecrated life. As I reflect on the little Gospel, I realise that something important is lacking in the text:
‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me. The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father. The Father and I are one.’ John 10:27-30
The thing that is significantly missing is the word “Hand”. What the passage should actually say is that nobody who belongs to Christ; “can ever be snatched from his hand” and likewise; “nobody can snatch anything from the hand of the Father”! Snatched indeed; in a violent way something more like a street robbery! Throughout scripture, the “Hand of God” is something powerful and oftentimes repeated. God’s hand can lay heavily on whole nations or it can reach out in mercy to broken individuals. “The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God…” Wis3v1-9. His hands personalise his activity in creation:
“In the beginning, you, laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands”. Hb1v10
They are symbolic of his reassuring presence:
“For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand”. Ps95v7
John’s Gospel mentions certain unreliable “Hired Hands”, those are, the type you don’t want! Hands tell us a great deal about a person: Are they damaged, misshapen or abused or are they manicured, clean and just too perfect to be of any use? Hands that hang down are a sign of depression and brokenness as in Zp3v16 & Hb12v12. In my years as a prison chaplain, I sometimes led an exercise based simply on looking at our hands. How have we used them in the past and how might we employ them for better purposes in the future? On every page of the Gospels Jesus reaches out his own hands but only ever in acts of loving kindness. His hands always feature in Orthodox Iconography. For this reason, a priest’s hands are anointed for the same purpose. The sacramental “Laying on of Hands” in Jesus’ name remains literally a touching ministry in the church. In today’s Gospel the narrative should emphasise not only that Jesus works – hand in hand with the Father but that when The Lord puts out his hand, it is God himself who reaches forward because in his own words:
“The Father and I are one”
And the hymn?
Thy hand, O God, has guided
Thy flock from age to age;
the wondrous tale is written,
Full clear, on every page…
Fr Kevin Away
I will be away for a post Easter break from Saturday 11th May – Saturday 18th inclusive.
Sincere Thanks to Fr’s Tomasz Wergacbi & Malcolm King who will cover W/End Masses
New Toilets & Fire Escape St Josephs
We have this week submitted plans & drawings to Greenwich LA for the construction of a toilet suite including disabled facilities and wheelchair access to and from the rear part of St Joseph’s. The proposal would provide a separate fire exit into Commerell Street. It would also allow the safe movement of children from the school to and from the church without leaving the safety of the school enclosure at times when whole classes need to attend. The suite would be accessed from the meeting room at the back of the church and constructed within our own church land plot. The small extension will match existing buildings. Drawing copies are available in church. This is a preliminary stage and it will need considerable funding. The present lack of an alternative escape route or public toilet facilities means that this is a priority for a congregation that now runs with more than 200 people. If anybody would like to make a donation towards this purpose that would be very welcome.
Mass in Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage July 13th at St George’s Cathedral
To receive an invitation from the Archbishop, if you are celebrating a 1st/10th/25th/40th/50th/60th wedding anniversary, contact Fr Kevin with your names, the anniversary you are celebrating, home address, email and telephone
Enquiries for Baptism OLSS & St Joseph
If you are seeking the Baptism of a child at either church please attend the meeting on; Wednesday June12th at 7.00pm in the parish room at OLSS.
Rose D, Jeremiah G, Irene M, Anne P, Eamon W, Rev D F Coffey, Matilda J, Fr Vincent Power, Paul O, Gladys J, Robert M, Kathleen F, Sr Eugene Ryan OSU
May they Rest in Peace
Some dates for your diary:
• ‘Music for Midsummer’ Friday June 21st
• Sunday, 14th July, from 12 Noon
– Parish Auction in the garden –
• Sunday 8th September, 12.30pm -3.30pm,
Parish Picnic in Greenwich Park
• Friday 11th October, 7.15pm – 10.30pm –
Parish Quiz Night
• Parish Auction – afternoon of Sunday 14th July Our summer event this year will be a Parish Auction in the garden! This will be a fun event for all and hopefully will also help us raise funds for much needed church repairs. To make this successful we need to secure suitable items to auction – ie. things that would attract people to bid for them! (Avoiding bulky items, junk or jumble!). Perhaps an unwanted piece of jewellery? A nice framed picture? A celebrity signed photo or book? Tickets to an event that you’re unable to attend? An unwanted but attractive gift that you’re unlikely to use? Do you have anything that you would be willing to donate for our Parish Auction? Or do you have any suggestions on how to make this a success? If so, please let us know via email to:
[email protected] or phone Pat (see contact details in the newsletter in the church)
Feast of Our Lady of Fatima
All are invited to join for the Rosary at St Joseph’s anticipating the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima this Sunday 12th May at 5.00pm Followed by TEA All are welcome!
Parents Meetings FHC OLSS & St Joseph’s
There will be a meeting for parents of FHC OLSS children on the evening of Thursday 16th in the Parish Rooms at OLSS at 8.00pm There will be a Meeting for Parents of FHC children at St Joseph’s after the 10.00am Mass on Sunday May 19th.
NB the link concerning St Josephs Greenwich LA invite our comments and this proposal seems very good to me!
Thank You for Your Offering 5th May
St Joseph: £464 Candles £328 St Gg £61
MASS CALENDAR FOR 11th – 19th MAY 2019
2nd Collections this weekend – Ecclesiastical Education Fund – (For the Training of Priests)
Saturday 11th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Nigel Bus (RiP) Mary O & Maurice L (RiP)
Sunday 12th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People
Fourth Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Maria (RiP)
Of Easter Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Sarah S (RiP) This is a Children’s Mass
Coffee & Cakes at OLSS after 11 a.m. Mass
Monday Church Closed (Feast of Our Lady of Fatima)
In the absence of Fr Kevin there will be Eucharistic Services
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at OLSS The Church is open from 9.00am
Eucharistic Services also at St Josephs 7.00pm Tuesday & 11.000am Thursday
Saturday 18th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Kathleen S (RiP)
Sunday 19th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Karen M (RiP an)
Fifth Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Peace & Love – Daughter’s Marriage (Ibeme)
Of Easter Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Paddy & Frances C (RiP)
Greenwich Historical Society (Correction)
“The Slate on your Roof!” Fr Kevin will give a local history talk on WEDNESDAY May 22nd on the Victorian Hatcham Iron Works of Pomeroy Street New Cross and the Ffestiniog Railway from 7.30 at James Wolfe School, Royal Hill SE10 8RZ
Film Project Our Ladye Star of the Sea Through the generosity of one of our members, you may have been aware that there has been an ongoing Film Project illustrating life at OLSS through the changing seasons of the year. The project is currently being edited. We could have a screening sometime later this year. Meanwhile a brief clip is available, featuring the Churches Together Good Friday event on Blackheath, which you can obtain with the link if you receive the newsletter electronically.
Post expires at 6:58am on Sunday June 16th, 2019