Posted by The Parish

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time November 17th 2019
Dark Red Book page 163

Jerusalem, is built as a city strongly compact; It is there that the tribes go up… to give thanks to the name of the LORD”.

The Gospel this week features the old Jerusalem temple. Much of what we believe as Catholics at Mass is based on temple traditions. How can that be…? There was only ever One Temple. It was rebuilt twice before its final destruction in 70ad. 1000 years prior to that, King David (1010-970bc) had consolidated those wandering tribes that emerged from the Sinai Peninsula to form a settled nation. Now they needed a central shrine. David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem 2Sam6. This was the mobile shrine fashioned by Moses on which God was seated. Inside were; the 10 Commandments on two tablets of stone. The people believed that, God was enthroned among them wherever they travelled.

Now they hoped that travelling days were over. Although David made preparations, 1Chr28v3, it was Solomon who created the temple circa 950bc. He placed The Ark inside the Holy of Holies proclaiming “Here God lives among men”! Now many elements in that saga remained unresolved… On the one hand they wanted to believe that God literally dwelt or “Tabernacledin the temple where all could meet him, on the other they knew perfectly well that this God who had created the universe was not going to be contained in a house made with human hands no matter how splendid! The temple survived for just over 1000 years. Destroyed by the Babylonians in 598bc it was reconstructed again in 516bc. The 2nd temple was a poor substitute for what Solomon had built. Nevertheless, it survived until circa 20bc. In the wake of Alexander the Great, in 167bc Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the sanctuary. He rededicated the altar to Zeus and sacrificed profane pigs. This was the unthinkable “Abomination that made (the temple) desolate” as read eg. in Mark 13:14&//. The Books of Maccabees describe how the temple needed to be purified again. Later, with the rise in fortune of King Herod the temple was refurbished with greater splendour. This was the temple as Christ and the disciples would have seen it 50 years later. What does it all mean to us? 

On the altar in a Catholic Church you will see six candles. They commemorate the menorah. The 7 branch candlestand that once illuminated the temple. In the Mass, six candles surround the priest at the moment of consecration because “here God lives among men”. For us the 7th central light is Christ. This is why we place the consecrated bread in the Tabernacle. Like the Jews of old time we know that God cannot be trapped in one little place but we also know that he is willing to let his intimate presence be discovered, known and shared. The decisive trauma for both Jews & Christians was when Jerusalem and the old temple were finally destroyed by the Romans in 70ad. In Rev21v3, sometime later, St John gazes into heaven. He realises ultimately that there is a heavenly Jerusalem where everything finally makes sense. He sees the sanctuary opened wide. This is where we will finally dwell in peace with God. Meanwhile as Catholics we have the assurance of Christ’s presence anywhere that we can find the Blessed Sacrament. Like Jacob in Gen28v17 it should make us exclaim: 

“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

Fr Kevin

FHC Preparation St Josephs 

Registration forms are now available for the group that will start in the New Year. Children should be aged 7 years and over (Year 3 at school) and part of a family who are attending and worshipping regularly at Mass. Please ask Sr Mary for a form 

Among the Sick 

Please remember Jean & Bill. Paul, Michael 

Month of the Holy Souls 

If you would like a special Mass for departed loved ones during November. Please complete an envelope with all details that you will find near the door. 

Crooms Hill / West Greenwich Traffic Reduction Plans 

Greenwich LA would like your views on two options developed to reduce traffic, drawing on previous engagements with local residents. Information, and a short survey, is available via the webpage until Sunday, 8th December. 

There is a further event to discuss plans with council officers on Wednesday 20th November 5pm to 8pm at James Wolfe School, Royal Hill SE10 8RZ. Meanwhile, on our church noticeboard, there is a letter shared by Hyde Vale Steering Committee putting some more points in context to help reach an informed decision. Hard copies of the engagement material & survey available call 020 8921 6000 [email protected] 

Greenwich Fanzone 2020 

There is a public information event concerning Greenwich Fanzone 2020 using the park in June/July next year. This will be at the Dreadnaught Building” 30 Park Row SE109HU from 2.00 till 8.00pm this Monday 18th November 

Funeral of Winifred RiP 

Requiem Mass this Wednesday 10.30 OLSS
Burial at Kemnal Park 12.00 

Funeral of Francesca RiP 

Requiem Mass Friday 29th 11.30 OLSS Cremation at Honor Oak 

“Restored Lives”
Helping & supporting people recover from relationship breakdown. 

Vanessa is a faithful member at OLSS. 

She would like to run a support group course in January 2020, on a weekday evening in The Parish Room at OLSS. The aim is to help anyone struggling with a relationship breakdown including separation & divorce. It will offer non-judgemental support & practical tips to help come to terms with what has happened and make positive choices for the future. I would like to start a small group of perhaps five participants, plus volunteer helpers (minimum 2). It will be for people of any faith or none at all. This will be an opportunity to connect with other people going through similar experiences. The course would run weekly over a period of six evenings, from 7-9.30pm. Each session will include short talks, covering topics such as conflict resolution, communication, followed by discussions. Light refreshments, such as hot soup & sandwiches, tea/coffee will be provided. 

A charge to cover materials & refreshments of approx £25.00 is suggested. I have been through divorce and separation; I would like the volunteers to have been through the same. My passion is to help others recover completely from the impact that relationship breakdown brings. Email: [email protected] 

60+ Group 

Welcome again at the Dominican Convent in Hyde Vale from 2.00pm this Thursday. Don’t be at home all alone. You will find a welcome with a nice tea, new friends and perhaps a few old ones too! 

Thank You for your Offering Nov 10th 

OLSS £618 BpsAd £140 Candles £19
St Joseph’s £392 BpsAd £82 SpDn £100 


Saturday 16th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Parish & People 

Sunday 17th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Harry D (RiP) 

33rd Sunday in Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Srs Aleyama & Nancy FSM (Ints) 

Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Mick D (RiP) 

Monday 18th No Mass on Monday 

Tuesday 19th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Flora M 

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: 

Wednesday 20th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Fr Jim Kirby (RiP) 

10.30 Sung Requiem OLSS – Funeral of Winifred RiP 

Thursday 21st Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Geraldine A (RiP) 

Presentation BVM Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Deceased Parents FSM sisters 

Friday 22nd Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Frank C (RiP) 

Saturday 23rd Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Tony C (RiP) 

Sunday 24th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Margaret M WB & Patrick K 

Christ the King Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: In Thg (Maire A) 

Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Parish & people 

“The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” 

(Thursday) Detail by Titian (1534-38 Venice). In unity with the Eastern Churches, and commemorating the dedication in 543 of the New Basilica of Saint Mary, built next to the Temple at Jerusalem, this feast celebrates Mary’s “dedication” of herself to God from infancy. If the ancient tradition is correct; Mary & Joseph were familiar faces at the temple. She had been entrusted to the priests as a sacred child and consigned as a young woman to help the widowed father Joseph with the raising of his children. Hence the awkward moment when Mary herself was “found to be with child” Mt1v18 & Lk2v5 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Post expires at 7:57pm on Saturday December 21st, 2019