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Good Shepherd Sunday (4th of Easter) May 2nd 2020
Yellow Book Page 262

 I was very touched by this simple reflection received on Friday from Abp John. I remember this as a rhyme that my Grandmother used to sing to me as a small child. It is appropriate for this “Good Shepherd” Sunday.

Fr Kevin 

Archbishop John writes: 

Perhaps you will, be familiar with William Blake’s famous poem “The Lamb”. In it Blake puts questions of faith on the lips of a child: 

Little Lamb, who made thee
Does thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing woolly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice.
Making all the vales rejoice:
Little Lamb who made thee
Does thou know who made thee 

The singsong quality of the lines gives a musical quality to the curiosity of a child on first sight of a beautiful young lamb. Yet Blake completes the poem with another verse. The child who questions in the 1st verse is the child who answers in the 2nd… answers that come from faith: 

Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee;
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name,
Little Lamb God bless thee,
Little Lamb God bless thee. 

For Blake, the Lamb was created by one ‘who calls himself a lamb’ and who became a Child. The Christological theme is clear. In fact, eleven years after writing this poem, Blake would depict the Christ Child riding on a lamb in a Bible illustration (above). Researching a talk on William Blake a few years ago, I came across a blog with an entry by a woman called Angie Bennet Prince. She wrote:  Thank you for reminding us of William Blake’s wonderful poem; it is one of my favourites. 3 years ago, I lost my 19-year-old daughter; ever since, my Lord has led me to process through the immense grief by writing poetry. After discovering William Blake’s poem, I wrote a sequel to it. I would love to share it with you and your readers.” 

Among the other echoes in her poem, the hope for our world is that each of us is the ‘Little Lamb’ loved and saved by God in Christ. 

Little Lamb, who saved thee?
Dost thou know who saved thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By His living waters lead,
Gave thee clothing of bright white!
To sing His love ‘nd bring delight,
Gave to thee Sweet Spirit’s voice –
Heaven’s angels all rejoice!
Little Lamb, who saved thee?
Dost thou know who saved thee?
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee.
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee.
‘Twas Love Himself who saved thee!
Love’s own Lamb saved little lamb:
God sent down His only Son,
Th’ cruel cross to die upon,
T’ save your soul from Satan’s wrath;
O what Love our dear God hath!
Little lamb, God loves thee!
Little lamb, God loves thee! 

Yours devotedly in Christ

+ John (Abp Stk) 

Message from Tomas 

We are grateful for parishioners continued support during the lockdown and on behalf of Fr Kevin, grateful to all those who have donated for his Easter dues. We have received £1,370 at OLSS for Easter collection and received a further £4,539 for church collections. Many thanks. If you want to donate further to Fr Kevin please do contact me. Easter and Christmas is the only collections made towards our priests. Please note, some of the donors have donated without filling out a gift aid form, we are missing forms for c.£2,500 of donations, which we could receive an additional 25% from HMRC. That is £625! Every little helps so if you have transferred money recently (and not on the Gift Aid system) please email me on: [email protected] 

Many thanks
Tomas 

A Note from Pat & Peter Re 100 (140) Club Draw 

Hello Father Kevin, 

Hope you and your family are well and keeping safe. Thank you so much for the virtual Masses, we really appreciate it. Today (last week) would have been coffee morning at OLSS and the April ‘140 Club’ draw. To keep the momentum going, Peter and I have just drawn the April winner, witnessed from over the road by Tony (our neighbour -God forbid- KR). 

The April winner is: Victoire L who wins this month’s £70. 

Please could you put in the next newsletter? 

I will send a text to Victoire (and subsequent monthly winners) and offer to pay the £70 prize via internet banking or give them the cash when everything is back to normal. 

Looking forward to day we can return to OLSS. 

Keep safe.
Pat & Peter 

(Apologies that should have gone in last week KR) 

Saturday & Sunday Masses broadcast live 

www.facebook.com/OurLadyeStarOfTheSea/

Sadly a number of Funerals 

Helen(Tuesday) 5th May Eltham 4.00
Annette12th May Eltham 12.15
Nicolet4th June Honor Oak
Mary TBC Streatham 

Last Week 

RoyMay 1st Eltham 11.45 

An International Ecumenical Bible Study 

I have been sharing in a simple Bible study online on Sunday afternoons using the ZOOM programme. I am not confident yet to host an event myself but I have been learning from a little group of patient Christians from as wide a part as the West Coast of America and Australia. If you would like to join the group at 3.pm UK time an invitation is sent via Youtube at 2.30: 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_dByvETNKw
or Search for
– Reasoned Answers Apologetics – 

on Youtube and look for the most recent video. You can either watch and send comments via Youtube or click the “Zoom link” that Thaddeus (the group host) will put up on Sunday and participate in the discussion. You will need to have the free version of Zoom downloaded on your computer. They study the same readings that we use at Mass on Sundays. When I am more confident to manipulate the software, if there is enough support perhaps, we can run something specific to our parishes in Greenwich. Meanwhile come and join this little group if you are not having lunch at that time. It will be 10.00am over there and 10pm in Australia 

Mass will be offered Privately Each Day for the following intentions 

Saturday 2nd OLSS 6.00pm Jose R (RiP) 

Sunday 3rd St J’s 10.00am Mary L (RiP) 

Monday 4th OLSS Int: Barbara R (RiP) 

Tuesday 5th St Js’ Int Nicky B (RiP) 

Wed 6th OLSS Int Salako Fmy (Protection of all) 

Thurs 7th St J’s Int Sr Balbina OP (RiP) 

Friday 8th OLSS Int Mary O (RiP) 

Saturday 9th OLSS 6.00pm The Well Being of All the People 

Sunday 10th St J’s 10.00am Sr Jean Capistran FSM (RiP France) 

Stop the World I want to get off. Back in the 1960’s there was a stage show with this name. The music was by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley. I have never seen it but I have often felt like this when life, and everything around me has seemed to be moving too fast. The show has had various revivals both on stage and cinema and features the song: “What Kind Of Fool Am I?Perhaps it has something relevant to say to us today. It features a little fellow who feels constantly disaffected with life. With each minor setback he calls out “Stop the World”. It is only at the end when his grandson lies dying, that he strikes a deal to take his place and the preciousness of everything becomes clear. Right now, it really is as if the world has stopped and none of us like it. It is very difficult to imagine how the world will begin to move again and what it will be like. When it does, will we have learnt anything useful from this time? Will we go back to life as it was or will we take more time to stop and appreciate the good things and be thankful? I have been much more conscious of birdsong in the early morning and throughout the day. Not just the unwelcome squawking of those invasive parakeets but the more delicate and complex calls of small birds which I cannot begin to name. The fact that there is less traffic and human intrusion is allowing them to take possession of the trees and green spaces even in an urban setting. I do not believe that God deliberately inflicts disaster and casualties as a way of punishing humanity but I do believe he is with us in every dilemma and constantly draws us towards himself. Jesus reinforces this message in his teaching at Luke 13v4 (The fall of the Tower of Siloam) & John 9v2 (A blind man healed). Bishop Arturo Aiello has written a beautiful letter as if “From the desert” to the cloistered nuns in his Diocese. Cardinal Nichols has circulated it for all to read in London. You will find it attached elsewhere. Here is an extract: 

Teach us to do things slowly with solemnity and without rushing, to pay attention to details because every day is a miracle, every encounter is a gift, every step an entrance into the throne room, like the step in a dance or the movement of a symphony” 

Work is finally underway on the tower at OLSS. The costs are likely to run away, but a conservative price, just to ensure that the tower is safe, is in the region of £64.000. 

Please call me at home if you are in any anxiety or difficulty using the number at the front of this newsletter. If you need to leave a message on the answer phone please say your number very slowly and clearly. I am embarrassed sometimes when I cannot hear numbers or when people speak so fast it is impossible to clearly hear your message. 

Post expires at 5:09pm on Saturday June 6th, 2020