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Twelfth Ordinary Sunday Sunday 21st June 2020
FOURTEENTH Ordinary Sunday 5th July 2020
Orange Book Page 99
When we think about the Book of Genesis, our attention probably falters, on the Creation myth and the story of the Fall. Soon we should move on to the Flood, but then come the trials and tribulations of Abraham and so on through the generations towards the advent of the 12 Tribes of Israel. At fifty chapters Genesis is one of the longer books in the Bible. Something jumps out at me now that I had never considered previously. Genesis is basically a catalogue of family conflicts – narrated in pairs. Think about it: Adam & Eve. Cain & Abel. Abraham & Lot. Sarah & Hagar. Isaac & Ishmael. Rachel & Leah. Jacob & Esau. There is even the very strange story of Tamar, taken for a prostitute, who conceives by her own father in law…
“There were twin boys in her womb. As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” Gen38
In each struggle there is an injustice where the victim remains the loser. Eve traditionally takes the blame over Adam. Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted. Sarah is jealous of Hagar (even though the child was Sarah’s idea). Ishmael was first born but Isaac takes priority. Leah was foisted on Jacob in preference to Rachel. As for Esau & Jacob “my brother is a hairy man, but I am a smooth man” blah blah blah… Gen27 cheated out of the family inheritance for nothing more than a bowl of soup! What on earth is all that about?! I am convinced we should not try to teach these stories to children but we should engage with them as adults! To understand what is going on we have to reckon with the title of the book itself; GENESIS – generations, genetics, gene pools, gender, gentlemen, gentiles and genitals. All that kind of stuff! In all these stories the mythological seeds account for all the different peoples of the world, and the tensions in between. Of course, we are all children of Adam, but the three sons of Noah are supposed to have fathered the peoples on three different continents: Shem, the middle eastern people (hence Semites) Ham, the people of Africa and Japhed, the people of Europe. As the genealogies in Genesis unfold, they attempt to distinguish the nations and how we relate, or rather, fail to relate with each other…
Look at the story of Rebekah:
“The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb”. Gen25v22
Even after the Sodom & Gomorrah debacle, the Moabites & Ammonites share a shameful conception from Lot! 19.30-38. The Ishmaelites were a race who continued to be identified with Northern Arabia especially the region around Petra known as Nabataea. They are the people from whom Islam claims to share origins today. What is Genesis really telling us? These stories outline the birth pangs of primitive humanity. We are all genetically related. Every group has its own damaged strand of DNA including injustice & corruption. No one group shares any more or any less in the divine image, but if humanity is ever to rediscover and reclaim its true identity, it will be by a process of Universal Redemption
…Through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Sr Dolores Caine OSU RiP
Many people will be saddened to hear of the death of Sr Dolores at the nursing home at Westgate on Friday morning July 3rd. She was based at Greenwich for many years and will be remembered with special affection at OLSS. She had been struggling with her health for some time. Sr Maureen had been with her on the previous day.
Cn Christopher Tuckwell RiP
I have been very sad to receive news of the death of Canon Christopher. He was a friend to me and various people in Greenwich. For the last 12 years, he was best known as the Administrator to Westminster Cathedral. In early life he pursued a military career but was soon ordained as an Anglican priest. I first knew him when, as a vicar in Tottenham, we were part of that group who realised that we should come to the fulness of the Catholic faith. Being a little more advanced on that journey, at the time, his stoic composure was enormously reassuring. A man of tremendous dignity but also the kindliest, intelligent Christian pastor and a friend to many. He was ideal for the post at Westminster. His funeral is this Tuesday 7th under limited constraints at the cathedral at 10.30. Only 30 people may attend but the Mass will be livestreamed at that time. May He RiP
When will our Churches reopen For Public Mass?
Meetings were conducted last week with 15 members of OLSS (Zoom) and also 14 members of St Joseph who gathered in the garden. The consensus is that we should move forwards with caution. The scaffolding at OLSS should come down next week which will make normal access to the church safe again. I must be away from Greenwich to care for my father 12th -17th. We will resume Weekday Masses NB At Midday 12.00 noon, from week beginning 20th July Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday at OLSS and Thursday at St Joseph and Tuesday Evening 7.00pm. The regulations allowing for Public Mass are complex. Social distancing is a strict condition. For the time being this will dramatically reduce our numbers for Sunday worship. There must be no singing, careful good order at the time of Communion and everybody should leave without gathering at the end of mass when the church building must be closed and sanitised. I am grateful to those who have offered to act as stewards. We will get the weekday masses running safely before we venture to gather larger congregations on Sunday. We will be restricted to an uncertain number which we will clarify this week before resuming Mass on Sunday. We will continue meanwhile with the Livestreamed broadcasts at weekends.
The winner of the 140 Club for July is: EVA FUNSTON who wins the £70. The winning entry was drawn by Peter & Pat on Wednesday 1st July & witnessed by Tony McManus. Good news there as Bernard has recently been in hospital but now recovering OK at home!
Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it’s in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
George Orwell, 1984
While the Church remains closed Saturday & Sunday Masses are livestreamed to Facebook search “ Our Ladye Star of the Sea ” also visible on YouTube later in the week.
Mass will be offered Privately Each Day for the following intentions:
Saturday 4th OLSS 6.00pm Int: Marie (WB/GW)
Sunday 5th St J’s 10.00am Int: Zofia & Joseph K (W/B)
(14th Ord Sunday)
Monday 6th OLSS
Tuesday 7th St Js’ Int: Mike & Pam C & Fmy (WB)
Wed 8th OLSS Int:
Thurs 9th St J’s Int: In Thanksgiving Anon
Friday 10th OLSS Int: John L
Saturday 11th OLSS 6.00pm Int: Sr Dolores Caine OSU
Sunday 12th St J’s 10.00am Int: Well Being of All the People
(15th Ord Sunday)
To the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Southwark Saturday 4 July 2020
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt 11: 28-30)
Dear brothers in Christ
I hope this email finds you well.
I appreciate that you’ve heard more than enough from me this week about reopening churches for public worship. I am sorry that there seem to be so many obstacles to opening our churches for the public celebration of Mass with a congregation. I would hope that, as we move forward, some of the restrictions will be able to be relaxed; but we do need to act responsibly and for the common good.
If you have been able to open for individual prayer, and are opening this week for Mass, thank you for everything you have done and are doing.
We know how much it means to so many people. If you have not been able to open for individual prayer, and you will not be opening for public Masses, then be sure of my support for your discernment that this is not yet the right time. It is better to remain closed than to open without fulfilling the requirements. Thank you for all you have been doing and are doing.
The past few months have been challenging on so many levels. Our energy is depleted and, perhaps, your motivation is flagging. Mine certainly is. So we take comfort from the words of our Lord in the Gospel this Sunday. He is the one – the only one – who makes sense of everything. He is the one – the only one – who can give us interior rest and renewal. As we, hopefully, begin to be able to take a proper day off again, and get something of break at some point, our physical restoration can only every be sourced in our spiritual closeness to Christ. The Lord is near to us and we are dear to Him.
Thank you for your continued faithful ministry. It is greatly appreciated.
I remain united with you and praying for you. Please pray for me.
With every blessing and the assurance of prayers
Yours devotedly in Christ
+ John Most Rev John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark
Post expires at 7:27pm on Saturday August 8th, 2020