Christ the King Sunday 22nd November 2020
Orange Book Page 155
Yeah, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Lord, I’m gonna fade away…
It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly 50 years since these anthemic words first erupted in the British musical scene, but can you set a tune to the verse and do you know where it comes from…?
It’s difficult to imagine the Rolling Stones teaching the “Corporal Works of Mercy” but to this then 15-year-old adolescent the words of Jesus screamed out at me. The song is about protecting children in the face of warfare. In 1973, Vietnam dominated international public attention. What to me are “the good old days” were just as bad as today. It’s only the theatre that changes. Giving shelter to anybody who is vulnerable is one of the primary commands of Christ. According to these standards our eternal salvation hangs in the balance:
“Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.”
To those 6 demands a 7th is added from the Book of Tobit; to Bury the Dead (whoever they are) with dignity. I suppose that 7th article was impossible for Matthew to work into the framework of his parable.
Have you ever read the book of Tobit? It is an endearing tale, something like a Shakespearean Tragi/Comedy. Set after the time of the “Deportation to Babylon” (590bc) it describes two parts of a family, divided by circumstance and politics. One half is in Nineveh (Iraq) and the other further down into Persia. The king of Nineveh was hostile to the Jews at that time but Tobit was known for his good deeds and put his life at risk. He had taken the body of a Jewish man, flung over the city wall and buried it decently. That same afternoon he had lain under the wall in the hot sun. Some sparrows left droppings in his eyes and he was blinded. Although his wife turned her hand to industrious tasks, (just like the first reading last week) the family became destitute. It is the age-old question: “why do bad things happen to good people?” Tobit resolved that their best solution would be to send their young son in search of the family in Persia. The mother was very much against it. As the lad sets off on the journey, a demon goes down the road before him, but unbeknown, the Archangel Raphael travels, at his side. It is what we read elsewhere: “Sometimes we entertain angels unaware” Hbs13:2. To cut a long story short there is a marriage, the recovery of a treasure and, after a mother’s long despair, the restoration of a son, the repair of a broken family and, in the end… They all lived happily ever after!
Read Tobit, it may have something useful to say to you at the end of this dreadful year, but read it with a sense of humour. We can still entertain Angels unaware but the best angels tend to come in the guise of ordinary people. By the same token we must let the angels do their work in us because as the Lord spells it out:
“Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me”!
November – The Month of the Holy Souls
During November we commemorate our loved ones. If you would like a Mass for somebody please return a request envelope in the usual way. There are cards available where you can place the names of all your loved ones that we keep on the altars throughout November. You are welcome to return these during the week.
Sunday Masses continue livestreamed at 6.00pm on Saturdays from OLSS & 10.00am Sunday from St Josephs
Weekdays Exposition & Adoration
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at from 9.00am -11.00am
(I am prohibited from celebrating Public Mass at these times)
Sr de Angelis O.P. – RiP
Talking about angels, reluctantly we have to give one back this week. Following the example of Tobit we will do that with all the dignity and loveliness that can be summoned in these extraordinary days of the lockdown. We are permitted to welcome 30 people to form a congregation excluding the priest and other ministers. A group of 15 Dominican Sisters & family will be in attendance. Norman & Dawn will supply music. There should be space for about 15 parish members on this basis. Remember to bring a mask and we will keep careful social distancing Her Funeral is at OLSS this Wednesday 25th at 11.30.
Burial at Plumstead SE2 0PB
First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Programme 2021 – OLSS
At OLSS Elisabeth would like to hear from any family who may have a child for FHC in 2021. Subject to government guidelines at that time, we would hope to start in February with FHC in June or July. It would be helpful to anticipate how many children might be included. Children should currently be in Year 3 or above, be members of this parish and families be attending Mass regularly when lockdown is lifted. For a registration form.
Again, subject to guidelines, a parents’ meeting will be held in the New Year to discuss the programme, parental involvement and dates.
At St Joseph’s In conjunction with the school we will also begin preparations for St Joseph’s in the New Year.
Baptism & Wedding Info
During this “Lockdown period” I am prevented from conducting Baptisms and will not be available for wedding administration on Tuesday evenings. Hopefully some kind of normality will be restored from December 3rd
If you like to use the Church Diaries that are printed for free by Nordic Press the 2021 copies are available in both Churches
Thankyou for your recent offerings OLSS:
Discretionary Fund: We have collected via Bank Transfers £550 in October and £835 in November +£200 cash. Total £1,585.00
Sister Mary/FSM school project.
We have collected via Bank Transfers £4,035 in October & £400 in November. Additionally, on 25th October we collected £150 via Church Collection at OLSS. Total £4,585.00 (These monies, received at OLSS are from both St J’s & OLSS donors. Smaller monies have also yet to be totalled paid by cheque to St J’s account)
Non-Gift Aid donations OLSS:
For the calendar year, 2020, we have collected c.£48k from parishioners via Bank Transfer with the majority coming from donors we have Gift Aid declarations. However, we have also received £6,760 from donors whom we have no details from. If you commenced a bank transfer donation this year, please contact Tomás [email protected] and we can ensure we can claim the tax rebate or take you off the list of 30 donors we are trying to get details for. In these times, we are grateful to all parishioners who donate generously to the parish finances.
Advent Offering of Carols & Music
Petra & Emily are planning an Advent Offering of Carols & Music at OLSS on the evening of Saturday 12th. Assuming we can come out of lockdown we invite an audience of up to 60 people after the evening Mass on that night. The event will be livestreamed. Petra will be playing with the RPO at the Albert Hall in Dec.
I am still trying to make a plan for Christmas. I have not had support for a Carol Singing procession with Children & Families. Several people commented that a moving procession will be unable to keep safe social distance. Thinking again we will keep:
EIGHT CHRISTMAS MASSES:
OLSS at 5.00pm Christmas Eve.
St Josephs at 7.00pm Christmas Eve.
Midnight (11.00 for 11.30) OLSS.
Christmas Day Friday
10.00am at Josephs & 11.00am at OLSS.
Boxing Day Saturday – 6.00pm OLSS
Sunday (Holy Family) 27th
10.00am at St Josephs & 11.00 at OLSS.
Pick ONE service to attend and we will make these ticketed events.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: greenwichcatholic.eventbrite.com
For anybody who does not use a computer please speak to one of the stewards at Private Prayer times who will co-ordinate lists and numbers, but preferably go directly to Eventbrite when the link is available.
We have just received the sad news that Paul has died unexpectedly this week. No info as yet available. Oisin & Devlin are staying with Paul’s Sister in the west country. It will be Nessa’s 1st Anniversary on the 24th.
Sincere Thanks to all those who are now supporting the two churches with D/Ds. Please ask if you would like to join.
MASS CALENDAR FOR Nov 22nd – 29th Livestream Search Facebook: Our Ladye Star of the Sea
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 21st Livestream 6.00pm at OLSS Int: Carol H & Fmy (WB)
CtheKing 22nd Livestream 10.00am at St J’s Int: Paul & Nessa M (RiP)
Mass will be offered privately throughout the week for the following intentions:
Sr De Angelis O.P. Fmy & Rel RiP Kath P, Brian H RiP, Tomas T (GH)
Advent 28th Livestream 6.00pm at OLSS Int: Florrie F (RiP)
Sunday 29th Livestream 10.00am at St J’s Int:
Post expires at 11:43am on Sunday December 27th, 2020