Dear friends in Christ
The scene portrayed for us in the liturgy of the Word this weekend is that of the final judgement. In the famous fresco of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, we see Christ coming upon clouds of glory and the souls of the saved to the right and those of the damned on the left. It is a biblical and artistic image designed to focus our thoughts on the afterlife. After death comes judgement when we shall be required to see our lives as they have been and give an account of the talents we have received. One of the early Fathers of the Church - St Cyril of Jerusalem - teaches: At His Second Coming all men will be obliged to submit to His reign, whether they want to or not…This is why we pray in the Creed that we believe in Him ‘who ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.’ As we live in time on this earth, it is vitally important that we keep ever before us the truth that this moment will come, for us, and for the entire world.
This weekend I ask you to begin signing the lists for Watching before the Blessed Sacrament during The Forty Hours Prayer which begins on Thursday 26th of this month. Candles may also be had from the Sacristy or Parish Office.
As we approach the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy you will find a special edition of the Magnificat prayer book available at the back of church, priced five pounds. This is a very good and helpful resource with prayers, meditations and readings for the Year. The Bishop will inaugurate the Jubilee with a Mass in Brentwood Cathedral on 8th December at 7.00pm With every blessing!
Msgr Kevin Hale