Dear Friends in christ
As we come to the end of another year in the life of the Church we celebrate the Kingship of Christ. All power, authority and leadership in the Church is at the service of the People of God. The image of Christ the King is expressed also in the image of Christ as Shepherd and Suffering Servant who reigns from the Cross. It is this image also that we hear in the Gospel of this Sunday: Jesus, Universal Lord and Judge of Mankind. The final judgement is depicted for us by Jesus in graphic detail, as He separates mankind as sheep and goats: those who chose to do good and those who omitted to. It reminds us that our individual particular judgment will be based upon the way we responded to the needs of those who call upon it. The so-called Corporal Works of Mercy derive from this Gospel of Christ the King.
On Thursday we shall begin our Annual Solemn Days of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. These three days - or Forty Hours - are at the heart of our Parish year, even though they occur on the final three days of the liturgical year. The Church asks that in every place where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, there be an extended period of exposition and adoration of the Eucharist each year. I ask you to sign the lists for Watching at the back of church so that all of the time slots are covered from Thursday evening until Saturday afternoon. Candles which will burn – and be used also throughout the year as the sanctuary lamp – can be had from the Sacristy for five pounds. This year we will continue our prayer and adoration through the night of Friday. Our young adults will organise this but it would be important if some adults were also present at some of the times. Access will be gained through the door on the north side of the church (the courtyard/car park) which will be locked for security but someone will be on duty to allow access. Let us pray that these hours of uninterrupted prayer will be a time of contemplation and grace for the whole Parish Family, especially for the sick, the suffering, the housebound and those with any particular difficulty.
May God bless you!
Msgr Kevin Hale