Fifth Sunday of the Year


Dear friends in Christ

The moving scene depicted for us in this Sunday’s Gospel shows, on the one hand the ineptitude and lack of faith of Jesus’ disciples, and on the other, His patient indulgence of them.  This is the story of the Church: in every age God has called those to follow Him who have been inadequate instruments of Divine grace, to show that the power is of God and not of us.  This coming week we shall begin the Holy season of Lent with the traditional Day of Fasting and Abstinence on Ash Wednesday. Now is the time for us to contemplate the ways in which we can live this time of grace and conversion, always conscious that God gives us every chance to begin again-and-again.  In this Year of Mercy, the call to conversion is ever more urgent and we have no excuse for not turning to God with confidence to implore His merciful love.  St John Paul II wrote:  Apart from the mercy of God, there is no other source of hope for mankind.

On Thursday we have the patronal festival of our Parish and Diocese.  This year the main celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes will take place in the morning with Mass at the later hour of 9.30am; Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School will be present with us.  There is another Diocesan celebration in the evening at Brentwood Cathedral with a Mass at 7pm; it will include the Induction of the new Canons.  As this is an important milestone in the life of our Diocese, the Bishop invites us to go to the Cathedral and participate in this Mass with the Diocesan Family on this occasion; I would appreciate it if many of you would come along and support the Bishop and his new Chapter; a Reception will follow the Mass.  As this may be a late evening, the usual Lenten 6.30am Mass will commence the following Friday, 19th.  May God bless us all, as together we embark on the pilgrimage of Lent, that it may bring us purified and holier to a glorious Eastertide!

Msgr Kevin Hale