Message

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

The texts of the liturgy for this Sunday focus our attention on the power of trusting and persevering prayer.  Jesus gives us a parable-lesson in this matter: a manifestation of living faith is the determination to keep-on asking God for what we need, for what is essential for us to live holy lives. St Augustine comments on this passage in today’s Gospel: If one's faith weakens, prayer withers…Faith is the foundation of prayer…a river cannot flow if it's source is dried up. 

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

This Sunday is a momentous day in the history of the Catholic Church in England. John Henry Cardinal Newman will be declared a Saint by Pope Francis, the first Englishman (non-martyr) since the Reformation. Newman lived between 1801-1890.  He was brought up as an Anglican, and went to church but did not have a deep faith until - quite suddenly – when he was fifteen, he found a certainty: in that moment he described his faith as more certain than that I have hands and feet. He had a strong sense of the eternal love and mercy of God, and felt called to ministry. At twenty-three he became an Anglican Cleric, and at that time he was very dismissive and critical of the Catholic Church. For his time as an Anglican he was based in and near Oxford, where he preached at St Mary’s, the church attended by many students and professors.

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary time

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary time

Dear Friends in christ 

We begin the month of October by reminding ourselves that this month is dedicated to Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary. It was on 7th October 1570 that the Christian forces at the Battle of Lepanto were victorious over the Turkish forces. Pope St Pius V attributed this victory to the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, invoked through the praying of the Holy Rosary. Our love for this devotion must be constantly renewed. Given the grave crises we find in our world, we need the intercession of Mary more than ever: for unity and harmony within the Church (as the Amazonian Synod begins), peace in the world and reconciliation in family life.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

At Mass this Sunday we hear Readings that warn us against an excessive concern for comfort and the things of this world, which often lead to a neglect of God and neighbour.  The Gospel parable recalls the situation of the man (Dives) who fell into this trap. Jesus contrasts the extreme conditions of that rich man with Lazarus, who had nothing.  Dives lived a selfish life, which made him blind to others. Selfish people treat others as objects without any value. We will encounter Lazarus many times as we go though life. Our challenge is to administer what we have with generosity. 

In addition to a sharing of material goods, we also can offer understanding, affection and true friendship. A liberation from material things will enable us to achieve this, even if it is done internally. Divine Love is our goal and desire in all of this.

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

The liturgy of this Sunday calls to mind once again the limitless mercy of God: a God who forgives and takes delight in finding and bringing home the lost sheep. We see in the First Reading how Moses interceded with God on behalf of the Chosen People. They had strayed from the Covenant even while Moses was conversing with God on the top of Mount Sinai. Moses makes no attempt to excuse the people’s sin. He relies instead on the ancient promise of God and His great mercy. Many centuries later St Paul was to experience this in his own life, which he describes to Timothy in the words of the Second Reading: I myself am the greatest of sinners: and if this mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people…

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary time

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary time

Dear Friends in Christ 

In the Gospel of this Sunday, Jesus speaks about the requirements of following Him, and since He has called each one of us, we must be attentive. Whenever a person accepts a great undertaking, make an appraisal of the situation ahead; we look at the road and asses how we might proceed. The Way of Jesus is the Way of the Cross, as he repeatedly reminds us.  September is the month of the Holy Cross; the feast is celebrated this Saturday, 14th. We celebrate an instrument of terrible torture and death because by the Cross Jesus triumphs over sin and death. One of the most famous and best-loved images of the Tree of Life is found in the Basilica of San Clemente, Rome.

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

On every occasion possible, our Lord takes the opportunity to remind the Pharisees of the need for humility, the need to know our place before God. He does this through a variety of teachings, and in the Gospel of this Sunday, in the parable of the banquet. Why is it that our natural inclination is to seek the first place? We all have natural ambition, and there is nothing bad about that, but it needs to be tempered with humility and the true knowledge that we have of ourselves, seeing ourselves all the while, as God sees us. This is what the Readings at Mass this Sunday remind us.

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

We come this weekend to the end of the holiday season, as many of us prepare to return to school and work after the Summer vacation. In the Gospel of this Sunday Jesus tells us to enter by the narrow door…This reminds us that the road to Heaven is not a broad and easy one but rather a path which will involve sacrifice and effort. Both during the last week and in the coming week, we celebrate a variety of Saints who show us how to live discipleship of Christ by radical love.

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

Fire is frequently used in the bible as a symbol of the love of God, a love which works to cleanse mankind of its impurity. Jesus says in the gospel of the Mass this Sunday that He has come to cast fire upon the Earth and that He wished it were already kindled. Love finds its ultimate expression in Christ himself for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. The Lord wants the fire of His love to set alight our hearts, to light them up completely. He loves each one of us with a personal love, as if each one of us were the only object of His love.

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

The liturgy of this Sunday reminds us quite simply, that life on earth is but a short wait for our Lord’s return. The faith which guides us on earth is precisely the certainty in things hoped for, as the second reading says. By means of hope we acquire a firm certainty with regard to what Christ has promised, and a possession, in advance, of the divine gifts. Through faith, we know with certainty the fundamental truths of human existence: that we are made for heaven and therefore all else should be ordered to that supreme end; and that our Lord wants to help us reach this destination with all the help that He can give us. Jesus encourages us to be vigilant because the enemy never rests, he is always on the prowl, and he never sleeps. That is why in the Gospel of this Sunday our Lord warns us to be ever vigilant. Only a small amount of time separates us from that definitive counter with Christ. Each day that passes brings us closer to eternity. It may be this year or the following one…whenever it may be it will always seem as though time and life have passed too quickly. We will be vigilant in love and far from unprepared if we remain faithful in the little things of each day. If we consider these small details when we examine our conscience each day.  Little things are the prelude to greater things, and loving vigilance feeds upon them. Saint Francis de Sales emphasises the importance of conquering in small temptations, for there are many occasions to do so during the day, and many victories in small things are more important than a single great victory. Moreover, even though wolves and bears are undoubtedly more dangerous than flies, they never cause us as much discomfort or try our patience as much. It’s easy, the Saint points out, to avoid murder, but difficult to avoid anger over little things. It is easy to avoid stealing our neighbours belongings, but how difficult it is at times to not desire them. It is easy not to spread false rumours about our neighbour, but difficult to avoid lying in our conversations. We easily avoid drunkenness, but how difficult it is at times to live sobriety. If we are faithful in little things we will be guarded, vigilant, and on the alert, when our Lord arrives.

Thursday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady in Heaven. This Day celebrates the moment God brought Mary - body and soul - into her heavenly home and without allowing her body to experience the corruption of the grave. May he intercede for us from her place above. Don't forget: it is a Holyday of Obligation…even if you are away on holiday!

God bless you!

Msgr Kevin Hale

Priest@LourdesLeigh.org 01702 478078
The Sunday Homily is available as a podcast at
LourdesLeigh.org

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ 

The readings of the liturgy for this Sunday remind us that the pursuit of the things of this earth, to the detriment of spiritual goods, is foolishness. Neither happiness nor authentic human life itself are founded on worldly goods. The rich fool in the Gospel (depicted by Rembrandt on the front cover) discloses  his ‘value system’ in his mental language. He sees himself in a very secure position because he has great resources. He bases his stability and his happiness on his wealth. For him, as for many people, living is a matter of enjoying as much pleasure as possible.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

Jesus had the habit of praying early in the morning in isolated places. The Disciples would often find Him there in deep conversation with the Heavenly Father. When they asked Him how they should pray, He answered their request with the perfect prayer, the Our Father. He pronounced every petition and word of that prayer with care, teaching them how to put their trust in whatever they said to their Father God.

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ 

The Gospel of Martha and Mary is a timely one, as we begin the Summer holiday season. To listen to Christ and to serve Him are both noble occupations. As Christians we are called to be both hearers and doers of the Word. So there is no dichotomy between sitting at the feet of Jesus and serving Him; the active and the reflective are two sides of the same call to be disciples.

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

The image in the liturgy of this Sunday shows us the disciples being sent out in pairs to announce the Kingdom of God. Wherever they went miracles occurred as the blind received their sight, lepers were cleansed, sinners were moved to repentance. Even after so many centuries, we can still see that the world is in need of the peace that only Christ can give. We don’t need to look far to see the results of this lack of peace: race and class struggles, struggles between ideologies and political parties; terrorism and warfare, riots, disputes, and all kinds of violence. How can we explain such lack of peace?

SS PETER & PAUL

SS PETER & PAUL

Dear Friends in Christ 

The two Saints we venerate this weekend celebrate the beginning of the Christian Faith. The Apostles Peter and Paul are considered by the Church as the first pillars, and not only of the See of Rome, but also of the universal Church, the Church of the living God spread throughout the world. They are the Founders of the Church of Rome, the Mother and teacher of all the other Christian communities, and it was their endeavours that gave them growth by the supreme testimony of their martyrdom: Peter by crucifixion, and Paul by the sword. Peter is the first Pope and Paul brought the Gospel abroad by his missionary efforts.

The Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi

The Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi

Dear Friends in christ 

Corpus Christi - Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ - is the central Mystery of our Faith. It celebrates the gift Jesus left of His very self, the night before He died. It is something that we experience both in the celebration of Holy Mass, and whenever we come into the presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle or in times of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Because Maundy Thursday is overshadowed by the events of Good Friday and the Passion, the Church wished to have a separate Day on which we could celebrate The mystery of Faith.

The Most Holy Trinity

The Most Holy Trinity

Dear Friends in Christ 

The celebration of the Most Blessed Trinity this weekend brings together all of the Mysteries of the Christian Faith; it is the summation of everything we believe, since in God we find all of the perfections of the Christian life; we see what one day we shall be in God Himself. The celebration of Trinity Sunday invites us to make repeated acts of faith. Faith is increased when we make it one of the habits of the interior life, just as any human habit is nurtured and cultivated by the practise of it. The virtues are simply the good habits of the Christian life, and they begin with Faith.

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday

Dear Friends in Christ 

Pentecost was one of the three major Jewish festivals. Many Israelites would go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to adore God in the Temple. It was an ancient thanksgiving celebration for the harvest, fifty days after Passover. In this context, with Jerusalem teeming with pilgrims, God brought the New People of Jesus Christ into existence. Having prayed for nine days after the Ascension, the Holy Spirit is poured-out upon Our Lady and the Apostles in the Upper Room.