Dear friends in Christ
As the second week of the Synod of Bishops in Rome comes to completion (there is one more to go) we can reflect on the words of Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel: the work of the Apostles (the Bishops of the Church today) is to be at the service of the Truth. This service inevitably brings with it suffering and martyrdom – the chalice Jesus drank – since this has been the fate of the followers of our Saviour since the beginning. The task of the Synod of Bishops – with and under the Pope – is to proclaim the beauty and dignity of marriage and family life in a world that often views these realities with cynicism. We all know people who experience particular difficulties in relationships and family life; the Church exists in an inclusive way to bring all those who bear these wounds to the One who alone can give us hope and fulfilment in life. Pray for the Bishops of the Synod gathered around the Holy Father that, they may be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and continue to lead us in the paths of Truth and Holiness.
Pope Francis has declared next year as a Jubilee Year of Mercy. This will begin on 8th December and extend until the feast of Christ the King at the end of 2016. We have been asked to promote ways of proclaiming the mercy of God during this Holy Year and of ensuring that the doors of the Church are thrown wide-open to those who stand in need of God’s mercy or who have been alienated in any way from Christ and his Church. I would like to propose for our Parish Family two areas in which we might endeavour to fulfil this responsibility. The first would be my desire to have the Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayed daily in the church at three o’clock in the afternoon: the Hour of Mercy, the hour on which Jesus died on the Cross for our salvation. I will be asking for volunteers to lead this each day throughout the Jubilee Year! Secondly, a renewed teaching and call to the Sacrament of Confession and its importance in the spiritual life, especially to those who have grown lukewarm in this practice. Joined with those simple but effective channels of grace, we all need to reach out to the lapsed, the lost and the confused so that they too may experience what is vital in the living of the life of Faith. God bless you all and please pray for me!
Msgr Kevin Hale