• Church open for Prayers: Weekdays: 8am-5pm; Saturdays: 10am-7.30pm; Sundays: 8.30am-7.30pm

Visit our Church

50 Avenue Hoche

75008 Paris

Sunday Mass from 3 Sept

9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 6.30pm

Sat Vigil 6.30pm

Mon-Fri:8.30am; Sat:11am

Send us an email

stjosephparis@wanadoo.fr

Talk to us now

+33(0)1 42 27 28 56

27th Sunday 8 Oct 2017

Some words by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh]
{Reflection only the view of the above}

If you hear someone talking about the ‘Church’, what comes into your mind? Or if reading these words, you stop and read no further, what image comes to mind?

My generation started with a picture of the Pope in Rome, wearing a crown and being carried high up through huge crowds in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome. Very few of my generation ever thought that we would see a Pope travelling by Aer Lingus on a Pastoral Visit to Ireland. This happened in September 1979 when Pope St John Paul II came to see us. Next summer, Pope Francis has said that he too will visit Ireland in connection with a meeting on the Family.

Just after I left home to go to the Passionist Novitiate in 1963, I heard word of the Church being described as the ‘People of God’. The Holy Spirit opened a window in the Church when Pope St John XXIII (his feast day is on Wed.) opened an Oecumenical Council. Some dust of the past flew out and the grace-filled gifts of God came among us.

This in no way makes the Pope redundant. In fact, the opposite is happening since then. The Pope has recovered his true shepherd role as ‘the servant of the servants of God’. Popes now wash feet when once a Pope on his knees did not seem appropriate or possible.

Let me pause here for a moment and pose another question to you about the ‘Church’. When we read today in the First Reading, ‘My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill’, what is Isaiah referring to? He is, I think, referring to the ‘Church’ as we know it today. God is the vinedresser who wants not just grapes, but His People to grow to our full potential in the sunshine of His love and care. This sunshine is the climate in which His grace comes to us. It comes especially through the Sacraments and sometimes through the people who love and cherish us. They are often God’s gifts to us by their presence and action.

St Paul in the 2nd reading today at Mass spells this out far better than I can. Writing to the Philippians, his first instruction is fascinating – ‘Do not worry about anything’. But, I am a worrier, have always been one and will probably die as a worrier. There is, though, an exit strategy offered by Paul, ‘but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.’ So now I am sharing with God my worries that upset and disturb me. And what has God promised to do? ‘The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

I love that. My and your worries are taken and shared with God. He is ‘Our Father’ who wants us to be at peace. The sign of peace at Mass is not an idle gesture. It is a pledge that the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding is with us and we want nothing but the best for the person next to us. That is our hope for the other because Jesus is the Prince of Peace who resides and reigns in our hearts. That is the People of God at our best. That is what Pope Francis is constantly saying and praying. The Papal Tiara or crown is gone, the ‘Sedia Gestatoria’ on which Popes were carried in the past are gone, but the beauty and power of God among His people is still there and flourishing.

In case I am coming across as making all this sound too easy for us, let me finish with the agenda Paul says we should be thinking about - whatever is:

  1. True
  2. Honourable
  3. Just
  4. Pure
  5. Pleasing
  6. Commendable
  7. Excellence
  8. Worthy of Praise

These will give me a new set of ‘worries’ or rather challenges to end needless worry. ‘Keep on doing these things, and the God of peace will be with you.’

StJoeParis

Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56
stjosephparis@wanadoo.fr

Designed by Bruno Valades