24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 13th September 2020
StJOSEPH’S PASSIONIST CHURCH Website: www.stjoeparis.org
Dear Parents and 1st Communicants, 30th May date could not be kept due to lockdown. 10th October is new date for 1st Communions for over 40 children. It will not be possible for all to be at the one Mass due to health regulations. This is regrettable, as is not having the party to cut the cake!
One group will be at 12 noon and another at 3 p.m. Even with 2 Masses, family members who can be present will be greatly limited. CCD will be in contact with you about this and Classes. I know I can rely on your support and co-operation to make this work in the present situation. Please do not hesitate to raise any questions with your CCD teacher. Many thanks for your understanding.
Dear Confirmation Candidates and Families, Confirmation is on Oct 11th with Bishop Jachiet. Sat 19 Sept, Candidates will meet Bishop Jachiet at St Joseph’s beginning at 10.00 a.m. Confirmation Oct 11th will be at 3 p.m. Family members who can be present in St Joseph’s will be limited due to present health regulations. CCD teachers will be in contact with you about details of preparation. I know I can rely on you to co-operate with them. Aidan, C.P.
Anyone concerned about coming to Mass at a weekend should, in good conscience, join a Mass online or at a weekday Mass. Please do not put yourself at risk, those at home or working with you.
Collection 6 Sept : € 1,285.60 ; ADP : €1,997 ; La Quête : € 5. Thanks for your constant and generous support.
St Joseph’s Masses in Sept. 2020:
8.30 a.m. Mon – Fri [No prior contact]
11.00 a.m. Saturday [No prior contact]
6.30 p.m. Sat Vigil [Prior Registration] *
10.00 a.m. Sunday [PRIOR Registration] *
12.00 p.m. Sunday [PRIOR Registration] *
6.30 p.m. Sunday [Prior Registration] *
*Preregistration for w/end Mass essential www.stjoeparis.org and follow link.
Confession: Sat 11.30 – 12.30 & 5 – 6 pm
Registration 2021 is open on website
19 Sept Confirmation Retreat at 10 am:
10 Oct CCD First Communions: 12 noon & 3.00 p.m. [See message in first column.]
11 Oct Confirmation begins at 3 pm
Summer Fair planned for Sunday 27th Sept is regrettably cancelled due to COVID-19.
Feasts: Monday: The Glorious Cross; Tues: Sorrows of Mary; Wed: St Cornelius; Thurs: St Robert Bellarmine; Sat: Our Lady of La Salette. All the Saints, pray for us.
Coffee morning on 17 Sept. cancelled.
A reflection for this weekend
There is a lot in the readings at Mass today about mutual forgiveness. This is part of the ‘hard’ gospel message. Meeting people who have lost loved ones through violence; had a child violated; a person held up to ridicule without any foundation, can tell us how it is next to impossible to forgive. It may not be helpful to keep telling them they should forgive the other.
When the gospel tells us to love our neighbour, the details of what is involved are often not spelt out. But in being asked to forgive, it is a specific person, a defined deed or situation that hurts, or myself, and it is crystal clear who is to be forgiven.
Our world has many needs. The present pandemic which may continue for some time, has brought death and immense suffering. Please God, one day sooner rather than later, it will be controlled and not pose a daily threat as at present. Wars in distant lands among people whom I will never meet most likely, can be heart-rending to see the suffering caused. But they are distant and eventually most conflicts will end, and peace may be rebuilt. There are other examples you may wish to ponder along the same lines.
A lack of forgiveness in the human heart can be carried to the grave. The person goes on living what looks like a normal and full life. They continue to do their best for their family, or in their priesthood, in their career and to be a true friend to others.
A lack of forgiveness is a hidden illness of the soul. The spirit within is wounded and a person is not able to become and to achieve all that was in God’s dream when creating them.
The example of debt-forgiveness in the Gospel by the first person was of an immense amount. There never was a chance that it could be repaid, even though that was the aspiration of the debtor. That same person was owed a paltry amount by comparison and could not repeat the generosity of forgiveness that they had received.
This does not surprise me. I think of how God has loved me and how I have over my lifetime, failed in love of God and of you. At the end of each day, in my night prayers I make an Act of Contrition. I know that God hears and forgives me. When I go to Confession to celebrate this amazing forgiveness, the voice I hear is that of the priest, but it is Jesus who says to me, ‘I absolve you from your sins.’ He whispers, ‘Go in peace’. And I do.
With all that, I am the first to say that forgiveness is among the toughest call God makes on a person. When I pray about what I have not forgiven or am holding onto, I get very embarrassed. It is not only the person whom I will not forgive, but in that person, I refuse to love God by my unforgiving heart. The Cross of Calvary goes on in the Body of Christ.
All Prophets in Revelation have, in one way or another, preached forgiveness and a change of heart. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, with one word, ‘Repent’. Jesus spilt His blood to show us how much we are loved, cherished and forgiven.
All that said, the greatest challenge remains to let go and to let God take charge, a message I often find hard to accept. Yet, it is all that matters and without it, our world is doomed. It comes down to good or evil, to God or Satan. Jesus has won the victory and our challenge is not to lose it.