25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 20th September 2020
StJOSEPH’S PASSIONIST CHURCH Website: www.stjoeparis.org
Dear Parents and 1st Communicants,
First Holy Communion on Sat. 10 Oct. will be at 12 noon Mass and another at 3 p.m. Mass. Even with 2 Masses, family members who can be present will be greatly limited. CCD class teachers will keep contact with you about this. I rely on your co-operation to make this work in the present situation. Please raise any questions with your CCD teacher. Many thanks for your understanding.
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Dear Confirmation Candidates and Families, Confirmation will be on Oct 11th at 3 p.m. with Bishop Jachiet. On Sat 19 Sept. Candidates meet with Bishop at St Joseph’s. Because we can only have one ceremony, the number of Family members who can be present in St Joseph’s will be greatly limited due to the present health regulations. CCD teachers are contacting you about details of this. I rely on you to co-operate as you always do. With a wonderful number of Candidates, we are working to ensure the health and safety of all. Aidan, C.P.
Collection 13 Sept : € 1,226.33 ; ADP : € 357 ; La Quête : € 14. 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 still open on website
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 Sunday 27th Sept is cancelled.
Feasts: Monday: St Matthew; Wed: St Padre Pio; Sat: Ss Cosmas & Damien.
Lenten Project 2020: € 10,441.30 is amount you donated. A school friend of mine died recently, left to me €2,500 for any good cause of my choice. €2,000 has been added to your donations and is going to Fr Rick, C.P. in Haiti. Total sent to Haiti: € 12,450. The other €500 is going to l’Oeuvre d’Orient for Beirut. €500 has been sent immediately after the explosion.
A Reflection on weekend Readings
When I was learning about Catholic Teaching, we were taught about ‘an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.’ That is a fundamental plank of our Church’s social teaching. Of course, a lot has changed since then, but the fundamental value of this teaching remains and is valid today.
Try as we may, it is not possible to justify in any way the payment of the workers in the vineyard parable of today’s Mass. Simply put, it is not fair. The owner could be asked why he was not generous with all the workers instead of those who worked for the shortest time? Of course, he was free to do what he wished with his own vineyard. The question arises then, why did Jesus tell this Parable?
To Appreciate the words and actions of Jesus, it is good to keep in mind that He was born into the Jewish race which was steeped in the Scriptures. Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Judith, Esther and many others spoke before Him. These Scripture Readings were heard in the Synagogue on Saturdays. The sacred texts were greatly revered.
One of the dangers within a believing community, then and now, is that a form of legalism creeps into the way of life. In Jesus’ day, there was a legalism about that led to a mentality that salvation could be earned. In fact, it was thought that salvation must be earned. We may notice how Jesus got into trouble over not observing the Sabbath, preventing the stoning of a woman caught sinning, expanding the definition of ‘who is my neighbour?’
Jesus understood this mentality, but it was essential that he challenge this way of thinking about God. That task continues in our day also.
When Jesus told the story of the workers in the vineyard, it challenged that way of thinking. The first workers and the last workers could ‘earn’ money, but the Parable is not about wages, but about Salvation. Salvation is a free and unearned gift of God to each of us. All is grace and depends on God and not on us.
Jesus wanted to teach us about the endless mercy and goodness of God. There is a full day’s work to be done. Jesus would not disagree with that. A part-time believer is not a follower of Jesus. Whether full-time or part-time, the gift of God is not earned or even deserved, at least in my case.
The Parables that Jesus tells are not only interesting stories. They are ‘windows’ into the mind and heart of God. Today, Jesus is showing us the unearned nature of salvation. When, by God’s grace, I get to Heaven, I will not be able to say to God anything other than, ‘Thanks’. If I had earned my salvation, I could show God my work time sheet - when I started and when I finished my good works.
Those who went into the vineyard at last hour did not choose to loiter about all day. Nobody wanted to hire them. There are people who are really good, but life deals them a tough hand. They would love to be called upon to help and to do good works. But nobody asks or invites them.
St Joseph’s is built on you, dear parishioners. It is not the priest alone who sustains this vibrant community. It is the Holy Spirit working in us all.
Sadly, we cannot have an Information Day next Sunday as usual. The Gospel today asks us to invite people who have just arrived to join as co-workers for the Kingdom of God. [Aidan, C.P.]