- MARY’S NEWSLETTER
5, Cresswell Park, SE3 9RD
Tel. 020 8852 5420
Mass times: Saturday: 6.30 pm (first Mass of Sunday) Sunday: 9.30 am, 11.00 am, 7.30 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 10.00 am Tuesday and Thursday: 7.30 am Eucharistic Service: Tuesday 10.00 am Confessions: Saturday 12 to 1.00 pm
Today is the Twenty-Eight Sunday of the Church’s year.
Next Sunday there is the annual second collection for the Missions.
Today is also the feast of St. Edward the Confessor, the great English Saint who is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Thank you for your generous donations to the Cafod Autumn Fast day which amounted to £786.61.
Several saints this week. Tuesday is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila. During our visits to Spain several of us have visited her convent on the edge of the town. There is a strange story about this that I will have to tell you some time.
Thursday is the feast of St Ignatius of Antioch and Friday the feast of St. Luke.
It is always good to learn some new tricks: I have worked out how to adjust the spacing on the Word programme so in future it is possible to provide more information in the newsletter.
A reminder that the first Latin class is at 4pm on Saturday 26th October in the Angelus Room.
The news lavatories in the big hall area great improvement. It was discovered that we need to improve the was need to improve the water flow from the tank and this will be put in hand. To Ikea recently to buy some new items to finish the job. Please help me by keeping everything clean and tidy.
A recipe that you must try some time. You will need some pasta. Add some pieces of broccoli. some slivers of anchovy and some fragments of almonds. Flavour with olive oil and black pepper.
I quoted some of this from Chesterton the other week and you might like a little more:
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.
And a prayer for today: Direct me by your wisdom, correct me by your justice, comfort me by your mercy, protect me by your power. Amen.
Now some technical information: you may have seen that the Wright Company in Northern Ireland has experienced some financial difficulty. It makes the Streetdek buses which operate on route 202. A rescue bid may be possible and negotiations are continuing.
The pots of basil in the house are doing very well. The birds and the insects look at them enviously but it is too great a risk to place them outside in the garden.
Clodagh Woodall asked if anyone (not already on the reading rota) who would like to read at mass, could contact her by email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) for the 2020 reading rota. New readers are needed, with a commitment to read of no more than 6 times a year – in particular for the 9.30 and 11 o’clock masses. If you would like to read but not be on a rota, you can volunteer for a reserves list to help if there are some gaps.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon
Twenty eighth Sunday of the year.
Today stories of Leprosy – in the first reading with the cure of Naaman, a commander in the army of the king of Aram, in southern Syria – and the Lord’s cure of the ten lepers.
First what is leprosy – nowadays known as Hansen’s disease – it is a virus which causes damage to the features of the face and extremities of the body such as hands and feet – nowadays it is mostly controlled by drugs but it is still prevalent in parts of Africa and Asia. In itself it is not immediately infectious but can be caught from prolonged contact with a sufferer. The external appearance of the leper is distressing as it shows the extensive damage that has been caused. In biblical times, it is possible that leprosy was a generic term, used for all types of skin infection, rather than the specific disease that we know today. The biblical laws, given in the book of Leviticus suggest ways of controlling all types of infectious disease.
And it can affect anybody – Naaman the army commander who is has become infected, possibly during one of his campaigns – and the ten lepers, wandering as outcasts along the border between Samaria and Galilee – there is something curious here as according to the law, lepers were expected to live apart – but the gospel says that as the Lord entered one of the villages, the lepers came out to meet him – although it is not named, it is possible that the village was a leper colony so that they would live apart and there is the extra-ordinary detail that the Lord chooses to enter the village.
And the cure – the Lord tells them that they are cured – go and show yourselves to the priests. There is a stage in leprosy when they become what is known as burnt out cases. It does not mean that they are perfectly restored – that they are fully healed and the outward signs disappear – it is rather than the disease has run its course – there will be no more damage and they are no longer infectious. The specialist priests in Jerusalem had the responsibility to pass judgment on such cases. So an act of faith is required, to accept the Lord’s word that they have been cured and to set out for Jerusalem so that this can be confirmed. There is something slightly different in the story – we only have part of it in the reading today – he asks for a cure from Elisha and anticipates that this will involve an elaborate ritual – and feels quite resentful when he is told simply to go and bathe in the River Jordan – he is cured so that his flesh is perfectly restored – so that possibly his sickness was not leprosy in the strict sense.
So these then are details from the Scripture readings today – but how to interpret them. May I suggest that it might be seen as an image of the way in which sin can be forgiven. There is the great difference between human forgiveness – after an offence has been caused – and the forgiveness of God. With human forgiveness the memories remain – sometimes signs of what has happened and the fear that it might be recalled at some time in the future. But with the forgiveness of God, there is a total remission – as thought the past has come to an end and the sin is no more. It takes faith to recognise this – there are not any external signs or forms – just as the lepers had to recognised that they had been cured – Naaman recognising the cure from Elisha and the ten as they set off to obtain formal confirmation that their infection had come to an end. Forgiveness requires faith, but it is no less real. And then following from this – the faith leads to a sense of gratitude – as we again find in the gospel story today – go on your way, your faith has saved you.