The British Pop group Mc Fly are back with a new hit song Happiness, One of Mc Fly’s most popular songs has a chorus that runs its all about you . It is a catchy number. We are prone to put Our self at the centre of any situation. We think that it is always about us, but?
Joseph Donders SMA recalls an incident as a seminary student in Rome in the 1950s.
It was chilly night in Rome. He with others went to the home of an extremely poor immigrant family. The family lived in a shelter made our of card board boxes, flattened petrol cans in the Valle del’Inferno, (The valley of Hell) by the walls of Vatican City. They had gone to give a blanket to a mother and child.
The neighbours saw what they did ,and immediately began to complain. It was unfair why hadn’t Joseph and his friends brought them all blankets. The students tried to explain that giving a blanket to a needy family with a frail child did not automatically create a right for everybody to have one. But it was no use the neighbours were angry because the students had shown kindness’ to others.
God hears many such complaints
Why are others healthy ,while I am sick and in pain
Why do others seem happy, while I am so miserable
Why did she have to die so young and not live into old age, like most people.
These are bitter ,heartfelt cries that no welfare system can quieten.
Our Sunday Gospel parable, (Matthew 20:1-16) addresses this problem. Everything is a gift from God and no-one has an a priori right to any -thing . Every-thing is a gift from God.
We are called to gratitude for what we have. When Jesus tells us the last will be first.. he does not intend to set up a queuing system for Gods gifts or rewards . He is reminding his listeners That In Gods eyes, the first and last are brothers and sisters who all stand before God as friends and equals. Its not all about Us- its all about God. That’s Happiness.
Some words stay with you. I heard a speaker once who said: We spend the first half of our lives going out, creating, building exploring being reckless. The Challenge of the second half of our lives is to forgive and to live with gratitude.
What in God’s name was wrong with the unforgiving servant? In the Sunday Gospel (Matthew Ch. 18;21-35) How could a man who was forgiven so much be so unforgiving about so little. A talent was the biggest unit of currency in the Middle East. If you had ten thousand of them, you’d be a billionaire. On the other hand, a denarius, was a labours wage for a day. Even if you had a hundred of them, you’d be going nowhere. Your biggest problem would be staying alive.
Why do we find it so difficult to forgive? We know that we have all been graced because of the forgiveness of another. We know too that forgiveness does not come easy. It can take a life time to forgive and accept forgiveness. The words of forgiveness have to take root in us. We need to accept, believe and live out of the forgiveness we have experienced. For many of us that is a daily challenge. Why? Could it be that we can’t believe that God really loves us, loves me. Could it be that we find it hard to believe some people just aren’t worthy of forgiveness. That’s why we need the grace of God. Jesus asks us to forgive seventy times seventy. Don’t be tempted to do the maths. It’s not the point. We demand incessantly from our fellow sisters and brothers what we think they owe us, without giving a moment’s thought to the immensity of the debt we owe God. Look in the mirror do you see a person worth forgiving.
I hope that when I reach the end of my earthly pilgrimage I will have lived gratefully and forgiven much. I have a long way to go.
Breaking news: With parishioners wearing face coverings and sitting a metre + apart we can now accommodate more parishioners at Mass. Please do book in to let us know you are coming and help us moderate the numbers…
You can say it boldly: “mind your own business” or you can be a little more amusing: “Hey, I found your nose, it was in my business again!” But the idea is the same, we don’t like it when people cross the boundaries into our private sphere. This is a very natural and good intuition. Unlike animals, we are persons, we have a unique identity, a personal inner life, a conscience, intimate thoughts, plans, memories, data… all of which we ought to protect in order to preserve our dignity and our freedom.
However, freedom has limits. Limits after which freedom stops being freedom to become something else. And how do we know if we have trespassed those boundaries? When we hurt ourselves or others, or if you prefer, when we choose something other than our good and the good of others.
The question is, what to do when someone chooses evil? Should we intervene and invade their personal life to warn them? Or should we mind our own business, and just stand back and watch? The readings this Sunday are unanimous in their answer: we have the duty of care; we have to correct our brothers and sisters. And not only that, the invitation of the Gospel is clear, if we truly love them, we must make our best to help our brothers and sisters recognise their error to the end, even if they are obstinate.
But many would ask: what about their freedom then? Well… Pope Francis put it once like this: “To be free is to choose always the good”. So, if someone is acting against their good and the good of others, they are not very free, so by correcting them we are not eliminating their freedom; we are actually making them freer. And, of course, we must not forget too, that when we ourselves receive good correction, it is not somebody poking their nose into our affairs, it is someone stretching their helping hand holding an invitation to true freedom.
Fr Daniel Herrero Pena
Revised provision of Mass during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mass timetable for this weekend 29th/30th August:
Sunday: 9.30 am, 11.00am
Monday – Friday: 10am
From Sunday September 6th our Mass timetable is revised as follows:
Saturday: vigil/anticipated 6.00pm
Sunday: 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.00 noon
Monday – Friday: 10am.
We are limited by the use of the 2 metre rule to 68 persons or households. A Household or family can sit together. It is essential that you register for a place at Mass. You can do this via our microsite: https://parish.rcdow.org.uk/kensington1/events/ With the number of parishioners returning from Holidays we anticipate greater demand for places. We will have to give priority to those who have pre-registered.
If you do not register and simply turn up you may have to wait to see if the number of pre-booked palaces have been exceeded. It may be necessary to ask you to come back later. We ask your patience and cooperation.
There is at current no obligation for the faithful to attend Sunday Mass. You can attend Mass on any weekday. All our Masses are live streamed on the main page of our website.
We will keep the provision of Mass under review so as to provide an opportunity for as many parishioners as possible to attend.
Don’t forget you face covering, if you are able to wear one