Day for Life is the day in the Church’s year dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death.
On this Day for Life 2018, let us pray for victims of human trafficking and victims of crime, and for the traumatised, the sick and the dying. We remember the most marginalised and all vulnerable people in our society, the unborn, the homeless and the lonely.
‘As human beings each of us has a common responsibility that upholds the worth of every human life, especially that of the most vulnerable. This common responsibility involves different specific responsibilities at different levels: international, national, local and individual.’ (From ‘Cherishing Life’ – The Bishops of England and Wales – 2004)
With you is the fountain of life. In your light, we see light. (Psalm 39 v 6).
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The Mass contains everything we need for Salvation. It is the summit and source of our Christian life.
This weekend we will be speaking at all Masses about how we express our reverence and the manner in which we receive Holy Communion. From time to time it is important that we examine our attitude to The presence of Christ truly present in the Holy Eucharist.
How do I approach this great mystery?
Do I approach Holy communion with a sense of awe, gratitude and devotion?.
The Church asks as to receive the host on our tongue or by creating a throne for the Lord with our hands and then consuming the host. This should be done immediately.
If we are carrying a child it is more dignified to receive Communion on the tongue rather than struggle to receive it in one hand.
The Bishops of England and Wales have stated that before we receive Holy Communion we should make a bow of the head. No one is obliged to genuflect or kneel.
If Angels could be jealous of us, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion. (St Maximilian Kolbe)
This weekend we welcome Fr Tony Chantry MHM, who will take the opportunity to thank the Parish for their support of prayers and donations to the 1069 World Missions.
Please note that there will be NO cash collection , the thank you and appeal is to inform you of the work carried out by APF-Mill Hill and to ask for continuing prayers and financial support, which can be given through their “ Red Boxes”
“Truly nothing is more beautiful than to know Christ and to make him known to others.” Pope Benedict XVI
This Sunday’s Gospel reading contains a rich variety of responses to the Resurrection of the Lord: alarm and fright, agitation, joy, disbelief and amazement. Can we put ourselves into the situation and imagine what those days must have been like for the apostles and their companions? They thought the end had come – the end of their hopes and expectations. Instead, Jesus, risen from the dead – flesh and bone - stands before them and eats a piece of grilled fish. This is an exhilarating scene which St Luke records in such wonderful detail. We can be sure that his sources were primary – those who saw the Lord and touched him and heard him speak and saw him eat did as they were told – they acted as witnesses. We thank God for their fidelity.
Is this the end of the story – a happy ending? Not at all. The point of the Resurrection is that it, far from being the happy ending, it is instead a new beginning. Clothed with the glorious, loving power of the Risen One we, like the apostles, are charged to go out and proclaim the forgiveness of sins, the promise of eternal life.
Rise heart; thy Lord is risen.
Sing his praise without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand,
that thou likewise with him mayst rise.
(From ‘Easter’ by George Herbert)
The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness. As we enter Holy Week we recall that in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, we are redeemed. Humanity and the whole of creation share in this grace filled action of God. Because of this we are called to care for creation as God loves, holds and sustains the work of his hands.
The earth and all it contains has been created by God. It is a gift, given to all for the good of all. The resources of the earth are not infinite. They have been given to us and to future generations. How we have treated and continue to treat the earth has profound impacts on people now and in the future. Too often we have destroyed elements of the earth for a quick gain.
Thank you for participating in this Love in Action process. If you have been moved in any way by the themes we have been looking at then on the 19th April from 7.30pm to 9pm or 5th May from 10.30am to 5pm there will be an opportunity to take part in developing our Love in Action Parish Plan, to reflect together on how our parish will respond to the needs of our parish will respond to the needs of our community having looked at the guidelines of Caritas.
Send forth your spirit O Lord and renew the face of the Earth.
If we truly believe that we are all sisters and brothers of one another, made in God’s image and likeness as seen in the guideline of human dignity, then seeking the good of one another cannot be ignored.Solidarity is not just feeling sorry for those who suffer. It is a commitment to action. It is love in action.
“We are all really responsible for all” – all of us. Wherever we are. Whatever our age. Whatever our circumstances. We are all responsible for one another, those close by, and those far away. All of our actions have consequences locally and globally. From how we treat people we meet in the street, to the coffee we buy in the supermarket.
Flowing from solidarity is the promotion of peace. If we are to live in solidarity with one another we must want the peace of all. Pope Francis warns us that “until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence.”
On the 19th April from 7.30pm to 9.00pm or 5th May from 10.30am to 5.00pm there will be an opportunity to take part in developing our Love in Action Parish Plan, to reflect together on how our parish will respond to the needs of our community having looked at the guidelines of Caritas
“There is no worse material poverty… than the poverty which prevents people from earning their bread and deprives them of the dignity of work."
Pope Francis, to a conference on unemployment, May 2013
The Church has long been a supporter of the right of people to work. Work is more than simply being able to earn money. It is about being able to support oneself, and one’s family. It is about finding a role and place within society. It is linked to flourishing as a person, and finding fulfilment, a sense of purpose and worth.
It is also about people being paid a just wage and having adequate facilities to do the work they are tasked with. This is why the Church has long been a supporter of both the Living Wage and Fair Trade movements. It is a way in which we can show our love in action.
As we continue to experience high levels of unemployment, especially for the young and those nearing the end of their working lives, how are we called, as a community, to support our sisters and brothers whose dignity is not being respected? And what will be the impact of Artificial Intelligence on our pattern of work?
John had never really had to worry about things like food. He could usually take his family on at least one holiday a year, and they always put something in the collection plate on a Sunday. Then the recession happened. His job wasn’t affected at first. But then more and more people were made redundant.It’s not that he hasn’t been looking for work, but there’s so little out there for his experience. At first, they made do. Friends and family have been so generous. Then all of a sudden, they realised that there just wasn’t enough money to buy a decent amount of food for the family to live healthily on.
Who are the poor within our own community, whether visible or invisible? How do we work alongside one another, learning and growing through the encounter with each person we meet?
Do take one of the prayer cards and reflection sheets home to discuss and use with friends.
The theme this week: “Call to Community and Participation”
No man is an island”, as John Donne’s poem begins.
As human beings, we are called to live in community, with others, growing together and flourishing as a result. We are also called to get involved.
At World Youth Day in 2013, Pope Francis challenged us:
“True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others”. Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel , 72
Observing the reality of the world, remembering that first guideline of the dignity of all people, we’re called to support one another. What are my gifts and talents which could be used to the advantage of the wider community? We are called to be active members of society, our local and global community.
Is this really the world that I desire? Is this really the world that we all carry in our hearts? Is the world that we want really a world of harmony and peace, in ourselves, in our relations with others, in families, in cities, in and between nations?
What is it to me that my sister or brother is in need?
I invite every parishioner, household, family and parish group to join with me in reflecting on the rich social teaching of our Church during Lent
Through Love in Action we are going to explore the guiding principles of Catholic social teaching - ways in which we can look at the reality of life in our community and discern how we can put love into action, and be a Caritas people.
Today we hear our Archbishop make an appeal to us in his pastoral letter to give generously of ourselves and our alms to create new opportunities to enable others to flourish.
He has written elsewhere “One of our treasures is Catholic social action…We have a word which beautifully describes this practical expression of Christian love: Caritas. Each Sunday we will hear how the teaching of Christ has been developed in the Church.
Each week resources for prayer, reflection and action will be available to take home or visit: www.caritaswestminster.org.uk
This week in the UK we have been celebrating the centenary of some women who were given the right to vote. Their slogan was “Action not Words”. That motto is a timely reminder that while words can move us, we will be know by our acts of kindness, compassion and mercy.
On Tuesdays in Lent I also invite you to REFRAME. Week by week we will look at ways of presenting our faith in an attractive way.
We are all invited to enter into Lent with open hearts minds and hands.