Amos 7:12-15, Psalm 84, Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6:7-13.
The telephone rings and a recorded voice tells you that you have been chosen as the lucky winner of a competition you have never entered. You have won a luxury holiday in the Caribbean. It is of course a scam. All you have to do is to ring a number beginning 118 to get the details. You will be charged up to £3.50 per minute, plus a one-off call charge of up to £7. And you can be sure that quite a few minutes will pass before you realise that you have been taken for a ride.
Today’s readings assure us that we have been chosen. This is no scam, but it may cost. So, is it worth it? The prophet Amos was chosen by God to be a prophet and his task was to engage with godlessness and with the terrible economic injustices in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. When Amaziah told Amos to go back to Judah and earn his living and do his prophesying there, Amos was quick to reply that he had not chosen to be a prophet. ‘I was a shepherd and looked after sycamores: but it was the Lord who took me from the flock, and the Lord who said, ‘Go prophesy to the people of Israel.’ And prophesying against the exploitation of the poor will always attract opposition from by the rich and the powerful.
In the Gospel Jesus sends the twelve out with authority to confront evil spirits and to heal but he warns them that they and their message will not always be welcome: ‘if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away, shake off the dust from under your feet as sign to them.’
Despite such opposition, God’s call of us is indeed good news. The letter to the Ephesians spells out just how good it is. We were ‘chosen before the world was made.’ God ‘chose us chose us in Christ to be holy and spotless and to live through love in his presence.’ This, good news of God’s love for each one of us is no scam. It is the result of God’s ‘own kind purposes.’ Through the death of Christ God has made us his children, given us our freedom and the forgiveness of our sins. And it is all gift—that is what grace means; a wonderfully generous, wholly underserved gift; ‘Such is the richness of his grace that he has showered on us.’ And this grace means that we have been given to understand God’s ‘hidden plan’ that the whole of history will come to its fulfilment in Christ.
If we desire to enter more deeply into understanding the meaning of our own baptism and confirmation, we can do no better than to read and reread it and to mediate upon its meaning. It is, after all, about a rich prize we have been given--our life in Christ.
Parish News: Fr Daniel Herrero Pena.
After 3 years as assistant priest with us Fr Daniel will take up a new appointment in September. He has been appointed as the assistant priest to Our Lady of Grace, Chiswick and also serving the parishes of Grove Park and Gunnersbury.
The Cardinal has appointed the Rev Marco Salvagnini to succeed Fr Daniel as the assistant priest for our parish. Marco was ordained to the priesthood last Saturday, June 26th. You can see some of the photos using the button below.
The first anniversary of Fr Freddie's death will fall on Saturday the 17th of July. The 6.00pm Mass that evening will be offered for the repose of his soul. Members of his family will be joining us.
We had hoped that the social distancing regulations would have been lifted. Unfortunately we still have to limit the number of people who can attend the Mass.
Please, pray from our children and young people, who will be receiving their First Holy Communion and confirmation in the next months of June and July.
Stella Maris is the largest ship-visiting network in the world, and the official maritime charity of the Catholic Church. It was founded in Glasgow in 1920 by a group of Catholic men and women with the founding belief that every seafarer deserves fair working conditions and respect for their human rights. The shipping industry has changed dramatically in the last 100 years and the work of Stella Maris has evolved to make sure that the changing needs of seafarers can still be met today, but the mission of Stella Maris remains the same, to provide care and support for the people of the sea.
Seafarers often have to work away from their families and local communities for nine to 12 months at a time. Across the world, Stella Maris aims to provide a ‘friend in every port’ and stand alongside seafarers and fishermen to ensure their rights are upheld. For 100 years Stella Maris has been extending the hand of friendship and welcoming seafarers and fishermen to our shores.
Life at sea can be difficult. Seafarers and fishermen can suffer from loneliness, depression, spiritual deprivation, and even exploitation. Chaplains and volunteers visit hundreds of thousands of seafarers and fishermen every year. They listen and chat, they arrange Mass onboard ships, they offer practical help in a crisis and bring free Wi-Fi onboard so seafarers can call home.
Often, these simplest practical kindnesses make the greatest difference Chaplains and volunteers make more than 70,000 ship visits each year and support hundreds of thousands of seafarers and fishermen in times of need. Catholic faith is at the heart of Stella Maris, it inspires, enlivens, and motivates our work, and is expressed through a loving care of the people of the sea of all faiths and none.
If you would like to support the work of Stella Maris please pick up an envelope from the back of the church or donate online using the button below.