Taste and See: Faith

Living Eucharist

Refugee Crib.jpg

Jeremiah said:

I hear so many disparaging me,
‘“Terror from every side!”
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’
All those who used to be my friends
watched for my downfall,
‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error.
Then we will master him
and take our revenge!’
But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero;
my opponents will stumble, mastered,
confounded by their failure;
everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.
But you, O Lord of Hosts, you who probe with justice,
who scrutinise the loins and heart,
let me see the vengeance you will take on them,
for I have committed my cause to you.
Sing to the Lord,
praise the Lord,
for he has delivered the soul of the needy
from the hands of evil men.

Jeremiah 20:10-13

Many of us hearing the above reading, the first for Mass, yesterday, the 12th Sunday of the Year, will have…

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Taste the ‘Joy of the Gospel’

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DSC09690 Cite de l'architecture .jpgA reminder of the words of Pope Francis urging us to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus. in whom there is joy for the world.

The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew.

This is good news for the world…

 

The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.

The Gospel is also good news for Christians, inviting us to joy. We face the same temptation away from ‘real’ life to the idols of consumerism. As Pope Francis notes…

This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.

But there is a further danger for us. We may end up substituting ‘religious observance’ for the life of faith.

If the fruit of personal relationship with Jesus is joy, ‘religious observance, keeping the rules more or less, but missing the heart of it, may end up leaving us subject to the pretty much the same (un)spiritual consequences as are produced by consumerism!

So, says Pope Francis:

I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”. The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”.

How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!

One tried and trusted way of deepening our personal relationship with Jesus is to get to know him better through the Sunday Gospel.

  1. During the days before Sunday, read the Gospel of the Sunday. Ask yourself how Jesus is in the gospel, what does his way of behaving show us? What do his words reveal about him, and about the Father. Sometimes there are puzzling features of a Gospel passage. Don’t get distracted by those: the evil one would much rather we bury our nose in commentaries, or give up reading, rather than allow us to look to Jesus. So focus on what is clear, on the who and how of Jesus. Of course, if you want to check the commentaries or ask others about the puzzling bits, fine, but keep things in proportion!
  2. When you come to Sunday Mass, spend a little time before Mass speaking to the Jesus you have met in the Gospel; and again during the time of Collection and Offertory; and again at the end of the Mass.
  3. And in the days after Sunday go back to the Gospel. Consider what you have learnt from it about Jesus and about yourself. In the quiet of prayer speak with Jesus about what you have learnt, and what you hope for…

And come Thursday, start again with the Gospel of the next Sunday.

  • Where can you find the Sunday Gospels? Well, they are posted on this Blog each Thursday, or you may find it easier to use a Sunday Missal… Or use the Universalis app…

 

Quotations from Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii gaudium).

Smiling Angel. Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris. (c) 2015.

 

Speak Lord: My protector

Living Eucharist

Prophet Louvres.jpg

Jeremiah said:

I hear so many disparaging me,
‘“Terror from every side!”
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’

All those who used to be my friends watched for my downfall, ‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error. Then we will master him and take our revenge!’

But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero; my opponents will stumble, mastered,
confounded by their failure;
everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.

But you, O Lord of Hosts, you who probe with justice, who scrutinise the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.

Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men.

Jeremiah 20:10-13

The First reading at Mass today comes from the prophet of Jeremiah and tells both of his trials and persecution, and, especially, of his trust in the Lord who is his protector…

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Speak Lord: Comfort in our need

Living Eucharist

In your great love, answer me, O Lord.

DSC01801 Macquete for memorial Tikhvin Cemetery St petersburg

It is for you that I suffer taunts,
that shame covers my face,
that I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I burn with zeal for your house
and taunts against you fall on me.

In your great love, answer me, O Lord.

This is my prayer to you,
my prayer for your favour.
In your great love, answer me, O God,
with your help that never fails:
Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
in your compassion, turn towards me.

In your great love, answer me, O Lord.

The poor when they see it will be glad
and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy
and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
Let the heavens and the earth give him praise,
the sea and all its living…

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Boldmere Festival

Enjoy Boldmere festival tomorrow..

  • Those coming to 6pm Mass please note carpark will be closed until 5pm tomorrow, 
  • School carpark will also be open tomorrow evening.

The Methodist church will be serving tea and scones all day – do pop in and support them. Funds go to helping with their ‘Welcome’ project

Boldmere Street Festival is back!:Saturday 24th June

Stalls open 3pm to 9pm

Live music 5pm to 10pm

Road closed 4pm to 11pm

The Tipple Truck will be there to give you a preview of what to expect from Friday 30th June.

7th Son will be performing live at Harvester in the evening and there will be an Autism Fundraiser sweet shop at The Bishop Vesey from 2pm to 5pm.

Speak Lord: Healing Saviour

Living Eucharist

Adam Cracowa.jpg

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given. There was no law and so no one could be accused of the sin of ‘law-breaking’, yet death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even though their sin, unlike that of Adam, was not a matter of breaking a law.

Adam prefigured the One to come, but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift.

Romans 5:12-15

The Second reading at Mass on Sunday, the 12th Sunday of the Year, points to a deeper wound to human living…

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Providing a permanent night shelter for homeless people in Birmingham

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Tabor House poster web.jpg

Tabor House, Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter for homeless people, is opening in September. Could you volunteer as a host or mentor?

Please come along to an open evening on Thursday 13 July, 6-9pm, at St Anne’s Catholic Church, 96 Bradford Street, Birmingham B12 0PY. Contact Christy Acton on 01675 434064 to find out more.

Father Hudson’s Care is working with partners to open a year-round night shelter for homeless people in Birmingham. Tabor House is due to open on 27 September.

A building in Digbeth is in the process of being converted to provide suitable accommodation, and Father Hudson’s Care has  recruited two new members of staff for the project.

Tabor House, however, will rely on a large number of volunteers to act as hosts and mentors to our guests. Come to the open evening to learn more – and see more information about various volunteer roles below:

A reminder of Mission Brazil

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A group of 25 young adults from the Archdiocese of Birmingham are travelling to the mountains of Brazil this Summer to spend two weeks serving children and families living in the poor settlement of Meio da Serra
They are desperately looking for donations listed below to take with them in their luggage.
Please support this incredible opportunity, perhaps encourage your youth group/school to get involved.
Donations to the project
can be made at St Nicholas church
THIS WEEKEND ONLY