May 14th 2017

Please note that because of family holidays there will be no online newsletter for the next 3 weeks.

Contents:

  1. Parish Bulletin for Holy Family and Sacred Heart
  2. Newsletter for St Benedict's
  3. This Sunday's Readings
  4. Sunday Reflection
  5. CTS ebooks

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This Sunday's Readings

First Reading Acts 6:1-7

About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word'. The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.

Second Reading I Peter 2:4-9

The Lord is the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house. As scripture says: See how I lay in Zion a precious cornerstone that I have chosen and the man who rests his trust on it will not be disappointed. That means that for you who are believers, it is precious; but for unbelievers, the stone rejected by the builders has proved to be the keystone, a stone to stumble over, a rock to bring men down. They stumble over it because they do not believe in the word; it was the fate in store for them.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Gospel Reading John 14:1-12

Jesus said to his disciples: 'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too. You know the way to the place where I am going.'

Thomas said, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus said: 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him.'

Philip said, 'Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied'. 'Have I been with you all this time, Philip,' said Jesus to him 'and you still do not know me? To have seen me is to have seen the, Father, so how can you say, "Let us see the Father"? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work. You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason. I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.


Sunday Reflection

Most of us manage through the day without being bothered by the question of life itself. It can take all our time and energy merely to cope with what the day brings.

Nevertheless, there comes a time when we are forced to pause, because something happens that throws our routine into question - like the sudden death of someone very close to us, leaving a huge gap in our lives, and many questions in our mind. Things we took for granted, and ventures we thought important fade into insignificance against the reality of loss

In such a void, we can feel abandoned, alone, without direction, without purpose, friendless, and even homeless. Here we might pause a moment to reflect on "homelessness"

To be homeless is not just to have nowhere to go, but to be unwanted by anybody.

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of a good home - which is not just a house!

It is to have close ties and relationships with other people, where we are accepted as we are, and feel that we belong. Those who have some experience of homelessness can fully appreciate the benefits of a good home.

To be without faith is to be homeless in the deepest sense of all.

Without faith life is ultimately meaningless. It is like a journey that leads nowhere.

In today's scripture readings Jesus shows us the way by which we must travel to the fullness of God. He says:- "I am the way, the truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me". Only when we are united with Him can we reach the Father.

Jesus is the Truth. The truth is not a theory, it is a person. Jesus is the truth about God, as He is the truth about humanity. The One who walked the roads of Palestine, and ate with sinners is God's gift of His true self to us.

Jesus is the LIFE - as John announced at the beginning of his gospel:-

"Through Him all things came to be, not one thing had its being except through Him. All that came to be had life in Him" Our very life is a gift from God.

The disciples soon learn, when Jesus is no longer amongst them, that there are no ready answers to everything in this life. They have to work together to discern the way forward.

Jesus trusts His followers through the ages, to face the confusion and complexity of the world.

Looking to Jesus as the way, the truth and the life does not solve every question effortlessly.

Clearly, He wants us to put our Faith to work.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your friends the night before you died:-

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in Me".

Help us in the midst of all anxieties and uncertainties to go on trusting in you and in the Father, so that in time we may enjoy the peace and unity of your kingdom, where you live forever and ever.


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