Care Group Meeting 30th November 11am in parish room at Cranleigh
Dear Brothers and Sisters
You must have been living in a very remote place over the last couple of years if you are unaware that there is a kind of war going on in our nation and, indeed, among many nations all over the world. It is a war that seems to have no end and is fiendishly difficult to evaluate. Are we winning it or losing it? What is it all about?
It is the war for truth – a value the Catholic Church holds in very high esteem indeed. In fact, there are many battles going on in this war. One of them is to counter the suggestion that there is, in fact, no such as thing as objective truth. There is only my truth, and yours, and both need only be true for me to be more or less completely valid.
The other battle is to try and establish what counts for truth in the first place. What can we trust as ‘true’? Who can we trust as ‘truthful’?
It might come as a surprise to you to hear that the Catholic Church believes that some things are truth, we might say. That is, independent of my perspective, or yours, or indeed anyone’s some things are truth, truthful and trustworthy. What sort of things might those true things be?
One of the true things is that God is true and truthful. He is only truth and can never deceive or lie, or anything that would undermine trust in Him. God is ‘who he says he is’.
“I am who am” – it says in the Bible when Abraham asks about God’s name. They may strike you as, perhaps, a little evasive on the part of God. I mean, why couldn’t he have a good old godlike name like Hercules, or Thor, or Susan? But instead he answers that he is above naming because he ‘is who he is’. He is true to himself. He ‘is’. Simples! Obviously not so simple!
One of the things that we Catholics also believe is a truth about being human. We believe in the essential goodness and truth about each and every human being. Every person is – just that – a person who is not defined as suchbecause they are more beautiful than another, cleverer than another, worthier than another. Every human person is infinitely worthy in God’s eyes because each and every person is made in His image and likeness even though (and here is another truth of the Church) every ordinary human person is ‘fallen’ – that is to say not the full image and likeness of God. Only Jesus is the perfect image and likeness of God who is not only holy, almighty, omnipotent and glorious, but love. So, if we need to discover the truth about ourselves as human beings we need look no further than Jesus Christ. Likewise, if we need to know the perfect truth about God then we need to pay attention to what Jesus tells us, and shows us, of God. He is like a Father… He is like a shepherd… He is like a King….He is ….worth paying attention to.
So today we celebrate Jesus as King of the Universe. Straight away this title lifts Jesus out of the petty kingdoms of the world – out of the Trumps, the Sauds, or whoever. His kingdom is not of this world – it is a kingdom of love and peace, of tender kindness – compassion in other words. He is a king “lowly and humble, riding on a donkey” who will not “break the bruised reed”, nor judge unjustly those who his subjects. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” and as he himself says today in his Gospel – all who are on the side of truth “listen to my voice.”
At mass we listen to his voice in the scriptures, in the homilies, and in the silence of our hearts. May the Lord speak to you today afresh and call you to himself to hear his word of forgiveness, of strength, of peace, and of love.
With my very best wishes, Fr David.
Donations of warm clothes, shoes, bedding, cooking and camping equipment can be left in the Parish Office for collection on 2ndDecember to go to overseas Refugees.
CAFOD World Gifts – the true spirit of Christmas Giving
Give a gift that will change a life . There are gifts for every budget from Happy Queen Bee at £4 to Help a Refugee child at £46. Each CAFOD World gift has been chosen for the real and lasting difference it makes to families living in developing countries . Catalogues are available at church or you can buy online at cafod.org.uk/worldgifts
Alton Day of Renewal Reminder
Don’t forget, Saturday 24th November is our last meeting of the year in Alton, and our speaker is the inspiring evangelist David Matthews. We do hope you can join us, to finish off our year of Renewal and Mission with a great celebration in the power of the Holy Spirit!
You can find full details of this meeting, and next year’s programme, on our website http://www.altonrenewal.com which also features new pages on evangelism and prayer.
Red Wednesday-28th November
Aid to the Church in Need have encouraged all Christians to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians from around the world on Wednesday 28th November in a day they have called Red Wednesday. Students at St Peters Catholic School would therefore like to invite you to gather with us as we pray for persecuted Christians in our New School Chapel. The Chapel will be open for quiet prayer from 12.30pm. This will then lead into a prayer service by our students at 12.45pm followed by some more time of private prayer until 1.15pm. We encourage all those attending to wear something red. There is no need to confirm attendance please turn up on the day. Parking will be available at St Pius X Church just across the road. We look forward to welcoming you to St Peters to join us as we pray for those who do not have the same freedom we do to practice their faith.