20th September 2020, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Season of Creation is a time set aside by Pope Francis for all of us to reflect on our place within the story creation and to accept our individual and collective responsibility to care for our common home. The season of creation offers all of us a unique opportunity to renew our vocation to become stewards of God’s creation. Our commitment to the care of our common home is not something optional, or some kind of add-on to our faith, or some kind of extra; instead as Pope Francis continually reminds us, the care of creation is at the centre of our Christian faith. Our theme this year is Cultivating Hope. We are aware that alongside the environmental crisis we are also in the midst of an international health crisis.

 

A PARABLE OF MERCY

Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard tells us of God’s goodness to those who do not deserve it.  At times, we may have something of the attitude of the workers who worked a full day, the attitude of the elder brother of the prodigal son. God’s goodness to others, to repentant sinners who in our estimation certainly do not deserve the same treatments as us, will only be a source of envy if we don’t really know God. We are called to have the Father’s attitude of love. We don’t earn our salvation, we just accept it as God gives without limit.   The master of the vineyard gives us an example of God’s ways, which are not our ways.  In the first reading of today’s Mass we read: “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.   Yes, the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.”

The parable of the vineyard is a parable of God’s goodness, of his grace. The Kingdom of Heaven is the kingdom of the new commandment of love.  If we try to live in accordance with that commandment and to seek to know the Lord when he is still to be found, we will indeed find him, and know that peace of Christ which is beyond all human understanding.

 

First Holy Communion and Confirmation

Confirmation ceremonies will be held on Wednesday 7th October, and Wednesday 14th October, at 12.00 noon.

First Holy Communion Masses will take place on Saturday 17th October, at 10.00 am and 12.00 noon.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions the number of people present in the church for each ceremony will be limited to the pupils receiving the sacrament, their parents and one other person only for each family.

 

Ballinlough Parish Confirmation and First Holy Communion ceremonies will be  celebrated in the Church of Christ the King this autumn at dates from Wednesday 30th September to Thursday 22nd October.

 

Parish Dues

The weekend Mass offertory collection is for the upkeep and day to day running costs of the Church and payment of staff other than priests.   The Priests’ income consists largely of the Spring and Autumn Dues together with the Christmas Day and Easter Sunday collections, and Frs. Billy and Kerry are very grateful for your consistent financial support over the years.

Because of the Covid-19 closure of churches the normal Spring Dues and Easter Sunday collections did not take place.  Some parishioners contributed directly, and this is very much appreciated.  This year we will only have one Dues collection and parishioners are now invited to contribute their Autumn Dues. Dues envelopes are being posted to those contributors for whom we have a postal address.  Those who have not had an opportunity to make a Spring dues and Easter contribution may increase their Autumn dues, but only if they are in a position to do so comfortably.  We are grateful for your continued support. 

 

Help Needed

The generous work of our Parish Stewards at every weekend Mass makes it possible to keep the church open for public Mass during this time of continuing Covid-19.  We would be grateful for more help, so if you would like to serve the mission of the parish please consider volunteering as a Steward.  This involves a commitment to be part of a team for one of the weekend Masses.  At present the stewards attend every week when they can, a larger number would make it possible to have a less demanding roster. Those interested may give their names to one of the priests.