USING OUR GIFTS
Today we are presented with the parable of the Talents. Some of us may feel that our talents don’t amount to much, that we are not as gifted, say, as the ten-talent man in the parable, yet we all have some gifts, given by God for a purpose. Spiritual gifts are given for the good of all; if they are not used, they will not be fruitful, but when ordinary people accept and use their giftedness great things are achieved in the kingdom of God.
The first reading in today’s Mass is unusual, a poem in praise of a perfect wife from the end of the Book of Proverbs. It is certainly somewhat foreign to our culture and even seems condescending to women It might seem a little less strange if we imagine it as being written by an ancient Irish mother, anxious to find a suitable wife for her precious son! And in fact, this end section of the Book of Proverbs is headed “the sayings of Lemuel king of Massa, taught him by his mother.” The piece has been regarded as a poem in praise of wisdom, traditionally thought of as female. The wise person is someone who is loving, who helps those in need, who gives to the poor and is business-like and hardworking, someone who “gets on with it,” and uses his or her talents in loving service.
NOVEMBER A MONTH OF PRAYER AND REMEMBRANCE
Following our Annual Novena of Masses for the Holy Souls from November 2nd to 10th and the special Remembrance Masses last week, we continue to pray for our beloved dead in this month of November. We are encouraged to visit the burial places of our loved ones and are encouraged to pray there alone or with others from our household. A prayer leaflet has been prepared by the Office for Mission and Ministry of the Diocese, copies of a version of this of this are available in our Church during the open times for private prayer, and it can be downloaded from the Diocesan Website, and printed or read on our phones or other devices.
By a special mandate from Pope Francis this year the November Plenary Indulgences for the dead may be gained throughout the month. A plenary indulgence may be gained by visiting a church or oratory and there reciting one Our Father and the Apostles’ Creed on any day in the month of November, and a plenary indulgences to be gained once per day for visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead once per day on any eight days in November, which need not be consecutive, chosen by the person seeking the indulgence.
Those who are elderly, sick or otherwise vulnerable and unable to leave home due to Covid-19 restrictions, may gain these indulgences by praying for the dead before an image of Jesus or of the Blessed Virgin Mary, appropriate prayers include the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet or prayers from the Office of the Dead. The usual conditions (Sacramental Confession, reception of Holy Communion and Prayer for the Pope’s intentions) should be completed when this becomes possible.
Sincere thanks for the very generous response to the Autumn Dues appeal.
We have experienced difficulties with our live-streamed Mass transmissions from time to time, in particular occasional time lags of up to several minutes, we hope to have these issues resolved soon.
FR JEROME MURPHY O’CONNOR OP
Wednesday last 11th November was the seventh anniversary of the death of Fr. Kerry’s brother, Fr Jerome Murphy O’Connor. Fr Jerry who died in Jerusalem was one of the best-known New Testament scholars in the English-speaking Catholic world, and a frequent visitor to this parish. We remember him in our thoughts and prayers.
PARISH PASTORAL ASSEMBLY
A meeting of the Parish Assembly will take place on Monday, November 16, 2020, at 8pm (Zoom meeting).
Existing arrangements to comply with COVID-19 restrictions continue as follows as follows.
Church Open for Private Prayer
11.00 am – 6.00 pm Monday-Saturday
Live Streamed Masses:
10.00 am Monday-Saturday
6.00 pm Saturday (vigil)
10.00 am and 12.00 noon on Sunday
Permitted, subject to a limit of twenty-five people in the church, including the priest.
Permitted, subject to a limit of twenty-five people in the church, including the bride, groom, witnesses and the priest.
No baptisms for the time being.
POPE FRANCIS ON PRAYER
Pope Francis continued his catechesis on prayer in last Wednesday’s General Audience. He commented that Jesus prayed to his Father with perseverance. Three parables in Luke’s Gospel emphasize how we too need to be constant in our prayer.
The first parable, in which a man asks for help from a friend in the middle of the night and does not give up until his friend responds, teaches us the need to pray with insistence.
In the second parable, we see in the widow who persists in asking the unjust judge for justice, the importance of patience.
The third parable, that of the publican and the Pharisee at prayer in the Temple, reveals that God responds to those who pray with humility.
We see these three attitudes – insistence, patience, and humility – reflected in the saints who persevered in prayer through moments of darkness when God seemed to be silent or absent. May we continue to persevere in prayer conscious that we never pray alone, but with Christ himself, in the power of the Holy Spirit. As Saint Augustine succinctly puts it: Jesus “prays for us as our priest, he prays in us as our Head, and as our God, he is the one to whom we pray.”