10th Sunday of Year 9th June 2013

07/06/2013

St John the Evangelist

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice;

Revd. Philip White; Revd. Michael Daly phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

websites: www.stjohnevang.co.uk www.lpa24.org

10th Sunday of Year 9th June 2013

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE GRACE OF BEREAVEMENT?

It’s hard to imagine the grief of the widow in today’s reading as she takes part in the funeral of her only son. How anyone can cope with such a situation is hard to fathom.

When someone we love dies, our first reaction is often shock and denial. Nothing seems to make sense; we can hardly believe it and we keep thinking that it’s all some sort of mistake, even if we’ve been expecting it for months or even years. We can feel numb, and there seems no point in lots of things that previously we took for granted. Yet this shock and denial can be our way of getting through things, since without it everything could become too much for us. Could it be that shock and denial are part of God’s grace?

And we can feel angry. Maybe we direct our anger at the easiest targets; perhaps it’s the medical staff, maybe it’s the priest, often it’s the Church or even God. Later, it becomes those who didn’t attend the funeral, those who never sent their condolences, those who’ve avoided you since the death. And sometimes we get angry at ourselves, blaming ourselves for not doing enough, being hard on ourselves for not being as loving as we could have been. Such anger is a powerful thermometer of our love for the person who has died. And love, of course, is grace.

But anger like this inevitably leads us to feelings of guilt. We feel that somehow we have let ourselves down as well as the other person. We experience bargaining situations with God or whomever we believe in. “What if….”, “If only… ” There’s a real temptation to go back in time and act in such a way that the death could be avoided and the clock turned back. Sometimes people go through these feelings even before their loved one has actually died. “I’ll go to church every day of my life if you stop this happening….I’ll give half of my life savings to charity…..” We try to negotiate our way out of the hurt. Doing this promotes healing. And healing, of course, is grace.

It’s not surprising that people become depressed in bereavement. It’s perfectly normal to feel depressed under such circumstances; it’s a natural reaction. We don’t feel like doing much and we resist the advances of those people who try to coax us back into the swing of things. Besides, when a fog hangs over us and we go in and out of nostalgia and sadness, we can sometimes find it hard to envisage where we will be this time next month or next year. Yet grief is part of the healing process that restores us to some sense of equilibrium.

With the passing of time, however long or short, we manage to accept if not exactly embrace what has happened. This does not mean that everything gets back to normal, that all is OK, that we can now put it all behind us. That would be impossible, not to mention cold and inhuman. But we do reach a stage where we can survive, where we can be grateful for our time with the person we loved, where we go from good days to bad and back again, and where we realise that this new reality is with us for the rest of our lives. We realise that other people still need us and that we are called to respond to the world and to life.

On that day in the town of Nain, no one could have missed the grace of God at work when Jesus raised the widow’s son to life. Today, when we are faced with bereavement for the loss of someone we love, there is no shortage of God’s grace.

WORD OF GOD

“Young man, I tell you to get up.” And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

(Luke 7: 14-15)

WORD FOR TODAY

Do we compartmentalise our faith? Do we see it as something apart from “real” life or is it something that inspires and enlivens our daily activity? Today, in the midst of death and bereavement, Jesus brings hope and life to a dead man and his mother. What he did for them, he promises to do for you.

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.

John Taylor.

Lord, for your faithful people, life is changed not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.

(Roman Preface of the Dead)

Deliberate repeat!

There is a sacredness in tears.

They are not the mark of weakness,

but of power.

They speak more eloquently

than ten thousand tongues.

They are the messengers

of overwhelming grief,

of deep contrition,

and of unspeakable love.

(Washington Irving)

A frequent user of Twitter and one of his recent tweets!

Pope Francis (@Pontifex)
The world tells us to seek success, power and money;
God tells us to seek humility, service and love
10th Sunday of Year 9th 5.30pm

10am

7.30pm

Hanora Barrett (1st anniv.)

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mon 10th. 9.15 Teresa Dyson
Tues 11th. 9.15 Joe Moore
Wed 12th. 9.15 Peter Haslock
Thurs 13th. 8am Fred Archbold
Friday 14th. 9.15 Jack Lowe
Sat. 15th. 12md Carmelite Mass
11th Sunday. 16th. 5.30pm

10am

7.30pm

Mrs Whalley

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Colette Howes, Barbara Gillespie, Doreen Wrigg, John Price, Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, Margaret Randles, Teresa McLean, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, Mary Bryden, Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Christopher & Raymond McNally & Colette Reevey. Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Please note that Morning Prayer is celebrated 15 minutes before the start of each weekday mass

Money- thank you for your generosity

Offertory: £816 90p

Boiler: £19 50p

Book Sales £12

120 Club winners: No. 109 D McLean £20

If you wish an item to appear in the newsletter please email us at the parish address as early as possible in the week. The newsletter is usually completed by Thursday morning and is printed on Friday. Unfortunately for latecomers a Reuter news agency does not operate in New Ferry!

Re issue of baptism/ wedding certificates will involve a fee. Please keep these documents safely to avoid further expense to yourself.

Members of the Parish team are called to a meeting this coming Wednesday at 7.30pm. Please make every effort to attend.

Sunday June 22nd 2014 is the date for Lion King and the matinee performance is at 2.30pm. The tickets are £45 each.

The list (now closed) at the back of church needs the urgent attention of those who have not yet amended it with a tick. A tick is required to confirm your order, or it is requested that you delete your names from the list (some people have already done this) double tick if you have paid and further amend with word ‘PAID’. Payment is due as soon as possible but certainly by 23rd June. THIS YEAR!!!

N.B.ANY NAMES WHICH REMAIN UNTICKED THIS WEEK WILL BE DELETED.

Cheques should be made payable to St John’s and Fr. Frank will then make out a large cheque to the Empire, but the parish WILL NOT be paying in advance of your payment. No cheque/no place. Thank you! Anyone willing to help with collection of monies? No offers last week!

Generally Joan Sutton and Liz de Seine share the flower arranging between them and I am sure you will agree that they do a fantastic job. Liz will soon be undergoing surgery which means she will be out of action for some time. Joan has a busy life with job and grandchildren. THEY NEED SOME HELP! Being a ‘flower lady’ involves far more than just arranging the flowers. It also involves buying the flowers and other materials (from fund) dismantling/tidying them, preparing containers for the person who is arranging them and general maintenance- watering etc. Why don’t some of you out there give it a try? No one expects perfection and even if you can do just one arrangement or agree to do the maintenance that would be a help. Please don’t always leave things to A. N. Other- she /he also has other things to do and is probably a person already making a time contribution to the parish!

Thank you for your donations to the Wirral foodbank. This is an on-going scheme and so the need for your support is also on-going. We need to support those in our community who need our help. Donation levels are displayed on the notice board each week.

The food bank relies on non-perishable, in date, food donations to feed local people in crisis. The food bank has asked for the following items which they need urgently: tinned fruit, squash and juices, pasta sauces & mixes, feminine hygiene products instant mash, tinned sponge puddings Please place food in the box provided at the back of church.

For further information please ring Cecily 0151 645 7645.

St Barnabas feast is on Tuesday 11th and it is also the 53rd anniversary of Bishop Brian’s ordination to the priesthood.

The apostle Barnabas was one of the first converts in Jerusalem and was a leading member of the church there though not one of the 12. Barnabas championed the Gentiles at the Council of Jerusalem and is remembered as ‘A good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith’. The date of his death is unknown but his feast is celebrated on the day on which his remains were found in 5th century.

St. Barnabas pray for us and let us remember that other gentleman- full of the Holy Spirit and of faith- Bishop Emeritus, Brian who continues to contribute so generously to this diocese of Shrewsbury.

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