21st. Sunday of Year 25th August 2013 Cycle C

25/08/2013

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

21st. Sunday of Year 25th August 2013 Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: HEAVEN AND HELL

Some modern people don’t believe in hell. They say that it’s an old-fashioned way of frightening people into behaving in a moral manner. If God is so loving, they argue, then no one will be allowed to miss out on heaven.

Of course, this is not what Jesus says in today’s gospel. He says “there will be weeping and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside”.

Hell is not a place. It doesn’t have a floor and walls, or even a fire. Hell is the never-ending state of pain and frustration after death at realising that we were given the chance of eternal happiness that comes from choosing God, but that we chose not to accept it and now it is beyond our grasp.

If God were to ignore our life choices and simply “smooth things over” when we die, then we would have been made fools of during our life. Life, rather than being a drama, would have been reduced to a divine farce in which we thought we had freewill but in reality were just playing a part in some predetermined global heavenly extravaganza. God has too much respect for us to toy with us like that.

And so Jesus warns his audience today about becoming complacent, about thinking that they are guaranteed a place in the kingdom of God because of their nationality, their ancestors, or their religious practice. And just as Isaiah had done centuries earlier, he angers them by saying that heaven will be full of “riffraff” while some of them will be excluded. For God has no favourites. People of high standing in society and the Church will find themselves at the foot of the pile, and vice versa.

And what about you and me? Have we joined the throng of people who never give heaven and hell a second thought? Do we automatically think that we have some sort of season ticket for religion that will see us through at the eleventh hour? Or are we acting on Jesus’ words and trying to enter by the narrow door?

WORD OF GOD

There are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.

(Luke 13:30)

WORD FOR TODAY

The order we like to impose on the world, the Church and our lives may not necessarily be that which God intends. As we see things turned upside down in our lives and our world, could it be that this is God’s way of telling us that his ways are very different from the predictable patterns we have come to expect?

The method of entering heaven was to spell a word correctly. Louise died and was asked to spell “love”. She got in. A year later her cheating husband, Tom, arrived at the pearly gates and she asked him to spell “Czechoslovakia”!

I hate to say it but the holiday season is drawing to a close- nothing lasts forever. Lt’s hope we have all managed to have a bit of relaxation even if we have only managed a few days out.

The annual diocesan history day will take place on Saturday 5th October at St Mary and all Angels Hooton, full details are available of the poster displayed in various areas around the church. Look closely and you will see that for the second year running one of our very own is to make a contribution. This is a fascinating day- why not give it a try?

KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA present a Social Evening with entertainment from Wallasey Operatic Concert Party on Saturday 7th September at 7.30pm. St Joseph’s Parish Centre, Upton. Bring your own drinks .Proceeds to Aid to the Church in Need and KSC charities. Tickets £5 from Bernard McGuigan tel 645 7929 or pay on the door.

Sincere apologies to the people who arrived for 8am Mass on Thursday and found that we were not available. We have had a couple of changes because of my absence and because of the Holy Day and so things have been a bit confused of late. We will return to the early Mass this coming Thursday because most people have returned from their holidays and then I will canvas opinions as to whether we should continue .

21st.

Sunday

25th 5.30pm

10am

7.30pm

Kathleen McNair

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mon 26th 9.15 Andrew Welch
Tues 27th 9.15 Mary Kenny
Wed 28th. 9.15 Charles Russell
Thur 29th. 8am Maureen Burns
Fri 30th 9.15 Kathleen McNair
20th

Sunday

31st/

1st

5.30pm

10am

7.30pm.

John Rooney

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for Colette Howes, Barbara Gillespie, Doreen Wrigg,, 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: £ 548 76 p

Boiler: £1 90p

Book Sales: £ p

120 Club winners: No. 2 M Glove £20

Oliver Wendell Holmes said “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it “but we must sail, and not drift, not lie at anchor.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in the celebration of my 85th birthday- a momentous and enjoyable day for me. Many thanks for the cards and gifts but most of all for your many kindnesses to me.

A street evangelist was urging those who could or would listen to him to flee from the wrath of God to come. “I warn you,” he roared, “that there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth!” An old woman in the crowd shouted snidely: “Sir, I have no teeth!” “Lady,” the evangelist retorted, “teeth will be provided!”

The collection for flowers will take place over the next couple of weekends. Let’s hope we manage to swell our funds so that we don’t need to ask again until next summer.

The young people who have taken public exams this year will all have received their results by now. We hope it is a time of rejoicing for them, not a time of disappointment. Good luck to all of them as they continue their journeys- academic or otherwise!

Soon a new school year will be upon us. We pray for all our young children just about to embark on school life we trust that it will be an enjoyable new phase for them.

Re-issue of baptismal certificates will require a charge of £5 to be paid. I urge those of you who have had your children baptised recently to keep the card certificate safe. Proof of baptism is required at several junctures in life.

Do you know anyone who might be eligible for Confirmation later this year? Please ask them to write down their names and contact details and post them through the letter box of the house and the team will be in contact when the date of the initial meeting has been arranged. Thanks.

Week 47

By faith the Apostles went out to the whole world, following the command to bring the Gospel to all creation (Mark 16: 15), and they fearlessly proclaimed to all, the joy of the resurrection, of which they were faithful witnesses.

On Saturday 7th September Fr. Pat Collins will be speaking at a Day of Renewal at The Marian Centre, St Marie on the Sands, Southport PR9 0EJ from 10.00 am – 3.00 pm. Tickets £10 from Cathy Cameron Tel: 01704 224286.

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