Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 27th September, 2020. Cycle A

26/09/2020

St John the Evangelist

128 Bebington Road, New Ferry, CH62 5BJ

Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish Priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw Deacon: Revd Michael Daly Phone: 0151 645 3314

Email: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com Websites: http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 27th September, 2020. Cycle A

St Luke’s at St John’s


Given current Government restrictions regarding Places of Worship, St Luke’s Parish is unable to celebrate Mass in their usual settings. So for the foreseeable future Fr Paschal will celebrate an 11am Sunday Mass each week in St John’s Church. Although principally for St Luke’s Parishioners in these times of restricted numbers this Mass will be a welcome addition to St John’s usual weekend schedule. Fr Paschal and St Luke’s parishioners are always welcome at St John’s.


WORD FOR TODAY

People often claim that they are looking for justice when in reality they only want revenge. They rant against punishments that they call too lenient and urge harsher treatment for offenders. And when they hear that God’s justice is tempered with mercy and generosity they don’t know how to react, except to keep ranting.


Wirral Foodbank: needs your help and support more than ever, Full details of how to donate to Wirral Foodbank can be found at htpps/wirralfoodbank.org.uk/give-help. People who need emergency food and support at this time can contact the Wirral Emergency Food Hub on 0151 666 5050. During these Covid times please do not bring any food donations into the Church.


The Parish Newsletter & the Wednesday Word, which is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings, are presently available as you leave Church (via the front side door). Please take a copy for yourself and anyone from your street or neighbourhood who would appreciate receiving information about St John’s Parish at this time.

If you have a notice for the bulletin please email it to the parish email address or put it through the presbytery letter box by 12 noon on Thursdays. Many thanks.

St John the Evangelist

128 Bebington Road, New Ferry, CH62 5BJ

Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish Priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw Deacon: Revd Michael Daly Phone: 0151 645 3314

Email: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com Websites: http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 27th September, 2020. Cycle A

FAITH IN FOCUS: FIXED PENALTY GOD?

All’s fair in love and war, they say. But all’s not fair when it comes to Christianity. This is because our human concept of fairness does not even come close to understanding God’s creative mixture of justice, mercy and grace. We human beings seem to have an inbuilt sense of justice that is like the old-fashioned shop scales with two buckets. You put the food in one bucket and then balance it with some weights in the other bucket and this tells you the weight that is at stake and the price that must be paid. In fact we regularly depict Justice as a character holding a pair of scales. Whatever goes into one side has to be weighed up and balanced with a penalty of similar cost. In the early period of the Jewish Kingdoms this even led to a culprit’s family being punished for his or her crime although the relatives themselves had done nothing wrong. The scales had to balance.

Throughout history God has failed to take any notice of this type of justice. In today’s passage from Ezekiel the people are complaining that God is unjust because he allows wrongdoers to live rather than die. Ezekiel points out (speaking on behalf of God) that the weight of punishment should only be exacted against those who stubbornly refuse to admit their sin and to repent. And a similar scene greets us when Jesus discusses with the priests about someone who comes to their senses after behaving badly. They are not to be condemned.

This human view of justice and fairness is too crude for God to commit to it, for it leaves no room for manoeuvre, takes no account of the true circumstances of the person involved, and completely abandons any reference to Christ’s redeeming sacrifice for sin and the effects of grace. Faced with our faults, God, who has every reason to be indignant, chooses to be forgiving and calls us to be the same with those who offend against us. Yet we obstinately cling to our appeals for “justice” when in fact we often are only interested in revenge. We plead fairness when what we really want is graceless reprisal. God hates sin and wrongdoing as much as do our tabloids and politicians yet he always views things from a wider perspective of grace and forgiveness. And God’s passion for pardon is so strong that while we clamour for the scales to balance, God clamours for a balanced judgement.

Twenty

Sixth

Sunday

27th

5.00pm

9.30am

11.00am

Rels/Fnds McAllister Fam RIP

Ints Kathleen Parr

St Luke’s Parish

Monday

28th

Tuesday

29th

9.15am

William Halpin RIP

Wednesday

30th

Thursday

1st

7.00pm

Dr Robert Johnson RIP

Friday

2nd

Saturday

3rd

Twenty

Seven

Sunday

4th

5.00pm

9.30am

11.00am

Mae Smillie RIP

St John’s Parishioners

St Luke’s Parish

SUNDAY IS A NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE HARVEST and enclosed with this week’s bulletin is Bishop Mark’s Pastoral Letter in these Covid Times. Please say a special prayer for our Bishop this week………Thursday 1st October marks his 10th Anniversary as our Bishop!

Sacrament of Reconciliation / Confession: Fr Bernard will be available for those who wish to celebrate this sacrament each Saturday from 10.40am.


Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 10.30am -11.30am each Saturday in the main Church. All are welcome to come and pray about the present situation and for all our needs and intentions. “The Season of Creation”, we would do well to remember this intention in our prayers.


October Rosary: Sadly owing to the updated Covid 19 regulations gatherings of parishioners for the Rosary in houses/bungalows/flats etc will not be possible this October. To compensate for this I invite you to join me in Church on the four Sunday’s of October at 3pm to pray the Rosary together in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady’s statue.

Prayers for the Sick- please remember our sick and housebound parishioners in your daily prayers. If any one is in need of Holy Communion or a visit, please do let us know.

In Memorium: Please pray for the repose of the soul of John Fitzgerald who died recently. Funeral Service at Landican on Wednesday 7th October at 10am. Also please pray for the repose of the soul of Mark Redman Funeral Mass at St John’s on Tuesday 13th October at 11.00am May they and all the faithful departed rest in peace


Baptisms- We hope to be able to resume celebrating Baptisms this autumn. If you had a Baptism booked during lockdown or wish to have your child Baptised in the later part of 2020/early part of 2021 please contact

Fr Bernard on 645 3314 or by emailing him.


Weddings If you are intending to get married in St John’s in 2021 please let us know as soon as possible and certainly before the end of September.

It’s wonderful to see so many parishioners coming back to Mass on Sunday’s and Weekday’s. (we almost reached our capacity number last Saturday). Please note that the maximum number St John’s Church can hold safely with all the social distancing measures set out by HM Government is 70 persons and that members of the congregation must wear a face covering. Should you not have a face covering we do have a limited number of disposable face masks in a basket in the Church porch but please do bring your own with you if you can. Obviously our capacity number will go up slightly if members of the same household attend together as they can sit together. Otherwise you will only be permitted to sit on the seats marked with a blue and white poster. Please be assured that the Church is cleaned thoroughly between each opening.

In the light of the Government’s latest advice issued during the past week, from next Saturday/Sunday you will have to book in for weekend Masses each week.

Forms are available at the front of the Church (next to the newsletter tray) for you to take away and complete at home and then return through the presbytery letterbox or by post by Friday 11am or you can send an email to the parish email address with the names of all attendees, the Mass you wish to attend and a contact telephone number.

Sunday Masses are somewhat different to what we experienced before lockdown, at this present time,

we are unable to have much singing, social distancing needs to apply inside and outside the Church and particularly with the distribution of Holy Communion but I will explain this at every Mass. For the time being only I will distribute Holy Communion. Please bear with us and follow all instructions carefully.



Stewarding and Cleaning: Thank you to the stewards who have been stewarding our Masses over recent weekends and to our parish cleaning team who do such an excellent job of cleaning our Church every Tuesday after 9.15am Mass. (Thanks too to the contract cleaners who in these Covid times clean our Church at weekends.) Additional stewards are very much needed please have a word with Fr Bernard over the next few days if you can help.

St John’s SVP : 27th September marks the Feast of St Vincent de Paul. Can we take this opportunity to thank our SVP members for their great work at all times but especially during 2020 when they have been keeping in touch largely by phone and email with our sick and housebound parishioners and all our vulnerable families. The SVP has always been an important part of St John’s Parish and even more so in the circumstances we find ourselves in. SVP members can be contacted via the Parish email or by phoning 0151 645 3314


November Lists: Please ensure that all names for the November List are handed into the presbytery by 20th October. This allows time to compile the lists. Please make the envelopes for the attention of Ann Murray and please print all names clearly. Many thanks.

Money Matters: Last Weekend’s Collection amounted to £316.50p. A basket is now placed on the table at the back of church for your Offertory donations. Please be generous as you enter the Church.

PLEASE MAKE ALL CHEQUES, GIVEN VIA THE COLLECTION,

PAYABLE TO ST JOHN’S NEW FERRY

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