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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10)
READINGS ON SUNDAY 25th SEPTEMBER
First Reading Psalm 130
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
Gospel Reading Mark 10:35-45 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What is it you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with?" They replied, "We are able." Then Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptised, you will be baptised; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So, Jesus called them and said to them, "You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognise as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."
REFLECTION ON SUNDAY 25th SEPTEMBER Extract from a reflection by Patrick van Der Vorst
Like all of Jesus’ parables, the story of Dives and Lazarus (read Luke 16:19-31) tells us a material story to convey a spiritual truth. We are told of two people living side by side, a rich man in his great house and a poor man at the gate of the house. They almost cover the same space on earth, yet there was a very big divide between them. One lived in the house, the other outside; one was rich, one was poor; one had everything, the other looked for scraps, etc.
It is a story where we are encouraged to look after each other, especially when we inhabit almost the same physical space. In our big cities we are called to look after each other, particularly after the homeless. It is easy to insulate ourselves in our own little worlds, but this parable asks us to enter the world of the other.
The artwork is a Flemish painting after Jacobo Bassano. Jacobo was the most famous of a family of painters from Bassano in the Veneto. He specialised in painting realistic, expressive scenes. What we have here is a Flemish interpretation of Bassano’s style. There is plenty to look at in this domestic scene. The dogs are licking the poor man’s wounds. He is looking at a lavishly dressed table displaying the most luxurious food. In the left half of the painting we see the kitchen with all the ingredients and the staff needed to produce the exquisite food. One scene but three different worlds: the rich man, the poor man and the kitchens.
Jesus invites us to cross the threshold into the world of the other, into the world of those who are very different from us, so we may become more generous and tolerant towards each other.
The steeples of Saint Mary’s and Saint Bartholomew’s.
Brothers and sisters in Christ praying for each other, our communities and our world. May God bless us all abundantly at this time.