The Word This Week

The year of Saint Luke ends with a characteristic take on the feast of Christ the King: in Luke’s gospel we are so familiar with seeing and hearing the voiceless, the rejected, those whom society puts in second place: how suitable, then, that on the feast of the King of all Creation we see him at his most vulnerable – on the cross, with only an abrupt inscription to announce that he is the King. He is King because of the work he has done, which is described by Saint Paul in the Second Reading: “all things [are] reconciled through him and for him … when he made peace by his death on the cross.” Next week, when we re-enter Advent and a new Liturgical Year, we will be thinking of the King who will come again: though he will come as his disciples saw him go at the Ascension, the marks of the cross will still be visible for all time, to remind us of the one who came to reunite all Creation, especially frail human creatures.

Today’s Scripture
2 Samuel 5: 1 – 3.

Response: Psalm 121.
I rejoiced when I heard them say:
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is,
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgement
of the house of David.

(Sung Antiphon: I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to God’s house.”.)

Colossians 1: 12 – 20
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 23: 35 – 43

Prayer of the Faithful: R/. 6.30: Lord, let your kingdom come.
R/. 10.30: Christ, our King, remember us.

The Word This Week

As we approach the end of that part of Saint Luke’s Gospel before the Passion narratives, and approach the end of the Church’s year, our thoughts are turned towards the end of time and the Second Coming of the Lord – leading us into Advent in two weeks time. Saint Luke’s message is very distinctive: the Lord will come, but there is a lot to be lived through first. The coming of the Lord is not going to be a “quick fix” – we will have to live through (and endure) all the mess of human joy and suffering.

The Lord is clear too that we have to be aware of the personal cost of belonging to him – think back to last week’s readings, and the stories of religious persecution from every place and every age, even to this day. Even as this sounds gloomy and depressing, it is worth noting where the Gospel passage starts – in the material beauty of the Temple – and where it ends – something far more precious will be saved: our lives.

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 1)

Malachi 3: 19 – 20

Response: Psalm 97
Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn.
acclaim the King, the Lord.

Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
the world, and all its peoples.
Let the rivers clap their hands
and the hills ring out their joy//
at the presence of the Lord.

For the Lord comes,//
comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with fairness.
(Sung Antiphon: The Lord comes to rule the peoples with fairness.)

2 Thessalonians 3: 7 – 12

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Stay awake praying at all times
for the strength to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 21: 5–19

Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, come to rule the world.

See all today’s readings on Catholic Online.

CAFOD Appeal For The Phillipines


In the wake of the devastatng storm that hit the Phillipines, leaving thousands dead and which brought devastation for up to 10 million, CAFOD has this week launched an Emergency Appeal. Here’s some information from the CAFOD website:

What has happened?
Typhoon Haiyan – one of the strongest ever to make landfall – swept across the Philippines on Friday 8 November, leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake. The full extent of the damage is not yet known, but an estimated 9.8 million people have had their lives torn apart. Power, transport and water systems have been severely disrupted.

What are the needs?
We need to provide food, shelter and safety for people whose homes have been destroyed, as well as blankets, clothes and other essentials. Please give today to help us reach the most vulnerable people.

What is CAFOD doing?
Our trusted local partners are on the ground in the worst hit areas, responding to the most immediate needs. We’re also still providing food and shelter to people who lost their homes in the earthquake on the island of Bohol last month. The typhoon has added to the destruction and made it more difficult to deliver aid, but we’re doing everything we can to reach the most isolated and vulnerable people.

We’re currently moving tarpaulins to Cebu City so that we can provide 8,000 families with shelter needs. Our response teams are travelling to the areas hardest hit to determine exactly what people need and how we can help them.

Donate now and help save lives >>

Appeal resources for parishes

  1. Typhoon Haiyan prayers (34 kB) word
  2. Typhoon Haiyan appeal: parish Gift Aid Declaration slips (45 kB) word

The Word This Week

It is fortuitous that this passage of the Gospel is normally read near to the beginning of November, when we have celebrated the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, since it is a strong proclamation of the reality of life after death and the resurrection of the body. This Sunday is not without its difficulties, however, since this message is framed in two very sensitive passages: we have a story of cruelty and martyrdom in the first reading, and a controversial (and possibly upsetting) question about marriage in the Gospel. Remember that the example that the Sadducees bring is ridiculous, legalistic and completely misses the point: Jesus’ reply does not mean that we are not with our loved ones after death – quite the contrary, he proclaims that we will all become one with God and
each other as children of God.

Today’s Scripture
Maccabees 7: 1 – 2, 9 – 14
Response: Psalm 16.
Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.
I am here and I call, /
you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.

Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake,
with the sight of your glory.
(Sung Antiphon: I shall be filled, when I awake,
with the sight of your glory, O Lord.)
2 Thessalonians 2: 16 – 3: 5.
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Stay awake, praying at all times
for the strength to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Luke 20: 27 – 38
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, turn your ear to our prayer.

St Helen’s Family Groups Bonfire

220px-Christmas_bonfireThe Family groups Bonfire and Celebration will take place in the hall and grounds on Friday, 8th November at 7pm. Please bring supper, pop, etc., to share. If you have transport problems, please phone your group leaders. It promises to be a good night out.

Not in a Family Group? Why not come along and join one? (& bring your family too). For more information visit our Parish Family Groups page.

Synod of Bishops on the Family 2014

Family-Questionnaire-click-through-banner-648x100FamilyExtraordinary General Session of the Synod of Bishops on the Family 2014
Family life is the focus of an extraordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops that will meet at the Vatican between 5-19 October 2014.

Around 150 Synod fathers will take part in the meeting to discuss the “pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.” It is expected to last two weeks.

This is only the third ‘extraordinary’ synod since Pope Paul VI reinstituted synods in 1965. According to the Code of Canon Law, an “extraordinary general session” of the synod is held to “deal with matters which require a speedy solution.”

The second stage focusing on this important subject will be the 2015 Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

You can actively participate in the preparation for the Synod by visiting our questionnaire on SurveyMonkey.

Before visiting the survey please read this article.

Preparatory Document
On this page you can read the synod’s preparatory document – or Lineamenta.

Download a PDF of the document here.

1980 Synod on the Family
You can also look back on the last Synod of Bishops meeting on the family held in 1980 that resulted in the document Familiaris Consortio.

Visit our full section.

The Word This Week

Zacchaeus by Niels Larsen Stevns

There is a subversive humour in today’s Gospel which turns upside down the conventions of everyday life: we see a senior tax official climbing up a tree for a glimpse of Jesus, and the faintly ridiculous scene where Jesus stops, looks into the branches of the sycamore and says, “Zacchaeus, come down!” Did Zacchaeus worry about what people thought? The rest of the story shows that he did not. It would be easy to laugh at little Zacchaeus – and people in the town probably did, in between muttering about his extortionate taxes. And yet he has understood the message of God more clearly than others: he reveals the meaning of the first reading, since he understands that God is gentle, merciful and loving. Jesus corrects him, “little by little…so that he may abstain from evil and trust in the Lord.”

Today’s Scripture
Wisdom 11: 22 – 12: 2
Response: Psalm 144.
I will give you glory, O God my King,
I will bless your name for ever.
I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever..

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God.

The Lord is faithful in all his words
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

(Sung Antiphon: I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.)

2 Thessalonians 1: 11 – 2: 2

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Luke 19: 1–10
Prayer of the Faithful:

R/. Lord, save us and raise us up