3rd February, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

 

This is Name Tag Sunday

 

No, it’s not a gimmick. Sometimes we sit beside people in Church week in week out and never introduce ourselves. It’s an icebreaker if you like.

 

The name you have received at birth and baptism has been your constant companion. It is very much part of our identity, not just on documentation like a driving licence but especially in expressing our own unique identity. Do you see yourselves as others do? Very unlikely I would say and we see that tension played out in the scriptures too. Jesus had a clear idea of who he was and his mission, those in authority felt very ill at ease with it. If we meet someone for the first time, irrespective of their name, we are far more likely to accept them just as they are than if we had a commentary from a third party.

 

In today’s second reading, St Paul reminds us that as a child, he talked like a child, thought like a child, argued like a child, but now that he is an adult all childish ways are behind him. Even now he accepts that his knowledge and thus his behaviour is imperfect but when he allows unselfish love to rule as in Gospel values – that is the world to which we are called – “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34-35). That is our true identity.

 

Pastoral letter today from Bishop Richard. The message will be presented on the screens, but there is also a copy of the text to take with you, if you wish, on yellow paper.

 

Day of Reflection for Readers at St Dunstan’s Church, Woking, GU22 7DT. 11am-4pm Saturday 9th February. Led by Bishop Richard. Topics: the Scriptures, the Lectionary, the Liturgy of the Word etc. and a time for Lectio Divina. Please bring a packed lunch. Booking ESSENTIAL. Email ruth.gerun@dabnet.org or tel. 01293 651164. Priority will be given to people who have not previously attended.

 

Care Mass next Sunday 10th February at 3pm.

 

And finally:

Fred: “Sir, can I have a week off at the end of the month?”

Boss: “Look, you have already had time off for your mother-in-law’s funeral, your child’s measles, your son’s first communion. What is it now?”

Fred: “I’m getting married, sir.”

God Bless You All,

Fr John


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