THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Todayís Mass: Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A)
First Reading: this passage is like a hymn to God, who has absolute sovereignty but who exercises it with leniency and forbearance.
Psalm: as so often, the psalm repeats the basic message of the First Reading: God is a god of mercy and compassion.
Second Reading: when we pray we think that we are taking the initiative, but in fact it is the Holy Spirit in us enabling us to pray.
Gospel: todayís Gospel contains a series of parables about the kingdom of heaven.
The parable of the darnel in the field comes with an interpretation by Jesus: the risen Christ sows good seed in the world and thereby creates the church. Meanwhile the devil sows people who do not belong in the kingdom. But a day of reckoning - the harvest Ė will come, when the glorified Christ will send His angels to purify the church of those who disregard the moral law.
The short parable about the yeast bears closer inspection: three measures of flour is a huge amount, enough for bread for over a hundred people. This is probably an allusion to Genesis 18:6, where Abraham instructs Sarah to prepare cakes from three measures of flour for his heavenly visitors. This detail suggests that the final outcome of Godís hidden activity will be the messianic banquet of heaven.
Whatever the details, the central point of these parables is that God is at work, even if we do not see it, and any growth in grace (for us as individuals or for the church) is a free gift from God.
Today we welcome Fr Joseph Ukende, standing in for Fr Kenneth Egere who is still waiting for his Visa, to offer the Borough Green and 11:15am Masses.
Cecilia Piddock RIP
The Funeral Mass for Cecilia Piddock is in St Thomasís on Monday at 12:00 noon, followed by Interment in Chevening Cemetery.
Adoration change this Monday
Adoration will be from 8:00am till 11:00am, and then from 8:00pm-9:00pm on Monday.
West Kingsdown UCM
The UCM have their ĎChurch Windows Visití on Saturday, starting at 10:00am.
St Thomasí School News
We say farewell to Fiona Newton who is retiring, Michelle Murray who is moving to new pastures, and Elena Petcu who is returning to Canada. We thank them most warmly for all their hard work in the school. We also wish Year 6 well as they move on to secondary school.
We also congratulate the school on some excellent results: for example the percentage of pupils attaining expected or above at the end of Key Stage 2 is 77%, considerably higher than the national average at 61%.
New Sacristy Bell
A new bell, rung at the beginning of Mass, is being installed inside the entrance at St Thomasís, for use at Sunday Masses. We thank the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Order of Mass
If you need the words of the Order of Mass to assist you in following the Mass, they can be found in A Simple Prayer Book. Copies are available from the Repository, priced £1.95. If the Repository is unmanned, please put the money in the Repository wall box next to the Sacristy door.
Parish Office and Mass Intentions
Ingrid is on holiday from Thursday 3rd August. She will be back in the office on Thursday 31st August.
If you have any Mass Intentions for August and the first week of September it would be most helpful if you could submit them before the end of July.