Newsletter

St James the Great Weekly Newsletter

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 17th DECEMBER 2018 SUN 23rd DECEMBER 2018 New

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NEWSLETTER MON 17th DECEMBER 2018 - SUN 23rd DECEMBER 2018.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 17th DECEMBER 2018 SUN 23rd DECEMBER 2018
Why is Christmas so wonderful? Why are you so wonderful? If you do not believe me read the readings for today. Surely Our God is a wonderful God. That is the reason for the greatness of everything. 1 R. "Shout for joy, shout aloud. The Lord has repealed your sentence; the Lord has driven your enemies away." Psalm: "God is my salvation, God is my strength, God is my Saviour." 2 R. "Be happy, all I want is your happiness, Let your tolerance be evident to everyone." Gospel: After seeing such wonderfulness as above, the only way we can enjoy it, is by sharing it with others.....UBUNTU. If we don't, we will never enjoy the joy that I talk about above. "If you have two tunics, give one away." If you have money to buy a new pair of shoes, buy them for someone else. If you want to buy a bottle of whiskey for me, buy a goat for someone else. Just because you have money, remember you are only its caretaker. BUY FOR OTHERS. Soldiers: "No intimidation, no extortion." Play fair. Members of St James’: Support parish activities. Many people contribute much and many contribute NOTHING.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 10th DECEMBER 2018 SUN 16th DECEMBER 2018

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NEWSLETTER MON 10th DECEMBER 2018 - SUN 16th DECEMBER 2018.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 10th DECEMBER 2018 SUN 16th DECEMBER 2018
Thousands of years ago Baruch had a beautiful vision, a vision of a great time to come: ‘Put on the dress of a bride and not a funeral dress. Put a crown of gold on your head.’ He has unbelievable hope; things are going to get better. Jesus still picked up on this, with a slight difference I would say - Hope through suffering - probably more realistic. "The grain of wheat must die before it can bring forth fruit." This is our time of advent, a time of preparation. A little penance/confession, a bit of fasting for appreciation of our fellow pilgrims in worse conditions. Preparing for the joy of the birth of the child within in us. Then Christmas can truly be Christmas, Christ within is. And that surely will bring about the reign of the Lord.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 3rd DECEMBER 2018 SUN 9th DECEMBER 2018

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NEWSLETTER MON 3rd DECEMBER 2018 SUN 9th DECEMBER 2018
New Year, New Resolutions. 1. Today's first reading is a basic start. Am I a person of integrity? When I look in the mirror what do I see? I have to be honest that I am not a sham. 2. If I am to be serious about having a Christian spiritual journey, it is absolutely essential that I do something about helping the poor. The poor at home and abroad, spiritually and materially. 3. I must have community somewhere in my life. There is no communion without community. And this is Eucharist. 4. It is important that a person who is genuinely trying to be holy should have peacefulness and calm about them. They should be easy to live with. (Brian D'arcy)

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 26th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 2nd DECEMBER 2018

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NEWSLETTER MON 26th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 2nd DECEMBER 2018
Solitude and Loneliness I can see in your words that you are living a very unhappy life, closed in upon yourself. A person who does that cannot be happy, since the Lord has created us as people able to communicate with others who are made in his image and likeness. God never closes in on himself. God gives himself to the others, and the greatest proof we have of this is that he gave his own Son for the salvation of the others. That is exactly what he wants us to do, too. Christ’s suffering didn’t make him unhappy but, on the contrary, was the necessary step toward the resurrection – that is to say, toward life. I would advise you to begin to reflect seriously on your life. God created you to be happy. You will not find that happiness by yourself, losing heart with your problems. You will find it to the extent that you discover that there are other people who suffer like you and who need you, so that together you can find a positive sense to your life. (Oscar Romero)

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 19th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 25th NOVEMBER 2018

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NEWSLETTER MON 19th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 25th NOVEMBER 2018
For many people death and spooks have a fascination, but they would rather not think about their own death. We say there are four last things:- death, judgement, heaven and hell. The only certainty in life is death, so why not face up to it. HEAVEN........................... I believe in it DEATH............................. I believe in it. JUDGEMENT................... I believe in it. HELL................................ I believe in it. MERCY OF GOD............. I believe in it. JUSTICE OF GOD........... I believe in it. And funnily enough the bible talks about all of them, so I have it on good authority. Don't mess with God or eternity. Check out your credit. And don't forget St Francis' famous dictum, "The world is full of good people who do nothing." With your parish pack this weekend you will find a Cafod brochure. In there, there are gifts ranging from £4 to £4,000.  Something to suit everybody’s pocket, even the poorest. Pick one to suit your pocket. Send it to Cafod. Or give it to me in an envelope, by next weekend if possible and then we will be on time to get a card back for our Christmas tree.  A TREE FULL OF 500 GIFTS FOR OTHER PEOPLE. Don't forget to encourage the children to do their own gift from their pocket money. 

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 12th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 18th NOVEMBER 2018

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NEWSLETTER MON 12th NOVEMBER 2018 - SUN 18th NOVEMBER 2018.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 12th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 18th NOVEMBER 2018
The Widow’s Mite is a very familiar story, but, I fear that such a challenge can put most of us off and we dismiss it as an impossible dream. Not a good way to treat any part of the Bible. Jesus said it, so it must be worthy of our consideration. I say this because I know people who have done exactly as the widow, they have given their last bite. THE BIBLE IS GOD'S BOOK, ABOUT US. Helping us to live with a good attitude. I also see children after 10am mass grabbing six biscuits, as if no one else wants a biscuit. Instead, think about taking the black banana rather that the best one, as tomorrow the black one will be rotten and thrown out. Use water with respect, even though there seems to be an endless supply. How much waste do I throw out of my fridge every week? Do I drop litter as if I had my own private litter collector? The list is endless.. Add your own. Do I just spend because I have the money, or do I help others? Are others included in my shopping plans for Christmas? But my attitude about the above says much about me and my relationship to others and God.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 5th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 11th NOVEMBER 2018

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NEWSLETTER MON 5th NOVEMBER 2018 - SUN 11th NOVEMBER 2018.pdf

NEWSLETTER MON 5th NOVEMBER 2018 SUN 11th NOVEMBER 2018
I have never understood why God has allowed children to be born out of drunkenness, rape, basically out of lack of love. And sadly maybe that is why many of us, here in U.K. would say we have become a nanny state. Parents produce the children but do not rear them. Our lack of parenting skills is becoming very apparent. Maybe this is why the state had to move in. How many of the chicken shops are feeding your children? How many of our children have a breakfast at home? Do I leave the smart phone/screen/TV to raise my child? Do we expect the government, social services, churches, schools, youth clubs/centres to raise our children? Come on parents if God has given you a child, He trusted you to parent that child and bring him/her up as a descent child of His. Knowing, loving and serving Him as the First Commandment today. To know, love and serve God with all your heart. Why should I serve Him, since I don't love Him and how can I love him since I don't know him? And how can I know Him since we never say a meaningful prayer in our house?

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 29th OCTOBER 2018 SUN 4th NOVEMBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 29th OCTOBER 2018 SUN 4th NOVEMBER 2018
The blind man is told by the crowd to keep quiet and not to be annoying Jesus. Yes, people with "less ability" are usually told to keep quiet and let the "more abled" people take control. This happened 2000 years ago, today there does not seem to be any great difference. Yet he is the one remembered today, 2000 years later.  Who were the people who told him to keep quiet?   The usual crowd who hid behind each other. And yet again, he is the one Jesus is looking for, like the woman who gave the mite in the temple. Yes, the people of Jesus’ line are usually the famous ones.  KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE LESS ABLED AND TALK TO THEM. Yet again the blind man is not greedy. He does not ask for his sight to be restored. He asks "That I might see." Most of us have sight and good sight.  But how much do we see?

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 22nd OCTOBER 2018 SUN 28th OCTOBER 2018

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NEWSLETTER MON 22nd OCTOBER 2018 SUN 28th OCTOBER 2018
We are all familiar with today’s gospel and Jesus telling us from time to time that we are called  TO SERVE. The washing of the feet is immediately linked to the Eucharist. Jesus wanted to make it quite clear that we dare not share in the Eucharist if we are not serving. The minute we separate them, we are depriving both of their meaning.   This is why I believe, that many people see the Eucharist as boring. It does not lead them to serve their brother or sister.  Hence mass can become an empty ritual for many people. So here in St James’ 1.  Will you be a reader at mass? 2.  Will you serve? 3.  Will you join the SVP to help people with small jobs, a bit of decorating, shopping or keeping them company for an hour a week? 4.  Join the Legion of Mary and call on people to help them live their faith? 5.  Clean the church once a month (with others), or form your own team? 6.  Wash church linen? 7.  Help teaching children? 8.  Run an event for some charity? 9.  Run a social event in the Hall? 10.  Help with the making of tea/coffee after mass? 11.  Be a hospitality person and welcome people at the back of the church? 12.  Play a musical instrument at 10am or 12 noon mass? 13.  Do you pray/teach your own children? 14. Or add your own special expertise and set the parish ablaze with the spirit? Aspire not to have more but to be more. (O. Romero)

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 15th OCTOBER 2018 SUN 21st OCTOBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 15th OCTOBER 2018 SUN 21st OCTOBER 2018
Now you can argue away today's Gospel as much  as you like, but you cannot get away from the fact  of Jesus' challenge about money. I must give to the poor. Money itself is good. How I use it may be questionable! A few  thoughts; 1.  Governments collect taxes to redistribute money.      Fundamentally a good principle.  2.  I have been more gifted than others!  "Thank God." 3.  Many people, sadly, are not gifted, through no fault of their own.  Many more have been abused.  4.  Archbishop Romero, "Anything you have that you don't use you have stolen." 5.  Helder Camara, "When I feed the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are poor they call me a communist." 6.  Fr. Jack: Money fulfils my desires.  When I get rid of it to help others, it fulfils my needs. 7.  Jesus:   Sell your things. Get money. Buy food. Help the poor.  Go to heaven. “I was hungry and you gave me to eat.”

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 8th OCTOBER 2018 SUN 14th OCTOBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 8th OCTOBER 2018 SUN 14th OCTOBER 2018
As Catholics we should define ourselves as what we are and what we believe in, rather than what we are up against. Marriage was created by God from the beginning as "two becoming one." Two becoming one mentally, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and then and only then physically.  Sadly many people start the other way around, beginning with the physical.  Is it any wonder after a few years they look at each other and say "I do not know what I saw in you."  And they split. Intimacy seems to be missing in many relationships.  If it were not for the many good friends I have, both men and women, with whom I am intimate, "I would not be half the man I am."  For this intimacy the physical is not present. Consequently it can go to a much deeper level.  Give intimacy a chance in your life.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 1st OCTOBER 2018 SUN 7th OCTOBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 1st OCTOBER 2018 SUN 7th OCTOBER 2018
Scandal is not a word you hear much these days. Jesus was very hot on it, especially leading others astray and more especially still, if they were children or people of weak faith. Most of us would never think of leading others astray, least of all children, but let's look a little deeper. Do I really use every chance to instruct or advise, or even to show people what is right? Do I work with my children to show them God's way? Do I pray with them every day?  Is my life an example that others would like to follow?  Am I a good role model for my son or daughter? These are the things we say at the beginning of mass "What I have done, and what I have failed to do." As St Francis Says: "All that is necessary for evil to thrive is for good people to do nothing." Be pro-active in the field of the Lord especially in your own family.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 24th SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 30th SEPTEMBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 24th SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 30th SEPTEMBER 2018
Again Jesus is on one of his favourite themes: SERVICE. He came into the world as a suffering servant who does not want anyone to be lost. There are many people in this parish who have put themselves at the service of others. They give of themselves tirelessly and unselfishly for the benefit of the parish and others.. They are the ones who make the parish what it is. Thank you very much. I ask YOU, would you like to do something for the service of others? If everyone does something, no matter how little, for the benefit of the parish/others we really could become a model parish of the church in action. Please consider, offer don't wait to be asked.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 17th SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 23rd SEPTEMBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 17th SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 23rd SEPTEMBER 2018
Last week I said Jesus is TRUTH.  I say this because faith is not as simple to understand. Basically, am I a person who speaks the truth all the time? If so then I believe in God. God is also ACTION.  Positive action.  This is the challenge of James in the second reading.  Often I try to bluff my way out of a situation, when in fact I am as guilty as sin itself. What do I have to show for the faith I claim to possess. Do I give my children good example? Do I know what my children are watching on any screen? Do I know their friends? Do I guide my children? Do I/we pray as a family? Do I teach them the faith? FAITH WITHOUT ACTION IS DEAD

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 10th SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 16th SEPTEMBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 10th SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 16th SEPTEMBER 2018
When we come to God's word we must come with an open mind and a needy heart. Apparently what 98% of motivational speakers say is Gospel based. They may not admit that, but if you look closely and listen attentively, you will also agree. Life so often is boring because we see the obvious and never dream the dream. Martin Luther had a dream and thank God, it has become a reality. We have come a long way and we still have a long way to go, so we need to dream on. The science fiction of yesterday is today's reality, how much more so with our Heavenly Father. With Him all things are possible.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 3rd SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 9th SEPTEMBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 3rd SEPTEMBER 2018 SUN 9th SEPTEMBER 2018
Is your life dreary, lack lustre, aimless, depressed or tired? "Take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them that you may have life and enter and take possession of the land that the Lord  the God of your fathers is giving to you." As a Catholic and priest, I have always found that when I feel down, the law of the Lord is a fantastic consolation. It makes me look outside myself. It expands my horizons. Makes me look beyond the horizon, think outside the box and lifts me up. When I look inside and see my true potential, God draws me out of myself. He lifts me up, diminishes my depression. Otherwise I look inside and I see sadness, no future, depression. The Pharisees were worried about washing hands and pots and pans. Jesus says be a fantastic lover and never count the cost.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 27th AUGUST 2018 SUN 2nd SEPTEMBER 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 27th AUGUST 2018 SUN 2nd SEPTEMBER 2018

Greetings to you. I take this opportunity to thank you for the love and care you have given me while Fr. Jack has been away. Thanks, be to God that he is back from his holiday. When am here at St. James, I feel like I am at home. Thank you for loving your Church. It is my prayer that you continue loving your God no matter how hard it is for us to understand his ways and words sometimes.  Let us remain with Him because He is the best choice of our life. So like Joshua, Let us say "As for me and my house we shall serve the Lord".  Like the Israelites, let us say "We have no intention of deserting the Almighty God and serving other gods". I promise you my prayers.  Amen.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 20th AUGUST 2018 SUN 26th AUGUST 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 20th AUGUST 2018 SUN 26th AUGUST 2018

In our different cultures, success can often be a game of numbers.  A successful television programme is one that has a very large viewing audience. If the numbers watching declines, the programme is in trouble.  Democracy is based on majority vote. The candidate with the most votes gets elected. Every political party is anxious to maximise their vote on election day. In all kinds of ways, numbers matter in our society. The schools with the biggest number of graduates going on to University are considered the better schools.  If some event that is organised only attracts a small crowd it is considered a failure. Today’s gospel suggests that Jesus was not too concerned about numbers.  Jesus puts Himself at our disposal. Jesus wants us to look again at our personal relationship with Him and choose to follow Him more closely or to follow someone else.

 

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 13th AUGUST 2018 SUN 19th AUGUST 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 13th AUGUST 2018 SUN 19th AUGUST 2018

What a difference our attitude towards life makes to our enjoyment of life. This is the positive approach of one woman: Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes, we have plenty of food to eat. Thank you for this pile of dirty laundry, we have plenty of nice clothes to wear. And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds. They were so warm and so comfortable last night. I know that many have no beds. My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy towels and dirty lavatory. They are so convenient. Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly, it has served us faithfully for many years.  It is full of enough leftovers for a few meals. Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today. It has baked so many things over the years. Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says you have richly blessed my family. I shall do them all cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

pdf NEWSLETTER MON 6th AUGUST 2018 SUN 12th AUGUST 2018 Popular

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NEWSLETTER MON 6th AUGUST 2018 SUN 12th AUGUST 2018

UBUNTU is a very nice story from Africa... The motivation behind the Ubuntu culture in Africa... An Anthropologist proposed a game to the African tribal children... He placed a basket of sweets near a tree And made the children stand 100 meters away. Then announced that whoever reaches first would get all the sweets in the basket. Then he said 'ready steady go! ‘.. Do you know what these children did? They all held each other's hands, ran together towards the tree, divided the sweets equally among themselves, ate the sweets and enjoyed them. When the Anthropologist asked them why they did so, They answered..."Ubuntu" Which meant- 'How can one be happy when the others are sad?' Ubuntu in their language means- "I am because we are" A strong message for all generations. Let all of us always have this attitude and spread happiness wherever we go. Let's have an "Ubuntu" Life.... .