LCCC News Update October 2016

October 1, 2016

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Tuesday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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  1. During October, the month of the Holy Rosary, every Sunday at 1:30pm the Rosary will be said in Church. We  ask the intercession of Our Blessed Mother Mary in heaven to pray for us and keep us in her constant care.

  2. Fr Joseph will lead the pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 3rd to 10th October. Please kindly pray for their trip. There will still be Mass as usual on Sunday 9/10/16.

  3. Annual Anointing of the Sick Sacrament will take place on Sunday 16/10/16.  Please bring food to share on that day.

Reflection: Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 2, 2016

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Tuesday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Hab.1:2-3,2:2-4; Ps.94; 2nd Reading – 2Tm.1:6-8,13-14; Gospel – Lk.17:5-10]

“… OUR DUTY”

Today’s Gospel starts with a request made by the Apostles to Jesus. These were the “twelve” who were among the most intimate group of disciples, who were constantly with Jesus and who then became the pillars on which Jesus built the Church. Here, they are asking Jesus to “increase” their faith, as if they have something and want Jesus to make it grow.

As usual, Jesus did not respond with a direct answer to their request … or better still, Jesus does not give them the answer they were expecting. The Apostles expected a direct answer, or maybe even perhaps a “miracle” which increased their faith. Instead Jesus used this opportunity to continue with his teaching to them and his teaching does not even seem to have anything to do with their request! So, what exactly is Jesus trying to say to them?

Jesus reminds them what they already know: that they do not have enough faith, or better still, that they do not really have any faith at all!  Their faith is therefore, less than the size of a mustard seed. Of course, the Apostles already knew this – which is why they asked Jesus to increase their faith in the first place! Jesus’ teaching seems to be telling them that instead of “increasing” their faith they should ask him to “give” them faith (i.e. from scratch, as if they do not have any faith at all). Since faith is in itself a gift from God, Jesus is trying to tell them that God is the one who gives this gift to those who merit it! This can be understood through studying the inter-relationship between the master and the servant.

Jesus is saying that the servant’s relationship with his master is such that the servant has to serve his master, wait on him and do whatever the master wants him to do. In such a way the servant has and is nothing of his own but is totally reliant on his master. The future of both the servant and the master depends on their relationship with each other: the master is to be served by the servant and the servant is to be totally dependent of the master. The servant has no identity of his own except the fact that he is the servant of that master. As long as he does what his master asks of him… then he will have the possibility to live and to continue to serve his master. Therefore when the servant has finished serving the master, he really has nothing to boast about other than to admit that he has done his duty (i.e. to serve).

This should also be the way in which we relate to God our Father. He is the Master on who we, the servants depend upon. We know that we can have life as long as we “serve Him, wait on him and do whatever He wants us to do”. Once we do so, and therefore put ourselves in total dependency on Him, it is He Himself who will give us the faith that we need to continue to serve Him in such a way that we can truly say “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty”. It is for Him to do rest… if He wants to…

Thank you Lord for believing in us, for taking us into your service and for making of us a people ready to listen to and live according to your voice. Thank You Lord!

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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Reflection: Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

September 4, 2016

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Tuesday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Wis.9:13-18; Ps.89; 2nd Reading – Phim.9-10,12-17; Gospel – Lk.14:25-33]

“COME AFTER ME”

It is strange how Jesus uses the verb “to hate” in his teaching in today’s Gospel and to hear him say that to be his disciple and follow him one must ‘hate’ “his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers, his sisters and even his own self”. It seems to be in direct contradiction to his own teaching when he says that his disciple must “love” his neighbour as himself. In today’s teaching Jesus mentions the family members and he seems to be very specific about not leaving any intimate member out (with the exception of the “husband” because it is to them whom he is addressing his teaching!). These are all direct and dear family members who are the apple of the eye to each other! In terms of relationship, there is no one in the world dearer than these family members – so why are they expected to “hate” any one of these close family members just to follow a “stranger”?

In Semitic languages, the verb “to hate” has a slightly different meaning to what we understand in our own language. In the language which Jesus used, “to hate” is referring to the act of “distancing oneself from”. The words “to distance” and “to hate” in Semitic languages have the same roots. Thus, when Jesus tells his disciples that every one of them has “to hate” his dearest family members, he is telling them that every one of them has “to distance” himself from these persons in order to “near” himself to Jesus. It is in this way that one can truly become a true follower of Jesus. This is not easy to achieve and Jesus acknowledges this by comparing this difficulty to carrying one’s own cross, while following and imitating him. This distancing oneself from his dearest ones, to near to Jesus, is to be done after one has “sat down and worked out all the cost”. We are not talking about cost in terms of monetary value – what cost, therefore, are we talking about? Let us take ‘love’ as an example. Our dearest ones can show us love and can teach us to love which starts and ends in our family environment – we may call it “egoistic” love which is borne out of the gratification of who we are to each other. If we near ourselves to God, the love that He shares with us (through his creation) has its source/starting point from Him, which passes through us who are “near” to Him and through us this love continues to channel to all His creatures. Once we are “near” to God, our own love experience in our family would simply be part of God’s plan to show us and to give us the possibility of experiencing His own particular and eternal love for each and every one of us!

“Lord Jesus Christ, give us the knowledge to respect and love each member of our family. At the same time Lord, give us the strength and the wisdom to respectfully distance ourselves from them to be able to near ourselves to you. In this way, we are sure that you will give us the help we need to be nearer to them too. Thank you Lord!”

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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