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From Father Richard's Desk

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My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I have memories from all parts of my life, even from 3 years old. When I was in infants school I remember another little girl saying to me “I’ll like your picture, if you like mine.” That kind of "I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine," goes on into adult life. And so little cliques, clans, family groups form that are so inward looking as to be unhealthy.

Jesus in the gospel today is asking us to grow up, go beyond ourselves, create community around ourselves based on love to without limit.

Please continue to go outside of yourself to give other people a sense of their worth. Always do it hand in hand with God. OPEMUS PRO INVICEM.

Fr. Richard
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From Father Richard's Desk

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My Dear Brothers & Sisters,

All of us are inclined at some time in our lives to be a little bit cocky. It may be that we are really good at something that others aren’t. It may be because of family or school connections. Whatever the reason for our cockiness, we can be sure that it is not well founded, and when we see it in others we hate it.

No one can ever be cocky about the Kingdom of God, or Heaven, or about entering into the after life. Being a Jew, a Muslim or a Christian doesn’t guarantee you a place. It is what you do with the gift of faith that God gives you that matters. To these who blithely say ‘I am not religioius’…..how much of that is a cop out, laziness, a refusal to explore the reason for our being?

If God sent His Son to speak to us – don’t you think that’s something worth explaining….most people don’t. Funny how their consciences are formed though – by hearsay, the daily Press, T.V. news, Politicians. Don’t you want something more certain than that? “This is My Son, My Beloved – listen to Him.”

Fr. Richard
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From Father Richard's Desk

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My Dear Brothers & Sisters,

“I have come not to bring peace….but the sword”.

This seems such a contradiction statement coming from the Prince of Peace.

However true peace, like a church, has to be built….the building blocks are to be found in the department store of justice; they are to be laid with a spirit of kindness and service. This is always disturbing. It disturbs status quo. It can create turmoil, and even unease….but who says justice is easy or that peace can prevail without justice.

Have a good week.

Fr. Richard
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From Father Richard's Desk

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My Dear Brothers & Sisters,

All of us are reminded from time to time of the fragility of our lives. It may be personal illness, or grief. It may be the loss of a job, or being let down badly by someone we trust. Such occasions remind us of the passing nature of our lives, and that here on earth we have no lasting city.

That insecurity is something we can capitalise on; we can experience life more as a gift than expectation. We can store up treasure for ourselves in heaven, invest in the real future, espouse lasting values.

Have a good week.

Fr. Richard

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From Father Richard's Desk

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My Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Zaccheus was an avaricious little tax man, who felt for all his wealth, there was something missing in his life. Could this Jesus of Nazareth be an answer to his emptiness? Zaccheus went to great lengths to see this ‘Jesus’ person and climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view…..(he was small).

The lovely thing was that Jesus noticed him and invited himself to be his guest. The change that this simple experience effected in Zaccheus was fantastic. He offered to give half his money to the poor and restore that which had been ill gotten gain. What a change!

When God becomes our life, we cling less tightly to the goods of this world. The focal point of our security changes from ‘thing’ (money) to person (God) and we begin to live in a different world. We change from user or abuser to nurturer and carer. We pass from a world of ‘it’ to a world of ‘persons’ (with apologies to Martin Buber).


Have a good week.

Fr. Richard
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