Welcome to the Parish of the Nativity of the Lord
a community of over 2000
Roman Catholics across the three Churches of St Joseph’s
in Redhill, Holy Family in Reigate and
St Teresa of the
Child Jesus in Merstham.
Willkommen! Vítejte! Bienvenido! Bienvenue! Dobrodošli! Benvenuti! üdvözöljük! Welkom! Witamy Serdecznie! Bom Dia!
4th October 2015
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Yr B)
Edmund Dean (our Seminarian) writes ......
Today (Sunday), the last phase of the Synod on the
Family begins, and with it a renewed flurry of wild
media theories and theological quandaries. When I
asked teachers and students at the secondary school
at which I was teaching in January, what they
thought the effects of the Synod might be, most
answered that they didn’t know that a synod was
taking place. When given an outline of the process,
many answered – a bit cynically, perhaps, but not
unwisely – that people, parishes, and dioceses would
“do their own thing” irrespective of the consensus
in Rome (whatever that may be).
But as Pope Francis recently reiterated, the effort of the Church is not to instate some kind of “Catholic divorce”. The effort is rather to reconcile the doctrine that says that marriage, properly speaking, is for life, with the sad fact that most marriages don’t even endure a decade. So it is that the Gospel and readings today bring to mind some of those theological quandaries faced by the Synod on the Family....
It is to curb the power of a misused theocratic law that Jesus, in the Gospel today, speaks so firmly against the ancient Hebrew practice of divorce. As in many ancient cultures, divorce was a fairly one-sided affair; a man could divorce his wife, but a woman could not divorce her husband! Jesus condemns divorce saying “What God joins, let no man separate”. We quote this powerful pronouncement in the Rite of Marriage. Jesus also quotes from the reading from Genesis we also hear today – “the two become one flesh”. Jesus’ message is one of radical union in a fundamental sexual equality, mirroring that so beautifully expressed in Genesis.
Couples, parishes, people may always “do their own thing”, but that does not mean we should despair of moving towards perfection in Christ. Christ, after all, is profoundly merciful, and deeply caring of the people to whom he preaches. Whatever the practical outcomes of the Synod, I hope that the loving mercy of Christ pervades us in the end. In our daily lives, it is the love of couples and families that most closely mirrors the love of Christ and Church; a deep and mysterious self-emptying, frightening in its power. Marriage often goes wrong, and Faith often goes wrong – but let us not let ideals escape us!
Sunday Mass is celebrated in all three Churches. Together the Parish is committed to celebrating the Catholic faith as part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.
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