WORDS FROM OUR PARISH PRIEST
Due to Fr Mark testing covid positive, he and the church premises is in quarantine. All Masses and services have been cancelled until after the quarantine period is over. The office will not be manned during this period so please be patient if requiring responses to your queries.
Please keep coming back to the website for updates.
Sunday Mass Link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4Aa7yt2jE3qHkPQVXgNe6w
Search for the the Sunday of the Week. New video available every Sunday at 9.00 am
Please see updated directives from the Archbishop under the lockdown tab: http://bernardignatius.org.za/from-the-archbishop/
Email sent to parishioners Wednesday 28 October 2020
We would like to inform you that Fr Mark has tested COVID positive. He has been admitted to hospital and is stable at this time.
We would like to reassure you that all COVID protocols and safety measures have been followed at all the Masses and at this stage, no parishioner is considered to be a close contact and all contact with Fr Mark at Mass has been low risk.
A close contact is defined as a person who is less than 1 metre away from someone who is COVID positive for more than 15 minutes and not wearing a face mask correctly. As such, no parishioners attending Mass will be required to quarantine but we do ask that all those who attended Mass from Thursday 22nd October monitor their symptoms over the next 10 days and report to their doctor or nearest medical facility should they develop symptoms or have any concerns.
We thank you for your ongoing care and concern and ask that you keep Fr Mark in your prayers.
30th Sunday Ordinary Time - 25 October 2020
Dear brothers and sisters,
In the Gospel once again, we have the Pharisees trying to test Jesus as to what his answer would be. They want to know which is the greatest commandment. Jesus sees what they are trying to do and he tells them that they need to Love the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and all their mind and that they must love their neighbour as themselves. What Jesus is trying to teach them is that they need to follow the law of Moses and the prophets but they need to do it with a sense of Love and Compassion. This is something that they were lacking. Many of the Pharisees were following the first half of the commandment that Jesus was talking about but certainly were not following the second half. For them, if you did not follow the commandments then you were rejected by the people. For them the tax collectors and others were not worthy of the kingdom of God.
There a wonderful story about a group of monks who lived out in the desert. One year when Easter come round they got together to decide what they were going to do in order to prepare for the feast. They decided that they would fast for the whole of Holy week. Half way through the week two of the monks having found it difficult ended up at the Abbots door. He felt sorry for them because they were very hungry. He decided to cook them some vegetable stew and in order not to make them feel uncomfortable he ate some with them. When their fellow monks saw the smoke rising from the chimney of the abbots hut they realized that he had cooked some food. They went to confront him about it. In a loving way he explained to them that, yes, they had made the decision not to eat, but they needed to see that it was a man-made rule and not a law of God. The abbot wanted to teach them that the rule should be applied in a spirit of Love. All he did was show some love to two monks you were weak.
This shows what Jesus expects of us. We have the commandments that we need to follow but also we need to show love. In other words, what Jesus is trying to teach us is that we cannot separate the two commandments. We can’t say I will love God with all my heart, soul and mind and then not love our neighbour. The way we show love for our neighbour reflects the way we show love for God. When people might not keep the commandments as they should, then we need to encourage them in a sense of love to change. When we show love and not judgement then we have more chance of converting that person than if we are aggressive towards them. Let us show our love for God and neighbour and then we can build a community of Love.
29th Sunday Ordinary Time - 18 October 2020
Dear brothers and sisters,
Over the last few weeks we have read about Jesus challenging the Pharisees about their lack of belief in him as the fulfilment of God’s promise of sending a Messiah who would redeem the world. In the Gospel last week, we heard about their refusal to accept the invitation to be part of God’s kingdom. After all these parables the Pharisees now in today’s Gospel, seek a way to use against him in order to discredit Our Lord. In the Gospel we read about two different groups of people with opposite view points about the occupation of the Roman Empire in Israel. We have the Pharisees who despise the Romans and the Herodians who were in favour of the Romans. They are trying to put Jesus into a situation where, no matter what he answered, one of the groups would be able to make an accusation against him. If Jesus had said don’t pay taxes to Caesar, the Herodians then would be able to accuse him of calling the people to rebel against the Romans. On the other hand, if he said yes pay Caesar, then the Pharisees would be able to lay the accusation that he has gone against the Jewish people and sided with Rome. In his answer we have Jesus siding with no one and in fact saying that they have a duty to follow the civil law in so far that it is just and for the good of all society. For instance, in the question of taxes people do have a moral duty to pay tax as that tax should be used for the benefit of the people. Taxes when used properly should be used for things that benefit the greater community. Examples of this being that when taxes are used to build roads or build schools for education or heath facilities, then it is good and the people of the country would be obliged to pay the tax. When Jesus tells them to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God, he is telling them that they are citizens of two worlds. One an earthly world into which they were born and they live in a country. Second a heavenly or spiritual life where they have a relationship with God which was established through baptism. In each of these worlds there are moral implications and they need to follow their informed conscience. Now Jesus realized that it isn’t always as clear cut as it seems. There are times that these two worlds overlap and people face a dilemma as to what is right. In this instance he tells the people that their relationship with God always takes precedence. The relationship with God is of a higher value than that of the State.
As followers of Christ, we too are citizens of two worlds. We also have been born into the earthly world at a certain time and place. We belong to a country and are obligated to follow the laws of the country that are there for the good of all the citizens of the country. Some laws we might not agree with, but we can’t just sit back and follow the laws that suit us and discard the one’s we don’t like. For instance, we might not like the law that at this time says that we must wear masks when we go out into public spaces. We might even want to rebel against it but we are morally obliged to follow the law because it has been legislated for our own protection and the protection of others. It is not in our power to say because I don’t agree with the law I am not going to follow it. On the other hand, we also belong by baptism to the spiritual world where we also have the moral obligation to follow the laws of God. Again we don’t have the right to pick and choose what law of God I am going to follow and what law I am going to reject because it does not suit me. There are laws of God that might be difficult for us to follow but morally we need to follow them. For instance, I might not agree on God’s law about loving my enemies and praying for them but we are still obliged to follow it. God’s laws are there for all of us as Christians to live in harmony with each other. When we ourselves find that the laws of these two worlds overlap, we need to make sure that God’s law takes priority over man-made laws. The laws of this earthly world can come to an end but God’s laws never come to an end and therefore need to prevail. There we need to inform our consciences and always follow what God’s law tells us to do. This calls for an opening up of our hearts and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us as to what is right and what is wrong.
28th Sunday Ordinary Time - 11 October 2020
Dear brothers and sisters,
Over the last few weeks we have read about Jesus speaking in parables. All these parables are directed towards the Kingdom of God. We have had the parable of the two sons, the parable of the vineyard and today, we have the parable of the royal wedding feast. In all these parables, we have Jesus trying to teach the people different aspects of the Kingdom of God. In the first, it was doing the will of the Father, in the second it was producing the good fruit of Love, Hope and Faith and this week it is the responding to the invitation of God to be part of his Kingdom. As we have read over the last few weeks, many of the People of Israel were failing to respond to God’s call. Jesus keeps warning them that just because they were the chosen people that they were not entitled to just enter God’s Kingdom. They needed to respond to the invitation, which is the basis of the parable of this Sunday. In this parable of the wedding feast, the King (God) sends out his servants (the prophets) to invite the people to the banquet (the Kingdom of God). What we find is that the people respond with different excuses for not taking up the invitation. When you look at the excuses, one would think that they are quite plausible. One had to go see to work on his farm and another had business to see to. Others just were indifferent and in fact were vindictive, they mistreated the servants and even killed them. The King then sends other servants to the crossroads of the town to invite all people to the feast. Many of these respond in a positive way. They take up the invitation to the feast. These are the Gentiles and those who were considered the outcasts of society, people like the tax collectors and other sinners who were considered not worthy of God's Kingdom. What Jesus is trying to teach the Jewish people, especially their leaders, is that the Kingdom of God is for all people who respond to his teaching about God’s love for them and God’s call to repent and believe the Good News. Although people were not responding to Jesus’s invitation, Jesus never gave up. Right to the end of his ministry, Jesus is constantly calling people to listen and put into action his teaching. This is why he tells them all these parables. Jesus is constantly preaching the same message because he wants the people of all nations, no matter what their relationship with God is at that time, to turn away from the sins he or she is committing and avail themselves and open their hearts to the forgiveness of God. As we know many did and that it did not stop with the death and resurrection of Jesus, but through the grace of the Holy Spirit, the apostles carried on the teachings of Jesus.
This is even true today. The Kingdom, and the invitation to be part of that Kingdom, is a reality even today. In the Gospel parable today Jesus gives us the invitation to be part of his Kingdom. The question we need ask ourselves is, what is my response to the invitation? Do I respond but add an excuse even if to us it seems like a good excuse? In other words, I say to the Lord yes but not now. Is my response an outright No and don’t bother me, or is my response one of indifference? In other words, I just simple ignore the invitation as if I didn’t receive it. In my opinion the last response is the worst because it doesn’t give any indication were we are in our relationship with God. It is as if we sit on the fence and wait and see which way suits us best, according to what our will is and not what is the will of God. At least in the first two responses we give some indication where we are in our relationship with him. As with the people of Israel Jesus never gives up on us. His invitation is always there for us and we can open our hearts at any time and respond in a positive way to his invitation. He will always welcome us with open arms. Therefore my encouragement to you is to open your heart to Jesus and respond whole heartedly to his invitation to be part of his Kingdom.
September 2020 THANK YOU DEAR PARISHIONERS:
Thank you for your support, your patience, your prayers and your continued ongoing financial support during this time, which enables me to continue to run the parish. Thank you for the efforts made to ensure that your planned giving and offerings reach the church.
ST BERNARD'S & ST IGNATIUS
Mass at St Ignatius:
Weekday Mass on Wednesday at 9.00 am - Weekend Mass on Saturday at 5.00 pm and Sunday at 10.30 am
Mass at St Bernard's:
Weekday Mass on Tuesday at 9.00 am, Thursday at 5.00 pm, Friday at 9.00 am - Weekend Mass on Sunday at 9.00 am and 6.00 pm
OCTOBER 2020 INTENTIONS
1 Oct Thu Mortuary List
2 Oct Fri Mary Lack Intention
3 Oct Sat Regine Marie Cryer RIP
4 Oct Sun Pothier Mortuary List
5 Oct Mon No Mass
6 Oct Tue Lily & Raymond Pothier RIP
7 Oct Wed Mortuary List
8 Oct Thu Pro Populo
9 Oct Fri Mortuary List
10 Oct Sat Pro Populo
11 Oct Sun Bernard Pothier RIP
12 Oct Mon No Mass
13 Oct Tue Glenn Marschell RIP
14 Oct Wed Mortuary List
15 Oct Thu Mortuary List
16 Oct Fri John Caswell RIP
17 Oct Sat Edwin Rosslind RIP
18 Oct Sun Tessa Lakhani's father RIP / Pro Populo / Mortuary List
19 Oct Mon No Mass
20 Oct Tue Pro Populo
21 Oct Wed Festus Anyanwuagwu Intention
22 Oct Thu Staff Kalky’s Int
23 Oct Fri Mortuary List
24 Oct Sat Caleb Stellenboom RIP
25 Oct Sun Mortuary List / Pro Populo
26 Oct Mon No Mass
27 Oct Tue Festus Anyanwuagwu Intention
28 Oct Wed Mortuary List
29 Oct Thu Special Intention
30 Oct Fri Mortuary List
31 Oct Sat Special Intention
† † †
We remember in our prayers those who have gone before us:
18 March 2020 - Marjorie Van Rensburg
13 June 2020 - Yvonne Beckam
4 March 2020 - Henry Hugo
5 May 2020 - Stephanie Poezyn
May 2020 - Maurizio Allugrecia
19 June 2020 - Cecil Bradley
20 July 2020 - Paul Dobson
8 August 2020 - Jacqueline Petersen
9 August 2020 - John Kellett