Rising to the challenge
It is hard not to feel sorry for the third servant in today’s gospel. The first two servants are praised for making the most of the ‘talents’ (money) given to them by their master. In return, they are promised even greater things. The third man, paralysed by uncertainty, buries his small amount of money in the ground instead of doing something with it. His actions are based in fear – he has heard the master is tough and he does not want to take any risks. At least he is able to return what he has been given, he reasons.
But he is shocked to learn that instead of praise, or even a neutral reaction to match his own neutral actions, he is reprimanded as ‘wicked and lazy’ and cast out. This parable has been described as a story of ‘tragic miscalculation’. The servant didn’t do anything awful – which is why we tend to have some sympathy for him – but he didn’t do his best either. The real tragedy is not that he didn’t make any more money; it is that he failed to appreciate the opportunity he had been given and to make the most of it.
We are all dealt different cards in life, and undoubtedly some are much tougher than others. We are like the servants in the parable who are given different amounts of money to look after. The point is not the amount of ‘talents’ given to each. It is not the circumstances of our lives or our natural gifts that are important, but how we use them. Jesus was cautioning against playing it safe. Instead of turning inwards or living in fear, we are called to meet challenges head on and discover what wonderful things might happen.
‘Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.’
Weekly Collection Sunday 8th Nov amounted to £1125.00 Thank you for your generous financial support.
COVID-19 UPDATE Further to the recent Executive update …. FACE COVERINGS are now mandatory at all times when entering and exiting our Churches, and should be worn inside the Church. Please remember to bring your own mask, as Parish resources are limited.
FUNERALS are limited to 25 people, with no pre- or postfuneral gatherings.
WEDDINGS are also limited to 25. These measures will remain in place until mid November.
NOVEMBER DEAD LISTS Are now available at front and side entrances of Church. Please leave completed lists into the Sacristy Thank you
Annual Masses for the Deceased Planned for this Monday 16th Nov & the following Monday 23rd November @7pm. These Masses are subject to change in line with COVID-19 restrictions. Please refer to our website for updates.
SVP CHRISTMAS CARDS Are now available after all weekend Masses. This year they will be sold from the front porch.
PRAYER INTENTIONS: We extend our sympathies to the families of those who died recently and those whose month’s mind and anniversary occur at this time.
Sat: Vigil 6.30pm: Mary Gribbin
Sun: 9.30am: Priest’s intention
12.30pm: John O’ Rawe, Pat Ross
Mon: 10am: NOV DEAD LIST
Tue: 10am: No Mass
Wed: 10am: NOV DEAD LIST
Thurs:10am: NOV DEAD LIST
Fri: 10am: NOV DEAD LIST
Sat: 1pm: Loretta Mary Carlin ( Ashes )
In the event of a funeral, the assigned intention will be offered privately by the priest at his first available mass.
Recently Deceased: Veronica , Patricia Power
Those whose anniversaries occur at this time: Richard Glenholmes, Martin Morgan snr, Peter Breen, Owen Kelly, James Hunter, Lucy Gallagher
Kathleen Mc Cann, Thomas Mulvenna, Sadie Mc Grillen, Billy Mc Veigh, James Barber, Brendan Ryan.
Mass for deceased with Bishop Noel Wednesday 18th November at 7pm Saint Peter’s Cathedral. Remembering all those who have died this year. Mass will be streamed on the Cathedral webcam, https://www.churchservices.tv/stpeterscathedral
FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTIONS Will take place in St. Matthia’s Church, Glen Road on Saturday 5th December- 3pm- Adoration, Confession, 4pm- Celebration of Holy Mass. Please come and bring a friend.
4 CORNERS FESTIVAL
I would like to share with you our exciting plans for the 9th annual 4 Corners Festival, taking place from 31 Jan – 7 Feb 2021. In light of the pandemic we have crafted a programme of online and hybrid in-person/online events (regulations permitting).
Our theme is BREATHE…. emanating from the Hebrew word Ruach which means ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’ – the source of life, inspired by the numerous appearances of that word in the Bible.
The programme is designed to encourage the breathing of hope and creativity into our city and to foster resilience as we contend with the challenges of the pandemic. We are delighted to have Professor John Paul Lederach, the internationally renowned conflict transformation expert, as our keynote speaker.
We would love to let you know about the full programme when it is released and invite you to sign up to book your free places at events. We will be emailing this information to our contact database as a priority. Sign up here to receive it, or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. (We will not share your data with other organisations. View our data protection policy here.)
We hope that you will be able to join us for as many events as possible from the comfort of your home via your laptop, tablet, phone, PC or TV in the same way that so many of us have been attending meetings and accessing church services online. If you sign up to receive 4 Corners emails we will let you know how to book your place (online, and potentially in person where regulations allow) when the full programme is released. And a week before each event, we will be in touch with everyone registered to provide the specific details to access it.
We are really keen that the festival would be a blessing to the community of Belfast and beyond and to this end we would ask that you would help us to spread the word about the festival among your churches, networks and community. If you like, we will be able to send you digital copies of posters and the programme to share with your churches and communities. It would really help us if you would like and/or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. #4Corners2021
Thanks for your support. We look forward to seeing you either in person or virtually.
HAIRCUT FOR HABITAT: Last month Fr Raymond McCullagh had his hair cut in aid of Habitat for Humanity, Ethiopia. He wants to thank everyone who donated so generously to this appeal over the past number of weeks. The final online total exceeded £28K and with other donations plus Gift Aid the overall amount will well exceed £30,000. These funds will help build 6 new houses and a water supply in Kombolcha, Northern Ethiopia. Special thanks are also due to Fiona Fitzpatrick for joining the team and parishes throughout the Diocese who promoted the fundraiser. On behalf of the homeowners and all the Habitat family in Ethiopia, a heartfelt Ameseginalehu! (Thank you in Amharic – Ethiopian language)
PRAYER IN A PANDEMIC
Lord, help me be prepared, but not anxious. Be aware, but not desperate. Be vigilant, but not in fear. Be joyful, but not clueless. Be faithful, but not careless. Lord, be my hope and strength. Amen.