How are your New Year resolutions panning out? Some of you most probably haven’t made any because you know from experience that by the middle of the month things have stalled. The year 2020 has been designated by the Bishops of England and Wales “The Year of the Word.” They are encouraging us to embark “on a creative and deeper engagement with the Holy Scriptures.” If you don’t do resolutions or if you are wondering where to put your energy this year could I suggest that as a parish we together embark on a creative and deeper engagement with Scripture in this Year designated “The God who speaks”. We, the parish, have provided 300 free copies of St Matthews gospel. This is because, in the three cycle of readings the Church, this year focuses on St Matthew. There are still a few copies left in the Narthex.
Starting this coming Wednesday, Chris Chapman is presenting three sessions on using Scripture in prayer. Wednesday January 15th is, “Reading and praying the Psalms”. Wednesday January 22nd is “Reading and praying the Gospels,” and Wednesday January 29th is “Reading and praying the parables of Jesus”. Do come. These sessions will be in St. Thomas’ Church Hall, 7.30pm to 9pm.
The Third Sunday of the Year, which this year is 26th January, has been designate by Pope Francis “A Sunday of the Word of God.” I encourage you to bring your own personal home Bible to Sunday Mass on this Sunday as a way of reminding you of the importance of that book in your homes and we will bless it during Mass.
There is also a double sided sheet called “Wednesday word” that will be available every week at the back of the church and contains the following Sunday’s Gospel. In this way you will be able to pray and reflect on the following Sunday’s Gospel during the course of the week.(preferably on a Wednesday). We have a scripture group that meets after lunchtime Mass on a Thursday in the Upper Room to do precisely this.
Finally look at the website http://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/ There are some excellent ideas and resources and articles to think about.
Here is the Official Prayer for the year that we could say.
you walk alongside us and
speak to us through the scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ,
listens to our hopes and fears
and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us your Holy Spirit
to open our hearts and minds
so that we may be your witnesses
throughout the world.