Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbour as yourself.

Good Morning – let’s hope everyone remembered the clock went forward last night and we are here at 10am GMT not 9am!

‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’ Matthew 22:36-40

Today’s gospel is set in the last two weeks of Jesus’ life at a time when he is going to the temple every day and preaching his final preaching. In two weeks time he will be arrested and put on trial and found guilty and he will die. And the Pharisees ask the question, “What is the most important Commandment?”

The Jewish people had a lot of Commandments. We think of only the ten, the Ten Commandments, but they had at least six hundred and seventy. When they talk about the Commandments, the Jews revered all of them – the smallest and the biggest – but they also knew that all of them had a common cause – what it was to be loved by God and to love God.

What Jesus reminds them and reminds us is that all that writing, all that talking, all the sermons we have heard have only one subject and that is: love God with your whole heart and love your neighbour as yourself. Knowing this truth is to know Jesus, following this truth is to follow him, through the Cross, to the glory of the Resurrection and eternal life with his Father.

As Wales is in a Coronavirus firebreak lockdown from 6pm Friday, October 23rd until 12:01am on Monday, November 9th, there will be no Masses open to attendees at St. Teilo’s or Our Lady of Lourdes during this period. Mass will continue to be broadcast online each day at 10.00am.

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God

In today’s gospel we hear the powers that be in Jesus’ time attempting to trap him in political intrigue. Jesus wants to show those around him what really matters. So, he takes a coin and asks his questioners to look at it. Whose image is on this coin in 1st century Judea, Caesar’s image is on the coin as the region the Romans called Palestine is under their control. Jesus tells his questioners that as the coin bears Caesar’s image it must belong to Caesar and be given back to him.

While Jesus does not say it explicitly, he is asking his listeners and asking us, whose image is marked on us. Some of us will remember the question in the catechism of our childhood: “In whose image and likeness did God make you?”

The answer: “God made me in his own image and likeness.” This makes Jesus’ point in the gospel clear that we are made in the image and likeness of God and what belongs to God must be given back to God.

 

This is a great reminder to us all that we must keep things in their proper perspective. God has made us to be his children, he sent his Son Jesus to redeem us, so we are called not to waste too much time on the things of rulers, but to spend as much of our time as possible on the things of God.

 

Give to God what belongs to God – our very selves.

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am today, Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  We are full for today’s Mass, but if you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, October 19th.

Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time – The parable of the wedding feast

Today we hear the parable of the wedding feast. In it Jesus offers an image of the kingdom of heaven as a great banquet at a wedding, something which can no longer happen in our socially distancing times!!

In today’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah and in today’s psalm, the Lord’s goodness is evident in the symbol of a feast of good food and wine. Jesus’ listeners would have been familiar with the image of a wedding feast as a symbol for God’s salvation. They would consider themselves to be the invited guests. Keeping this in mind helps us to understand the critique Jesus makes with this parable. The context for this parable is the growing tension between Jesus and the religious leaders in Jerusalem.

 

The parable Jesus tells is straightforward. The king dispatches his servants to invite the guests to the wedding feast that he is planning for his son. The listeners would have been surprised to learn that the first guests refused the invitation. Who would refuse the king’s invitation? A second dispatch of servants follows. Again, to the listeners’ great surprise, some guests ignore the invitation. Some of the invited guests even go so far as to mistreat and kill the servants.

 

With the invited guests now deemed unworthy to attend the king’s wedding feast, the servants are sent to invite whomever they can find. The guests arrive, but it appears that accepting the king’s invitation brings certain obligations. The guest who failed to dress in the appropriate wedding attire is cast out of the feast. We are reminded that while many are invited to the kingdom of heaven, not all are able to meet its requirements. God invites us to his feast, giving us his salvation. Yet he asks us to repent for our sins.

 

Jesus’ message in the parable cautions against exclusive beliefs about the kingdom of heaven. The parable also teaches about humility. Those who assume that they are the invited guests may find that they have refused the invitation, and so others are invited in their place. To accept the invitation is also to accept its obligations. God wants our full conversion in complete acceptance of his mercy.

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am today, Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  We are full for today’s Mass, but if you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, October 12th.

Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time – The parable of the tenants

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to the priests and elders with a parable. In this parable, the landowner leases his vineyard to tenants and sends his servants to collect the portion of the harvest that the tenants owe to him. Several times the servants are sent to collect payment, and each time they are beaten and killed by the tenants. Finally, the landowner sends his son to collect his rent. The tenants, believing that they will inherit the vineyard if the landowner dies without an heir, plot together and kill the landowner’s son.

 

In telling the parable, Jesus is drawing upon Isaiah 5:1-7, which is today’s first reading and one that the priests and elders would have known well. Jesus doesn’t, therefore, have to explain the symbolism of the parable; the Pharisees would have understood that the vineyard represented Israel, the landowner represented God, the servants represented the prophets, and the bad tenants represented the religious leaders. Yet Jesus nonetheless explains the meaning of the parable for his audience: The Kingdom of God will be taken from the unbelieving and given to the faithful. The chief priests and elders have condemned themselves with their answer to Jesus’ question.

 

This Gospel reminds us of the importance of listening to God’s word and acting upon it. God speaks to us in many ways—through Scripture, through the Church’s tradition, in the Church’s teaching, and through modern-day prophets. Are we attentive and receptive to God’s word to us?

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

Mass will continue to only be celebrated online during the Cardiff Lockdown period.

 

Ceremonies not open to the general public, for example funerals, baptisms and weddings, will still go ahead.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Which of the two did the Father’s will?

Today’s gospel invites us to reflect on our relationship with Jesus. Are we like the chief priests and elders of Jesus day, who keep the message of the gospel with our lips, but not with our lives? Or are we those who do the will of God in all we do, think and say.

 

The gospel shows the chief priests and elders questioning Jesus about the source of his authority. Jesus refuses to name for these religious leaders the source of his authority. Instead, he questions them. The answer they give is correct, but it convicts them for their failure to heed the call of John the Baptist and for their inability to recognise Jesus as the bearer of the Kingdom of God.

 

The situation Jesus poses is rather straightforward. Given the same task by their father, one son asserts his disobedience in words, but then obeys in his actions; the second son obeys with his words but disobeys in his actions. The question that Jesus poses is pointed and direct: Which son did what the father wanted? All would agree that “actions speak louder than words” and that even if his words were disobedient, the son who did the work as ordered did the father’s will.

 

Jesus’ conclusion is also direct. The chief priests and elders, the ones who speak most often about God, did not act accordingly. They did not respond to the message of repentance announced by John the Baptist with a change of heart. Instead, John’s message was heeded by those one would not expect to repent—tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners. Because of their actions, these sinners will enter the Kingdom of God ahead of the religious leaders.

 

Jesus asks us the same question. Do our words indicate our obedience to God? If not our words, do our actions? God desires a full conversion of heart from us all. He desires that our actions (and our words as well) will give evidence of our love for God. Will we say Yes to the call of Jesus? Will we take up our cross each day and follow him?

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

The Welsh Government has announced that as from today (Sunday, September 27th) at 6.00pm, the City and County of Cardiff will enter local lockdown restrictions due to the recent increases in Coronavirus cases. As part of the lockdown, parishes have been asked by the Archdiocese to review safety measures and reassess capacity figures for Masses. Mr. Paul Doherty, Parish Health and Safety representative, has conducted the review and advised that, given the profile of those who have been attending public Masses and the wellbeing of the small number of stewards who have volunteered, the parish should suspend the public celebration of Mass until the local lockdown is lifted. Canon Isaac has taken Paul’s advice and made the decision to cease public Masses after today, Sunday, September 27th until the local lockdown is lifted by the Welsh Government.

 

Mass will continue to be celebrated online during this period.

 

Ceremonies not open to the general public, for example funerals, baptisms and weddings, will still go ahead.

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – The Workers in the Vineyard

Today’s gospel is a reminder to us all that when we come to meet the Lord we do so in trust and love, not for rewards or personal gain, but through a free offering of ourselves to him, who loves us equally in return.

 

In the gospel we hear that the landowner paid on the terms that were negotiated. Yet, we often are tempted to agree with those who have worked all day that they should be paid more. Yet the landowner in the parable has given those who laboured in the field for a full day their due pay. But he has also given a full-day’s wage to those who worked only a single hour. No one is cheated, but a few receive abundantly from the landowner just as we receive from God more than what is merely justifiable or due. God, like the landowner, is radically just and abundantly generous to us. We do not deserve his grace, his love, but he gives us to all who turn to him whenever we turn to him.

 

The parable reminds us that although God owes us nothing, he offers abundantly and equally. We are occasionally tempted to think that our own actions deserve more reward, more of God’s abundant mercy, than the actions of others. But God’s generosity cannot be quantified or partitioned into different amounts for different people. When we think that way, we are trying to relate to God on our terms rather than to accept God’s radically different ways.

 

So we pray: Help me Lord today to come to you, to know the rewards of your love, and not to want more than another, but to exult in all you have given us in your great generosity.

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am today, Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  We are full for today’s Mass, but if you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, September 21st.

Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes (Vigil Mass of Sunday) – Saturday September 19th at 5.30pm

We will be reopening Our Lady of Lourdes for English language Mass on Saturday next at 5.30pm (Polish Masses resumed last weekend).

 

If you do wish to attend (and have not already done so) please book a slot by ringing Carole Burns on 07747 562847 between 12 Noon and 1pm on Friday, September 18th. There is currently plenty of availability.

 

Please do not attend Mass on Saturday if you have not booked a place.

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – To be forgiven, you must forgive

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22.

 

Here at the beginning of the gospel of today we are challenged to forgive, forgive and forgive again. It sounds so easy. “I forgive you.” “Forgive me. I forgive you.” But all of us know that saying it is one thing and deep down in our hearts it’s quite another. Misunderstandings and angers can go deep, disagreements can go on and on. This is where Jesus challenges us, as he challenges the apostles to change our lives, to allow him to change our hearts, so that we can truly forgive all those who have hurt or harmed us.

 

Sadly, we often justify ourselves and feel that it isn’t our fault. The other person is to blame. But Jesus doesn’t ask who is to blame, he asks if we are generous enough, loving enough to forgive.

 

Jesus says, “If you don’t forgive, how can you ask your Father to forgive you when you are in the wrong?” So, as we pray the Our Father today, at Mass, during the Rosary, in the Chaplet and in our other private prayer let us say the words: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” and mean them. Because if we want to be forgiven, we must forgive, not just confess before God what we have done wrong (we need to do that too) but to truly have a change of heart, a heart filled with Christ’s love and forgive all who have done us harm, so that we can know the loving forgiveness of the Farther in our lives.

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am today, Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  We are full for today’s Mass, but if you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, September 14th.

Twenty Third Sunday of Ordinary Time – For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them

In today’s Gospel St. Matthew (18:15-20) tells us that Jesus speaks of a common occurrence in the Christian community: a dispute between two members of the Church. Jesus outlines a procedure for settling such matters fairly. The victim should privately address the offender and attempt to resolve the dispute without outside involvement. If that fails, then the victim should bring two or three witnesses and confront the offender again. If the dispute is still unresolved, the matter should be brought to the attention of the entire community. If the offender refuses to adhere to the reparations prescribed by the community, then Jesus suggests that the offender may be expelled from the Church.

 

 

Jesus does not discourage disagreement within the community of the Church; he acknowledges the reality of conflict and error and offers his disciples a means for addressing such matters. It is in the conclusion to this teaching that the message of hope is found – Jesus is present with the community and will guide the community in its relations. If decisions are taken in prayer, then the community can be assured of God’s assistance.

 

 

At a time when Twitter, You Tube and Facebook have members of the Church not just disagreeing, but doing so publicly and in a way that hurts not builds up the Body of Christ we need to reflect on our own response to Jesus. Yes, we may disagree but we do so in fraternal love and with prayer and respect for those who disagree with us, not with hurtful words and negative actions. So, let us trust in the Lord’s words and remember where two or three meet in his name in person or online, the Lord has promised that he will be with us.

 

 

Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.

 

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am today, Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  We are full for today’s Mass, but if you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, September 7th.

Online Donations to the Parish – An update

From today – 31st of August – all donations to the Parish made online should be done at a new web address (url):

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Stteiloswitholol

The donation button on the front page of the website has been updated to take account of the change.

You will notice some slight differences on the Virgin Money Giving page but the main functions will operate just as before.

When we set up the original page at the start of the pandemic it enabled us to provide an immediate solution to the finanical needs of the Parish. To speed the set up the donations were all directed to the Archdiocesan Account and paid back to the Parish Account from the Archdiocese.

Now we have settled into using Virgin Money Giving, and have some time to sort things out, we (along with the other parishes of the Archdiocese) have been able to set up a new page so that all donations come straight to the Parish Accounts, rather than via Archbishop’s House.

Please contine to donate via Virgin Money Giving for those one off donations or consider a Standing Order for regular monthly donations to the life of the Parish. If you would like to set up a standing order please e-mail whitchurch@rcadc.org for more information.