The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Today we celebrate the great solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This is the last Sunday of the Church’s year which means we focus on the final and glorious things to come!  It also means that next Sunday will be the First Sunday of Advent.

 

When we say Jesus is a king, we mean a few things. First, He is our Shepherd. As our Shepherd He desires to lead us personally as a loving friend would. He wants to enter our lives personally, intimately and carefully, never imposing Himself but always offering Himself as our guide. The difficulty with this is that it’s very easy for us to reject this kind of kingship. As King, Jesus desires to lead every aspect of our lives and lead us in all things. He desires to become the absolute ruler and monarch of our souls. He wants us to come to Him for everything and to become dependent upon Him always. But He will not impose this sort of kingship upon us. We must accept it freely and without reservation. Jesus will only govern our lives if we freely surrender ourselves over to Him. When that happens, though, His Kingdom begins to become established within us! And through us in the world.

 

A Prayer to Christ the King

O Jesus Christ, we acknowledge You as Universal King.

All that has been made has been created for You.

We renew our Baptismal Vows. We renounce Satan,

his pomp and his works; we promise to live as good Christians.

and, in particular we do pledge ourselves to labour, to the best of our ability,

for the triumph of the rights of God and of Your Church. Divine Heart of Jesus,

to You do we offer our services. We labour so that all hearts may acknowledge

Your sacred kingship and that thus, the reign of Your peace

may be established throughout the whole universe.

Amen

 

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

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

During this month of November, we will pray for the Faithful Departed at Mass every day. We will remember especially those included on the November List of the Dead. In this time of restricted Masses, we have set up a ‘virtual’ November List of the Dead to remember those of our departed friends and loved ones who are on their last great journey towards the eternal light of God. It can be viewed on the Parish Website. If you haven’t yet had chance to add your family or loved ones to the list please email the names to whitchurch@rcadc.org

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  If you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, November 23rd.

Thirty-Third Sunday of the Year – The Parable of the Talents

Today’s Gospel tells how the followers of Jesus are to act as we await the coming of God’s Kingdom.

 

This familiar parable talks about the talents each of us receive, each different, but all building up the family of God, the faithful followers of Jesus.

 

The parable teaches that God’s judgment will be based on the way we use the gifts we have been given. Our gifts, or talents, are given to us for the service of God and of others. If we fail to use these gifts, God’s judgment on us will be severe. On the other hand, if we make use of these gifts in service to the Kingdom of Heaven, we will be rewarded and entrusted with even more gifts.

 

We are reminded today that our life of prayer helps us to discern the gifts that have been given to us by God. This prayer and discernment can lead us to use our gifts to the greater glory of God and to support our neighbours.

 

As we hear the gospel may we be fruitful in using the gifts God has given to us to his greater glory.

 

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

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

During this month of November, we will pray for the Faithful Departed at Mass every day. We will remember especially those included on the November List of the Dead. In this time of restricted Masses, we have set up a ‘virtual’ November List of the Dead to remember those of our departed friends and loved ones who are on their last great journey towards the eternal light of God. It can be viewed on the Parish Website.

 

If you haven’t yet had chance to add your family or loved ones to the list please email the names to whitchurch@rcadc.org

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  If you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, November 16th.

Remembrance Sunday

On this Remembrance Sunday we are very conscious of the strange circumstances surrounding this year’s Act of Remembrance in churches, chapels, memorials and war cemeteries as our churches remain closed and the annual memorial held by the Royal British Legion here at Whitchurch has been cancelled due to the ‘Firebreak’. For over a century the silence, prayers, the laying of the wreath by the Sovereign and the march past of veterans and their widows has spoken clearly of gratitude and respect, a gratitude and respect we continue to maintain in a new way this year.

 

Today at St. Teilo’s we will celebrate a Requiem Mass for all those who have died in war. We can pray for all of the departed who have lost their lives as a result of the inhumanity of war.

 

At the end of Mass, we will have two minutes’ silence as an Act of Remembrance. Our silence is one of prayer. The expression of our gratitude to those who served and have died is prayer and the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for their souls. “At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.” May they rest in peace. AMEN

 

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

 

This week’s newsletter can be found here.

 

During this month of November, we will pray for the Faithful Departed at Mass every day. We will remember especially those included on the November List of the Dead. In this time of restricted Masses, we have set up a ‘virtual’ November List of the Dead to remember those of our departed friends and loved ones who are on their last great journey towards the eternal light of God. It can be viewed on the Parish Website.

If you haven’t yet had chance to add your family or loved ones to the list please email the names to whitchurch@rcadc.org

 

 

Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday.  If you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, November 9th.

All Saints

Today is the great solemnity of All Saints.

 

The earliest observance of a feast in honour of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of “all the martyrs.” In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagon-loads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The Pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the Pope intended “that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honoured in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons” St. Bede in On the Calculation of Time.

 

This feast first honoured martyrs. Later, when Christians were free to worship according to their consciences, the Church acknowledged other paths to sanctity. In the early centuries, the only criterion was popular acclaim, even when the bishop’s approval became the final step in placing a commemoration on the calendar. The first papal canonisation occurred in 993. The lengthy process, now required to prove extraordinary sanctity, took shape in the last 500 years. Today’s feast honours the obscure as well as the famous, the saints each of us has known.

 

This solemnity is a Holyday of Obligation but we are released from the obligation this year in line with the Bishops’ Conference guidelines. However, we are all encouraged to celebrate the day by remembering those who have gone before us in faith and now share the glory of heaven.

 

As Wales is in a Coronavirus firebreak lockdown 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.

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.