23rd Sunday of the Year

Stepping out once more

So once more we are about to begin another chapter in the volume which is the life and times of the Parish of St Thomas More. Having reached the age of sixty and celebrated our Diamond Jubilee you might have thought that a bit of slowing down was the order of the day but not a bit of it! Along with St Hugh’s Bilborough and St Teresa’a Aspley we are about to launch a bold and exciting move in which we are called to work collaboratively with those parishes in a team ministry of co-pastors and parishioners. It will be a challenging time for us all as we take note of new and different daily and Sunday mass times along with travelling to our sister Churches for other liturgies and joint activities as well as welcoming them into our parish. So let’s not forget how vital it is that we begin quickly to start work on re-ordering our own Church and this itself offers a great point of focus for our parish to roll up its sleeves once more and immerse itself in the business of making the kingdom really present in our lives. It is interesting how in this week’s gospel we hear Jesus speaking about the need to be mindful of what resources we have available to us so that we can properly carry out the task of proclaiming the Good News. We should be rightly proud of the community we have here, which is so rich in its diversity as well as being so determined in its commitment to witness to the presence of Christ amongst us.

Those of you who have been coming to the liturgy during last week will have heard the story of the call of Simon Peter as told by Luke, and I think that his example should be one which we can easily apply to our selves and to our situation, as we begin this new endeavour. It is clear from the way in which Luke tells the story that Simon would have been aware of the presence of Jesus even before he met him. It is most probable that the episode in and around the synagogue at Nazareth would have made headlines in the neighbourhood, and Capernaum where Simon Peter lived, was only about 20 miles from Nazareth. So when Jesus comes to the synagogue in Capernaum Simon would have been there too. Seeing Jesus cure a man on the Sabbath would surely have made him wonder about who this man was, and for Jesus to then actually go to Simon’s house and heal his mother in law, must have been even more amazing. The upshot was that Simon’s home was immediately turned into some sort of A&E unit with people bringing their sick to Jesus to be cured. It must have set Simon’s mind racing. What was going on. Who was this man and why is he highlighting
me? And then, after a night of fruitless labour on the lake, Jesus appears once more with his command to pay out the nets. We know the story so well that we sometimes miss what it is saying to us.

Well ,we are all disciples, followers of Jesus, and we all have our mission. We all feel the pull and the call of Christ even if we sometimes don’t always respond. But Jesus comes into the very heart of our own domestic situations and settles in the heart of our homes. He heals what is ill and generously responds to those in need with compassion and love. He reminds us that the boundaries of his love are not confined but are to be spread and shared and he shows that even if our work can at times exhaust us and seem inconsequential, his gentle encouragement to us to pay out the nets once more can reap great rewards.

So we are once again at the threshold of a new endeavour and we ask that the Lord will bless what we are about to embark upon. We pray that we will all, priests and people alike,
support and encourage one another as we place our trust in him to guide and nurture us in the months and years ahead.

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