We all love a good story. A story makes us think, and stimulates our imagination. Jesus often used stories – parables – as a way to get the attention of the people. He wanted his teaching not only to enter their heads, but their hearts, too.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells two little parables about seeds. Many of those listening were farmers. They knew what it was to plant seed and to wait anxiously, watching for the rain and the sunshine, hoping that the crops would grow. It would seem like a miracle when the precious crops grew and ripened and the harvest was ready at last. Jesus’ disciples knew, too, how a tiny mustard seed could grow into a tough and straggly plant.
What does the seed in the parables represent? It could stand for Jesus’ own teaching. Starting with a few disciples, he had now gathered a crowd of followers. The kingdom of God was growing, and it would go on growing. The tiny seed that Jesus planted has sprouted until, today, his disciples are all over the world. Or, the seed could stand for our own response to Jesus’ teaching; our words and actions of love. Whenever we show our care for one another and witness to our faith, we are planting seeds of the kingdom of God, and the Lord will make them grow.
The diocesan Emmaus Team are trained in listening skills and in supporting those who are suffering loss. If you feel that it would help you to talk with a member of the team, you can contact them on 07732 908 740, or speak to Fr Andrew.
A small group of Lay Dominicans meets on the third Sunday of each month at 2:30pm – currently on Zoom – for about 60-75 minutes. We have a blend of prayer and of discussion as we consider what it means to bring the Word of God into our daily living. If you would like to know more about the Lay Dominicans or would like to join our Zoom meeting on Sunday 20th June when we shall be exploring our celebration of liturgy in a time of pandemic then contact Andy Doyle (email@example.com or 0798 543 4185).
The Real Sister Act – Confronting the Uneasy History of Racial Segregation and Exclusion in Female Religious Life in the United States. Dr Shannen Dee Williams (Villanova University, USA.) Tuesday 15 June at 6.00pm, online. Register at https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com
Sunday 20th June. The Day for Life is an annual celebration of the intrinsic value and dignity of every human person from conception to natural death. For a message from Bishop Sherrington, see the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales
Sea Sunday will be held this year on 11 July. On that day, you are asked to kindly remember seafarers and fishers in your prayers and to support the Catholic charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea). For more information, see www.stellamaris.org.uk/seasunday
An exhibition of icons of well-loved Northern saints from Anglo-Saxon to Elizabethan times.
The icons reflect people of faith from every walk of life – from housewives to kings, from hermits to bishops. They were “written” by a group of keen amateur iconographers at the Oaklea Centre in Sunderland. Icon workshops are held there every year and have attracted a number of enthusiastic followers.
The exhibition will run from 17th June to 4th July in St Joseph’s Chapel, Ushaw. Free with entry pass.
Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. Usually, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion would be asked to renew their commitment to service at Mass this Sunday, but this has been postponed due to the continuing Covid restrictions.
Click here to read a reflection for the Feast of Corpus Christi from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales.
Congratulations to Aiyana and Samuel, who will make their First Holy Communion at the 10am Mass this Sunday (6th June) and to Marcos and Michele, who will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation on the same day. Please pray for them and for their families. The Confirmation Mass will be live streamed on our YouTube channel at 3pm on Sunday.
The next collection is Sunday 6th June. Donations can be brought in at any time and left in the box provided. Any of the following items are welcome :- toilet rolls, tinned (tomatoes, fish, chick peas), biscuits, sugar, rice
Salvation as Healing and Healing as Salvation. Prof David Albert Jones (Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Oxford.) Wednesday 9 June at 5pm, online. Everyone is welcome – please register at https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com
How Do You Know It’s God? Discerning a Vocation to Ministry in Churches. Featuring Lynne McChlery, Mike Higton and Clare Watkins, chaired by Karen Kilby. Thursday 10 June, 5.30-6.45pm, online. Register at https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com
Today’s reading for the Feast of the Holy Trinity comes from the very end of Matthew’s Gospel. After rising from the dead, Jesus meets the apostles on the mountain top. There are only eleven left – Judas has gone. When the disciples see the risen Jesus, they fall down and worship him, but some hesitate. They ran away and abandoned Jesus when he was arrested. They saw him die. Now that he has risen from the dead, the disciples’ joy is mixed with uncertainty and confusion.
Jesus sends his followers out with a mission. He wants them to pass on the Good News that they have heard from him, and to make disciples of people from all the nations. Jesus chooses the apostles for this mission, knowing that they are weak and sinful men, who let him down at his worst moment.
The disciples did spread the Gospel all over the world. We are among the people of all nations, who have been baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Like the disciples, Jesus has chosen us, although we are sinners, for the mission of spreading the Good News. God has revealed to us the mystery that Father, Son and Spirit are one God in three Persons. We can never fully understand the Holy Trinity, but today we celebrate the mystery.
Congratulations to Dorothea, George, Katie and Madeleine, who have celebrated the Sacraments of Initiation, after taking part in this year’s Journey in Faith programme. Please pray for the candidates who will celebrate the sacraments next Sunday at 3pm. The Mass is for the candidates and their invited family and friends, but it will also be live streamed on our YouTube channel.
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