I know my sheep they follow me

Who is included in God’s Church? Today’s readings make it clear that everyone is included. In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear how Paul and Barnabas preached the Word of God as they travelled, to pagans as well as Jews. In the book of the Apocalypse, John has a vision of the Church gathered before the throne of Jesus, the Lamb of God. He sees ‘a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language.’ Everyone is welcome in God’s kingdom. Nation or race, language or tribe are not important – only faith.

In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd, who knows each one of his sheep. The Church includes ‘a huge number, impossible to count;’ but the Lord knows every member of his Church by name, and he loves each one uniquely. Every sheep is precious to the Good Shepherd.

Jesus goes on to say, ‘the Father and I are one.’ Jesus’ love for God’s people flows from the love and unity of Father and Son. As members of God’s Church, we are invited to share in their love.

Online Events

  • Gospel Reflection & Coffee Morning; join us at 10.30am on Saturday mornings to reflect on the readings for this Sunday’s Mass. The reflection will last about 50 minutes and, after a 10-minute break, our social coffee morning will start around 11.30am. You’re welcome to join us for the whole two hours, but you’re also welcome to leave after the Gospel Reflection, or join us for social time at 11.30am.
  • Morning Prayer of the Church; Monday-Friday at 8.00am, in church and on Zoom.

Both these events take place on Zoom; for the login details, see the St Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook group, or email margaretdoyle1066@sky.com

Durham University researcher working on Irish identity

My dissertation is looking at how storytelling shapes identity of Irish communities in the U.K. I hope to interview anyone who identifies in some way with the Isle of Ireland (NI and IRL). The interview will involve a few questions about storytelling, drawing a family tree (anonymised of course), drawing a picture of what your identity means to you and telling me a story which can be about anything at all! It shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes and can be arranged in a public setting/ via Zoom at your convenience. Contacts: emily.m.jeffries@durham.ac.uk  or 07701 329143.

MA in Catholic Theology by Distance Learning

An exciting new venture led by the Centre for Catholic Studies and the Department of Theology & Religion at Durham University. The MA will begin this coming October and is designed so that participants can work through material at their own pace, studying equally well in any time zone and in many different life situations, alongside work, ministry, family or caring obligations. Full details at: https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/courses/v8k807/

Do you love me?

At the Last Supper, Peter was full of bravado, saying that he was ready to lay down his life for Jesus. But before sunrise, a fearful Peter had denied three times that he even knew Jesus, just as the Lord foretold. In today’s Gospel, Peter meets the risen Christ. How is Peter feeling? Is he afraid of meeting anger or rejection from his friend? It must have been a difficult moment for him.

Peter denied Jesus three times. Now, Jesus asks him three times, ‘Do you love me?’  and Peter replies three times that he does. In response, the Lord calls Peter to look after his lambs and sheep – to care for the disciples after Jesus has returned to God the Father. 

This difficult moment became a moment of conversion for Peter. He gave the rest of his life to leading the Church. In today’s First Reading, we see him fearlessly witnessing for Christ in Jerusalem. In the end, Peter did give his life for Jesus. According to tradition, he was martyred for the faith in Rome, crucified upside down on the site where St Peter’s basilica stands today. 

Today, the Lord asks us the same question he asked Peter; ‘Do you love me?’ We show our love by feeding the lambs and sheep; by caring for one another, as Peter learned to do.

Deep and Daring: The Gospel of John for the 21st Century 

Deep and Daring: The Gospel of John for the 21st Century
A public lecture by David F. Ford -5pm in Leech Hall, St John’s College, Durham, Tuesday 3 May 2022.

David is Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the University of Cambridge. He is one of the founders of Scriptural Reasoning and has been extensively involved in generating new modes of engagement for interfaith relations. His latest book is The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary (Baker, 2022) – ‘a commentary of rare value … a truly Christ-centered and Spirit-breathing work’ (Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury).

Free event! All welcome. If you would like to attend, please register at https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com.

Parish Annual General Meeting

This year’s AGM will take place on Thursday 5th May at 7.30pm in the parish room. The meeting is open to everyone – please do come along to hear reports about everything that’s been happening in the parish in the last 12 months, and to let us know your opinions on what we are doing and your ideas for our parish community. The AGM will also include elections for the Parish Pastoral Council. We haven’t had elections for the last 2 years because of the COVID disruption and we’re always keen to get new people involved, so please do consider standing for the PPC – there are 3 posts.

You can also attend the AGM via Zoom – email margaretdoyle1066@sky.com for login details.

If you have any agenda items for the AGM, please contact the secretary, Susan Penswick. If you’d like to talk about what being on the PPC involves, contact the chair, Helen Schofield. Susan and Helen can be contacted via the parish office at office@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk

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