A word from Fr Joe
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St John’s,
The scripture readings this weekend focus on the importance of being open to receive the word of God. Jesus uses the lovely parable of a sower going out to sow seeds. Although he scatters the seed most generously, not all of it grows to produce a harvest. God is, of course, the sower implied in Jesus’ parable story. He is sowing His word, His teachings and Good News. However, where those words land will have a profound impact on whether or not they blossom and bear fruit. As Jesus teaches, hearts which are hard, minds which are shallow, lives which are totally preoccupied with the lure of riches or the cares of this world will never be good fertile ground. In fact, such attitudes and mind-sets only frustrate any kind of good spiritual growth. How true that is! A quick look at our modern world, so caught up in materialism and relativism, shows the many false teachings and empty attractions which can lead a person away from God and any kind of real spiritual growth. And yet, human beings are fundamentally spiritual beings. Every one of us has a soul—that part of the divine which draws us beyond the physical world to search for fulfilment in things this world cannot give, namely in God and a proper relationship with Him. So many make the understandable mistake of searching for fulfilment in all the wrong places.—things, money, possessions, bad relationships and so on. Maybe you know people yourselves-perhaps even very close to you- who are making that mistake right now.
What do we do about it? How can we help? The answer lies in our personal relationship with God. If our hearts are fertile ground for receiving His word, His Good News, then we will produce the good fruits—fruits of the Holy Spirit—in our lives. Where the word is rooted in us, it will grow and shine through our words and actions. The beauty of God at work in us is what will then draw others who are spiritually empty and yet thirsting to recognise that something they are missing, drawing them closer to God. The witness we give can have a PROFOUND effect upon others. As I have said to you often, you have the power, the ability to draw people towards God or indeed to drive them away! Does the word of God find a deep and fertile soil in our hearts and minds?
So as we listen to the readings this weekend, we pray for two things: one, for hearts and minds which are truly open to receiving God into them and two, that through us, the Holy Spirit will touch others helping them find what they are searching for—GOD. Amen.
Funerals this week
Kath Johnstone Requiem Mass Thursday at 10am.
Please also keep in your prayers
Rosemarie Strain McCorkindale and May McVitie who have died recently as well as Neil and Marion Strain, Jimmy Taylor and Gregg Thomas McMaster whose anniversaries occur round this time.
May they and all our faithful departed rest in the arms of God in Paradise. Amen.
RE-STARTING OF PUBLIC MASSES!!!
The First Minister made a long awaited statement on Thursday that public worship may re-start from Wednesday 15th July onwards. This means that we are able to have public Mass again after such a long time!! I know that like myself and Fr Laurent, for you this is a long awaited and much welcome announcement. However, it does come with understandable restrictions attached, including maximum numbers allowed to be in a church building irrespective of its size and social distancing capacity, a booking system being in place to ensure the ability to “track and trace” attendees in case there was an outbreak of the virus, some changes to the structure of the Mass, as well as continuing restrictions on weddings, baptisms and funerals. So, as you can see, it is not a simple case of just pouring back into Mass on Wednesday morning.
The Scottish Bishops are seeking clarification on some of these restrictions and will give us further instructions on Monday or Tuesday. Until we are given these clarifications, it would be unwise and indeed foolhardy for us to fling open the doors and invite everyone desperate to get back to Mass to come into the building on Wednesday morning! We all have to make sure we are moving forward in the safest and steadiest way possible. I will keep you up to date with what is happening through this website and also at the end of the live streamed 10am Masses each morning. For the time being, we will continue this week with the private prayer timetable which has been such a success. Watch this space or morning Mass for any changes!!
Believe me, as soon as we are able to have public Mass in our church safely and in line with all the restrictions, I promise you it WILL happen!!