WELCOME TO THE PARISH OF SKETTY
LAST WORD FOR AUGUST -
LAST WORD FOR SUNDAY 30TH. AUGUST 2020
Sometimes children misinterpret things they read. One of my favourite mistakes is the reference to a bear in the Bible. Apparently, his name is Gladly and he’s cross-
In the Gospel reading for today Jesus tells His disciples that if they are to follow Him, they need to take up their own crosses. What did He mean?
To a person in the first century, the cross meant one thing and one thing only: death by the most painful and humiliating means human beings could develop.
To carry our crosses for Jesus means, simply to give up our life if need be. It means total self-
Being a disciple can mean humiliation and it can mean in some cases losing our lives rather than renouncing our faith.
One writer suggested we ask ourselves the following questions if we are wondering if we are ready to take up our crosses today.
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation from your family?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of your reputation?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?
• Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?
When some talk about carrying their crosses, they are referring to problems in their lives such as illness, persecution, family difficulties, financial problems, and disability.
The cross we carry for Jesus is renouncing ourselves and living according to Jesus teachings and doing so through such difficulties in life.
The good news is that we don’t bear our crosses alone. Jesus is always there helping us along the way. Not only that, He encourages us to help one another too. We are to be Simon of Cyrene helping Jesu to carry His cross as He reveals Himself to us in the suffering people we meet along the way.
Let us carry our crosses and never forget the burden is easier when we carry it, with Jesus.
LAST WORDS FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH. 2020
My garden is designed to attract wildlife. For example. The flowers are those that attract bees,
Buddleia trees are loved by butterflies, fallen leaves and old tree-
multitude of insects., (or as the children call them, ‘Minibeasts’. Rowen trees provide berries in
autumn which are loved by blackbirds who fatten themselves on them before winter.
My ponds though only small attract water boatmen, frogs, toads and water nymphs and this year
for the first time, one pond is teaming with newts of various sizes.
Some cracks are left in the walls of the house as they are a favourite place where the little bumble bees build their nest every year.
All of these speak to me of a creator who has made so many things that exist together in our world and which are designed to support one another in various ways. God created but His creation is called upon to support His work of keeping His creation as He intended it to be. I am also reminded that everyone of us is given a role to play and we rely upon one another to survive.
Our creator knows everyone of the creatures in my garden and it is my responsibility to look after them.
In the same way, Our Lord has called us to take care of the creatures in His garden of the world. Those creatures include us, who are His workers. I wonder how many of us realise just much responsibility we have been given.
Everyone of those creatures, besides ourselves, has something to say about our Lord God. All we must do is to choose one thing and then sit quietly and let Him speak to us through it.
I’ll leave you with an example:
I pick a rose and look at it carefully. It is bright red with tightly shut petals. The stem is full of sharp thorns. It has a lovely scent that pervades the space in which I am sitting.
The colour, bright red speaks to me of a God who was prepared to become one of His own creation and to give His life blood to take our punishment for us that we might be forgiven and by so doing He restored to us, eternal life.
The thorns remind me of the crown of thorns with which our Lord Jesus was crowned. Not for Him the crown of glory, until He had over-
Yet the scent of our creator’s love continually flowing from Him attracts us to Him day by day, wanting to know more.
The closely shut petals of the rose, speak of the closeness with which He holds us and that that love protects us from those who would destroy us.
Finally, the rose is a symbol of love and I remember that God’s love is pure transcending all other kinds of love.
Our Lord Jesus is the personification of that love.
LAST WORDS FOR 6th. SEPTEMBER 2020
The 1st. September is the beginning of the Season of Creation in our liturgical
year. I thought that I would write a series of Last Words on an aspect of God’s creation and
what it teaches us about our Creator.
At the beginning of the Old Testament, God placed man and woman in the garden of Eden.
I will therefore start with another Garden, mine!
I have a little plaque in a flour tub and on it is written a poem by
Dorothy Francis Gurney. It says:
“The Kiss of the sun for pardon.
The Song of the birds for mirth.
You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden
Than any place on earth.”
I have an average size garden but in it are so many things that speak to me about God and His love for every living creature.
The garden itself reminds me not just about Eden but about two other gardens. There is the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before being arrested and there is the garden in which was the tomb where Jesus body was lain and also where He the newly Resurrected Lord appeared to Mary.
We have the garden of the world God created and in which He placed us, and we are called to be partners with Him in its conservation and the care of every other creature.
We have the Garden where Jesus spent much time in prayer and where He shared His agony of the thoughts and fears of the suffering before Him with His Father Who sent angels to strengthen Him. The first man Adam with his wife Eve through disobedience created a rift between them and God. The Second Man Jesus, through obedience reconciled us to God. The Third man, the Risen Christ, showed that forgiveness of the Father that had over-
In the first garden we learn about the difficulties that would face us in preserving the wonderful world God had created and that our disregard for God’s will, replacing it with our selfishness, arrogance and pride that thinks we know better than God and can do as we like, leads to destruction, pain and suffering. It is not too late! Through prayer, guidance and God given skills and seeking the Father’s will, Earth can be saved and at the end of time, our Creator will return it to the Eden with which it began.
The second garden reminds us that obeying God and being obedient to what He is asking us to do for Him often leads to our suffering and a very painful cross of our own to bear. Yet Jesus will help us to carry it and walk beside us to our journey’s end.
The third garden speaks to us about the reward we receive for total abandonment of ones ’self to love and serve the Creator. This is the restoration of Eternal life where death is overcome, the disobedience of Adam is replaced with total abandonment of one’s self and the reconciliation of man with God is accomplished.
Go into any garden and stop for a while and remember that the world is God’s garden, we are workers for Him in His garden. Ask Him what He wants us to do for Him. Take time to pray about it then hand it over and go to serve Him with joy and thankfulness and know His presence with us.
LAST WORDS FOR SUNDAY 20TH. SEPTEMBER 2020
LAST WORDS FOR SUNDAY 27TH. SEPTEMBER 2020
LAST WORDS FOR SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2020
CALLED TO SERVE