Newry Parish Bulletin Sunday 30th January 2022 | St Joseph's Convent Primary School Newry

Newry Parish Bulletin Sunday 30th January 2022

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Newry Parish Bulletin Sunday 30th January 2022

The readings this weekend point out that the message of salvation is for all people, of whatever religious stance or none.  This is not all easy to accept, as there seems to be a strong human instinct to form loyalty groups – even supermarkets depend on this for many of their marketing ploys.  The people of Nazareth shared this instinct, which is why they were incensed to be told that they’re being the people of God did not mean that other people were beyond the pale.

Jesus shows that there is no ‘insider status’ with God.  God looks on all people with loving care and mercy.  The non-believer or the Luke-warm is no less a recipient of God’s love than anyone else.  The point is for the believer to be committed to the Gospel and to making it known – rejoicing that God’s love is inclusive not exclusive.

With the sixtieth century of the opening of Vatican 11 in mind, it will be helpful to address how this topic is so much part of the teaching of the Council.  Throughout the documents promulgated by the Council, the word ‘church’ is used as many as eight senses.  These range from the community of all people, considered simply in their humanity, to the Catholic Church.  And it is important to keep in mind that the conciliar fathers took exceptional care not to identify the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, deliberately reflecting the word ‘is’ in favour of ‘subsists in’.  Also, in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the Council declares that gifts of grace are found in the other Churches and Ecclesial Communions.  And in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, we find a recognition that the Spirit of God is at work in the events of history.

Christians thus, are not people who look introspectively and jealously to maintaining their own privileges.  They recognise the loving gifts of God wherever they are given, recognising also that God is not confined to our expectations.

 

God Bless

 

Canon Francis Brown

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