As we are journeying through September our gospel readings at Mass require us to face some awkward questions; one of them being: who is the greatest? Jesus warns the disciples of the dangers of pride and urges them to follow a path towards humility.
It is very normal to feel pride in an achievement, particularly if it is hard won, but we should avoid boasting about it, especially in a way that belittles others.
The life journey of a Christian involves trying to become more Christ-like. It is a long, hard journey and a key part of that is becoming more humble – less worldly.
The disciples, who were close to Jesus, found it difficult and so it is not surprising that we do too. Nevertheless, it is a path we are called to follow.
We try, as St Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, to clothe ourselves in “compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience.” We try not to look only inwardly to our own interests but also outwardly to the interests of the others.
As humans we are interdependent. We are also dependent on and must be good stewards to the earth our common home.
We are called to play a positive part in the solutions to the many issues facing humanity today. It is not for us to sit on the side lines hoping that someone else will address these issues, but rather to become actively involved in accordance with our ability to do so. And to do this in a selfless, humble manner considering the needs of others before those of ourselves. This is so important currently as we are facing the reality of the effects of Climate Change. The church’s ‘Season of Creation’ runs from 1 September (World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) to 4 October (the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi) each year.
This ecumenical season is dedicated to prayer and action for the protection of creation. It is a time to renew our relationships with God our Creator, and with all creation, as we join in prayer. We ought to be giving thanks for all that God has made, repent for the damage that we have caused and commit ourselves to take action to protect the earth our common home.
On October 17th before the COP26 conference on climate change we shall offer the Parish Mass for this conference and to heighten our own awareness of what we can do as individuals. We have a part to play. I wish I could hear you saying, how? Here are some thoughts:
Take the St. Francis Pledge to follow in the footsteps of St Francis' "I pledge to pray, live, and support the church’s teaching on climate change" By taking the pledge, you (re)commit to living out the vision of our faith through prayer, concrete action, and advocacy.
Get started on your journey to care for creation and the poor.
Write to your MP. Reduce the temperature when washing clothes. Don’t pre- rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Stop using disposable plastic bottles, bags, straws, cutlery and cups! Say NO to single-use plastic.
Participate in national, international, local, church, community, family or individual events that lift up care for creation. Join Extinction Rebellion!
There are many more ways we can play our part, but lobbying is the most effective. Boycott Tesco’s for encouraging deforestation and tell them you are doing that!
Whilst looking forward to October there two significant dates to note. The first is the final service of Fr Simon on October 3rd at 10:30am. Please come and say farewell and thank him for his contribution to the life of St Cyp’s.
North Paddington Food Bank We are restarting our collection for the Food Bank. If you are able to donate dried or tinned produce or toiletries that would be greatly appreciated. Please help.
You priest and friend
Into our busy lives, O God, bring your peace and tranquillity, your love and compassion, so that we, in turn, may bring the joy of the Good News to all and show the caring face of God to others through our actions. Amen.