The Catholic Parish of Our Lady
and St John
Lee-on-the -Solent and Stubbington
Parish Priest: Father Francis Sasinowski (01329) 663 435
Reflection by Father Francis on 25th Sunday of the Year A
20th September.
For last weeks Reflection scroll down page!
Our Lord is our Salvation and when we cry He will hear us ( Entrance Antiphon )

And this is a great reassurance for us when we live through a difficult time.

Love of God and neighbour is the essence of the Law. We ask the Lord that we may keep His Law of Love and may attain the Eternal Life. At the end of our lives we will be judged on love and mercy shown to others. This was a message of the Opening prayer ( Collect ).

The prophet Isaiah ( the First Reading ) has given us a very good advice:

To seek the Lord and call to Him here and now when He is close to us.

He is full of mercy and wait for us to change our sinful way of living and to turn back to Him.

The Lord`s way of dealing with us may surprise us because God`s ways are as high above our ways as the heavens are above the earth. We will see this in the Gospel Reading, in the parable of workers in the vineyard.

The responsorial Psalm presented again God as :

Kind, Full of compassion, Slow to anger, Just and Loving and Close to us.

St John found only one word for that – GOD is LOVE!  It is good to remember this all the time.

In the Second reading St Paul ( being at that time in Roman prison ) expressed his wish to be with the Lord in heaven but at the same time he knew that the Church needed him as a preacher, missionary and pastor. His dilemma was – to live or to die.

For St Paul death was a complete union with Christ and a happy event! May we see this like St Paul did.

In the Gospel reading we have heard another parable, this time of the workers of the vineyard.

The owner of the vineyard had paid the same one denarius for every worker despite that some of them worked longer, some shorter. It seems to be unfair and unjust from our human point of view.

But this parable told by Jesus was not about justice – it was about generosity of God
, because God was

the owner of the vineyard.

God`s generosity utterly transcends human generosity.

We assume that God works on the merit system; it means that you must earn your graces by hard work.

But, we must remember, that Grace is a favour extended ( by God ) to undeserving people as a Gift.

God can do whatever He likes, has got a right to do so.

He said: “ Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me ? Or do you begrudge my generosity?”

So He gives a chance to everybody to enter the Kingdom of Heaven to everybody, even to the greatest sinners ( 1 hour workers ) who repented and ask for Mercy in the last hours of their lives.

In summary, today`s Parable of the workers in the vineyard teaches us that:

* God is extremely generous and full of goodness and mercy

* He is generous because He invites us to work in His vineyard ( the Church )

* We have to respond positively to God`s call ( Do not be idle )

   Every gift is from God – so we should be very grateful for it and not to grumble when we received less than others. To serve the Lord is a great privilege and joy!

For having chosen me to be your child
For having given me Mary for my Mother
For the mission I received in the Church
For having revealed your mysteries to me
For so many brothers and sisters who sustain me
For allowing me to live in this particular time in history
For giving me a share in your bitter chalice
How can I repay Lord for filling my life with so many good things?

May you treat each other in the same friendly way Christ has treated you
May you clothe yourselves in sincere compassion, kindness and patience
May your love not be mere words but something real and active

May Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

Fr Francis

 Reflection by Father Francis on 24th Sunday (13th September 2020)
Today`s Readings deal with a subject very familiar to all of us – FORGIVENESS.

In the First reading ( from the Book of Sirach ) we found the statements about our tendency to react with resentment and anger against those who have hurt us. Sometimes we would like to exact vengeance. All of this is wrong and foul.
The forgiveness is needed because when “you forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you,,, your sins will be forgiven.”
If we harbour resentment and anger against those who have hurt us, how can we demand compassion from God, Who is compassion and Love?

Jesus, in today`s Gospel reading tried to stress the same in His parable of unmerciful servant.

When we receive God`s forgiveness for our sins, we must be willing to extend to others the forgiveness extended to us by God.
St Peter asked the Lord how many times we must forgive others, he heard from Him that this number is seventy seven or seventy times seven. It meant – always, all the time!!!

Bitterness and resentment

We must keep our hearts free from bitterness, resentment and anger for the sake of our well-being.
In this way our spiritual energy may be spent for loving God and our neighbour.
We forgive because we also are in need to be forgiven by God and others.

St Paul in the Second reading reminded us that we live not for ourselves but for the Lord. We are united with Him since the moment of our Baptism.

He is the Lord both of the living and of the dead.

Forgiveness is not easy but it is one of the greatest acts of Love and freedom.

When it hard to forgive we need to ask for a grace from the Lord.

When we are deeply wounded by others, receiving this grace enabling us to forgive – may take a lot of time of prayer and require our patience and humility.

Maybe we have to turn to God the Father and say like Jesus did – “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they do. “
The Heart of God is the source of forgiveness, there I will go looking for forgiveness.

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting the wrong done to us.
There is a saying:

The stupid   -   neither forgive nor forget
The naïve   -   forgive and forget
The wise   -   forgive but do not forget. He remembers but let it go.
There is no moment where we are not in need of forgiveness
Nor any moment we do not need to be forgiven.

PRAYER  ( found in Auschwitz )

LORD remember not only people of good will but also people of ill will
Do not remember only the sufferings that have been inflicted on us
But remember too the fruits we have borne as a result of these sufferings
The comradeship and loyalty, the humility and courage
The generosity and greatness of heart that grown out of it
And when they come to judgement let all the fruits we have borne
Be their forgiveness.

May your bear with one another in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience.
May you do all you can to preserve unity by peace that binds you together.
May you forgive each other as the Lord has forgiven you.
God bless you all!
Fr Francis