Pope Francis has a gift for touching key issues. As he did with Laudato Si 5 years ago, so he has done again with his latest Encyclical devoted to human fraternity and social friendship, Fratelli tutti. Like its predecessor, it too gives the first words to St Francis, and it too will have a wide appeal.
‘In God’s Image’ – the document which is an ‘Instruction on Safeguarding’ from the Bishops of Scotland to all Catholic jurisdictions in Scotland – was published in March 2018 initially for a three-year period. The Bishops are now preparing for the publication of version 2 of this document to reflect any significant Safeguarding developments that have occurred since first publication. The intended publication date is June 2021. Until then, ‘In God’s Image’ V1 will remain valid.
Traditionally, October is known as Mission Month. While the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of millions of people throughout the world, the proclamation of the Gospel has continued and preparations for World Mission Sunday on 18 October are underway on all five continents. Missionaries #WeAreStillHere.
Setting Out on the Road leads to the award of the Catholic Teacher’s Certificate (CTC) enabling the recipient to teach Religious Education in Catholic schools. Setting Out on the Road is for qualified teachers who have not yet obtained their Catholic Teacher’s Certificate.
How good it is, Sunday after Sunday, to hear these Gospels from St Matthew! How good, amid the fears and obsessions wracking the kingdoms of the world, to hear Christ’s strong, calm voice telling us the secrets of the Kingdom of God. Sunday after Sunday, we’re given this opportunity to put on the mind of Christ.
Today, the Collect, the 1st reading, the Psalm and above all the Gospel bring “forgiveness” before us. St Matthew hands us the parable of the unforgiving servant and with it ends ch. 18 of his Gospel.
Calling all Men!!!
Don’t forget that on Saturday 19th September, The Highland Gathering men’s conference will be released on youtube. All the talks are pre-recorded and free to watch with unlimited access.
In St Matthew’s Gospel, our Lord both teaches and does. He is the Master of thought and life. The Gospel alternates from one to the other, in a structured way. So, we find in Matthew’s Gospel five extended building-blocks of teaching, five major discourses – most famously, the Sermon on the Mount, chs 5 to 7. Today we are catapulted into the middle of the 4th, ch. 18. The focus of this discourse is how Christians should relate to each other. It is about life together in the Church. It looks beyond Jesus’ resurrection to the social presence of Christians in history – until the Lord comes. In fact, in today’s Gospel, lost in translation, the word “church” comes twice – here rendered “community”. And the Gospel is showing us how to get our Christian relationships right.
Today’s Gospel is a hard one. It must have been very hard for Peter to hear the words: “Get behind me, Satan.” It’s hard for us to hear the words about renouncing ourselves, taking up the Cross and being ready to lose our lives. This is not an attractive prospect. Where’s the Good News in this? And yet, and yet, I have the sense that this hardshell hides something nourishing and sweet. Beauty and the beast. I’m not sure I can get to it, but let’s try.