26th October - 30th Sunday (A)
This Sunday's Mass Readings
Canon Luke’s Induction
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Canon Luke writes...
St Matthew throughout his gospel presents our Lord as the New Moses; the embodiment and fulfilment of the Old Testament law; in this Sunday’s Gospel, He reveals that love of God and of neighbour is the fulfilment of the whole of the law. Devout Israelites were expected to keep all 613 commands found in the books of the Law (first 5 books of the Bible); our Lord proclaims that these, and all the teachings of the prophets, can be summarized in two verses of this law (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). Love is the hinge that binds the two facets of the law (love of God and love of neighbour).
The love we are called to is far more than simple affection or warm sentiment. We are called to give ourselves totally to God; with our whole being: heart, soul and mind and our love for neighbour must manifest itself in concrete actions, such as those set out in the extract we hear from the book of Exodus in today’s First Reading.
It seems to me that we are so used to hearing the ‘greatest’ commandment that we can so often overlook its real impact; the purpose of the law is not just to keep a sort temporal order but to lead us into an ever deeper communion with God and thereby with one another. The traditional Jewish prayer after reading from the books of the Law (Torah) reminds us of the importance of what is set before us: ‘Blessed are You, Lord our God, king of the Universe, who gave us the Torah of truth and set everlasting life in our midst. Blessed are You, Lord, giver of the Torah.’
This makes me think of our Lord’s words: ‘I am the Way the Truth and the Life.’ After all he is the Word made flesh. Do we create space for that Word to permeate our hearts and consequently our lives?
"...JESUS CHRIST, THE BEGINNING AND THE END...
ALL TIME BELONGS TO HIM... AND ALL THE AGES..."
These words on the doors of the Church porch express perfectly the purpose of our parish. We are
a community centred round the Lord Jesus.
Saint Francis' Parish in the heart of Maidstone was founded in 1859 and since then has been the heart of the Catholic community in the Maidstone area. From it was founded the parishes of Saint Thomas More, West Malling; Holy Family, Park Wood; and Saint Peter's Bearsted. In addition to the mother church there are Mass Centres at St Luke's, Preston Hall, and at St Mary's Anglican Church at Nettlestead.
Today the faith which inspired its foundation almost 150 years ago continues to find its expression in a lively community bringing together people of many races all united by their love of God. It is this love which calls us all to work together to build up our community and to care for all in need.
I would like to welcome all who visit our website and hope you share something of our vision for the future of the church and parish.
Canon Luke - Parish Priest
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