PARISH OF SAINT FELIX, FELIXSTOWE
Parish Priest : Fr. John Barnes MA
Tel.01394 282561 e-mail email@example.com
Parish Website : firstname.lastname@example.org Helping Hands - 07342722521
January 22nd, 2017 : THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Saturday 6.0pm (St.F) Int. A Special Intention
Sunday 9.30am (St.F) Int. For the People
11.0am (Con) Int. +Mark Fisher
9.30am (St.F) Int. +Edith Coppen (FM)
10.30am (Con) Int. +Myrtle Shevlin
Tuesday ST.FRANCIS DE SALES
9.30am (St.F) Int. Mary Congdon
Wednesday FEAST OF THE CONVERSION
9.30am (St.F) Int. Phil Cater & his family
10.30am (Con) Int. The Confirmation
Thursday ST.TIMOTHY & ST.TITUS
10.0am (Con) Int.
11.0am (St.F) Int. Peter & Mary Sutcliffe
5.0pm (Con) Int.
Saturday ST.THOMAS AQUINAS
11.0am (St.F) Int. +Edith Thomas (FM)
6.0pm (St.F) Int. For the People
The Daily Office
Lauds (Morning Prayer) is said a quarter of an hour before the
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Tuesdays at10.0am Benediction at 10.30am
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday 5.15 to 5.45 p.m. or by appointment.
Rosary Friday at 10.15am
The Mass today The readings can be found
on p.128 of the Parish Mass Book, and on p.697
of The Sunday Missal.
At the 6.0pm Mass Eucharistic Prayer 2
Sanctus & Benedictus Parish Mass Book p.16 (Angelus) Hymn : 863
At the 9.30am Mass Eucharistic Prayer 3
Hymns : 724, 762, 795, 652
At the 11.0am Mass Eucharistic Prayer 1
Today 6.0pm The Confirmation Group meets at the Presbytery for supper and instruction.
The annual Unity Service takes place at the
Tuesday 7.0pm The Goodbye Mass for Sr.Marian, Apostleship of the Sea Port Chaplain, takes place at the Seafarers Centre.
Thursday 1.45pm The Together Club meets at the Convent. All welcome.
A week on Tuesday (Jan. 31st) our Parish AGM, in the Hall.
Anniversaries this week Myrtle Shevlin (2004), Michael Backler (2011), Patricia West (2011), Kenneth Doubleday (2016), and Barbara Strong (2009). May they Rest in Peace.
Money Matters Last Sunday £586.76 was given at the Offertory, and £139.10 to CAFOD. The White Flower Collection for SPUC brought in £168.68.
Homes Sought Catherine writes 'The daughter of a former parishioner has contacted me to say that she is trying to find a home for a bath lift, a left-sided 11-step stair life and an electric bed. There is no charge. All the items are ready to be collected. If you or someone you know is interested the number to call
Answering difficult questions
We now resume the series, begun and adjourned last Autumn, in which we suggest what answer we might make to some of the difficult questions which people might put to us as practicing Christians.
III - "If God is loving and all-powerful, why does he allow bad things to happen to good people?
This is an age-old question which has puzzled - sometimes tortured - people of any religion who believe in a God whom they claim to be both loving and all-powerful. In the Jewish religion we see it discussed at length in the Book of Job. Why do the just suffer? If only seriously bad people suffered there would be the easy answer that it is about punishment. But it's not like that. Often people who lead good and unselfish lives suffer appallingly through violence and aggression, through disease and natural disaster. Is it because God is not really a loving God? Or is it because he is not all-powerful, and can't prevent bad things happening? This is a question which anyone who is known to be a practicing Christian may well be asked. And it's a serious matter. Probably you've met people, as I have, who say that they have stopped believing in God and practicing the Faith just because of this issue.
It's maybe not quite so difficult a problem when the evil has come about through the wrong action of another person - say in the case of a rape or a murder. In that case we can say that all the blame rests with the perpetrator. Why didn't God prevent it happening? Well because he has given each of us freedom of will, and he is not a kind of celestial puppeteer, pulling the strings to prevent our every wrong action. No, the real problem comes with disease and natural disaster, when no human being is to blame through a wrong exercise of their freedom of will. When for example, a child is dying of cancer, or when a whole community is wiped out by an earthquake.
I think the truth is that we don't know the answer to this conundrum. We wish that we'd got an easy and satisfying answer, but we haven't. Maybe we have got certain insights - we know that suffering can enhance our own character, and it can call forth acts of kindness and self-sacrifice in others. Again suffering can test our faith and strengthen it. But then it can also do the opposite, it can lead us into bitterness and unbelief. No, we haven't got any easy answers. But we have got one illuminating fact : the fact that God the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, entered into terrible suffering himself in his Passion and Death on the Cross. God has not stood by, as it were, from human suffering - rather he has experienced it in a very real way.
The fact that we have not got an answer to the question of why the just suffer does not mean, though, that there is no answer. If we continue to trust in the divine love and wisdom, then we believe that there is an answer, but that it is not known to us now. There's something from my own experience which I find helpful in understanding this. When I was a child, my parents, who showed my a great deal of love, used to take me to the dentist. In those days, this could be a painful experience. I particularly dreaded the drill. How could it be that my parents, who otherwise were kindness and love itself, exposed me to this pain? Now, of course, I see that it was love which motivated my parents in exercising this piece of responsible parenthood. I couldn't see it then. Maybe in the same way we will understand some day - in the next life - what it was that God was doing in allowing ( never imposing) human suffering......... Maybe we will come to see how it was perfectly compatible with God's goodness and mercy, even though we cannot see that now.
For the Christian, I think, our awareness of God's love shown in so many other different ways, allows our faith in his goodness to survive, so that whilst remaining profoundly puzzled we are not reduced to disbelief. I think that we mustn't be afraid or ashamed to admit that some things are beyond our comprehension. After all that is true of our central Christian belief, The doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and in the great truth which we've just been celebrating - that God the Son became man, joining his eternal being God to
his being man, born of a human Mother.