Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.
The Cathedral is currently undergoing renovation work to the roof, and unfortunately this means that at times the building has to be closed to the public for reasons of safety. Saturday and Sunday Masses are still held in the Cathedral, but if you are planning to visit the Cathedral at any other time, please telephone Cathedral House (0117 9738411) beforehand to confirm that the building is open. Morning Mass from Monday to Friday is held in the James Room in Cathedral House.
Sunday 2nd October 2016
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 1: 6-8, 13-14; Luke 17: 5-10
Strength in Weakness.
In everyday life we tend to judge by results. If somebody promises us something we wait for it to happen, and if it doesn’t then we lose faith in them. When we take part in some project we periodically evaluate its progress. If it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere then we try something else. This is perfectly normal. There is no point in banging your head against a brick wall and getting nowhere.
But when we come to our relationship with God, to our faith and religion, it’s harder to adopt this hard-nosed policy. That’s because the promises which are made to us do not always show themselves in the way we expect. And there’s no immediate connection between our prayers and efforts and God’s action. Sometimes we have to wait much longer than seems reasonable. At other times what we desperately hope for is not what God has decided should happen.
St Paul was aware of this. He wrote to his young friend Timothy and told him not to give up when things seem not to be going right. He speaks of the need to fan into flame the gift of faith which sometimes can become a bit jaded.
It’s an interesting thought that when we gather around the altar we bring not only our faith before God, but also our failure to believe. But Christianity is not just an individual religion. The call to faith is a call to a community of faith. At times others are able to sustain us in faith. At other times we are able to carry others. Within the community of the Church we are able to trust God’s promises, even though we understand that the mystery which God is unfolding may be long in coming. We encourage each other by our prayer and example. There is strength in unity.
Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2016