Happy feast day for today, Christ the King parish and school! Happy 50th anniversary for eight days’ time, St Brigid’s!
Celebration is an important part of our faith, as it is in life itself. I have always believed in marking the patron saint’s feast day in parishes, and Christ the King has a spectacular one this weekend. A few decades ago, the Church moved this feast from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in the liturgical year. It’s as if we wanted to go out with a bang. The universal kingdom of Jesus is such a powerful theme. Our Lord lived his kingship in an extraordinarily hidden and serving way. Yet when challenged in his last hours during his trial he affirmed that he is indeed a king – ‘So you are a king then?’ asked Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’ So feel free to celebrate this beautiful feast of Christ the King!
Our celebrations for the 50th anniversary of St Brigid’s Church reach their climax with the visit of the Archbishop on Monday 1st December to celebrate Mass with us. And here also we have every reason to celebrate, as the building both houses and in a certain way symbolizes the real Church – the people. We are marking not just bricks and mortar, but flesh and blood, those who have gone before us and those with whom we continue to journey onwards as the People of God. Please make every effort to join the parish family, with our bishop and some former priests, to celebrate this important birthday.
So there you have it – two very different causes for joy. On the horizon lies Christmas, with its season of preparation starting next Sunday. We will publish a full list of Advent and Christmas services and information in next week’s newsletter.