Parish Bulletins – 12th September 2021

Our Parish Bulletins for this week are available at the links below.

We are now in Level 0 restrictions. The Congregation can, join in singing under masks, however, we are maintaining 2m distancing fro the time being. While booking is not essential, it is encouraged.

Parish Bulletins – 5th September 2021

Our Parish Bulletins for this week are available at the links below.

We are now in Level 0 restrictions. The Congregation can, join in singing under masks, however, we are maintaining 2m distancing fro the time being. While booking is not essential, it is encouraged.

Paul on Paul – 29th August 2021

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27

It is all that is good, everything that is perfect, which is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him, there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow of a change. By his own choice he made us his children by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he had created.
Accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. But you must do what the word tells you, and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.

Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.


There are 2 wonderful lessons in this Sunday’s 2nd reading – one that teaches about God, and the other that forces us to reflect on how we respond to God.

God gave humanity everything it needed, and we still wanted more. The First Humans were given paradise and wanted to change God’s plan – they wanted to know even that God told them not to. God gave us “all that is good, everything that is perfect”. God who has “no shadow of a change“, created a creation that reflected himself that if left as instructed, would reflect His perfection.

But yet, despite that, he gave, through Jesus, redemption and opportunity for salvation. And, 2000 ago, James – the writer of today’s 2nd reading – was one of the “first-fruits” of that salvation, that “new creation”. But then – God created us with Free Will. The same free will that humanity used to lose perfection has to be engaged to gain salvation. Yes, James says, we must “Accept and submit to the word [of God]”, but that, while necessary, is not sufficient. We must not only hear the word but “do what the word tells you“. It is not enough to simply know; we must also do.

The Church often comes in for criticism because for some (including some of our fellow Christians) it is seen as too prescriptive – too wedded to the traditions and practices of the past. But, at the same time – the Church is the guardian of the faith, our Bishops and Priests our guides in our faith. And there are times where Christ in Scripture, or the Church acting under its teaching authority given to it by Christ, give us clear red lines to follow – and if we are willingly, obstinately and without good reason fail to follow them, we must ask ourselves, if we remain truly ‘Catholic’.

The concept of a ‘Cultural Catholic’ is common in the West of Scotland – where we may not go to Mass, or receive the Eucharist or go to confession, but are more than happy to tick a box every 10 years, or claim a history or identity because of the school we attended. We are those James warns us against when he tells us “…not just listen to [the word] and deceive yourselves”. Equally, in our everyday lives, we are demanded to clothe the naked; give to the poor; care for the sick – they are not optional activities, but commands from Jesus Christ himself. If we are not thinking about these – or worse, if we consciously try and avoid our responsibilities – then we equally fail to live up to St. James’s standard “…coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it”.

If we, as Catholics, do not stand up for the poorest, the most vulnerable, the most easily ignored and forgotten – in our communities, at our work, and in our families – then we have become ‘contaminated by the world. Christianity, Catholicism even more so, is not a religion of belief and law alone – it is a religion of action.

Christianity, properly lived, is a radical proposition.


If you want to read more on this topic – then a good place to start would be Pope Franci’s recent Papal Encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti’, which you can access here or access the PDF of here.

Paul on Paul – 15th August 2021

Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Year B)
1 Corinthians 15:20-26

But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.


For the first time while I have been preparing these reflections, this is a passage from St. Paul that I have considered before, also, funnily enough, on a Feast of the Church. But the liturgical context of each reading is so different that it helps show us one of the wonderful parts of Scripture – that depending on how and when we sit down to read scripture, we can draw different meanings from it.

The last time we examined this passage, the focus was on the all-encumbassing natured of Christ’s lordship and rule, and that is, perhaps, the most apparent of this reading. But today, we don’t seek to draw that from this reading. This Sunday’s first reading from Revelation (or Book of the Apocolypse) is the Vision of the Woman in Heaven; the Gospel is Mary’s Visitation to Elixabeth and the Magnificat. How, then, does such a Chrstio-centri 2nd Reading help us understand these better…or is that the point?

The key to this, I would suggest is right at the start of this passage: Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ“. Christ’s presentation of ‘The New Adam’ is explicit and clear. But then, we might ask, if there is a New Adam, could there be a New Eve, and what woudl her role be? IN the Old Testement, Eve was Adam’s Wife – but if Christ never married surely there cannot be a New Eve?

Well what was the role of the Old Eve – it was not Eve’s disobedience, particularly, that led humanity into Original Sin, but Adam’s – but Eve was certainly an ‘accomplice’ in that Sin. She recieved as much of God’s reproach in Genisis as Adam did. So if Sin enters through Adam, and is defeated theough the New Adam; then if Old Eve assisted the Old Adam, the New Eve assists the New Adam – and who actively assists Christ more than his own mother?

It was Mary – not any of the disciples – who told the people at the Wedding at Cana to listen to Christ and do what He tells them, which is the very beginning of Jesus’s earthly ministry. And Mary was there, at the Foot of the Cross, next to John, at the end of that Ministry where Christ told the him (and, then, the Church) to “behold our Mother”.

And when viewed like this – we can see the centrality of Mary’s role as a ‘New Eve’, a companion to the ‘New Adam’ St. Paul writes of today. Just as Mary led the waiters and deciples to Chirst, and just as Mary was the way Chirst entered the world; so she can be that to both the Church generally, and to each of us, personally. She is the one who not only allowed Salvation to take place, but the one who can also help lead us to it.

We must be careful as Catholics – as so many of our Protestant brothers and sisters believe we do – never to ascribe to Mary what is owed to God alone. We must never ‘Worship’ her as God – because, she is not God…simply the most amazing human to have ever lived.


This part is perhaps slightly beyond the remit of “2nd Reading reflection”, but I felt it too on-point not to share. The Youtube video below is part of of a 6 part series of a Protestant and Cahtolic talking about what is similar and different about the different traditions, and, of course, in part 4 the place and undertsanding of Mary features quite heavily.
I’d encourage you, if you have the time, to watch it all – but what I thought was appropriate today was the secion on Mary (from the 12 minute mark in the video below). At around the 26-minute mark, the Catholic mentions this weekend’s 1st reading – where Satan is Identified, where it’s obvious who the Baby mentioned is, and that, while the Woman who gives birth to the baby isn’t named, it’s obvious to Catholics who that is – AND IT BLOWS THE PROTESTANT’S MIND. I remember when I first watched this video and was amazed that someone didn’t immediately see Mary there. But it shows us jsut how lucky we are to hold Mary so closely to us.

Paul on Paul – 8th August 2021

19th Sunday in Ordinary time; Year B
Ephesians 4:30 – 5:2

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he loves and follow Christ loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.


I mean – never let it be said that St. Paul isn’t clear in what he tells us.

This is one of those passage that, when you hear it, seems to set us an impossible standard to live up to. But that’s the point – it is an impossible standard. If you don’t stop reading after this impossible list, then St. Paul, actually tells us this: “Try, then, to imitate God as children of his…”. We can, we suppose, take some comfort in this.

What, then, is the point of this list then? Well, as ever, context is important, and by looking back slightly – by placing this passage in its context, we can take more from it. In verse 26, Paul writes “Even if you are angry, you must not sin: never let the sun set on your anger.” So if we are being warned to to sin when we are angry – we can conclude that anger is not necassarily sinful. But, when we are angry we can, naturally, act in any of the ways that St. Paul warns us against in today’s passage. So, are we to say, then, that we’re allowed to be angry…but not show it? That doesn’t make sense either?

What St. Paul is emphaising here is not the incidents themselves (though, of course, the warning is still important) – but our actions after the fact. Older married couples often dispence the wisdom “Never go to bed on an arguement”, and that is, really, what St. Paul is saying here. Because the words used in this passage aren’t just ‘of the moment’ but are lingering feelings – temper. grude, spitefulness – than can chaneg our relationships with others, and us as individuals.

And then, he brings us back to Christ – and dares us to imitate him. Because, as Christians we believe in a God who has experiences our Humanity. Jesus, had friends betray him; Jesus sought support from his closest friends, only for them to fall asleep; Jesus had his friends deny and forget him when it was convenient. But yet – despite of, or even because of all this – Jesus still took up his Cross and dies for them and us.

Jesus, must have felt hurt in the moment Judas Betrayed him or James had fallen asleep or Peter denied him. He must have experienced an anger and momentary pain and sandess – if he did not then he would not have been human (which we know Jesus was, both Fully Human and Fully Devine). But yet – he forgave them, and looked past their sin; as God forgave us. And that, really, if what St. Paul is saying in all this, that yes, as people we will disagree and argue and even fall out. But, we must ultimately “Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave [us] in Christ

Parish Bulletins – 8th August 2021

Our Parish Bulletins for this week are available at the links below.

We are now in Level 0 restrictionshowever, we will be maintaining 2m Physical Distances for the time being. The Congregation can, however, join in singing under masks.

This week is the first use of our new-style bulletin