What do we think about how we will be judged when we die and about the general judgement at the end of the world? Do we, for example, believe in heaven as a state of eternal happiness in God’s presence and in hell as a state of eternal alienation (and, in this sense, damnation) from God? These may seem rather gloomy questions but they are the questions that must be asked after reading the parable about the Son of Man coming to separate the virtuous from the wicked as the shepherd separates sheep from goats.
Many people no longer believe in life after death or in the existence of heaven. They insist that earthly life is the only life and that there is nothing after death. Some Christians — who are meant to believe in life after death — query the existence of hell. They argue that if God is all loving and compassionate, then God will save everyone from the consequences of their sins and ensure that they will be in heaven. How could such a merciful God not save everyone?
However, there is a fallacy in this argument. It disregards the uncompromising words spoken by Jesus in the parable. This argument also ignores a basic Christian belief regarding free will. While God certainly desires that all people would share eternity in heaven, he respects our freedom and accepts the outcomes of our choices and decisions.
If we knowingly and freely ignore the fundamental needs for sustenance, kindness, well-being and friendship of other people we meet, we are making a statement about our selfishness and self-interest. In deciding not to respond to these people, we are also deciding not to respond to God who lives in them. We disregard those people who need our help and encouragement.
In effect, we are judging ourselves to be self-centred rather than God-centred, to be uncaring and indifferent. If such practices continue throughout our lives without repentance, we will be judged accordingly when we die. If we opt not to respond to God during this life, then why would we opt to respond to God in the next life? Thus, we will be our own judges on the day of general judgement.
In other words, we are largely in control of our own eternal destiny. Blaming God or God’s harsh judgement will be futile if heaven is not to be our final destiny. We will not be able to claim astonishment about our ultimate fate because we ourselves will already have determined that fate by our attitudes and behaviour during this life.
In summary, there are two basic types of people in the world: those who care about God and others, and those who focus their attention solely on themselves. To which type do we belong?
Jesus taught that when we help the needy we are actually helping him. That is why when Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked how she could touch a disease-ridden man, she said that she was not touching him but touching Jesus.
Are we ready for judgement? If we consistently ignore Christ in this life, on the Last Day he will be consistent and treat us likewise. Remember that while our salvation depends on the grace of Christ, it also depends on our choices during this life.
He will take his seat on his throne of glory … and he will separate men from one another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. (Mt 25:32)
Friday 20th November: Mary Hand RIP. (Anniversary)
Saturday 21st November: Jerry Curran RIP (Anniversary)
Sunday 22nd November: George Alcorn RIP
Monday 23rd November: George Alcorn RIP. Internment of his ashes at Braywick Cemetery
Tuesday 24th November: Michael & Josie Kenny (RIP (Anniversary)
Wednesday 25th November: For the deceased Brothers of the Catenian Association and in particular we remember the Brothers for the Maidenhead Circle RIP.
FUNERAL MASS 26th November at 11am for Richard Hamed RIP who died recently. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed to the mercy of God rest in peace.
Mass is celebrated every day via Zoom- if you would like that we pray especially for an intention; a family; an anniversary or someone who has died, then please get in touch with the parish office and your intention shall be included in the parish prayers and offered at Mass.
During November, Mass will be celebrated everyday (including weekends) at 10AM via Zoom.
The Church and associated buildings will be closed from the 5th of November to the 4th of December inclusive. Mass will resume on the 5th of December at 6pm.
“SHIELDING” for those in our community who continue to join at the Eucharist via Zoom or YouTube on a regular basis, but for one reason or another, cannot physically come to the Church, and would like to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, please let Fr. Liam or the parish office know. Fr. Liam will bring the Holy Sacrament to you whilst adhering to social distancing and a safe environment.
ZOOM is now live from 9.55AM to 11AM every day, for Mass at 10AM. This means you can connect for Mass every weekday. Admission for Mass on Zoom will be stopped at 9.55, to allow the hosts to be present in the Mass.
ADVENT AND RETREATS There are an amazing amount of talks, workshops, retreats and prayer offered on the website of Knock Shrine. Have a look at the courses, retreats and calendar: https://www.knockshrine.ie/events/2020-11/?v=79cba1185463
PARISH COUNCIL MEETING (via Zoom) Tuesday 24th November at 7pm.
PTA CHRISTMAS TABLE ARRANGEMENT The PTA are planning a few evenings of festive cheer during the first and second week of December. Join us in making a beautiful, fresh table arrangement complete with a candle. The workshop will be held in one of the marquees in the school field and will be Covid safe.
Numbers are very limited and dates / times will be worked out nearer the time and will meet COVID-19 guidelines. If you would like to have more info or provisionally book a spot please email email@example.com
TODDLERS GROUP Unfortunately, we can't run Toddler Group as normal. To stay in touch and keep everyone updated, There is a Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/731966510695904/permalink/731966520695903/) and a WhatsApp group (contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added).
It is greatly appreciated that many of you transferred your ‘church offering’ from cash to direct debit and standing order over the last number of months. Our parish has had its financial income greatly reduced and this has impacted on our church activities, donations to various charities and parish maintenance. From September 1st, there will be an Offertory Collection Basket at the church entrance and exit each day if you wish to make a very welcome donation. There is also a contactless “tap to donate” machine, where you can contribute to the weekly collection.
NB: It would be helpful for the parish if the vast majority of our Weekly Collection could be done via Direct Debit / Standing Order. I ask that you reflect and, if possible, switch your donation from cash to bank. This would be invaluable and would give the Parish Council and Finance Committee more solidity in planning for the months/years ahead. At present, we are a vastly cash—giving parish, and with the dramatic decrease, it is very hard to plan and donate to those most vulnerable and in need, as well as care for our parish community..
Account name: St. Edmund Campion Maidenhead
Sort code: 309304
Account number: 00882551
APPOINTMENTS If you wish to speak to Fr Liam in confidence on any matter, please contact him by phone or e-mail
HOUSEBOUND If you know of anyone who is sick and/or housebound, please let Sarah (Parish Office) or Fr Liam know.
ADMISSION INTO ST EDMUND CAMPION SCHOOL AND NURSERY is based on Mass attendance for some categories. In our parish, we have an attendance card available from the table in the church lobby. Every time you come to Sunday Mass get your card stamped in the parish centre. You will need the Parish Priests's signature on the SIF form, once your attendance in 2020 has been completed. For information on the current Admissions Policy see the school's website, www.st-edmund.org.uk.
SIF FORMS Fr Liam will be available to sign SIF Forms 5th - 15th December at school drop off and pick up, or you are welcome to make an appointment with him directly on these dates. Further dates in early January will be announced in due course.