Thank you Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
1st Reading from the Prophet Jeremiah 31: 7-9.
Jeremiah’s prophecies are really designed to help Israel cope with the utter disaster of the defeat by the Babylonians and the taking off into exile of all the prominent citizens, the temple and the Holy City had been destroyed. Had God deserted them? Many started to follow the Babylonian ways and worship, Jeremiah is to help them find a way back to God. This part of the book is concerning the way back home for the exiles. This passage is dealing with the fact that Israel is going to be restored. God is going to bring back a remnant and they will rejoice, they had left in tears but their tears will turn to great joy, and there is this reference to the smooth pathway, or causeway. The exiles were always impressed by the great causeway that the Babylonians had constructed to make an impressive entrance to their great city, so Jeremiah is comparing their smooth return to this great smooth causeway. They will learn from their mistakes and not leave the Lord again. It is a lesson that although we make wrong decisions, God is always trying to guide us back to him. We may desert Him, but He never deserts us.
This is a song describing, what Jeremiah was sent by God to proclaim to those in Exile. The joy and exuberance of the remnant upon returning home. That wonderful last stanza, “They go out full of tears……. they come back, they come back full of song.” God’s word was fulfilled by their return from Babylon, we can trust God’s promises.
2nd Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews 5: 1-6.
Jesus was invited by God to be our High Priest, and he painfully accepted the task of making atonement for all our sins, although sinless himself, making offerings like Melchizedek of bread and wine, but, with Christ, these gifts are transformed into Christ’s Body and Blood. Melchizedek is a mysterious character from the Old Testament, who is very Christlike. The Hebrews would have noted these similarities, and would have been intrigued, and encouraged to explore further.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 10: 46-52.
This section of Mark’s Gospel started with a blind man, and it ends with an encounter with another blind man. Bartimaeus, is sitting by the roadside, when he hears a commotion, he discovers Jesus, the Nazarene is passing by. So, he shouts out at the top of his voice, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” The people around tell him to shut up, but Jesus stops. The blind man obviously knows something about Christ and that intrigues him. “Call him here.”, says Jesus, and we get this lovely picture that Mark paints for us of how the mood of the people changes. “Courage”, they say, so Bartimaeus, throws off his top clothing and blunders through the crowd to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asks, and Bartimaeus responds loud and clear, “Rabbuni, that I may see again.” And Jesus effortlessly heals him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” His sight is instantly restored, and he becomes a disciple and follows Jesus along the road. There is a profound lesson for us here, to have faith in the Word of God. That act brings healing and enlightenment. If we have faith in the Word of God, Jesus Christ, then let us become his disciples and follow him along the road to salvation, enlightened by his Gospel.
God Bless you All & stay safe. Deacon Vincent.
A message from the Diocese regarding Pope Francis' World-Wide Synod:
6 November, 10am-12noon: St John’s Centre, Trowbridge - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/trowbridge-synod-information-sessions-tickets-190920838367
6 November, 2.30pm-4.30pm: St Patrick, Brockworth - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brockworth-synod-information-sessions-tickets-190970737617
13 November, 10am-12noon: Emmaus House, Bristol - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bristol-synod-information-sessions-tickets-190972171907
13 November, 2pm-4pm: St Joseph, Bridgwater - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bridgwater-synod-information-sessions-tickets-190973525957
If anyone would like to attend one of the sessions around the diocese, please let us know through the Eventbrite link above.
Also, we are holding two online Teams sessions on 8 & 9 November at 7pm. If you would prefer to join these meetings from your own home, rather than attend one of the above in person, please let us know at the firstname.lastname@example.org email address so that we can send a 'Teams' invite a few days before the event."
Here at St Augustine's, we have asked a few of our parishioners to consider being one of our parish delegates so that we can participate in shaping the church as we look forward to how the church will help and serve into the future.