Thought for the Week
Last week in St Anthony’s we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the parish.
Crucially, what we were celebrating was the beginning of the parish community and not the opening of the church building which came a short number of years after that.
We were celebrating not the fact that we had a particular place of worship, but that we are a community of worship ( the original Greek word for church translates as “assembly”).
In other words, what makes a parish is the group of members of that parish sharing a common faith and common worship.
It is a reminder to us that God did not make us to be isolated individuals but instead intended us as social beings: that we depend on others and that others should be able to depend on us.
In celebrating 50 years of our parish we were celebrating the shared joys of our community as well as the shared moments of suffering and grief.
In all the 50 years God’s love was evident most of all in the faces of others.
We are given different opportunities to encounter Christ and one of the principal ways is to meet him in the people around us.
Let’s look out for the face of Christ in those we love, in those who need our help, and in those we might prefer to avoid. We are not made to be isolated individuals, which is why we are commanded to love God and love our neighbour.
And let’s keep an eye out for those who have become isolated and would gain so much from a simple act of friendship. Fr. Frank Dougan Parish Priest of St Mark’s and St Anthony’s