Clergy Notes — Remembrance Sunday, November 8, 2020

“Hallowed be thy Name: thy kingdom come.” These familiar petitions in the Lord’s Prayer were the springboard of Archbishop Mark MacDonald’s addresses on the Clergy Retreat this past week. In this prayer the Church offers several times daily we proclaim God’s holiness and justice as we seek to discern and to be signs of God’s coming kingdom of righteousness and peace in the here and now. Archbishop Mark reminded us how God’s kingdom is to be found amongst the poor and vulnerable, as the Hebrew Prophets and the life and ministry of Jesus show. God’s love and God’s glory is revealed in and through suffering, above all in the self-giving passion of Christ. Discipleship, for us as for Jesus, comes with a cost.

The Church, Archbishop Mark continued, hallows God’s Name above all in the celebration of the Eucharist, in which through prayer and praise, and the re-telling of our story, God’s kingdom breaks anew into our world today, sanctifying not only bread and wine, but the whole of creation. The four-fold action, taking, blessing, breaking, sharing, again relates not only to the elements, but to us, God’s people: we too in Christ are to be taken, blessed, broken and shared, to bring God’s life and God’s love to God’s world day by day. The Eucharist does not only look back to what Jesus did at the Last Supper, though it does re-present that to us; it is a foretaste, a breaking into our time and space, of the wedding banquet in the kingdom of heaven.

This time of pandemic has presented the Church with a particular challenge: how to live out this Eucharistic life when we are required to keep physical distance, when so many of us are not able to meet together for worship and fellowship, when our opportunity for practical service is limited.

There is no one or easy answer. We, Church and individuals, are called to be faithful, as we are able: in prayer, as we seek to be here at St. James’ in our Sunday Mass & Liturgy at Home, in the Daily Office and the Rosary, in our personal prayer times. We offer God our praise and thanksgiving; our lament of the evils and sufferings in the world, and our individual and corporate complicity in them; our intercession for a world in bitter need, joining our voices with those crying out for justice.

Many here find inspiration and strength in the recitation of the Psalms, through which Jesus prays within us. (My thanks to Leah and Deacon Amanda for their Formation Sessions on the Psalms.) As we are transformed and renewed in these ways by God’s grace, we are invited to live this out in love and service of one another and our neighbour.

This coming week take time to pray the Lord’s Prayer, and particularly those first phrases, slowly and reflectively. How may I, how may we at St. James’, hallow God’s Name? Where do we see signs of God’s coming kingdom – in those around us and in each other?

Every blessing,

Fr. Kevin

Download the service booklet: Liturgy at Home Pent 23 Rem Sun Nov 8 2020