3rd Sunday of Lent

Sunday 23 March 2014
10.30am. Solemn Mass at St. Pius X, Hockley

Celebrant & Preacher, Fr. Bob White.


The Woman at the Well…
Dear friends,
On this third Sunday of Lent we are faced with the truth of the teaching of Jesus regarding marriage, which in turn is the teaching of Mother Church. The woman at the well is shocked when Jesus reveals her true marital status!
 As many of you know, there will be, later this year in Rome, an ‘extraordinary synod’, called to discuss the life of the family and evangelization.  The BIG issue of divorce and remarriage and the impact that this has on Catholic family life will have a prominent feature on the agenda. There are lots of opinions held by many at present but unless they are informed and we can articulate our response to what our Church teaches, then those opinions are worthless?  We should be an informed people guided by the Magisterium on these issues. One of the best resources that I have found relating to this can be sourced at
http://www.news.va/en/news/archbishop-muller-care-of-remarried-divorcees-must
On the indissolubility of marriage and the debate concerning the civilly remarried and the sacraments Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, writes:
“The problem concerning members of the faithful who have entered into a new civil union after a divorce is not new. The Church has always taken this question very seriously and with a view to helping the people who find themselves in this situation. Marriage is a sacrament that affects people particularly deeply in their personal, social and historical circumstances. Given the increasing number of persons affected in countries of ancient Christian tradition, this pastoral problem has taken on significant dimensions. Today even firm believers are seriously wondering: can the Church not admit the divorced and remarried to the sacraments under certain conditions? Are her hands permanently tied on this matter? Have theologians really explored all the implications and consequences?
These questions must be explored in a manner that is consistent with Catholic doctrine on marriage. A responsible pastoral approach presupposes a theology that offers “the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals, freely assenting to the truth revealed by him” (Dei Verbum 5). In order to make the Church’s authentic doctrine intelligible, we must begin with the word of God that is found in sacred Scripture, expounded in the Church’s Tradition and interpreted by the Magisterium in a binding way.”
The above is just a snippet that I pray will assist in an informed opinion on this sensitive issue.
My own take on all of this, as a priest, is to remain true to the teachings of the Church, always a friend and pastor to all in any kind of need? Compassion and mercy as we are reminded by Pope Francis is at the very root and is the core of the Christian vocation to serve one another. When we convey the teachings of the Church with a merciful heart, then I firmly believe that the Pastoral heart of priest and people might truly beat as one: just look again at the story of the Woman at the Well?
 Let us remain true to the Gospel of Lord and with it show to our brothers and sisters who find themselves in difficult circumstances that there is a welcome for all in the Church as we make an examination of our own consciences and reflect on our own failings and shortcomings this Lent…but above all and in all things, be joyful. Continue to keep Lent well!
With my love and prayers, Fr. Jeff


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