to St. John the Baptist.
Did you know that in the church calendar we only celebrate three birthdays?
Jesus (we all know that one), Mary (clearly a case of a bit of birthday bash) and… John the Baptist.
Jesus and Mary are obvious choices – but why on earth do we celebrate the birthday of St. John the Baptist? Surely it would make more sense to celebrate his death (as we do with the other saints?)
The reason is amazing – it’s because whilst he was in his mother’s womb he encountered Jesus.
The encounter with Jesus was so great that he leapt for joy, which must have come as quite a surprise for his mother!
In the catholic church we believe that in this moment – in this encounter – his original sin was washed away and that he came into this life without that stain.
This early encounter with Jesus had the same effect for him in the womb as baptism would have had after he was born. It wiped away his sin so that from the day of his birth until the day of his death he was united with God – he was – from the moment of his birth – holy.
What was that holiness? It was his ability and mission to point to Jesus in all things. He prepared for the coming of Jesus by retreating the desert and living on honey and locusts, he recognised Jesus in the flesh and baptised Him, he gave us one of the greatest sayings of all history… one of the greatest lessons in how to follow Jesus,
‘He must increase, I must decrease.’
He tells us, ‘Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’.
So this week let’s think about how we can decrease so that He can increase.
Thank you to everyone who has signed up for the tea & coffee rota (Ruth) and the reading rota (Susan). There are still some places to fill so please do say hello and get signed up
The Rosary Mission in the parish will run from the 4th July to the 18th July (when the Bishop will join us). Planning is now well under way and if you have an idea of how you could contribute please speak to Fr. Matthew
There will be a sung mass on Thursday evening (no services in the morning) for the birthday of St. John the Baptist.
We welcome a new church into the church hall on Sunday afternoons as they seek Gods call in their lives. If you see them (2-4pm) please do say hello and wish them well.
Help fund an organist – please consider setting up regular giving with the Parish Giving Scheme. Call 0333 002 1271 with your bank details to hand and quote our Parish Code – 230 623 503 or visit our website www.stanselm.co.uk/giving