St John Ogilvie's
A Roman Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh

Welcome to St John Ogilvie's

Sunday 26 November - the Feast of Christ the King
the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Please pray for peace throughout the world.

Masses at St John Ogilvie's are on
Saturday at 6.30pm and
Sunday at 10.00am.
Weekday Mass, Monday to Friday, is at 9.00am.

Sunday's Mass Readings, Courtesy of Universalis

(If you cannot see the readings on this page, click here to view the readings on the Universalis website.)

Sunday 26 November 2023

Christ the King - Solemnity

First Reading

Ezekiel 34:11‐12,15‐17

The Lord will judge between sheep and sheep

he Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
  As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he‐goats.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 22(23):1‐3a,5‐6

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd;
  there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
  where he gives me repose.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Near restful waters he leads me,
  to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path;
  he is true to his name.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You have prepared a banquet for me
  in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
  my cup is overflowing.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
  all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
  for ever and ever.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 15:20‐26,28

Christ will hand over the kingdom to God the Father; so that God may be all in all.

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first‐fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first‐fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet. And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.

Gospel Acclamation


Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!


Matthew 25:31‐46

I was naked and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
  ‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
  ‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”
‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’

Copyright © 1996‐2023 Universalis Publishing Limited: see Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gospel Reflection by Fr Brian Maher OMI
Sunday 26 November 2023, the Feast of Christ the King

Jesus began his mission with the message, “Repent and believe. The Kingdom of God is near at hand.” How appropriate it is, then, that on this last Sunday of the year we hear in the Gospel of the final coming of that Kingdom.

This great parable of the ‘end things’ is told in the context of a Jewish understanding of what would happen at the end of the world. Since Jesus was a Jew himself, how could it be any different? For the Jewish people God would come in glory and power, the Messiah at his side, accompanied by his armies, to usher in the ‘new and eternal’ Kingdom of God. It would last for all time and would be a Kingdom of peace and joy, liberty and justice.

Central to the coming of this Kingdom would be the ‘Last Judgement’, a public calling to account of all the peoples of the world, followed by entry to the Kingdom for eternity or banishment from the Kingdom to everlasting damnation.

We cannot hope to understand the ‘last judgement’ in a Jewish context without first understanding the unshakable belief held by the Jewish people that they were God’s ‘Chosen People’, rightful heirs to God’s Kingdom, seeing it as their birthright. It was a Kingdom promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and prepared for through the ages by remaining faithful to the great covenant that “you will be my people and I will be your God” and by keeping the Law of Moses.

The purpose of the great and majestic final judgement was to vindicate the chosen people, punish their enemies and reward them for their faithfulness. The Final Judgement would mean that once and for all, God’s people, who suffered exiles, occupation and persecution for so long would finally inherit what God had always promised them.

Growing up, and maybe even as he began his Mission in the river Jordan with John the Baptist’s baptism, Jesus would have understood the Kingdom of God in these terms. But as his mission developed so did his understanding of the Kingdom until it became for him something quite different to that which was expected by the people.

Firstly, instead of being a Kingdom which would come with power and the force of armies, the Kingdom Jesus talked about was a Kingdom of peace and gentleness.

Secondly, instead of the Kingdom of God being primarily for the Jewish People, as a reward for their faithfulness, Jesus talked about a Kingdom which was for all people. All would be welcomed equally, the criteria for entrance to the Kingdom being only the way people lived.

Thirdly, instead of a Kingdom centred on the Temple of Jerusalem, the Kingdom Jesus talked about would be an internal one, centred on the Holy Spirit living in all people. In a real way Jesus came to see himself as the new Temple, which “could be destroyed, but in three days would rise again.”

His parables and interaction with people spoke of this ‘new’ vision of the coming Kingdom of God. It began as a Kingdom easily recognised by the Pharisees and other Jewish authorities but quickly took on characteristics alien to what they expected. Initially it created suspicion among them, leading to a decision to watch him carefully, engaging with him to try to clarify exactly what it was he promised. As his preaching continued and his popularity grew their suspicions turned to concern and ultimately a decision that the Kingdom he preached was dangerous and he had to be silenced.

His Resurrection, of course, showed that the new Kingdom of God, based on Jesus himself, was valid and had already come into the world.

Today’s Gospel, is probably best understood by what it does not say than by what it does say. For instance, the Kingdom of today’s parable will come in glory, but nowhere does it say in power or with the intention of vindicating Israel or punishing its enemies.

Nowhere does it say that the Kingdom of God is exclusively or even primarily for the Jewish people. It is for those who “feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, care for the sick and visit the prisoner.” In other words, it is for everyone who lives life according to certain values.

Nowhere does it say that the centre of the Kingdom of God will be the Temple in Jerusalem. It is clear that Jesus himself is the centre of the Kingdom. Somehow, everything that happens in the Kingdom of God is focused solely on Jesus himself. “In so far as you did (or did not do) this to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did (or did not do) it to me.”

The Kingdom of today’s parable is the Kingdom first outlined by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Then it was a call to find ‘happiness’ and wholeness. Today, it is the key which opens for us the Kingdom of God.

Nor does this Gospel say that entry to the Kingdom is for those who live according to the Law of Moses or indeed any other set of rules. It is purely our way of life, our respect for others, our awareness of the poor and needy, which opens the Kingdom of God to us.

Those listening to Jesus tell this parable would easily understand the context of judgement and the coming of the King in glory. If they were listening to Jesus for the first time they would not understand the rest of what he says about the Kingdom. However, if they already knew Jesus, or heard him speak before, they would know immediately that what he was saying was absolutely consistent with the way he lived his life. Entry to the Kingdom, therefore, is clearly for those who live like Jesus.

This would have terrified the authorities whose power came from the imposition of laws, and whose control came from measuring entry to the Kingdom by means of sacrifices offered in the Temple.

Without laws, rules, sacrifices and penances they lost their power and control over the people, and this was hugely threatening for them.

The Kingship of Christ that we celebrate today is a Kingship like no other which has been, is, or will come into our world.

It is a Kingship which is awesome in that it is God, the creator of our Universe and all that exists within it, who offers to share his Kingdom with us. This is a reality so far beyond us that we cannot ever fully grasp it. All we can do is wonder at it and be humbly grateful.

Even more awesome is the fact that it is a Kingdom accessible to all people without exception. No person and no laws or rules can deny us entry. Access is by virtue of how we choose to live our lives and ultimately, we have control over that ourselves.

When we stand before God, we will see all of the opportunities we had to heal, forgive, welcome, and accept others, and in face of God’s eternal Love we will recognise for ourselves the hurt and rejection we caused by turning our backs on those opportunities.

In this way I believe we will judge ourselves!

Looking into the very depth and beauty of love itself, we will wonder how we could have treated fellow human beings so carelessly and so cruelly. God’s gaze, his Love, will say to us, “I sent you Jesus to show you the way. He told you that following his way would lead to peace and happiness, yet you ignored him. All you had to do was “feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, care for the sick and visit the prisoner.” These people were all around you; sitting at your feet as you walked the pavements, reaching out to you from your television screens and social media pages, in your very own family and home…… how did you not see their needs? You could have done so much, and you could have been so much happier…..”

When we gaze into the face of absolute Love, I truly believe that every single person who ever lived on this Earth will weep for the opportunities we lost. The ‘image of God’ which is always within us, cannot but weep when it beholds the opportunities squandered by our lack of thought.

If we then feel sorrow and say, ‘God forgive me’, then Love, whose other name is mercy, will, I feel certain, forgive us. Then we will hear the wonderful words of Jesus, “Come, you who are blessed of my Father, enter the Kingdom prepared for you…..”

Sheep and goats on different sides of the judgement field.

Will there be many goats? Indeed, will there be any goats?

When we stand before God, before the awesome beauty of Love itself and see ourselves in its incredible light, then I struggle, I truly do struggle, to see any goats!

What about you?

Many thanks,

From the Archdiocese

Bishops meet MPs at Westminster
Scotland's Catholic Bishops joined the Moderator of the General Assembly of Church of Scotland on a joint pilgrimage to Westminster on Wednesday (22 November).

Archbishop Cushley said: "This was wonderful opportunity to meet the UK Government and our Westminster MPs to discuss matters that are important to Christians and people of Faith in Scotland, but in a UK-wide context.

"I'm especially pleased to do this in the company of Rt Rev Sally Foster Fulton and our friends from the Church of Scotland, particularly in light of the Declaration of Friendship that we signed with them last year."

Archbishop Bill Nolan (Glasgow), Bishop John Keenan (Paisley) and Joseph Toal (Motherwell) also attended.

The Church leaders met Scottish MPs, attended Prime Minister’s Questions and a reception in the House of Lords, which focused on International Aid to South Sudan. Mass was celebrated at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at the Palace of Westminster.

Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office, said: “This visit presents a fantastic opportunity for the bishops of Scotland to meet MPs representing Scottish constituencies, to strengthen relationships and discuss important issues.

"I am delighted that the bishops will be joined by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for much of Wednesday’s programme and that they will lead the celebration of Mass in the beautiful chapel of St Mary-Undercroft.”

Rt Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: "I am keenly aware that last week marked one year since the signing of the Saint Margaret Declaration between the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church, a landmark in the history of ecumenical relations in this country.

"The Church is committed to fostering unity, be that between faiths, denominations, or political parties, as part of our duty as Christians spreading the message of love.

"To effect positive change it is essential that leaders from diverse backgrounds come together for the common good."

Feast of St Andrew - Scotland's Patron Saint
Archbishop Leo Cushley will celebrate Mass for the Feast of St Andrew at St Mary's Cathedral at 12.45pm on Thursday 30 November.

Make time in your diary this year to celebrate the feast day of our National Patron at the Cathedral which has the National Shrine of St Andrew and his relics.

It was Andrew who, famously, brought Peter to Jesus – this feast day is your opportunity in a special way – to go to Jesus, through Andrew.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the Vigil of St Andrew on Wednesday 29 November from 7.30pm, which will conclude with sung Evening Prayer of the Vigil at 8.15pm and then Benediction.

The annual climate summit takes place in the United Arab Emirates from Thursday 30 November. Archbishop Bill Nolan (Glasgow Archdiocese), president of Justice & Peace for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, has issued a statement that can be read in the news-events section at

Vocations Mass
The monthly Mass to pray for Vocations to the priesthood and religious life takes place at 6:30pm on Monday 4 December at St Columba’s in Upper Gray Street, Edinburgh, EH9 1SN.

Mass with African community
The monthly Mass with the African & Caribbean Community takes place at 2pm on Sunday 3 December at St Cuthbert’s, 104 Slateford Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1PT.

Diploma in Catechetics 2024
Explore the richness and depth of our Catholic faith – all from home – with the Diploma in Catechetics from the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, led by Sr Miriam Ruth Ryan RSM. Tune in each Thursday at 7:30pm for an expert-led Zoom Webinar (or watch the recording at your convenience), and further enjoy guided readings, regular one-to-one support, and an in-person retreat. The Diploma in Catechetics begins on Thursday 25 January 2024. Concessions available. Registration and info at Questions? Email

Advent Rosary
The annual Advent Pro-Life Rosary takes place each Monday in Advent (4, 11, 18 December) at 7:45pm. Join people from across the Archdiocese to pray for the unborn, mothers and all pro-life intentions. Includes reflections from guest speakers, including Archbishop Cushley on 4 December. Register at

Carol Concert and Nativity Blessing
Archbishop Cushley will bless the Nativity scene which is located on The Mound, in Edinburgh, between 3:30pm and 4:00pm on Sunday 3 December 2023. Event is at Mound Place, EH1 1YZ.

There will be a carol service at the Ross Bandstand in nearby Princess Street Gardens from 3:00pm. This year's nativity scene has been designed by sculptor Thomas Hildenbrand from Germany.

Please see other news items from the Archdiocese in this week's Parish Newsletter.

Please also visit the Archdiocesan website for up-to-date information from the Archbishop.

Fresh Start help people who have experienced homelessness set up their new home through the provision of goods and services. They work to end the cycle of homelessness and for a better life for those living in poverty.

Important Information from Fresh Start

We are delighted to announce that we are accepting donations again from this Monday, 30th October! The first phase of our warehouse renovations have been completed and we are looking forward to opening our doors again and filling the warehouse with lovely goods to help people make a home for themselves. We are open for donations Monday to Thursday 9-4pm, and Fridays 9-1pm.

Please note that donations of approriate goods should NOT be brought to St John Ogilvie's. Your donations should be taken to the Fresh Start warehouse at 22-24 Ferry Road Drive, Edinburgh EH4 4BR. Tell them you are from St John Ogilvie's. You can ring them first on 0131 476 7741.

Fresh Start Christmas Cooker Appeal 2023

You might also wish to respond to Fresh Start's Christmas Cooker Appeal. To find out how, please click here.

Free Debt Help in Scotland - Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

For over 20 years, CAP has been providing free debt help in Scotland. CAP Scotland helps hundreds of people get out of debt every year, equipping them to withstand whatever storms may come their way in the future.

All CAP services are run through local churches. Our local CAP centre is based at Holy Trinity Church in Wester Hailes serving the west side of Edinburgh, including our parish area.

CAP also run a Job Club service. The Job Club is a friendly place where clients can get practical help as they seek employment. It's a relaxed environment with the chance to meet other jobseekers, get support and gain the tools they need to find work.

For more information visit

Join OLIO – and help reduce food waste

OLIO is an app designed to reduce the amount of food (and non- food) items going to landfill. You can download the free app which allows you to request and collect free food within your local area.

Food is collected by OLIO ‘Food Waste Heroes’ from local supermarkets/stores when ‘Use By’ or ‘Best Before dates are reached. OLIO ‘Food Waste Heroes’ then post items on the app and anyone can request them. You, too can share free food and non-food household items with local people through the app.

OLIO can be downloaded, free, from whatever app store you normally use. More information is available at the app store or at

LINKnet Mentoring (Scottish Charity Number: SC029440) is the first and the only direct mentoring organisation that is established to serve minority ethnic communities in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Scottish Borders and Fife. It was established in 2000 to serve disadvantaged ethnic minorities in their pursuit of development. Over the years thousands have taken part in various mentoring programmes, education and employment mentoring being the core programme.

For more information visit LINKnet's website by clicking here.


A prayer for peace in Ukraine

O Loving God, your Son, Jesus Christ, came into the world to do your Will and leave us His Peace. Through the intercession and example of our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, grant us the wisdom and humility to reflect that peace to the world. Inspire our thoughts, words and deeds to bear witness to your presence in our hearts. May your Holy Spirit fill us with every grace and blessing so that we may pursue what leads to peace for all humanity. Amen

We pray for all those in our country and throughout the world suffering from the Coronavirus. May its victims and their families be strengthened by the support of our community of faith and restored soon to full health. We also pray for our leaders and medical personnel who deal with the virus. May we keep calm and may we join together in solidarity with care and compassion to tackle this scare. This we ask in confidence though Christ our Lord.

Please continue to pray The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Special Prayers to use
when you cannot attend a funeral

These Special Prayers can dowloaded as a PDF document by - clicking here.

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