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Parish newsletter, 10 January 2021


10am: In honour of Mary

6.30pm: Frances McEvoy Rec Dec

Sunday The Baptism of the Lord PMB 119

8.30am: Margaret and Richard

10am: Spec Int

11.30am: Proest Int

Monday No Mass

Tuesday No Mass

Wednesday 10.00am: Mary Kearney RIP

Thursday 10am: In Time of Pandemic

Friday 10am: Jim Booth RIP

Saturday 6.30pm: William and Gertrude Brixton RIP

Sunday 8.30am : Frances McEvoy

10am: Dec’d Rel Ellis

11.30am: Priest Intention

Jesus grew up in an obscure town in Galilee. When news reached him that John was baptising in the river Jordan he made the three day journey to receive baptism. He must have seen it as a sign to begin his public ministry. He came out of the water and was affirmed by his Father and given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The same gift is available for us, too, though we find this hard to understand.

Today’s gospel reminds us that, although the Christmas lights have begun to fade and we are facing January darkness and the pandemic even more acutely, the mystery of Christ’s presence amongst us remains. The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. Let us draw closer to Christ so that he can enrich us from his abundance. His light has come into the world and no darkness can overcome it. If we accept Jesus we will truly become his sons and daughters.. Jesus came down to earth to raise us up and so share his glory in the Kingdom of heaven.

First Reading

From the first of the Four Songs of Second Isaiah. The servant song is perfectly fulfilled in Christ. The words in Isaiah are to be found almost the same in Mark’s Gospel.

Second Reading

The conversion of Cornelius. This is interesting, in fact a significant milestone in the history of the early Christian Community as he was not Jewish. Salvation is open to all.

The Gospel

Mark’s version of the beginning of Jesus, public life. It should help and encourage us to think about our own baptism. We all know our birthday but I bet hardly anybody knows their date of baptism. Christ’s baptism could be a powerful opportunity to ask that the grace of baptism grow within us. We are called to live the life of Christian. Christ did the work of our redemption by giving his life. The last thin he said to the apostles was that they should baptise all the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. He told them, and us, that he would always be with us. Baptism is, it seems to me, exciting because it reminds us that we are children of the Father and heirs to eternal life. It can’t get much better than that. To reach our final home we are to be disciples of Jesus and witnesses before the world. We are members of a Christian community dedicated to preaching the Gospel. In other words, we are given a pretty clear understanding of what we are supposed to be doing on this earth. We belong. We, each day, are invited to become more like Christ. Jesus, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, is at the very centre of our Being.

Reflection To be baptised is to be christened, that is, to be made like Christ. But this does not happen automatically. We have to grow into it. Towards the end of his life a saint was asked if he was a Christian, and he replied, “not yet”, Baptism is like the planting of a seed. It will take a lifetime for this seed to grow and ripen.

The Our Father There is one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all. In fellowship with all the baptised, let us pray to our heavenly Father in the words our saviour gave us.

Maximilian Kolbe True love goes beyond the giving of gifts. It requires the giving of oneself. It is to care for the well being of the other. Kolbe might have given fellow prisoners advice and encouragement and spiritual strength as they awaited their end. But he went so much further. His presence with them meant more than anything else. His was and astonishing act of love. The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. In the Incarnation Jesus became one of us and shared our life to the full. He even shared our death. Now we have become part of God’s family. We have received truth and grace. If only we could really accept the gifts that God longs to present to us. I read recently that Kolbe converted, by his example of perfect and self-sacrificial love, some of his Nazi captors.

Many thanks to the stewards who do so much to keep the church open

Christmas and New Year and all year round gifts Please visit the repository, stocking fillers, cards. Help the Sisters’ orphanage in Minsk, Belarus’

To come out of this crisis better, we have to see clearly, choose well and act right. Let’s talk about how. Let us dare to dream. We must redesign the economy so that it can offer every person access to a dignified existence while protecting and regenerating the natural world. What is the greatest fruit of the crisis? I’d say patience, sprinkled with a healthy sense of humour, which allows us to endure and make space for change to happen. We don’t possess the truth so much as the truth possesses us, constantly attracting us by means of goodness and beauty. Sin is a rejection of the limits that love requires. Our greatest power is not in the respect that others have for us, but the service we can offer others. Pope Francis

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