Parish newsletter, 21 March 2021
Fifth Sunday of Lent PMB Page 173
8.30am: Cheryl Adams Rec Dec
10am: Father Paul Snders Rec Dec
11.30am: Priest Int
10am: Holy Souls
10.00am: Effi D’ Souza RIP
Thursday The Annunciation
10am: Jean Ritchie RIP
10am: Holy Souls
10am: PB intention
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
8.30am: Bridget McCarthy RIP
10am: John Humphreys RIP
11.30am: Priest Int
Lent is important. Mass is important. We wish to purify our souls before meeting God in the Scripture readings and the Eucharist. It is important to think deeply about our lives. The modern world does not seem to encourage this! One German philosopher said that we all need to spend more time visiting graveyards! Should we try a bit harder in these final days before Holy Week and the celebration of the events which alone give meaning to our lives? What areas of our lives need to change? Do we live more for success, praise, pleasure, or money that for God? Is there someone from whom you need to ask forgiveness? Is there someone you need to forgive? Do you worry too much about what others think of you? Are you selfish? Are we over anxious, not trusting sufficiently in loving God? Do you struggle with greed, anger, impatience, lust?
First Reading The first reading speaks of a new covenant. Jeremiah’s ministry spanned the period at the end of the seventh and the beginning of the sixth Century before Christ. He justifies the notion of a new covenant on the grounds that the earlier covenant mad between God and Israel at the time of the Exodus from Egypt was broken by the people. He interprets all the mishaps that befell Israel in the meantime as God’s attempt to bring them back to their senses and ultimately to him.
Second Reading The Letter to the Hebrews is about the priesthood of Christ compared with all the sacrifices and offerings that had gone before. We see the suffering of Christ and his prayer to the Father on our behalf. This letter was to encourage the discouraged, so support the early Christians who were tempted to give it all up. The supremacy of Christ and his pleading for us should give us strength and confidence. Hebrews is all about the ministry of encouragement.
The Gospel Some Greeks wish to see Jesus. They are taken to him. He opens his soul to them talking of his fear yet also that the Hour has come – the hour of glorification which represents Christ’s victory over death, sin, meaninglessness. We are to follow Christ’s example of dying to ourselves in order that God can truly enter into our lives, into the space which is for God. Unless a wheat grain dies, it remains only a single grain but if it dies it yields a rich harvest. The wheat grain is a parable of how death opens up an expansion of life. It was the path taken by Jesus in obedience to the Father. It is our way to eternal life.
The Creed is important. It goes all the way back to 325. Try it! On a basic level, some people in the modern world do not believe in God or even a creator. They believe that the universe is here just by chance. Others believe in a God, in a hgher power in a vague sense, but not in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and to get us out of this mess. They perhaps have a sense of spirituality and morality but on their own terms. They don’t believe in following the teaching of Jesus and certainly not in his church which we believe to be a community of salvation. They make up their own religion and their own God according to their likes and dislikes. Many see their lives as their own, rather than gift from God. They do not believe that God has a plan for their lives and that he calls them to live according to that plan. They do what they want with their lives. They try not to think too much about death (see today’s gospel and Jesus’ thoughts about his death) May be they don’t believe they will have to give an account for their lives! These people, in my experience, are never really happy, seeking happiness and life in the wrong places.
Justice and Peace and Examination of Conscience We are called to believe in the victory of Christ, to be people of hope. We see signs of the kingdom all around us, small victories over evil, there to console and strengthen us and importantly to protect us from despair. Self – examination is the foundation for all progress. If we fight injustice and prejudice and get angry as Jesus did we must start by looking at ourselves, our own injustice and bigotry and hardness of heart. We constantly try to overcome our prejudices. Honesty is often painful and we fail if we rely on our own power. Christ is with us and he will teach us the truth and set us free.
CAFOD Four million children are dying in the Yemen. In the first quarter of 2019, 3.4 million died of hunger. Abdella is shattered, exhausted, physically devastated, but he must keep walking. Abdella lives in an extremely remote and mountainous part of Ethiopia. He spends nearly all his time collecting water just to keep his family alive. He has no time to live the life he wants. “I am wasting my life. I am a young man; I should be doing something else. Meet Abdella CAFOD website and share his journey. Please help by making a donation. Envelopes available back of church . You can make a CAFOD donation any time you want as the box will be there for a long time
Holy Week It’s has come on us so quickly. I am having the normal services but slightly reduced! There won’t be much of a Palm Sunday procession and I won’t be washing your feet. You can wash each other’s feet. That’s very biblical. The Easter Vigil will happen but SD must be observed at all times. You can watch Stations of the Cross on the link provided (see above) All will be well. God bless you and looking forward to seeing you all soon.