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Parish newsletter, 28 March 2021


6.30pm: Parish

Palm Sunday the Passion of the Lord PMB Page 187

8.30am: Bridget McCarthy RIP

10am: Frank Wilkinson Rec dec

11.30am: John Humphreys RIP

Monday NO MASS

Tuesday 10am: Holy Souls

Wednesday 10am: Holy Souls

Thursday 7.30pm: Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Friday 3pm Solemn Liturgy

5pm: Stations of the Cross

Saturday 6.30pm: Parish (Easter Vigil)

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

8.30am: Sean McCabe Rec Dec

10am: Priest Int

11.30am: Holy Souls

Gospel My God, my God, why have you forsaken me ? These are the words found in today’s gospel as the cry of Jesus dying on the cross. It expresses all the desolation of the Messiah, Son of God, who is facing the drama of death, a reality totally opposed to the Lord of Life. Forsaken by almost all his followers, betrayed and denied by the disciples, surrounded by people who insult him, Jesus is under the crushing weight of a mission that was to pass through humiliation and annihilation. This is why he cried out to the Father. Ultimately, trusting in the Father, he is led to diving victory. The tormented path leads to glory. “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” In his passion, in his obedience to the Father, the Lord Jesus passes through abandonment and death to reach life and to give it to all believers.

What the Historians say : Josephus, a Jewish historian, in AD 66 wrote : “It was at this time a man appeared – if ‘man’ is the right word – who hd all the attributes of a man but seemed to be something greater. His actions certainly were super-human for he worked such wonderful and amazing miracles that I for one cannot regard him as a man; yet in view of his likeness to ourselves I cannot regard him as an angel either”.

The fact that Jesus is hardly mentioned outside the gospels is not surprising. When non-Christians did refer to him, they obviously saw him as a troublemaker. The writings of the two famous Romans illustrate this.

PLINY, writing in AD 112. In a letter to the Emperor Trajan, the Younger Pliny complains that there was a slump in the agricultural markets because people were no longer buying beasts for sacrifice. This was the fault of people called Christians, who formed a secret society and refused to offer sacrifice to the god-emperor.

TACITUS, Writing early in 2nd century. The Roman historian Tacitus wrote that the Christians had been made the scapegoat for the great fire of Rome in the reign of Nero (AD 64) Their founder was a criminal who had been executed by Pontius Pilate thirty years or so earlier. Unfortunately the death of the ringleader had not stopped the mischief!

Holy Week Who de we say Jesus is ? If we could go back in time we would probably get one of the following answers :

1 They hanged Jesus of Nazareth on the eve of the passover because he practised sorcery and was leading Israel astray.

2. You can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.

It is important to think more deeply about our lives in relation of Jesus Christ. 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 Holy Week and the celebration of the events which alone give meaning to our lives?

The full significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus is hinted at in St John’s gospel. John tells us that as Jesus died on the cross a soldier pierced his side with a sword and immediately blood and water came out. The blood and water are a sign of the outpouring of the love of Jesus. This outflow is a sign of the spirit of Jesus in which we can all share. And then, after the resurrection, the first act of Jesus is to breathe onhis followers. As he did so he said “Receive the Holy Spirit …

Is not the short prayer “Come, Holy Spirit” always answered ?

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 higher power in a vague sense, but not in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and to get us out of this mess. 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. 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.

CAFOD Four million children are dying in the Yemen. In the first quarter of 2019, 3.4 million died of hunger. Please help by making a donation. Envelopes available back of church. You can make a CAFOD donation any time.

Easter Offerings Envelopes available at the back of the Church. It’s my pay day in these hard times!

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