Parish newsletter, 30 January 2021
Saturday 6.30pm: Parish
Sunday Fourth Ordinary Time PMB 132
8.30am: David Scanlon RIP
10am: Sheila Walsh Rec Dec
11.30am: Charles Barker RIP
Monday No Mass
Tuesday The Feast of the Presentation
10am: Antonio De Souza
Wednesday 10am: Pascual De Souza RIP
Thursday 10am: Pat Kavanagh (Intentions)
Friday 10am: Special Intention
Saturday 6.30pm: Eileen Ward welfare
8.30am: Liz Duffy Rec Dec
11.30am: Ann Marie Quiller Intentions
First Reading Deuteronomy. Moses’s speech reminding the people of God’s favourable deeds in the past, including the giving of the Ten Commandments. Moses talks of another prophet. He says they will be lead into the Promised Land. He ascends the Mountain of Horeb from where he sees the destination of the Jewish people. He dies. We hear the great Jewish prayer, the Shema in Hebrew Hear o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one ! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. Moses also commands parents to teach their children about God in every context of life - “when you sit at home or walk along the road, when you lie down or when you get up.
Second Reading Paul on celibacy. If I had a wife and six kids in the presbytery do you think the parish could afford it? However, it would be great having some one to do the cooking. Thank you, all of you, who bring me food. Do please continue. Your generosity is very much appreciated. Thank you for the marmalade – a good reason to get up in the morning, especially when it’s F and M (The corner shop).
The Gospel Mark’s gospel is a challenge. He wants us to ask ourselves “Who is this Jesus? Who is he for me?" Not just in theory but in practice. Not just on Sunday morning when we come to church – if we can ! But what about my daily life. These are some of the most difficult questions to answer. What about evil in our world, the evil that Jesus came to conquer. Are there not evil forces within each one of us? These forces threaten our well being and happiness. Globally, we think of wars, torture, suppression, ethnic cleansing, the use of torture, the poisoning of political opponents (Sergei Navalny, a victim of Vladimir Putin’s corrupt dictatorship. We ask, not unnaturally, why these terrible things happen because we can’t blame God.
Today’s gospel highlights the authority of Christ. The response to the psalm is “Listen to his voice, harden not your hearts”. The pandemic has made us realise that we are fragile, all in a way children. In our desperation we ask whose children are we and if we do not follow God this must mean that we are orphans. It all comes down to whether or not we think we are in control of our own lives and if we think we can cope without God. The Christian teaching is that we are God’s children, ultimately completely dependent on God.
When the people in the synagogue (synagogue means : a place where people come together) hear Jesus peaching, they say that here is a teaching that is new with authority behind it. When we truly listen to him and truly study his word then his teaching is always new, carrying appeal and offering freshness and perhaps most importantly, hope. For Mark, the coming of Jesus is like a regime change. The gospel is a proclamation of the utmost importance.
Eucharistic Adoration Let us go to God’s house for it is here that Jesus awaits us in the sacrament of love. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the promised peace for all God’s children all over the world. It is here in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord, that more good can be achieved in bringing about peace than all the armies that ever marched, all the speeches ever made, all the meetings ever held, for God alone is the source, the power, the giver of peace. In the presence of the Blessed Sacrament we offer to our heavenly Father the infinite merits that Jesus won for us on Calvary to repair for all the wrongs, to heal all wounds, and to mend all broken hearts.
Reflection Ideally words and deeds should always go together. The weakness of a lot of words derives from the fact that they are not preceded or accompanied by deeds. This thought is really a severe examination of conscience for us. Lord, grant that what we say with our lips, we may believe with our hearts, and practise with our lives.
Fr Paul Sanders died of COVID early today. Many of you will remember him as parish priest here. May he rest in peace.
Maureen Sumner died recently. Let us pray for her. She was until a few years ago a daily Mass attender. There will be a Mass for her on 11th February in our church. The funeral is taking place elsewhere. May she rest in peace.
The Pandemic To come out of this crisis better Perhaps because we have recovered, in lockdown, a little of that fraternity that our hearts had painfully missed, many of us have begun to feel an impatient hope that may be the world could be organised differently, to reflect the truth. We have neglected and mistreated our ties with the creator, with creation, and with our fellow creatures.
St Brigid, a feisty lady saint, patroness of Ireland and very much ahead of her times (the fifth century) Lots of legends flying about – mostly probably true.. Brigid means “fiery arrow”. She as early on attracted to the religious life. She gave away everything she owned. She certainly could take care of herself in men’s company and especially in priests’ company, always doing things her way. Legend says that she could turn water into milk, then into butter and then into cheese. At a different level she could turn water into beer to satisfy the thirst of priests who visited the convent. It was thought that she was in favour of women priests. One day a bishop visited her to see what was going on in the convent. He had so much beer during the course of the meeting that he ended up ordaining Brigid a bishop before he left. So you can see that the issue of women priests/bishops is not a new one