1st Sunday of Advent

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Advent opens with a great promise: “In the days to come the hope of a people who need God. “The master is coming is also a promise, not a threat to breed fear, but to answer our cry. So Advent begins, not with thoughts of the past, with the coming of the Lord we celebrate at Christmas, but with the future, and the promise that He is coming back. We are encouraged to stay awake, and treat every day as the day the Lord will come; we do not do this out of fear for a Master who beats his servants, but out of love of a Master who always treats us with mercy. Nevertheless we must always be watchful, because we can grow sleepy and complacent, saying that we can leave this prayer or that confession or the other change in the way we live to tomorrow. Even as we look forward to the tomorrow of the Lord’s coming, we must remember that it might be today!

 

PSALM

I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord.
For Israel’s law it is there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgement of the house of David.
For the peace of Jerusalem pray: “Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls, in your palaces, peace!
For love of my brethren and friends I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord I will ask for your good.

 

1St Reading: Isaiah 2: 1-5

2nd Reading: Romans 13: 11-14

Gospel Reading Matthew 24: 37-44

 

1st Sunday of Advent 2016 Newsletter

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Christ The King

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Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

The year of Saint Luke ends with a characteristic take on the feast of Christ the King: in Luke’s gospel we are so familiar with seeing and hearing the voiceless, the rejected, those whom society puts in second place: how suitable, then, that on the feast of the King of all Creation we see him at his most vulnerable on the cross, with only an abrupt inscription to announce that he is the King. He is King because of the work he has done, which is described by Saint Paul in the Second Reading: “all things [are] reconciled through him and for him …when he made peace by his death on the cross.” Next week, when we re-enter Advent and a new Liturgical Year, we will be thinking of the King who will come again: though he will come as his disciples saw him go at the Ascension, the marks of the cross will still be visible for all time, to remind us of the one who came to reunite all Creation, especially frail human creatures.

PSALM

I rejoiced when I heard them day: “Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes goes up, the tribes of the Lord.
For Israel’s law it is, there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgement of the house of David.

 

1st Reading: 2 Sam 5:1-3

2nd Reading: Col 1: 12-20

Gospel Reading: Luke 23: 35-43

 

Christ The King 2016 Newsletter

 

Requiescat in Pace

Of your charity please pray for the repose of the soul of Tony Webb who died recently and we express our deepest sympathy to Anne his mother. Tony’s funeral Mass will take place on Thursday 1st December at 10.15am in St David’s Church

 

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33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

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“You have been faithful in small things: come and join in your Master’s happiness!

 

We must be very careful that the real point of today’s first reading is not washed away in genuine concerns over what one can and cannot say about the responsibilities of spouses. This is not, in fact, a recipe for ‘the perfect wife’, but an illustration, from one age, of the virtue of fully employing the talents God gives us. Some things are timeless, such as holding out a hand to the poor, while other talents shift and change. The point is that all of us are gifted in varying ways and degrees: none of us should begrudge anyone else their talents, for fear that we overlook our own. We work wisely and well, looking forward to the master’s return, when we can hand over to him not just what he gave us, but also the fruits that our labours have gained.

 

PSALM

Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp, with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn acclaim the King, the Lord.
Let the sea and all within it, thunder the world, and all its peoples.
Let the rivers clap their hands and the hills ring our their joy at the presence of the Lord.
For the Lord comes, he comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

 

1st Reading: Malachi 3: 19-20

2nd Reading: 2Thess 3: 7-12

Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 5-19

 

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

Requiescant in Pace

Of your charity please pray for the repose of the souls of Francis Connolly and Malcolm Anthony Long and for their families. Francis’ funeral Mass will take place on Thursday 24h November at 11am in St David’s.

 

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32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

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He is God, not of the dead, but of the living

 

It is fortuitous that this passage of the Gospel is normally read near to the beginning of November, when we have celebrated the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, since it is a strong proclamation of the reality of life after death and the resurrection of the body. This Sunday is not without its difficulties, however, since this message is framed in two very sensitive passages: we have a story of cruelty and martyrdom in the first reading, and a controversial (and possibly upsetting) question about marriage in the Gospel. Remember that the example that the Sadducees bring is ridiculous, legalistic and completely misses the point: Jesus reply does not mean that we are not with our loved ones after death quite the contrary, he proclaims that we will all become one with God and each other as children of God.

 

Psalm

Lord, hear a cause that is just, pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer: no deceit is on my lips.
I kept my feet firmly in your paths; there was no faltering in my steps.
I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God. Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
As for me, in your justice I shall see your face and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory

 

1st Reading: 2Macc 7:1-2, 9-14

2nd Reading: 2 Thess 2:16 3:5

Gospel Reading: Luke 20: 27-38

 

32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

 

 

 

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31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

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The Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost

There is a subversive humour in today’s Gospel which turns upside down the conventions of everyday life: we see a senior tax official climbing up a tree for a glimpse of Jesus, and the faintly ridiculous scene where Jesus stops, looks into the branches of the sycamore and says, “Zacchaeus, come down!” Did Zacchaeus worry about what people thought? The rest of the story shows that he did not. It would be easy to laugh at little Zacchaeus – and people in the town probably did, in between muttering about his extortionate taxes. And yet he has understood the message of God more clearly than others: he reveals the meaning of the first reading, since he understands that God is gentle, merciful and loving. Jesus corrects him, “little by little so that he may abstain from evil and trust in the Lord.”

 

PSALM

I will give you glory, O God my King, I will bless your name for ever.
I will bless you day after day and praise your name for ever.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord, and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign and declare your might, O God.
The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall and raises all who are bowed down.

 

1st Reading: Wisdom 11:22-12:2

2nd Reading: Thess. 1: 11-2:2

Gospel Reading: Luke 19:1-10

 

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

 

 

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30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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World Mission Sunday
The publican went home at rights with God; the Pharisee did not.

A few weeks ago (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time) we had a Gospel about humility in social life – today we hear the Lord reiterating the message, but this time in reference to our prayer lives. The two Gospels are linked by the last words today, which also appear in the other story: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This phrase is obviously a key part of our Lord’s teaching! The sin of “self-exaltation” consists in putting others in a lower place – as the Pharisee does to the tax collector. Perhaps the most telling phrase in today’s Gospel is where Jesus refers to the Pharisee saying “this prayer to himself, rather than offering it to God! And since the Pharisee wasn’t talking to God, how could he expect to be heard?

 

PSALM

I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad.
The Lord turns his face against the wicked to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The just call and the Lord hears and rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those who spirit is crushed he will save.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants. Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

 

1st Reading: Eccl. 35:12-14, 16-19

Second Reading: Tim 4:6-8, 16-18    

Gospel Reading: Luke 18: 9-14

 

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

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29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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God will see justice done to his chosen who cry to him

Perhaps the hardest Olympic event is the marathon: not only does it demand strength and fitness, but it calls for immense perseverance and endurance. Life in general and the Christian life in particular, is a marathon. We will face hills and mountains as well as valleys and gentle slopes in life: we will face obstacles and pressures which will make us want to say, as the prophet Elijah did, “Lord, it is enough!” Especially in our lifetime of prayer, there will be times when we say “Lord, I can go no further.” Jesus himself understands the need for perseverance in prayer, and the temptation to lose heart, which is why he offers us this parable and teaching today. And remember the thought from the first reading: sometimes we may need to hold each other in our praying!

 

Psalm

I lift up my eyes to the mountains: from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord who made heaven and earth.
May he never allow you to stumble! Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, Israel’s guard.
The Lord is your guard and your shade; at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you nor the moon in the night.
The Lord will guard you from evil, he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming both now and for ever.

 

 

1St Reading: Exodus 17: 8-13

2nd Reading: Timothy 3: 14-4:2

Gospel Reading: Luke 18: 1-8

 

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2016 Newsletter

 

Requiescat in Pace

Please pray for the soul of Patrick Devlin who died recently.
Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
Funeral Friday 21st October at 1.00pm.

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