The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

 

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (B)

As an example for us to follow, the Holy Family can seem a little too perfect: when we consider the more “dramatic events of the Christmas and Easter story, it can seem so far removed from us. And yet, as today’s Gospel reminds us (especially in the shorter version), there were also the so-called ‘“hidden years’” – the many years of family life in Nazareth, spent in ordinary things. During that time, we hear how Jesus grew and matured, and in the glimpse of that family life we see our example. The family is a basic unit of our Christian society, despite coming under threat nowadays.  Our celebration of this feast, and the Word of God we proclaim, announces that there is a lasting value in the ideals of family life, and the relationship between husband, wife, parents and children. Whatever the changing details of each age, honour, understanding and love always remain the recipe for the perfect, and holy, human family. It is love that we put on over all the other clothes of changing cultures and places, to guarantee the life of the family in imitation of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

 

Holy Family 2017 Newsletter

 

Wishing everyone a very Happy and a Peaceful New Year

From

Canon John

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Fourth Sunday in Advent

“Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son.”

Here we enter a new stage of Advent: having spent so much time on the Second Coming, now we look back, to remember the details of the Lord’s First Coming. Today we focus on the character of Mary, and hear of the angel Gabriel being sent to her, to invite her to take her part in the mystery of the Incarnation, “the revelation of the mystery kept secret for endless ages”. This mystery springs from the House of David, and so we lead into the Gospel by hearing of the establishing of that house. An interesting idea is that the first reading talks of David wishing to build a house for the Lord; through the prophet he is told not of the house that he would build, but the House which is his line: eventually, in Mary (betrothed to Joseph) the House of David does itself become the house of the Lord, the womb wherein he has a dwelling place.

 

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2017 Newsletter

 

Christmas Mass Times

Holy Day of Obligation

 

Our Lady of the Angels

9.00pm (Sunday Evening)

9.00am Christmas Morning (Monday)

 St David’s

6.00pm (Sunday Evening)

10.30am Christmas Morning (Monday)

 

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Holy Christmas

and a Peaceful New Year

From

Canon John

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Third Sunday of Advent

 

“There stands among you, unknown to you, the one who is coming after me.”

So who is coming? This Sunday’s readings help to answer that question. John the Baptist is asked about the coming of the Messiah – is it him? He affirms his role as a witness to speak for the light, by pointing to the one who stands among the crowd unknown to them who is coming after him. This idea is present in the First Reading, where Isaiah proclaims what the anointed one (Messiah’ in Hebrew) will do, and the joy that this will bring. It is interesting that the Psalm appointed for this Sunday is the Magnificat – Mary’s song of praise at the announcement that the Messiah would be born of her – in which she sings of the works of the coming Messiah. Paul then reminds us that we are still waiting patiently: God has called you, and he will not fail you.” This is why, on this ‘’Gaudete’’ Sunday, we as God’s people rejoice in his care, made visible in his promises, fulfilled in Jesus.

 

Third Sunday of Advent 2017 Newsletter

 

Advent to Christmas

Our Lady of the Angels

Reconciliation

Monday 18th at Our Lady’s 6pm-7pm

Saturday 23rd at Our Lady’s at 10.30am-11.30am

 

Christmas Masses

9.00pm (Sunday Evening)

9.00am Christmas Morning (Monday)

 

 St David’s

Reconciliation

Thursday 21st at St David’s 10am-11.00am

Saturday 23rd at St David’s 4.15pm-4.45pm

 

Christmas Masses

6.00pm (Sunday Evening)

10.30am Christmas Morning (Monday)

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Second Sunday in Advent

Make his paths straight

Throughout the first three weeks of Advent our focus is very clearly on the Second Coming of the Lord – not so much on the run up to Christmas (until the last week). If we view Advent as a preparation for Christmas these readings will make little sense – and neither will the figure of John the Baptist who appears today: if it’s about the preparation for Christmas, then John the Baptist, preaching after Jesus was born, is a confusing figure: but his role is to preach to us, as he did of old, and to prepare us for the (second) coming of the Lord. Today we have a very graphic reference to the end of time and the Second Coming in the reading from Saint Peter; it is a frightening picture, and so the first reading offers tender words of comfort to help us understand who is coming, and why we should be ready to meet him.

 

Second Sunday of Advent 2017 Newsletter

 

Advent to Christmas

Penitential Service Friday 15th December

Our Lady’s: 2.30pm

Fr Nick James and Fr Liam Hennessey will be here with Canon John

24th December 4th Sunday of Advent:

St David’s:         5pm (Sat)

Our Lady’s:       9.30am (Sun)

N.B. There will be no morning at 11.15am

 

CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES

Christmas Eve: St David’s 6.pm

                           Our Lady’s 9pm

Christmas Day: Our Lady’s 9am

                             St David’s 10.30am

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First Sunday in Advent

 

Stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming

Advent opens with a great cry, and a great promise: “Oh that you would tear the heavens open and come down!” is the cry, of a people who need God. “…The master is coming” is the promise, not to breed fear, but to answer our cry. 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 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 love and 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.

First Sunday of Advent 2017 Newsletter

 

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Christ The King

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King

Shepherd-King o’er mountain steep, homeward guide thy wand’ring sheep.” This hymn which we will probably sing today captures the readings perfectly: our King is not a cruel tyrant or despot, but a shepherd who loves his flock, who would (and did) give his life for them. Love for the flock means that he will have to judge them, separating the sheep from those who do not belong to him. Coming to the end of the Church’s year leads us to look to our final ending, the homecoming the hymn speaks of. The judgement of the end of time we do not view as a trial or a terror, but as a coming home: look back to the Isaiah reading on the 28th Sunday to see what a homecoming party is offered. All we do is put our lives in order, living just and holy lives, longing for the day of the Lord to come.

 

Christ the King IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 Newsletter

 

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33rd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

 

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.

 

33rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2017 NEWSLETTER

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