5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

“He cured many who suffered from diseases of one kind or another.”

This world, as we know, is a fragile and fallible place, in which we encounter hunger, disease, sickness and death. Jesus proclaims, by his actions of healing, that there is another world, the Kingdom of God, which will be free from all such anxieties and afflictions. The story of Paradise and the Garden of Eden painted a picture of a world which was perfect, and free from all problems. Jesus came into the world precisely to offer us a return to Eden, if we follow him. Each of his miracles is also, in some sense, a parable or teaching, pointing out to us something of the lost happiness and perfection which he is restoring. This vision of Paradise is not Utopian or delusory, not just a vain hope to comfort us with, but the true manifestation of God’s love for us. Jesus could not cure every disease or sickness in the world then: but his miracles of healing are a sign that one day, when the Kingdom comes, sickness and disease will be wiped away for ever.

 

5th Sunday Of Ordinary Time 2018 Newsletter

 

 

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4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Where does authority come from? Why is one man regarded as a prophet, and another as a lunatic, and a third as a hypocrite? Jesus startles the crowds with a ‘new teaching’ today, but what amazes them so much is not the message but the authority behind it: they are convinced because what he does somehow adds credibility to what he says. It’s the old situation that we are all familiar with – we look through words to see the actions, which show us the real message. The scribes did not heal or work miracles, but simply talked about God. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God, but also shows the people what it is – a Kingdom where all that damages human happiness is abolished. The other side to this is that we must listen to a prophet or teacher when they are backed by such authority; we may not “harden our hearts” and ignore the message when we have recognised that the messenger is sent by God. This is the hard part, because it demands that we too show, by our actions, that we have heard.

 

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018 Newsletter

 

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3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

“Repent and believe the good news!”

Where does Jesus begin his ministry? Where John the Baptist left off – preaching a message of repentance, of change, to welcome the new Kingdom of God. There is a simplicity about this message, which is not compromised by anything – today’s Gospel has these simple words from Jesus, and then the story of his calling more disciples to follow him and share in the work of spreading this message. Repentance has had something of a bad press – we tend to think of it as an old-fashioned concept. But every age needs to hear this call: to look at what we do and say and assume, and realise that there are such things as right and wrong, and that sometimes we follow the wrong path. To follow Jesus, and to accept the Kingdom of God, demands that we make a radical choice, which might well change our lives

 

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018 Newsletter

 

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th -25th January

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

6pm

12pm

7pm

12noon

7pm

Holy Trinity

Richmond Road Baptist

Our Lady’s

Fairhill Methodist Church

Salvation Army

 

 

 

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2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

“Samuel, Samuel!” “Here I am!”

What does it mean to be a follower of the Lord Jesus? Surely to listen and hear his voice, and to go where he leads us. Today, as we enter the ordinary season of the year, we begin our story of Jesus’ life and ministry with the calling of the first disciples. John fulfils his ministry – pointing to the Lamb of God – and the disciples follow where he points. His word to them is simple and inviting: “Come and see.” This echoes the calling of Samuel – a simple call, by name, which Samuel does not understand: discipleship is about trust, which Samuel shows simply by saying “Speak, Lord; your servant is listening.” The Psalm also underlines this, as we (the disciples of the Lord) sing together: “Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.” We hear his call, and we freely go to him, to listen again to the words of the Master.

 

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018 Newsletter

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The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

 

“We saw his star and have come to do the king homage.”

In the East, this Season of Christmas is called the ‘Time of Manifestation’, or Showing. Today is the ‘Feast of the Manifestation’, or the Showing of the Saviour to the whole world, to all nations. In the wise men who travel from the East, we see all the nations other than the people of Israel being welcomed at the New Temple of the New Covenant – the new born child in the manger. A look at the Psalm response shows this: “All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.” The same is true of the key word in the second reading: “Revelation”. Remember that for the people of Israel this was to be their Messiah, come to restore their fortunes. By this feast, we proclaim God’s plan was to extend his salvation to men and women of every nation, of every time and every place – including us. In many ways this is our Christmas Feast, when we celebrate the Good News of the Saviour’s birth revealed at last to us.

The Epiphany 2018 Newsletter

 

Epiphany Prayer

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence,
where we may see your glory face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

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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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