Message From The Parish Priest
Sunday 9th December
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT IN CYCLE A READINGS. + 9TH DECEMBER 2007.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST
My Dear People,
First of all can I just announce that today we begin the annual preparation for the little presents for the children of our area who are in need. You know well what we are to do. You choose a modest present and wrap it nicely. You label it "TO A SPECIAL BOY or GIRL" depending on the kind of gift. For eg one does not give a doll to a boy does one - or at least I do not think it advisable despite the accusation of sexism! ? Also put the Age range on it so that one is not giving a four year old a Meccano Set! Place it near the Sacred Heart Statue which will eventually be the place for the Christmas Tree and the sooner the better, so that we can distribute them. They go to the Homeless families Units, the Catholic Rescue Society and the Battered Wives Refuge and some needy family units of our own parish. Don't delay. If it is too near Christmas they will not get distributed.
Gosh - the Baptist calls the Pharisees and Sadducees "You bunch of vipers". "Who told you to repent??" John says. He told them not to claim Abraham for their father as their ticket to heaven because God can create children of Abraham from the stones (the stones of the very wilderness our Lord was Tempted in that same year). That is a very offensive thing to say to the religious leaders of John the Baptist's day. He paid for it with his life of course as people do. But what he said was to seek their sincere repentance. After all - it was them who plotted our Lord's death.
However, the warning is to us isn't it really in this season of Advent? The Baptist warns us not to be part of the "chaff" that gets burnt after the harvest is reaped - for that is a fire that will never go out. Our Lord warns of it often - hell fire. A denial is made of this teaching to please people but it is a final reality reserved for those who have rejected God altogether.
Isaiah's famous writing about the lamb lying down with the wolf and the child playing over a cobra's nest is a prophesy about the forthcoming Peace which is going to be established at the Incarnation. God will be joined to humanity in an unbreakable bond, all because of the new shoot that has come forth from the rod of Jesse - the father of King David - the ancestor of our Lord and the Royal house founder of that dynasty. As the Archangel Gabriel said to our Lady - "His reign will have no end and he will inherit the throne of his father David".
Just when all seemed lost and puppet kings ruled the Chosen People - God raised up John the Baptist, our Lord's cousin, to be the preparer of the Way of the Messiah - the Saviour. God's arm is not shortened in our day and despite the difficulties of the age our Lord will come through in our world and cause things to happen.
Only last week a priest was telling me that a debate took place at the Students Union on the reasonableness of Belief in God and was attended by nearly 300 students in the largest capacity lecture hall the students have. You see - there is an interest in God and after a while gorging themselves of material things and tasting the bad fruit - people will long for the pure Living Fountain of Life coming forth from the breast of Jesus our Saviour and our Lord. You just mark my words. I notice even in the pop song lyrics, a longing for morality and God.
So - let us look on the bright side and prepare this Advent for the coming our Our God. Let us look out in our daily lives for the goodness that is everywhere and not always under the title of religion. There is more good than evil after all and our Lord's Kingdom lasts forever. Thus the Angel spoke to Mary. It is a message our school children are learning to repeat in this holy season of preparation. They will be proclaiming this message for all the parents to hear.
Have a good Advent,
Father Tom Connolly
THEFT One of the wooden boxes we use at St Kentigern's for the monies for the Almanacs was stolen on Sunday last. I left the church open after the children's First Confessions at 5.20pm in preparation for the Evening Mass and they took the opportunity. I reckon there was about £40 in it given the number of Almanacs sold.
CATHOLIC CHILDREN'S RESCUE SOCIETY SUPPORT WORKER- based in Blackburn SCP - 14 - 18 - 18.5 hours per week - + sleep-in duties. Pro rata for P/T. Qualifications at Bar at SCP 16) /Sleep over payment £31.74
BANK STAFF - £8.75/HOUR IN MANCHESTER, BOLTON INC OF HOLIDAY PAYMENT. SLEEP-IN THE SAME AS ABOVE.
GETTING MARRIED NEXT YEAR? If you are, here is your chance to prepare well. Our Parish Centre of St Kentigern is the place where all the couples getting married in our Deanery of 12 parishes come to prepare for marriage. Me and Fr Flynn arrange the Programme each year and it is run by us two and a married couple of grown up family and a couple with a young family. It runs from the last Sunday of January and ALL the Sundays of February at 2.30pm to 4pm. You fill in a brochure after seeing your own the priest of your own parish and then you will get a letter reminding you a few weeks after Christmas. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO PREPARE FOR THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE. If your future spouse is abroad, then bring a friend for company. So, hurry up - time is running out. Some of you have put if off so long our Lord will have come again by the time you go up the aisle!!
MARRIAGE: Congratulations to Bernard Tierney and Renee who married at St Edwards on the 8th December and provided the lovely flowers for the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
BIDDING PRAYERS FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT A
Priest: Let us pray to Christ, whom the scriptures foretold, and whose coming we await with eagerness in this Holy Advent Season.
Reader: O Lord, Isaiah foretold that the spirit of the Lord would rest upon you - come to us bringing your wisdom and understanding - true gifts of the Spirit. Lord hear us.
The spirit of council and power is given to you Lord Jesus, move the hearts of those who govern and rule towards the way of goodness and peace and respect for the vulnerable - protect the integrity of the family – father- mother – children. Lord hear us.
We pray for all our children in our schools and the staff that in this Advent of preparation for our Lord ‘s coming they may be blest with their teachers and parents. May the re- telling of the Christmas story of our salvation take root in our hearts. Lord hear us.
For all those widowed or bereaved in this last year that as the season of Christmas approaches they will be raised out of the shadows of sadness into the light of Jesus in the manger. Lord hear us.
May the "Christmas novena" we begin to the Infant Jesus, bring to our households many graces. Lord hear us.
For all those suffering from illnesses of all kinds that they may not lose courage we pray for: Kevin McNulty, Kerry Barlow, Robert Clayton, Mary Colbert, Paddy McGovern, Peggy Walsh, Maureen McGough, Elizabeth Wallace, Donna Quinn, Rosalen Condon, Kitty Higgins and Mrs Keegan. Lord hear us.
For all those who have been born to Eternal life in these last few days: John Joseph O'Brien, Margaret Lowry, Teresa Cauchie, Patrick Cawley and Henry Carew.
For all the souls whose anniversaries fall about this time that they may see God: Veronica Lawson, Margaret and Henry Regan, Tony Walsh, Beatie and James Regan, Mary Mullin.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed...
Let us turn to Mary Immaculate - Star of the Morning - whose feast we celebrated yesterday (Saturday) - Hail Mary...
Priest:Lord to free us you sent your only Son into our world - listen now to the prayers your people make in his Holy Name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.