Message From The Parish Priest
Sunday 23rd December
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT + 16TH DECEMBER 2007+ CYCLE A READINGS. CHRISTMAS NOVENA.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST
My Dear People,
The majority of this message is from Pope Benedict . His words are taken from the General Audience he gave last Wednesday and is very appropriate. His words reflect on his Encyclical letter of the virtue of HOPE.
Our Blessed Mother needed HOPE did she not when she was told by the Archangel that she was to be the mother of the Redeemer. She was a virgin as she reminded the Archangel so how could she be a mother too? The answer was given but did our lady explain to Joseph ? We don't know - she might have tried but Joseph was not going to go public and he had decided to break of the betrothal until his dream. The two of them lived then in the virtue of HOPE that all would be well and end well and that God would be faithful and true.
It is not always available for us to see our future or the outcome of thing not resolved. The three THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES relate to our fundamental orientation to God and his Holy Will for us. "This is the hope laid up in my heart that one day I shall see my Redeemer, face to face" - thus speaks the Funeral Mass Liturgy. In the face of death we talk about hope.
In the face of the hostile world of Herod and the exile in Eygpt the Holy Family stand for hope in a world that has turned against them already. To be a people of hope we have to have an optimism about our personal future and the world's future. Hope is a virtue which has its roots in confidence in God's goodness to us - despite all set backs and trials. The saints have it in huge measure.
Now listen to the Holy Father Pope Benedict:
A Christless Christmas Is Senseless, Says Pope
Notes That Without God-Made-Man, It's an Empty Holiday.
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 19, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A Christmas celebrated without mention of the birth of Christ is an "empty holiday," said Benedict XVI in a meditation given during the final days of Advent."What sense does it make to celebrate Christmas if we don't acknowledge that God has become man," the Pope asked today upon delivering a reflection on Christmas at the general audience in Paul VI Hall.
The Holy Father began his address with a commentary on justice. "We all await justice," he said, but "the Christian significance of waiting for justice, implies that we begin to live under the eyes of the Judge, according to the criteria of the Judge."
Being vigilant during Advent, said the Pontiff, "means to live under the eyes of the Judge and to prepare ourselves and the world for justice. By living under the eyes of the God-Judge, we can open the world to the arrival of his Son, preparing our heart to welcome 'the Lord who comes.'"
Benedict XVI continued: "The Child, adored 2,000 years ago by the shepherds in a cave of Bethlehem, never stops visiting us in our daily life as we, like pilgrims, walk toward the Kingdom.
"As he waits, the believer becomes the spokesperson for the hopes of all humankind; humanity longs for justice, and thus, though often unaware, waits for God, waits for the salvation that only God can give us."
The wait "is marked by assiduous prayer," said the Pope, so that the arrival of the Son of God comes more quickly.
"This faith in the Creator Logos, in the Word that created the world, in the one who came like a Child, this faith and its great hope seem to be far from our daily public and private reality," the Pontiff lamented. "The world is becoming more chaotic and violent: We witness this every day. And the light of God, the light of Truth, is being put out. Life is becoming dark and without a compass."
"It is therefore very important that we are true believers, and as believers, that we reaffirm forcefully, with our lives, the mystery of salvation that comes with the celebration of Christ's birth," he said. "In Bethlehem, the Light which illumines our life was made manifest to the world; the Way which leads to the fullness of our humanity was revealed to us."
The Holy Father continued with various Christmas wishes: "We ask God that violence be defeated by the power of love, that opposition be replaced by reconciliation, that the desire to dominate be transformed into desires for forgiveness, justice and peace.
"May the wishes of kindness and love that we exchange in these days reach all sectors of our daily lives. May peace be in our hearts, so that we can be open to the action of God's mercy. May peace live in all families and may they spend Christmas united before the crib and the tree decorated with lights.
"May the Christmas message of solidarity and welcome contribute to create a deeper sensibility toward old and new types of poverty, and toward the common good that we are all called to share."
"May all family members," he added, "especially the children and the elderly -- the weakest ones -- feel the warmth of this feast, and may that warmth spread out through every day of the year. May Christmas be a celebration of peace and joy: joy for the birth of the Savior, Prince of peace."
"Like the shepherds," said the Holy Father, "we hasten our steps toward Bethlehem. In the heart of the Holy Night we will be able to contemplate the 'infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger,' together with Mary and Joseph."
CHRISTMAS. CAN I WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY CHRISTMAS THROUGH THE NEWLETTER? WE WON'T HAVE ONE NEXT SUNDAY, SO I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR THE GENEROUS RESPONSE TO THE PRESENTS FOR THE POOR CHILDREN. THE VARIOUS RECIPIENTS WERE OVERJOYED AT THE NEATNESS OF THE PARCELS AND THE LOVELY WRAPPING AND LABELLING.
THANKS FOR THE CLEANERS WHO KEPT THE CHRUCH BRIGHT AND SPARKLING FOR THE BIRTHDAY OF OUR SAVIOUR.
THANKS TO THE READERS AND SACRISTANS AND SERVERS AND COUNTERS. THANKS TO MANY , MANY PARISHIONERS WHO SENT ME AND FATHER FLYNN GREETINGS ETC.
THANKS TO OUR SHCOOLS WHO WORKED SO HARD IN PUTTING OVER THE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE IN WORD AND MUSIC AND DRAMA.
THANKS TO YOU ALL.
Next Sunday is the feast of the HOLY FAMILY.
The Sunday of the 6th January is the SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY.
A. P. F. RED MISSION BOXES..COLLECTORS ARE ON THEIR WAY ROUND TO OPEN BOXES. FOR THE NEW BOX HOLDERS YOUR COLLECTOR WILL HAVE PROOF OF IDENTITY WITH THEM. ALL MONIES TO BE IN BY WEDNESDAY 9TH JANUARY PLEASE. THANK YOU. MRS C. BOOTH (Sec)
ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT WILL BE SUSPENDED UNTIL THE HOLIDAY PERIOD IS DONE- SEE THE MAIN NOTICE BOARD.
The Carol Service by St Kentigern's School on Thursday last was super and I want to thank all the staff for being so good at training our children.
KNEELERS ARE ALL DONE AND RENEWED AND REPAIRED AND I HOPE YOU FIND THEM GOOD ON YOUR BENDERS. £2,600 AND WILL BE GOOD FOR MANY A YEAR TO COME.
Bidding prayers 4th Advent Year A
Priest: The Lord's coming is at hand, we must have patience for he will come in his own time, in his own way. We bring our needs before him who is the Great intercessor as Head of the human race and the first born from the dead.
Reader: We live in a world weighed down by unbelief - may the Lord increase our faith by the grace of his Incarnation to resist the secularisation of time and culture. Lord hear us.
Upon the richness and complexity of man's thought, theories and philosophies of our world today - come and spread your glorious light O infant of Bethlehem. Lord hear us.
Let us love the Church which continues to proclaim and announce to all ages the reality of your coming. Assist all those undergoing instruction in the Faith in our community. Lord hear us.
Be with those expectant mothers at this holy time and bless them with a safe delivery. Lord hear us.
For all those who have been bereaved this last year that they may find in the child born in the stable a great consolation and source of true Hope in the future. Dry the tears of all who weep. Lord hear us.
Help our sick ones, raise up our weary ones and console your people O Lord, Console them. We pray for our sick: Robert Clayton, Mary Colbert, Michael Boyd, Kitty Higgins, Elizabeth Wallace, Peggy Walsh, Kevin McNulty, Kerry Barlow, Michael Kelly, Thelma Moran, Lauren Wrynne. Lord hear us.
The dead longed for life - free them Lord from death and bestow upon them the gift of your glory in eternal life: we pray for Brendan Joseph Flynn, Tom Eckoff, Freddie McCormack, Billy McGlinchy.
AND for all those whose anniversaries fall about now: Paddy Dolan , Michael O'Malley, Eileen Chapman, Harry King, Jack Grady, Freddy King, Joyce Cook, Patrick and Marjorie Garrett, Bill Cook, Michael McHugh, Molly Daly, Mgt Lyons, George Lindley, Shamus Crawford (VIGIL MASS), Fr Charles Mulholland. MAY their souls and the souls of all the faithful.
Mary is the Gateway to man's Heaven - through her, we received Christ the Lord - Hail Mary, full of grace...
Priest: Almighty God, now that the Birthday of Your Son as man is drawing near, we pray that your eternal Word, who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and came to dwell among us will bestow on us his people his love and mercy. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.