Message From The Parish Priest
Sunday 6th January 2008
THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD + 6TH JANUARY 2008 CYCLE A Weekdays Year Two.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Today is the Solemnity of a Feast of the Lord - THE EPIPHANY. We associate it with the Three Wise men who came from country far to seek for a newborn King of the Jews. Good news for the people - bad news for Herod! The reality of this feast lies in the Greek word which means "to show forth" or to disclose.
The Three wise man found that the New Star which had risen in the East and which denoted a new King for the Jews had stopped over the house of Mary and Joseph. They went in with their gifts and they adored Him who was and is their Lord and God. They then go home leaving the gifts behind. Surely they came in useful during our Lord's life time and especially at the Flight into Egypt. The Myrrh was used at his burial we know. for that is what myrrh was used for - it was one of the spices used to prepare the body for burial in the Jewish religion.
In a way these were prophetic gifts. They signified our Lord's Divine Kingship and his Priestly Sacrificial death. Being warned not to go back and inform Herod where they had found the new King they returned to their own country by another route. You see straightaway the evil present in the hearts of people like Herod turned against the helpless child as evil does today.
The visit of the Magi showed forth the Christ child to the wider world of astronomy and science and the "wisdom" of the ancients. These Magi came not from Jewish stock. They were not people of the Book or the Covenant and yet they came to adore the new Jewish King and believed he was a king even though his surroundings did not signify Kingship and our Lady and St Joseph did not appear to be of royal family status. But they had faith to see beyond appearances and to see before their eyes a real infant king. They adored him - gave him their homage. The three gifts were very precious too.
So often the objects of our faith seem so fragile and human and limited. The eye of faith sees beyond those appearances. When our Lord was in his Public Ministry he was often attacked by his critics and in the end accused of crimes he was not guilty of. Pilate had power over him but did he? In the end despite the crucifixion and indeed through it - humanity was being redeemed.
The Church seems very weak now in our nation. Many have fallen away from practise and no longer walk with us. There are spaces in church on Sunday when you could not find a place 25 years ago. Priests are scarce and nuns have more or less disappeared. Many live as married without marriage and children are unbaptised. Yet within the mystery of Faith lies the true dynamism of the true Church. Out of the ashes arises a new generation who seek God with a renewed vigour and vision and God raises them up. He is already doing so in the many New Movements in the Universal Church. Christ our Lord is truly the Light that enlightens all men who come into this world and he will not be vanquished - the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church Christ founded on the rock of Peter.
People cannot be conned by the "good life" vision forever. It leaves the soul longing for Truth and integrity and the true meaning of life in its joys and sorrows. Man will not be satisfied with less. Man is a spiritual being and longs for the eternal and the everlasting values. The Magi teach us that such people have existed all along the history of God's People and in the end - they are the ones who "seek and find".
Father Flynn joins me in wishing you all a Happy New Year.
Father Tom Connolly
THE SEVENTY SIXTH ANNUAL DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES led by the Right Reverend Terence Brain - Bishop of Salford. Travel by air or by coach with prices starting at £529 by Air for Full Board and 7 Nights accommodation. The Theme of the Pilgrimages this year is "Be Reconciled with God". From Friday 25th July - Friday - 1st August 2007. There is a coach TOO for 10 - 7 nights accommodation and 7 nights full board .For further details phone the Lourdes Pilgrimage Office at 794 2825 or website www.salfordlourdes.co.uk
You will see on the notice board the large poster showing the Prayer of Intercession going up from each parish community of our diocese throughout the year for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Each parish is designated a day. More on this later.
Christmas Day Collection £1631, 30th Dec Holy Family Sunday £ 775
Minibus Driver, Brendan Foran
THE EPIPHANY ANNOUNCEMENT 2008-01-01
Dear Brothers and sisters,
The glory of the Lord has shone upon us and shall ever manifest itself among us, until the day of His return.
The centre of the whole liturgical year is the Paschal Triduum of the Lord, crucified, buried and risen, which will culminate in the Solemn Vigil of Easter, during the holy night that will end with the dawn of the twenty third day of March. Every Sunday, as a weekly Easter, holy Church makes present that great and saving deed by which Christ has conquered forever, sin and death.
From Easter there comes forth and are reckoned all the days we keep holy: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten spring, the sixth day of February; the Ascension of the Lord, the fourth day of May; and Pentecost, the eleventh day of May; the First Sunday of Advent, the thirtieth of November.
Likewise in the feasts of the Holy Mother of God, the Apostles and saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed, the pilgrim Church on earth proclaims the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
To Christ who was, who is, and who is to come, the Lord of time and history be endless praise forever and ever! Amen!
Sick - same as last week
Lately Dead: Rita Kelly, Thelma Moran, Mary Fairweather and Mary Doherty
Anniv. John Moloney (9th) O'Boyle Family, Michael Gilhooley and Margaret Comiskey
FUND RAISER FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH
On Fri 1st Feb at St kentigerns, SHARON, AIDEN AND THE STRANGERS with Special Guest Anthony McBrien, Tickets £2.50 or £5 on the door.
THE HOMELESS FAMILIES UNIT HAVE FORWARDED SOME LETTERS FROM THE POOR CHILDREN WHO RECEIVED PRESENTS FROM YOU THIS CHRISTMAS. SEE THE PORCH.
BIDDING PRAYERS: Epiphany 2008.
Priest: Today the magi knelt before our Saviour. Let us also worship Him with great joy and pray to him for all our needs.
Reader:King of the nations, the wise men came from the East to worship you, grant us a true spirit of adoration and submission in our lives - whatever our vocation. Lord hear us.
King of glory, your people look to you for judgement- grant peace to our world and especially where there is great conflict and civil strife in Iraq and Kenya. Lord hear us.
The Wise men sought Christ the light of the world - enlighten the world of science and the study of the universe with an openness to the Creator Lord. Lord hear us.
For all who follow the Star - looking for and searching for the truth about the purpose of Life that the Church will be able to respond to that call. We pray for priests and teachers and catechists who guide others into the way of truth. Lord hear us.
For all our sick that the Star of Bethlehem will shine out in the midst of their suffering: we pray for Peggy Walsh, Lauren Wyrnne, Donna Quinn, Michael Boyd, Kitty Higgins, Elizabeth Wallace, Kevin McNulty and Mary Colbert. Lord hear us.
King of Heaven, hope of all who trust in you, give to the faithful departed the wonders of your salvation: Mary Doherty, Mary Fairweather, Rita Kelly, Thelma Moran, Martin Hernon AND For all wwhose anniversaries fall now: John Moloney, O'Boyle Family, Michael Gilhooley, Margaret Comiskey (11am), Martin Crehan.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed.
Mary is the Morning Star - the dawn of our salvation for she gave us the Redeemer - may her prayers help us now: Hail Mary, full of grace...
Priest: God our Father, when your only Begotten Son revealed himself in the flesh, we came to know him as our fellow man. May he transform us inwardly until we bear his likeness. Hear and answer our heartfelt prayers. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.