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Sermon for 13 March 2011
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FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT A + 13th March 2011.+

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

My Dear People,

Lent has come and this afternoon we begin the five weeks of Sunday Lent Devotions with the STATIONS OF THE CROSS and BENEDICTION at 4pm. What a sacrifice to make on a cosy Sunday afternoon when you have just got into that Match or the Sunday Paper and you are looking forward to may be even a nap! Show your mettle now and get up and come and spend half an hour with the good Lord on his way to the Cross. The devotion is simple and straightforward. We walk with the Christ on the Via Crucis and so we will meditate on His saving Passion which demonstrated his supreme love for the human race.

Look at the Genesis reading today and tell me if the nature of sin has changed. All sin is a rebellion of pride against God and a refusal to serve Him who made us from the clay of the earth. We do not believe God. We find the fruit of the tree of life attractive and alluring and doubt the restriction God places on us to NOT DO certain things under the pain of death. Sin is DOING THEM and spiting our Heavenly Father. All sins - personal and the cosmic ones like Hitler and Stalin come from the same origin. "I will not serve". The Devil has a big part to play in our Fall and he had a big part in our Lord's death. John tells us that "Satan entered Judas" and he went out into the darkness from the Upper Room to betray Him who was his Master and close Friend. Man always tries to substitute his own Rules for God's Rules. It is called Pride and it is the root of all sins - one of the deadliest. If we refuse service of God we end up serving the Opposition!

Now, our Lord, on our behalf, as Head of the human race and the Second Adam - to the fight comes and takes on Satan. Satan is testing Him to see if he is any different than the rest of men. Satan did not have the knowledge that God had become Man. However he did recognise the sinless one and his blessed mother as creatures totally different that all others born so far. The Temptations of Christ in the wilderness are all temptations to draw our Lord away from the path of the Royal Road of the Cross. But our Lord answers Satan with scripture and routs him. Angels appear to minister to Jesus so terrible was that fight with Satan on our behalf.

Who can know the inner working of the heart and mind and soul of our Divine Saviour as he took on Satan? Jesus needed the angels to minister to him for he was left utterly drained and exhausted- bodily and spiritually and the devil goes off to return at the appointed hour. What is that hour? Well - it is when Satan enters the soul of Judas.

We cannot escape that struggle and in Lent we take upon ourselves that struggle more intensely. Do not be put off by human frailty. God is Strong and Holy and will be with us. Our Lady too is our true Mother and she will encourage us. She scared Satan off during one of the appearances to Bernadette in Lourdes by a glance. She will certainly assist us, her children.

Have a good Lent.

Father Tom Connolly


NATURAL FERTILITY CONTROL. Helenena Turska will be giving the Marriage Preparation Talks today and this Sunday at 2.30 in the Parish Centre Marian Room. Any couples or individuals interested in finding out more about this natural method of spacing children consistent with the teaching of the Church are welcome. Just turn up. Simon and Helen Leach will also share their experience of Christian Marriage.

AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED APPEAL TODAY.

FAMILY FAST DAY this Friday 18th March. The envelopes are in the porch. The idea is that you sacrifice a meal or some other item that day and what you save - give to Cafod. I will leave the appeal open for a few weeks.

PICK UP THE LENTEN MESSAGE FROM POPE BENEDICT FROM THE PORCH AS YOU LEAVE MASS TODAY.

WINDOW REPAIR THANKS TO ALL YOU FOLK WHO GAVE ME SUMS OF MONEY TO REPAIR THE WINDOW WITH. IT ADDED UP TO A NEAT SUM WITH SOME LEFT IN THE KITTY FOR THE FUTURE!!

LOURDES: I have booking forms for The Salford Pilgrimage in the Sacristy.

Father Pat Deegan : please see the notice at the porch about Seminars beginning in the Spiritual Life.

POPE BENEDICT'S NEW VOLUME ON "JESUS OF NAZARETH" WAS PUBLISHED ON WEDNESDAY AND WILL SELL MILLIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. IF I HAD HAD THOSE TWO VOLUMES TO HAND WHEN I WAS STUDYING SCRIPTURE IN THE 1970'S, LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH EASIER. THINK OF PURCHASING IT. WE HAVE A LOVELY NEW CATHOLIC BOOKSHOP AND SHOP IN THE COURTYARD OF SAFORD CATHEDRAL, CHAPEL STREET - ENTRY VIA FORD STREET.

R.C.I.A. RITE OF ELECTION TAKES PLACE AT SALFORD CATHEDRAL AT 2.30 THIS SUNDAY 13TH MARCH. YOU ARE ALL INVITED. The Bishop welcomes the converts who will be baptised at the Easter Ceremonies this year. We have four adults under instruction at the moment but they have only just begun and will not come to fruition just yet.

Father David Egan is supplying this weekend at St. Edwards and I thank him.

St Martin's Ampleforth Abbey, York are offering scholar ships for pupils to enter into Years 4 to 7. Open Day Sat 28th May. See poster in the Porch.





Bidding Prayers

BIDDING PRAYERS

BIDDING PRAYERS 1ST OF LENT YEAR A. 2011.

Priest: With Christ our Beloved Saviour we enter the wilderness of our broken world and seek pardon and peace and goodness for us and for all our fellowmen and women.

Reader: For all who have entered into the wilder ness of Temptation and have come through faithful to God and for those who have compromised with the Evil One that the holy ones may pray for us and that those who have fallen may have the grace this Lent to rise again in the sacrament of forgiveness. Lord hear us.

For the work of the Aid to the Church in Need that the relief they bring to the Suffering Church may be blessed by our generosity. Lord hear us.

We pray to God in this Holy Season of lent for the Universal Church presided over by our beloved Holy Father Pope Benedict that the Church may be a sign of love and unity for all humanity. Lord hear us.

Come with your truth and friendship to those who have lost their way- teach how to help them. Lord hear us.

For all our friends and relatives who are sick and suffering that the Lord in his mercy may reach out to them and strengthen them and give them courage to do His Holy Will: Tom Colbert, Maureen Rowe, Agnes Gilhooley, Martin Hoysted, Mary Molloy. Maureen Waring, Lord hear us.

We commend to the Divine Mercy the souls of all who have died recently in our community: Tommy Mimnagh. Peter Gallagher, Anne Donavan, Father Joe Feeley and FOR ALL whose anniversaries fall about now; Tommy Fallon (11am), Stephen Sharples (VIGIL). May their souls and the souls of all...

Mary is the mother of all the Redeemed and stood by her Divine Son from Bethlehem to Calvary - may her prayers help us now for we are her children in Christ. O Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary, full of grace...

Priest: O Lord and Heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Jesus our Head has gone before us and won us the Victory over evil - hear and answer