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Sermon for 8th December 2013



My Dear People,

John – the Baptist calls the Pharisees and Sadducees "You bunch of vipers. Who told you to repent?". 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 where our Lord was Tempted in that same year).

That is a very strong thing to say to the religious leaders of John the Baptist's day. He paid for it with his life of course. But what he said was to seek their sincere repentance. After all – it was them who plotted our Lord’s death.

However, we too must produce the appropriate fruit 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. Our Lord said "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own soul.?"

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 - who was the father of King David - the ancestor of our Lord and the founding father of that Royal house and line . 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.

Is Pope Francis stealing secretly out of the Vatican at night, tending the beggars? The Newspapers and internet was full of it. It was widely reported. You see - there is an interest in God and the things of 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. 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. Today they will make their First Confession and receive the forgiveness of Jesus Himself at 4pm on this Sunday in St Kentigern's. They will be proclaiming this message for all the parents to hear.

Have a good Advent,

Father Tom Connolly

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 22 parishes come to prepare for marriage. I arrange the Programme each year and it is run by us and a married couple of grown up family and a couple with a young family. Natural Family Planning instruction is given also. 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. Register at . Some of you have put if off so long our Lord will have come again by the time you go up the aisle and in heaven there is no marriage you know!!


THE CHRISTMAS FAYRE raised £1,900.00 – what a great effort - and great thanks to you all for handing all those good things in for sale and for all who baked cakes and made jams etc and all those stall holders and their offspring who worked so hard on Sunday morning setting up the tables and sorting out the goods and for the whole afternoon on Sunday managing their wares with such good humour. A fine time was had by all and a great atmosphere was created so a Big THANKYOU Pat Cahill's voice deserves a medal. from your Parish Priest.

CORNERSTONES Sister Lucy is looking for your contributions to feed the hungry . So if you can donate Non Perishable food stuff and toiletries to 104 Denmark Rd that would be great. They feed 200 people a day all year round. They also provide food parcels for families in need. Contact 232 8888 or OR .

CATHOLIC STUDENT CHAPLAINCY, HOLY NAME, OXFORD RD. Carols by Candlelight on Wed 11th Dec at 7pm You are invited.

St Petersburg Choir, dancers and wood wing and Kalinka Balalaike Orchestra at Royal Northern College, 124 Oxford Rd on Fri 20th Dec at 7.30pm. Tickets £4 Charity

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