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Sermon for 16 June 2013


Message from the Parish Priest

My Dear People,

June is that glorious month when we enjoy the long days and sunshine and the lounging in the garden or the park with the children or just sitting and enjoying the sight of others doing so. The great love God has for his creation is surely seen in the glorious June. When I was on the South Coast I used to go to the famous race meeting at Goodwood and never won a penny but enjoyed every minute of it with the toffs and the punters all equal when it came to the gee-gees!

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi has just passed and I would guess that most of us over a certain hill must be celebrating the umpteenth anniversary of our Reception of our First Holy Communion when we were Seven. It was traditional to have the First Communions as near to Corpus Christi as we could and then we would be able to take part in the Blessed Sacrament Procession around the grounds of the parish church – English Martyrs, Whalley Range it was for me. I remember very cleary walking backwards with a basket throwing rose petals on the floor for the Blessed Sacrament to be carried on with the Great Canopy held over Canon Motler by the guys who took the collection. Such memories are very blessed for me and my teachers gave me a most mature understanding of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament which has never left me. Four altars were set up outside in the grounds of the Cenacle Convent on Alec Road and we servers used to go and help the nuns to serve the Procession there on the Sunday afternoon and would get high tea as a reward – loads of home made cake and pop.

Next Sunday our children will be receiving their First Holy Communion. Pray for these children whose pictures you see at the back of Church. Many of them do not have a religious home where they are advanced in their faith by the Christian way of life so one only hopes that the grace of making these sacraments will one day bring them closer to the Lord for they belong to him and are so precious in his sight. It is surely better to have made your First Communion than not at all.

It was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus recently and again June is the month which always sees this feast of the Divine Heart of the Christ on Fire with love for mankind. St Margaret Mary who received this vision in France in the 17th Century described in great detail to her chaplain just what our Lord wanted to communicate. The love of God had grown cold with the Jansenism heresy and this devotion in the church spread like wild fire and encouraged people to resume going to Holy Communion at least once a month instead of the customary once a year !

The Gospel today shows the heart of Jesus on fire with love for the woman "who had a bad name in the town". She was smothering his feet with kisses and tears and wasting precious ointment on his feet and wiping them with her hair. Imagine the shock of the pious Pharisees who thought themselves so perfect and her, such a wretch. Jesus put them right in no uncertain terms and showed them their coldness to him in comparison to the woman’s love and attention. Gosh they were upset at hearing this. They prided themselves in being so Perfect you see. But Jesus could see what was really in them.

The Nine First Fridays were revealed by the Sacred Heart as part of this loving and tender mercy extended to all. His promise was that if you attended Mass on the first Friday of every month for 9 months with confession and Holy Communion you would have the grace of final repentance and get to heaven. Even now many priests take Communion to the sick on the First Friday of each month. The promise still stands you know and I suspect that the sacred Image of Our Lord in his Sacred Heart is still one of the most popular pictures of Christ in the whole world. The Heart is always affixed to the coffins these days I have noticed. Many of you have the Picture of the Sacred Heart in your homes because I have seen them. Honour the Sacred Heart for it is the heart of God. Be not like Simon in the Gospel of this Sunday – outward in our welcome but cold within. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you, through all, in all and despite all. Amen.

Father Tom Connolly.


CORNERSTONES DAY CENTRE 104B DENMARK RD. They nourish 120 poor people per day and stand in need of your kindness. These are the things they need Tinned meats and fish, jams and marmalade, bics ,T bags and coffee, cheeses, marge, tinned soups, toilet rolls, sugar, tinned veg and good quality dry-cleaned cloths and bedding . Please phone and arrange for these items to be delivered on 232 8888 and speak Sister Marie.

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