FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT IN CYCLE A . + 6th April 2014.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Next week is Palm Sunday and Palms will be blest at each Mass but the Principal Mass at 11am will be special for our First Communion children because they will gather outside the church with their palms and we will bless the Palms and they will process into the church singing Hosanna to the King of Kings. It might be a bit crowded - well I hope it will be. They will each receive a Crucifix on a red ribbon. It signified the love of Jesus poured out for them in order to be able to give them the Supreme Gift of Himself in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
THE RAISING OF LAZARUS is our Lord's greatest and final miracle and caused his enemies to begin the plot to end his life. Is it not amazing that our Lord's miraculous intervention to raise his dead friend Lazarus results in wicked and evil men deciding to kill him who is the Lord of Life? Things don't change do they? It is not that long since the same enemy of mankind tried to end the life of Pope John Paul II.
The raising of Lazarus is a new order of miracle for it finally puts the seal on our Lord credentials as the Only Son of the Father - the Chosen One. He is not only Lord over nature such as the Storm at sea, the sick servant, the withered hand, the bleeding woman the water into wine. He is Lord over Death itself - man's ancient enemy which only came into reality after Original Sin.
Here is Christ in full view of the multitude and with a loud voice commanding Lazarus to "Come Out". He does so stumbling because he has still the bandages binding him from his burial rites. "Unbind Him - let him go free" is our Lord's second command and it is meant on a deeper level than simply the loosening of the bonds of bandages - more in reality the loosening of the bonds of Death itself begins here. The unbinding that comes with a good Confession for one in mortal sin also is symbolised here. Lazarus died a natural death again later on after our Lord's resurrection but he stands as a symbol of the weakness of death's bonds now that Christ is here with us. He has overcome death with his own death and so we are faced with a rosy future - death has no power over us anymore. Death is a temporary thing - interrupted in no time by the intervention of Christ on the last Day when he will command the dead to leave their graves and they will.
The enemies of the Church do exactly the same today. They try to annihilate us by making falsehoods against us and then they close us down by law and regulation and persecution - all in the name of progress. Well - there is no going back. Our Lord has won the victory and death has no power anymore for it is vanquished forever. Yes we hurt when people we love, die, but we do not weep as though we will never see them again in the land of the living. The Holy Souls are living you know - they are living beings as are the sanctified in Heaven. We are all part of Christ's glorified and Risen Body and he is victorious over all those enemies of humanity. He is the Lord of life.
Passiontide begins and soon Holy Week will be upon us. Make sure you take a Holy Week and Easter Card from the back of the Church.
Father Tom Connolly
SAINSBURY'S SCHOOL VOUCHERS. PLEASE, IF YOU SHOP AT THE STORE ASK FOR THE SCHOOL VOUCHERS WHEN YOU CASH OUT FOR OUR SCHOOLS. PUT THEM IN THE COLLECTION.
HANDICAPPED CHILDREN PILGRIMAGE TRUST. WHAT A GENEROUS PEOPLE YOU ARE, YOU GAVE WELL NEAR £1000 IN THE SECOND COLLECTION TO SEND CHILDREN AND TEENS TO LOURDES. THE APPEALERS SAID THAT THEY HAVE RARELY COME ACROSS SUCH A KIND AN DEVOUT AND LOVING PARISH COMMUNITY. NOW WASN'T THAT A COMPLIMENT TO US ALL?
AFTER EASTER FR O'BRIEN HAS BEEN APPOINTED BY THE BISHOP TO BE CHAPLAIN AT THE ROYAL BLACKBURN HOSPITAL. WE WILL MISS HIM SO MUCH WON'T WE?
Bidding 5th A
Priest: God's love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his Only Son that we might have life in him. He is he light which illumines the darkness. He is the resurrection and the life whose word raised Lazarus from the grace. We are able to love because he loved us first and so we pray.
Reader: We have been sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit,: confirm us in your service and help us to bear witness to you in the society in which we live and have our being. Lord in your mercy.
Let us pray for us all that we may be protected from the snares of the Evil One. Lord in your mercy.
Before He suffered He longed to eat the Passover of the Holy Mass with his apostles: - as we take part in this Holy Sacrifice let us pray for those fellow believers in Iraq, Syria, China, Pakistan, Egypt and all other places where they are killed and blown up for their attending the Mass. Lord in your mercy.
We pray for all families who are caring for their sick members. May they continue to find the courage and strength to minister loving care and we particularly pray for the our chaplains at MRI and Christie Hospitals and our sick: Marie Hopkins, Breda Brady, Breege Zatorsky, Denis McLoughlin, Peggy and Pat Banahan, Maura McBrien, Kirsty Rafferty, John Lawson, Chris O'Malley.Lord in your mercy.
Remember Lord all those who put their trust and hope in you while they lived - through the passion and death of your Son grant them the remission of all their sins and a place of Light and Life: Ester White , Bill Towers, Margaret Lindley and for those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Cronan Deegan (11am) Thomas Olham, Martin Regan, William Serredge, Moira Serredge, Una McLoughin, Thomas Ignatius O'Rourke, Maureen Galvin, Martin Connolly, Sister Frances Teresa Cawley, Mary Colbert.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
Mary you stand beneath countless crosses today pray for us your children given to us at the foot of the Cross.
Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...
Priest: Heavenly Father, you called us out of darkness into the wonderful light of Christ your Son, the light of the whole world. We ask you to hear our prayers and make manifest your kingdom on earth. Through Christ our...