FIFTH SUNDAY A + 9th FEBRUARY 2014.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
It is a short Gospel today but one which is full of promise and hope.
Our Lord, who knows his own Church (his Body) through and through explains its effectiveness by comparing it to the effect of a city built on a Hill (can't miss it), a lamplight in a dark room (canít miss it) and salt in your food (you can taste it).
In other words - where Jesus has true disciples who love him and worship him as God and the Saviour of the world, then these people as a community and as individuals will shine out in the midst of everything else.
It is an essential sign of spiritual health that the Body of Christ present on earth fills those outside with wonder at the great things done in the works and the lives of believers. Our Lord says that "seeing your GOOD WORKS they may give praise to your Father in Heaven."
So the world needs to be able to SEE the goodness and the good works done by the followers of Christ. So for example - the Catholic church world wide today gives care and treatment to more AIDS sufferers than any other Organization. This is a fact. Most of the Leprosy sufferers in the world today are helped and healed by the Catholic Church - another example. Most education in the developing nations has the Church at helm.
We always have to ask ourselves how our witness is in the sight of men is. Do those outside see your Good Works so that they praise the God of the Christians?
St John Bosco the founder of the Salesians who died in 1888 transformed the life of the youth of Turin and then the youth of many cities throughout the world. He founded industrial schools for the poor kids left with no education and no future. He founded an order of Nuns to do the same for the girls. Thousands joined the new Order and took the gift of education and formation of neglected youth to a new level of excellence. He changed the world as did all the saints.
Look at Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in our own day and the soon to be beatified (soon to be canonised) Blessed Pope John Paul II. In India a byword for charity is "Who do you think I am? Mother Teresa?" Did her light shine? It shone so brightly that the whole world saw her funeral on the Telly. I was once in Glasgow when Mother Teresa visited a new foundation and she was mobbed by tens of thousands who came out to set their eyes of this giant of Christ's love for the poor and the outcaste. She was setting up a shelter for broken and boozed up women from the streets of Glasgow. The Sisters would go out and bring them in to their shelter and care for them.
So you see the light does shine for the world to see and its shines out in our lives too if you love Jesus and you must make sure it shines. If you love Him things change and like salt (or the lack of it) you cannot miss it. So get shining everyone!
How many of you show me, your priest the love of Christ in the way you live and conduct yourselves. I am a very lucky priest to witness to so many good deeds in such good people.
God Bless you all,
Fr Tom ConnollyCARITAS SALFORD
The BISHOP created THE NEW CHARITY OF OUR DIOCESE THAT COVERS THE OLD RESCUE SOCIETY AND THE CATHOLIC WELFARE, CORNERSTONES AND other SOCIEITES THAT NEEDED A NEW SHAPE. SOME OF CRIB OFFERING WILL BE GOING THAT WAY.
Feast of our Lady of Lourdes on Tuesday. Let us pray for our sick.
Bidding Prayers 5th Sunday A.