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Sermon for 9 March 2014
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FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT + YEAR OF EVANGELISATION+ 9th MARCH 2014.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

BISHOP'S PASTORAL LETTER TODAY AT ALL MASSES.

Mr Dear People,

Well - the joyful season of Lent is upon us. Loads of folk came to the Ash Wednesday Masses thank the Lord and many young people which is so good to see.

Before us the Church, our Mother, presents us with the Gospel According to Matthew relating the Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness. It is in the wilderness that Israel of old struggled in their temptations and often turned against God as when they worshipped the Golden Calf. It is to the wilderness that our Lord and Saviour goes in order to begin his public Ministry to redeem Mankind.

The Devil knew that Jesus was like no other Man he had ever come across. Remember, the Devil is not all-powerful. He does not know everything - only God does. He was keen to tempt Jesus to see what kind of opposition he was dealing with. Gross temptations were out so he thought he would be subtle. The temptations are well planned.

Firstly Satan tests our Lord through his bodily hunger. The stones do indeed look like lovely crusty loaves; I have seen them myself - especially when you are starving and have only had water for 40 days - an epic fast. It is of course this fasting of Christ that we imitate in the 40 days of Lent. The Lord did the first Lent on our behalf.

The Second temptation involves being the Redeemer by political and military means. The Third Temptation is to shake heavens with a mighty sign in Jerusalem - the "Superman" approach to salvation - throw yourself off and see if God catches you.

Our Lord responds to each Temptation with the Word of Holy Scripture for he has imbibed the Old Testament with his whole soul. In an odd kind of way St Matthew tells us that the Devil cleared off at the end to RETURN AT THEAPPOINTED TIME. What was that "time"? I think it was when Satan entered the heart of Judas. "Now Satan has his hour" Jesus tells the Apostles at the Table of the Last Supper. Judas left before Holy Communion and went out into "the dark". Our Lord said to his Mother at Cana "My Hour has not yet come." He talks about "this Hour" a lot in St Johnís Gospel.

In all these things Christ is victorious on our behalf. He was tempted in everyway we are but has not sinned but he knows our weakness and we have a compassionate High Priest. We must not be afraid to take on the devil during this Lent. As soon as we begin a serious attempt in Lent we will be attacked by the Devil who does not wish us to draw close to God for he wants us in hell with him. Donít be afraid. Use the words of Scripture to drive him away by saying the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Do not be undermined - stand firm and be on the winning side. It all ends you know with the Resurrection! We must remain on the Winning Side.

Have a good Lent,

Father Tom Connolly


LENT EXTRA: Stations of the Cross: On Wednesdays and Fridays after the 9.30 Mass.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS EACH SUNDAY OF LENT AT 4PM.

Tuesdays Mass at the Divine Mercy School, Off Maine Rd at 8.20am

CORNERSTONES LENT APPEAL. They need £90,000 per year to feed 121 people who are needy each day and to provide clothing etc. Please help - MONEY, FOOD AND CLOTHING. Clothing for men. Food - packet and tins 104B Denmark Rd.

LENTEN ALMS THIS YEAR IS THE CHARITY MARY'S MEALS. THE BOX IS THE SAFE SLOT IN THE PORCH MAKRD LENTEN ALMS.

FORTY DAYS FOR LIFE. Phil Clarkson will have a word after Mass today encouraging folk to take a part in the silent witness outside the abortion clinic in Fallowfield.






Bidding Prayers

BIDDING PRAYERS FOR FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR

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 in your mercy.

For the work of the Aid to the Church in Need, Maryís Meals and CAFOD, that the relief they bring to the Suffering Church may be blessed by our generosity in the holy season marked by Almsgiving, Fasting and Good Works. Lord in your mercy.

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

For the people of the Ukraine that the threat of strife and warfare maybe lifted and peaceful councils prevail. Lord in your mercy.

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: John Lawson, Sara McHale, Margaret Martin, Jennifer Kavas, Denis McLoughlin, Mrs Keegan, Kirsty Rafferty,BeeAnne Grady. Lord in your mercy.

We commend to the Divine Mercy the souls of all who have died recently in our community: Ivy Ryles, Mario Protrka, Margaret Norma Barrow, George Nagle, Joyce Lambert and Hughie Foran and FOR ALL whose anniversaries fall about now: Thomas Carpenter, (9am) Mr and Mrs Jackson, Mahiz Daly, Paddy Fogarty, Daniel McCormack. 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 our heartfelt prayers which we make. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.