THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD. + 12th January 2014.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Well - we come to the last Feast of Christmastide today.
The Baptism of our Lord is the last of the three feasts making up liturgical solemnity of the Incarnation of our Blessed Lord.
The First is the Christmas Day Mass when Jesus is shown forth to the Shepherds and they come and adore.
The second is the Feast of the Epiphany when Jesus is shown forth to the Wiseman from the Easter who saw his star rise and they came to worship him and offer the new Infant King their gifts.
The Third feast is this one - The Baptism of our Lord when, thirty years later Jesus is shown forth to the whole of Israel and acclaimed and acknowledged as the Divine and Eternal Son by the God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
The Father's Voice is heard: "This is my beloved Son. My favour rests on Him", and the Spirit descends on our Lord's precious body like a dove descending to mark the humility of Jesus as he emerges from the Waters of the Jordan at the hands of John the Baptist. He takes on "sinful man" when he is the sinless one. What humility Christ has in letting it be seen that he was one with us even to the point of pretending he needed to be baptised with John's Baptism of repentance. John said "It should be you baptising me..!" "Let it be for now" says our Lord. He had, after all taken up the human condition in all things but sin.
It is also an article of faith worth remembering that the moment Christ touched those waters of the Jordan in his holy body, Baptismal water became holy and the element God made (water), was then to be directed to its most noblest use, the conferring of eternal life and the washing from Original Sin in the Sacrament of Christian Initiation. It is amazing to think of that. Our Lord's holy body sanctifies the waters of Baptism for all water is the one element as we know It is H2O. It is essential for life on earth.
So the feast of Christmas comes to an end with the Father's voice sounding over the waters "You are my Son, the Beloved, my favour rests on you." What more could you want at the beginning of our Lord's earthly ministry but the Father's love poured out on the Second Person of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. It is one of the new mysteries of Light - the Proclamation of the Kingdom by Christ. Blessed John Paul II created those new Mysteries of the Rosary which we pray on Thursdays. Here is the beginning of the Church in a kind of way. Three years down the line and our Lord will have completed his Mission to continue it in and through his Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
His three years of Public Ministry will be completed in our Salvation.
Happy New Year everyone and sorry about the wrong bulletin being made last week. It was a technical error and my fault.
WHITE FLOWER SUNDAY SPUC APPEAL.
PRO LIFE Are you really pro life? Are you taken in by the tosh about over population of the world? This is the usual argument but then it is countries like our which are short of population who abort their young so readily - 200,000 in England and Wales last year. This is just about the number the politicians say we need each year coming into the country to fulfil our economic needs. Strange how our rulers never connect the facts is it not?
Many abortions are not teenage girls but established and even married people who just don't want - but wanted the intercourse that went to it or they are scared of a handicap. We know now that even a hair lip is enough for a 6 month old developing baby to be aborted. What we have is abortion "On Demand." You do not need a reason except to say "I want".
Many people end up deeply regretful about the abortion they have had done and SPUC and LIFE are always ready to help and to counsel these people who have their regrets. SPUC, Life, Our Lady of Good Counsel, work very hard to change the culture of death we have embraced in our nation. I myself am a paid up member of SPUC. Since 1967 Abortion Act by David Steel's Private members Bill we have seen the level of violence in our society steadily rise. If we legally destroy innocent life in the womb it certainly cheapens the life already living outside the womb as we can detect. There is a knock on effect. Parents can now say to their offspring in temper - "I wished I'd had you terminated" and I have heard that from the victims!
So, please listen to what Fr O'Brien and Fr George (I am away) have to say today and give generously to the SPUC appeal to save the unborn and the mother from harm. Our society will never be at peace with itself until it rejects abortion outright and repents of the years of killings. The West is already paying the price for its great sins. May God's mercy come upon us all.
Father Tom Connolly.
Father O'Brien made a special study of the lives of the Northern early Saints like St Kentigern. Over the next few months he will kindly share this with us in this Newsletter.
MARRIAGE COURSE begins on Sunday 26th January at 2.30 in St Kentigern's parish Centre and goes on for the month of February. Please see one of the clergy as soon as you can.
CATHOLIC SINGLES. Single? Separated? Widowed or divorced? Join CATHOLIC SINGLES. It helps practising Catholics to meet others, provides support, confidential service, and monthly bulletin to members and advertises social events free of charge. Write to CATHOLIC SINGLES, PO BOX 41, Altringham. WA14 4FR OR EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org website : www.catholicsingles.org.uk
SALFORD DIOCESE LOURDES PILGRIMAGE 2014 WILL BE - FRI 1ST AUGUST AT 4PM TO THURSDAY 7 AUGUST AT 4PM, SEE CLERGY FOR BOOKING FORM OR VISIT THE DIOCESE WEB SITE.
READERS PLEASE NOTE. NEXT SUNDAY BEGINS SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR IN ORDINARY TIME A