SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT + A. + 16 MARCH 2014.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Those Persecuted and Suffering Catholic Christians (for the most part) who are helped by Aid to the Church in Need (one of our two Lenten Charities as a Parish) certainly would have been buoyed up by the Transfiguration Gospel from the Mass of the Sunday today.
Sometimes our Lord lifts the veil a little on the mundane and everyday world and reveals to us his dear children a little glimpse of the reality of things as they are in Godís eyes. No one could see the hidden glory surrounding our Saviour when he walked on this earth but on top of that high Mountain with Peter, James and John - the great stalwarts of the infant Church - he reveals the glory that surrounds him at all times as the Holy Son of God and the Divine person.
At every offering of the Holy Mass you cannot see the reality of the Consecration when through the words of Institution spoken by the validally ordained priest - Jesus Christ becomes bodily present on the altar under the appearances of the bread and wine.It is no longer bread or wine but the Lordís Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity Ė ever presenting the One, never to be repeated, One Eternal Sacrifice of Calvary in our space and time.
Though the sacrifice of the Mass is unbloody - it is the sacrifice Jesus made and commanded the apostles to "do this" in commemoration of Him. He enacted the Bloody sacrifice of the Good Friday Cross "on the night before he died". This was to be our means of comfort and nourishment and holiness until he would come again in glory. It would plead for "the forgiveness of sin", That is why it is so important to attend the Mass.
Our Lord commanded it. He said "Do this in Memory of me." He said if you don't eat and drink of my body and blood you cannot have life in you. "The one does eat my body and drink my blood - lives in me and I live in him and I will raise him up on the last day." So you see it comes back to the ultimate reality - life in heaven with God.
As I said - we don't often have a Transfiguration experience but they do happen and we must remember them and take the lesson. Our Lord showed his Divine Glory to strengthen the Apostolic college against the scandal of the Crucifixion. We need the comfort of the presence of Christ in the Holy mass to strengthen us against the challenges of the hostile world and the suffering we have to face in life which come our way.
So - the next time you get distracted at Mass - look at the scene on the altar and see the angels surrounding the Divine Person - present on the Altar - see Christ offering Himself in the Blood of the Eternal Covenant "which is shed for you and for all, for the remission of sin". And is doing so - see the Ultimate and only lasting Reality.
Hope Lent goes well.
Father Tom Connolly PP
FATHER SEAN O'BRIEN IS AWAY ON RETREAT THIS WEEKEND IN THE CONVENT OF THE AUGUSTINIANS IN GRANGE OVER SANDS WITH SOME OF THE YOUNG ADULT GROUP WHICH MEETS EACH SUNDAY EVENING IN THE PRESBYTERY. WE PRAY THAT THE RETREAT GOES WELL. FATHER GEORGE RUNS A SIMILAR GROUP FOR ST EDWARDS IN THE SACRISTY THERE AFTER THE 6.30 MASS.
2nd of Lent a
Priest: Heavenly Father, hear the prayers your people offer to you in the name of your Only Son and strengthen our faith as we hear your voice - "This is My Beloved Son - Listen to Him".
For Pope Francis as he marks his anniversary of his election to be the Successor of St Peter, that the Lord will grant him long life and wisdom to rule and guide us in these turbulent time. Lord in your mercy.
Reader: For all those whose vision has become blurred through the suffering of life. We pray especially for those areas of our world suffering from war, civil strife and famine. May our help be for them a sources of new vision in Christ. Lord hear us.
For all our dear children - that they may grow and develop in the image of Christ and with the true vision of the purpose of their lives and their final destiny in the Lord. We pray for all children who are suffering deprivation of any kind. Lord in your mercy.
For all weighed down under the affects of violence either in their countries or their neighbour hoods or indeed, their homes, that the Lord who blessed us with his presence may drive the violence from menís hearts. Lord in your mercy.
For steadfastness in our Lenten observances that we may enter into the Passion of Christ and so know the power of his resurrection. Lord in your mercy.
For our sick that may be have courage to offer their suffering in union with our Lord on the Cross: Lee Foster, Marie Hopkins, John Lawson, Denis McLoughlin, Be Ann Grady, Kirsty Rafferty. Lord in your mercy.
For all who have recently died that they may see the face of Christ shine on them: Joyce Lambert, George Nagle, Phyliss Walsh, Josie Wozignoj, Sally Kenny, James Toomey an for all those holy souls whose anniversaries fall about now: TOMMY FALLON (11AM) Patrick O'Brien. Kathleen O'Brien, Mattie Daly (Vigil) Martina and John Mitchell, Harold Williams, John Leo Grimes, (29th) Edward Williams, Letitia and William Jackson, Thanksgiving for the 13 Blessed Souls. May their souls and the souls of all the Faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Mary Most Holy, Help of all Christians come to our aid: O Mary Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary.
Priest: In these holy days of Lent, renew in our hearts O Lord the spirit of holiness so that we may be evermore willing to do your most holy will and so gain eternal life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.