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Sermon for 19 January 2014

SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME + Cycle A + 19TH JANUARY 2014. + Year of Evangelisation.


My Dear People,

The Christmas tree and decorations have been thrown out and we have begun the second Sunday of the Liturgical Year. The Crib will come down when my brother gets back from his travels to India!!

This year until October the Holy Father has declared to be a Year of the Evangelisation. He wants us to focus our hearts and the eyes of Faith of the reality of the gift Jesus makes of himself in the Incarnation and saving Mystery of the Word made Flesh . He wants us to focus on the great mystery of transubstantiation whereby the Holy Spirit, through the ministry of the properly ordained priest, changes the bread and wine into Christ's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is the food whereby the Son of the Most High sustains his holy People on their Pilgrimage of life. He becomes present under the appearances of the outward forms of bread and wine. He becomes the food which he promised in John Chapter 6. "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man you will not have life in you."

Today in the Gospel reading we hear John the Baptist refer to his Lord and cousin as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."

Now that is sacrificial language. The paschal lamb which John was referring to was sacrificed only once a year at Passover. Here is John the Baptist telling the apostles that Jesus is the paschal lamb. His death would take away the sin of the whole world. What a statement for John to make! Not the temple sacrifices of the thousands of lambs a year but THE Lamb- pointing to his cousin- Jesus.

That is what happens at the Holy Mass isn't it? Jesus' Sacrifice is eternal and timeless in its effect. Every time we offer the Mass his death is represented in the words of Institution: "This is my Body." The priest, after the Consecration says "We offer you in Thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look upon this Oblation of your Church and, recognising the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to Yourself, grant that we who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son may become one body, one spirit in Christ. Elsewhere : "Father this life Giving Bread, this Saving Cup..." The offering is eternally valid and present before the Eternal Father. "This is the cup of my blood which will be shed for the remission of sins" Jesus said and the priest says words to that effect in the consecration of the chalice, doesn't he?

You see - the power of the Mass is enough to move heaven to forgive all men's sins unil the end of the world. We have Mass intentions to associate ourselves in some small way by making an offering to sustain the priest in his life and to pray for a particular intention be it a sick person or the soul of someone who has died. It might be to Give Thanks for a Favour received from God's Grace.

Most of all though, this sacrifice is offered on the altars of the church everyday until our Lord returns in glory to judge the living and the dead. Until that time the Church will obey the Master's parting command: "Do this in memoriam of me." How could we fail to carry this out - this command and invitation?

When St Augustine's disciple St. Paulinus went north, he impressed the King Edwin based in York by the way the monks offered the Holy Mysteries of the Mass. The pagan king was drawn by the Mass to receive Baptism. You could say therefore that it was the Mass being witnessed which started our country to become Christian and to accept Baptism. Evangelisation is never complete without being introduced to the Mystery of Faith - the Mass. If you ever go into the Great Hall in Manchester Town Hall you will see in the murals of the history of the North this incident of King Edwin being Baptised by Paulinus Bishop to be of York.(627AD)

We too must offer these mysteries with such love that outsiders would be impressed and want to know what is going on at the Altar. Explain to your children the reality of Jesus Christ present in the Tabernacle and on the altar. Don't be afraid to explain in your own way. As parents God will assist you to share with your young ones the truths of our Holy Catholic Faith.

God bless you all.

Father Tom Connolly.


I received a letter from the Homeless Families Unit to thank you for the great wrapped gifts you gave under the Tree. All three homes were able to provide each child with one of the gifts you gave in. The CARITAS also wrote to say thanks AGAIN FOR YOUR KINDNESS.

ST PATRICKS COMMUNITY. This community runs parish Missions to help to renew our Catholic Faith and to helpus to spread it to others and bring them into Christ's Fold. I have organised it for 14-20 June this year The Mission Proper runs over 5 nights and each night will include a talk on the Theme for example "GOD'S HEALING" (NIGHT 2) WITH ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT (EXCL NIGHT 5) AS WELL AS MUSIC AND Scripture readings. More about this later but I want to you to make a big effort to attend. This is the Year the Pope has invited us to strengthen our Faith and to share it after all.

Bidding Prayers

Bidding for 2nd Sunday A

PRIEST: Let us turn to the Eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who sent his Son, our Saviour into this world that God might be with us.

Father we pray for Pope Francis and Bishop Brian - guide them and bless them in their work. Lord in your mercy.

Our Lord found nowhere to lay his Head: make us aware of the needs of the homeless today especially the victims of the war in Syria. Lord in your mercy.

John the Baptist witnessed to Christ's presence: help us to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in this year dedicated to evangelisation. Lord in your mercy.

Bless those who work on the land: may we receive the fruits of the earth with joy and gratitude. Lord in your mercy.

Lord help the sick to share their sufferings with Christ: may they know in him the fullness of life and love and we pray for.Beeane Grady, Joseph Toner, Mary Fitzpatrick, Denis McLoughlin, Jim Leonard, Marie Dickson. Michael Woolf, Josie Serridge, John Grimes, David Hopkins, Elizabeth, Maura McBrien, and John Mercer. Lord in your mercy.

Lord have mercy on those who have died in the peace of Christ, receive them into the home prepared for them: Cath Doherty, Anna Bridget Gunn, Baby Grace Ella Tyldesley, Patrick Joseph Ann Connor, Patrick Joseph Healy, Christopher Lawlor AND For all those souls whose anniversaries we remember at this time: Sheila Devanney (18th) Mykola Osiuk, Timothy Maloney, Michael Foy (25th Jan) Margaret Hopkins, Michael King and Ted Atkinson. May their souls and the souls of all the Faithful Departed thru the mercy of God rest in peace.

Mary is the Morning star of the New Evangelisation - it was through her YES that mankind received its Saviour - we salute her our mother: O Mary conceived without sin...pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...

Priest: O Lord listen to the heartfelt prayer of the people you have gathered around this holy altar and heed their heartfelt pleading. Thru Christ our Lord. AMEN