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Sermon for 30 March 2014
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FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT. + Cycle A. 30th March 2014 . + LAETARE SUNDAY (ROSE VESTMENTS).

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear People,

We are half way through Lent now and I hope we are all finding this time fruitful spiritually.

The Gospel for today tells us about the Blind Man Ė the man born blind who had his sight restored by Our Blessed Lord. This scene is in terracotta above the Royal Eye Hospital in Oxford Road. The builders of that hospital in Victorian times were all Christian believers and would have had not controversy about showing such a miracle of Jesus restoring the sight of the man born blind. The medical people than would have seen their own work as a continuation of the healing ministry of our Saviours and theirs. Oh how times have changed. It would cause consternation now for an NHS hospital to commission an image of Christ Healing anyone wouldn't it? How sad for our country though that such a thing would not find acceptance for there is not much to share is there if you do not have a shared faith. What binds together the body politic? A people without a vision have no hope.

Back to today's Gospel. There is more to it than simply the healing of the Blind man Bart. He tells the Pharisees who it is that has cured him and expresses surprise that they, being religious "experts" do not recognise Jesus as the true Messiah and for that he is thrown out of the temple. He will not accept their judgement that Jesus is a sinner for healing on the Sabbath day.

Jesus hearing this bad treatment seeks the man out. Now he ready to receive the gift of the sight of Faith. Like the woman at the well our Lord begins a little dialogue which will conclude with the ex blind man making a wonderful act of faith in Christ. "Do you believe in the Son of man?" Jesus asks. "Sir tell me...so I may believe" says the man. Jesus says: "You are looking at him - he is speaking to you." "LORD, I BELIEVE" says the man and he worshipped Him.

Now how about that for an act of supreme faith ? Our Lord digresses to give us all a reflection of what this manís faith means for the inner vision of humanity under Christ's supreme and ever penetrating light..." I have come into the world so that those without sight may see..." Thus speaks our Lord and still speaks it.

How our beautiful world needs that penetrating light of Christ. How wonderful is the gift of sight and how even more wonderful is that inner sight of faith which transforms the whole of your life once it is discovered and taken to heart. We walk in the light of Christ.

Each newly baptised Child is given a candle lit from the Paschal Candle with the words "RECEIVE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST. YOU ARE NOW A CHILD OF THE LIGHT - WALK AS A CHILD OF THE LIGHT". Is not that a wonderful thing to remember that my godparents received that symbolic light on my behalf and here I am, all these years later still walking as "a child of the light."? May we continue to walk by His sublime light This Lent and always.

Father Tom Connolly

TODAY IS MOTHERING SUNDAY AND FLOWERS WILL BE BLEST AND DISTRIBUTED TO ALL THE MOTHERS TO HONOUR THEM AND TO THANK GOD FOR THE GIFT OF CHILDREN.

THE PILGRIMAGE TRUST HCPT WHICH RAISES FUNDS AND PEOPLE TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE HANDICAPPED TO MAKE PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES ARE GOING TO ASK YOU FOR A DONATION TO THEIR WORK AT EACH MASS TODAY. I KNOW YOU ARE GENEROUS AND KIND.

The card for Holy Week is at the church porch. Take some and put them in doors of folk who won't be in Mass and anywhere you want. See the lovely pictures of the two venerable Popes who are to be canonised on the Sunday after Easter.

CONFESSIONS. The Pope has called on us all to make a good Confession for Easter "The Light Is On for You" it is called in some places and that means the light of the Confessional telling you that our Lord is in there awaiting you with his mercy. Each Wednesday Evening until Easter we will have extra confessions at 7pm






Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers 4th Lent A

Priest: Christ the Lord has made men into a new creation. He gives them new birth in the waters of Baptism and nourishes them with his word and his Body. Let us pray.

Reader: You interceded with the Father to forgive those who were nailing you to the Cross - help us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. Lord in your mercy.

Through the mystery of your Body and Blood strengthen the faint hearted, give courage to the dying and fill with hope those who long for your coming. Lord in your mercy.

For all mothers on this motherís Day. We give thanks for our mothers who gave us life and that the life they have brought forth be always seen as a gift of God in our country. Lord in your mercy.

For the sacrament of marriage that God's design will be upheld despite the terrible opposition to God's most Holy Will. Lord in your mercy.

For the sick who share the suffering of the Saviour, we pray for: Chris O'Malley, Breda Brady, Bee Anne O'Grady, John Lawson, Denis McLoughlin, Maura McBrien. Lord in your mercy.

Light of the world, you gave sight to the man born blind - and showed yourself to him as the Messiah and Redeemer, give eternal light to those who have died, Sarah White, and the Victims of the Malaysian tragedy and may they see your face in the Kingdom of Heaven. Lord in your mercy.

For those we remember on their anniversary: John Ascott, Ann Radcliffe (VIGIL), Andy Hannan (11am), John Joe Coughlin, Sarah Cahill, Eamon Cahill, Doris Connolly, Jackie Ascott, Thomas Olham.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Mary, you stood at the foot of the Cross of your Son and you stand at the foot of countless crosses with us on life's journey. Be with your people now as they offer the sacrifice your Son Commanded. O Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary, Full of grace.

Priest. In your bounty Lord give us the Holy Spirit's Light who alone can teach us to ask and seek what is right and good and according to your holy will. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.