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Sermon for 1 March 2015

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT + YEAR B . + March 1st 2015.


My Dear People,

One of our Lenten charities, along with CAFOD. is, Aid to the Church in Need. It is applied for in all the parts of the world where Christians are suffering. That can be hunger or lack of catechisms or Chapels. They can be people and clergy in prison or where they have had everything burnt down by the mobs. In Syria the Catholics at Mass hug each other not knowing if they will be alive the following Sunday. 2 and a half Million Catholics in Syria and they fear that if Assad falls the Militant Muslims will slaughter them. The Western powers don’t think of that cost do they? In Iraq since Sadaam fell nearly all the Christians have been driven out by murder and burning of their churches. All this comes to me through Aid to the Church in Need. What a need eh? Think of those Twenty One Coptic Christians Martyrs beheaded on the Beach and the blood stained finger of the murderers pointing "Rome next." !! May God preserve us.

Those Catholic Christians (for the most part) who are helped by Aid to the Church in need 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 God’s 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 validly 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 Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity - ever presenting the One, never to be repeated 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 if you don't eat and drink of my Body and Blood you cannot have my life in you. "The one does eat my Body and drink my Blood - lives in me and I live in him/her, and I will raise him/her 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. Bishop Arnold in his first Pastoral Letter advices us to find that "Space" each day to allow our Lord to disclose Himself to us, His Beloved.

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 Sacrifice of the Mass to strengthen us against the challenges of the hostile world.

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 in doing so – see the Ultimate and only lasting Reality.

Hope Lent goes well. Make a good Confession. See the Examination of Conscience sheets I have provided to help you, based on the Ten Commandments.

Father Tom Connolly PP

FORTY DAYS FOR LIFE. See each Saturday outside the Abortion Clinic in Wynnstanley Grove Opposite Sainsbury. Fallowfied. This a silent witness. One lady emerged shouting that she had changed her mind and the baby 5 weeks and expecting her 5th was to be kept! Another trying for a v. late abortion came away with the child intact. So that is the second child saved since Ash Wed. See the Leaflets.

Flame 2 Catholic Youth Festival. Nick Hanrahan will be addressing the youth of our Parishes at most Masses this weekend. He cannot manage them all so do listen to him if he speaks at the Mass you attend and his invitation to other youth to deepen love for Jesus Christ.


I am an active supporter of many Catholic charities and CAFOD have contacted me about their Lenten Appeal. In light of Family Fast being their collection,it will be worth publising their main appeal. The Government will match contributions make to CAFOD during lent .This will mean that during Lent, any contribution is worth giving. Could you publicise this as it is not often that the Government are so generous. The last time was in 2012. We are fortunate in the Western world as we do not have many natural disaster. CAFOD is helping in thiose areas (nine out of every ten people who die from disasters live in the world's poorest countries). If a person is a taxpayer ,they should gift Aid their contibution I hope you will be able to spread this message as in hard times, there are a lot more people worse off than we are. Any help would be useful. Many thanks, Kevin Brady, 07521897264

Bidding Prayers


Priest: In the transfiguration of the Lord, we see an image of what the risen body will be like in all its glory. Filled with confidence in the Lord's everlasting goodness we pray for all our needs.

Reader. For all who find faith hard at times - that our Lord will lift the veil of his divine Presence for them and give them a glimpse of the life of the world to come where we are all called to dwell in inexpressible light of the Risen Christ. Lord in your mercy.

For the difficulties of our world with it mounting debts and lack of credit and loss of jobs – that in all this confusion we might not lose sight of the goods of the earth that the Lord provides for us in all our days. Lord in your mercy.

For all involved in Catholic education – that we be preserved from those enemies of the Church who would destroy our schools and corrupt our young people with immoral teaching about marriage and gender. Lord in your mercy.

For all our sick that the Good ness of the Lord may touch them in their suffering and pain and help them unite their sufferings with Christ on the Cross: Mark Colbert, Libby Moor, Ann Brady, Brendan Byrne, Elizabeth Leyden, Sylvia Cummings, Julie Brady, Ann Brady, Aiden Kennedy, Mary Moran, Denis McLoughlin. Lord in your mercy.

For all the dead and especially those who have died recently – Thomas Watson, Winifred O'Reilly, Michael Scott, Ray Bolton AND For all those we have loved in life and do not forget in death on their anniversaries: Bridie Hyland (9am), Tommy Mimnagh (VIGIL) and the Infant : Persay-assus McDonnell (Sunday 6.30pm), Letitia Jackson, Tim Nash and Eamon Cahill.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy..

O Mary Conceived without sin. R/. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE ...

Priest: O Lord and heavenly Father, in this holy season of Lent – teach to love the things of heaven and live in this passing world with out hearts set on the world to come. Hear and answer our heartfelt prayers, though Christ our Lord. Amen.