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Sermon for 4 January 2015
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THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD. + 4TH JANUARY 2015 CYCLE B.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear People,

Today is the Solemnity of a Feast of the Lord - THE EPIPHANY. We associate it with the Three Wise men who came from country far to seek for a newborn King of the Jews. Good news for the people - bad news for Herod! The reality of this feast lies in the Greek word which means "to show forth" or to disclose. The Three wise man found that the New Star which had risen in the East and which denoted a new King for the Jews had stopped over the house of Mary and Joseph. They went in with their gifts and they adored Him who was and is their Lord and God. They then go home leaving the gifts behind. Surely they came in useful during our Lord’s life time and especially at the Flight into Egypt. The Myrrh was used at his burial we know for that is what myrrh was used for - it was one of the spices used to prepare the body for burial in the Jewish religion.

In a way these were prophetic gifts. They signified our Lord's Divine Kingship (Gold) and his Priestly Sacrificial death (Frankincense and Myrrh). Being warned not to go back and inform Herod where they had found the new King they returned to their own country by another route. You see straightaway the evil present in the hearts of people like Herod turned against the helpless child as evil does today.

The visit of the Magi showed forth the Christ child to the wider world of astronomy and science and the "wisdom" of the ancients. These Magi came not from Jewish stock. They were not people of the Book or the Covenant and yet they came to adore the new Jewish King and believed he was a king even though his surroundings did not signify Kingship and our Lady and St Joseph did not appear to be of royal family status. But they had faith to see beyond appearances and to see before their eyes a real infant king. They adored him - gave him their homage. The three gifts were very precious too.

So often the objects of our faith seem so fragile and human and limited. The eye of faith sees beyond those appearances. When our Lord was in his Public Ministry he was often attacked by his critics and in the end accused of crimes he was not guilty of. Pilate had power over him but did he? In the end despite the crucifixion and indeed through it – humanity was being redeemed.

The Church seems very weak now in our nation. Many have fallen away from practice and no longer walk with us. There are spaces in church on Sunday when you could not find a place 25 years ago. Priests are scarce and nuns have more or less disappeared. Many live as married without marriage and children remain without baptised and without the solidity of the consecrated Love of married parents. Yet within the mystery of Faith lies the true dynamism of the true Church. Out of the ashes arises a new generation who seek God with a renewed vigour and vision and God raises them up. He is already doing so in the many New Movements in the Universal Church. Christ our Lord is truly the Light that enlightens all men and women who come into this world and he will not be vanquished - the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church Christ founded on the rock of Peter.

People cannot be conned by the "good life" vision forever. It leaves the soul longing for Truth and integrity and the true meaning of life in its joys and sorrows. Man will not be satisfied with less. Man is a spiritual being and longs for the eternal and the everlasting values. The Magi teach us that such people have existed all along the history of God's People and in the end - they are the ones who "seek and find."

Father George joins me in wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Father Tom Connolly.


THE ANNUAL DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES led by the Right Reverend John Arnold - Bishop of Salford. Travel by air or by coach options from 31st July to 6th August .For further details phone the Lourdes Pilgrimage Office at 794 2209 or website www.salfordlourdes.co.uk.

VOCATIONS VOCATIONS. You will see on e notice board the large poster showing the Prayer of Intercession going up from each parish community of our diocese throughout the year for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Each parish is designated a day. More on this later.

THE EPIPHANY ANNOUNCEMENT 2015

Dear Brothers and sisters,

The glory of the Lord has shone upon us and shall ever manifest itself among us, until the day of His return. Through he rhythms and changes of time let us call to mind he mysteries of salvation.

The centre of the whole liturgical year is the Paschal Triduum of the Lord, crucified, buried and risen, which will culminate in the Solemn Vigil of Easter, during the holy night that will end with the dawn of the fourth day of April. Every Sunday, as a weekly Easter, holy Church makes present that great and saving deed by which Christ has conquered forever, sin and death.

From Easter there comes forth and are reckoned all the days we keep holy: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten spring, the eighteenth day of February; the Ascension of the Lord, the Seventeenth day of May; and Pentecost, the Twenty Fourth day of May; the First Sunday of Advent, the twenty ninth day of November.

Likewise in the feasts of the Holy Mother of God, the Apostles and saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed, the pilgrim Church on earth proclaims the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

To Christ who was, who is, and who is to come, the Lord of time and history, be endless praise forever and ever! Amen!

LIFE SUNDAY 11TH JANUARY. NEXT SUNDAY WE WILL HOLD HE ANNUAL WHITE FLOWER APPEAL FOR THE SOCIETY FOR HE PROTECTION OF HE UNBORN CHILD. My dear people those in the civil structures of our society and intergovernmental and EEC and UN bodies are intent on spreading "re-productive rights". This is the term used to disguise abortion. They have the enthusiasm of demons in wanting even poor nations who cannot afford proper child care and ante natal care to make a priority for abortion "rights". It is from the devil himself all this and will end in disaster for the race. SPUC wages a war of truth against all the lies that are put out. They need our help for the opposition is funded lavishly and usually from our taxes.






Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers for EPIPHANY 2015

Priest: The wise men were led by the light of the Star and found Jesus. May we by the light of faith find him and in confident faith seek his Help as Mighty God and Prince of Peace.

Reader: You led the wise men Lord, by the light of the star so that the cosmos itself led these men to the mystery of Christ. Lead the wise men of our day who study the cosmos to see your handiwork in the heavenly bodies in their wonder and – their inner laws as a witness to the Creator Lord. Lord in your mercy. R/ Hear our Prayer.

For all who study the origins of life that they may respect the boundaries God has placed on these experiments to protect the integrity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God. Lord, in your mercy.

For all those who follow the Star and seek the truth and especially those of our community under instruction at this time that Christ will truly enlighten them and open their hearts to his presence and his saving grace. Lord in your mercy.

For all who are poorly and need the healing touch of Christ – that the medical staff looking after them and their families will help them and help them back to health : Elizabeth Layden, Mary Rose Smith, Sam Murray, Mary Farrelly-Stiles, Julie Brady, Marian Farrelly, Annie McGarry: Lord in your mercy.

For all who have died recently that they may see the light of God's face in heaven: -Josie McConnell ,Teresa Annie Connor, Margaret Clarkson, Maureen Cosgrove, Teresa Manchini, Geraldine Turner, Paul Moran AND For all those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Paddy Dolan (9am), Margaret Comisky (11am) Ann and Austin Hopkins, Harry Duggan Junior, Harry Duggan Senior, John Malloy, Teresa Hamilton , Khoury Family.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Mary your are truly the morning star which brought to us salvation through Christ the Light of the world- Pray for your people in your goodness. O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary full of...

Priest: Lord in our Baptism you made us children of the light. May we always walk by the light of faith in seeking your help in all the circumstances of our lives for we are in your hands. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.