FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT. + CYCLE B + 22nd MARCH 2015.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
We begin this weekend the end run today to Passiontide and Holy Week. It happens to be the tenth anniversary of the beloved and much revered Saint John Paul II. He was one whose life personified the meaning of our Lord's words in today’s Gospel - "unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remain only a single grain - but if it dies it bears abundant fruit."
In the late Pope's life we see him spending his whole life energy on serving Christ to the very depth of his soul. The Nazis sent him to break up stone in a quarry. He was helped to flee because the next stop was extermination camp. He spent himself before and after being elected Pope. He struggled and fought with the atheist regime of thugs at home and then as Supreme Pastor of the Church witnessed on a world stage to the Divine Master. He fought for the rights of the people’s to hear the Faith proclaimed with fidelity. He fought those who supported the culture of death as he called it. These include the abortion rights folk, the assisted suicideers, the euthanasia enthusiasts, the "let them die gang" who are so keen not to intervene or to pull the plug out, or those who want to hang them and flog 'em. He even had to defend the rights of Catholics to have proper and moral clergy and the children to be taught their religion properly in our schools and not the airy fairy mulch so many of our schools teach these days in other parts. (Not Salford diocese). Yes – and finally he was literally mown down by the would-be assassin; his life blood pouring out near the spot where St Peter’s life blood was shed.
When the Pope went to see the would be Muslim assassin in his cell the only thing Aga wanted to know is by what "power" the Pope had diverted the trajectory of the bullet! The Pope of course always attributed it to our Lady of Fatima. In fact the bullet (or one of them) now hangs in our Lady of Fatima’s crown, in Fatima. But I remember telling you all this before.
Yes - we have a modern example in the late Holy Father and Blessed Mother Teresa of a life fully complete and fruitful beyond compare – by dying to self and living to God. That is the heart of t he Christian Faith. The Little Flower said the same. The grain of wheat only bears fruit when it dies in the ground. We die to sin and live to Christ in others and for others. That is how the Christian find "Life".
As "the hour" of our Lord’s Passion approaches one can feel the fear in our Lord’s words "Father save me from this hour". The devil was to have his hour and through this "hour" would be defeated forever – vanquished – caput – finished. "My hour has not yet come" Jesus said to his Mother at the marriage of Cana. You see our Lady knew about this "hour" all the time. She lived in the shadow and the hope of the Cross. She "stood by the Cross". We too have to go our Lord’s way for there is no other way through which we will find eternal life. Pope Benedict explains the mystery of the wheat grain dying to produce more fruit, extremely well in his Book "Jesus of Nazareth". I’ve quoted the Pope Emeritus in the Holy Week and Easter Card. He goes into great detail with tremendous scholarship and erudition. What a gift he is to us all from Jesus!
NEXT SUNDAY IS PALM SUNDAY AND THE MASS AT 11AM (10AM at St Edwards) WILL BEGIN OUTSIDE THE MAIN DOOR FOR THE BLESSING AND PROCESSION WITH THE PALMS. PALMS WILL BE BLEST AND DISTRIBUTED AT EACH MASS. AND THE FIRST COMMUNION CHILDREN WILL BE MAKING A SPECIAL APPEARANCE TO WELCOME OUR LORD INTO THE HOLY CITY AS PART OF THEIR COMMUNION PROGRAMME SO BE READY FOR A BIG CROWD AND THE LONG GOSPEL OF THE PASSION. THEY WILL HAVE A CRUCIFIX GIVEN THESE HAVE BEEN BLEST BY THE POPE AND THE RED CORD WILL REMIND THEM OF HOW OUR LORD’S PRECIOUS BLOOD WAS SHED FOR LOVE OF THEM.
God bless you all,
Father Tom Connolly
ST PATRICKS BIG BREAKFAST AT ST KENTS CLUB MADE £1218 FOR Full Irish Radio Charity. 240 had breakfast
MAUNDY THURSDAY THE CHURCH AT ST KENTIGERNS WILL BE CLOSED ALL DAY FROM 6AM FOR FILMING. IT WILL BE OPEN FOR THE 7.30 MANDATUM MASS OF COURSE.
READERS: NEW ROTAS ARE WAITING YOUR COLLECTION BUT WE HAVE MANY GAPS FOR HOLY THURSDAY, GOOD FRIDAY AND HOLY SATURDAY VIGIL READING.
BIDDING 5TH LENT b
Priest: Let us glory to Christ the Lord. He is our Master and our example and our Brother. We come with all our petitions.
Reader: Lord, you became a man like us in every way but did not sin: may we open our lives to others, share their joys and tears, and grow day by day in your love, this Lent. Lord, in your mercy. Let us serve you in the hungry and give you to eat; let us see you in the thirsty and give you to drink though our Lenten sacrifices for CAFOD. Lord in your mercy.
You raised up Lazarus from the dead; call sinners from their living death to faith and repentance. Lord in your mercy.
For the fellow Christians of the Middle East where so many are persecuted and driven into exile for their belonging to Christ- comfort them in their suffering O Lord. Lord in your mercy.
May we live up to the example of Mary and the saints; may we follow your steps more perfectly in everything we do and say. Lord in your mercy.
For all our sick and fail - be their strength O Lord in the pain and weakness, we commend : Chrisitne Booth, Mark Colbert, Elizabeth Leyden, Pat Snype, Mary Moran, Sam Murray, Brenden Burn, Michael Nolan. Lord in your mercy.
Let the dead rise again in glory, let them rejoice forever in your love Nuala Crotty and Hugh Doherty AND All the holy souls whose anniversaries fall about this time: Ivan Bilyk, Stephen Sharples ( VIGIL), John Jo Coughlin, Peter Kinsella and Patrick Garrett. May their souls and the souls...
O Mary you stood at the foot of the cross and stand now with us at the foot of countless crosses - support our prayer. O Mary Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE.
Priest: Lord, listen to these heartfelt Lenten Prayers of your holy people and in your tender loving mercy- answer them. Through Christ our Lord. Amen