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Sermon for 17 January 2016
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SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C 17th February 2016 + YEAR OF MERCYMESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear People,

Soon the Marriage Course for our Deanery will begin in the Parish Club Marian Room and will run from February 7th through the to last Sunday of February. Usually we have about thirty something couples taking part. What better time to begin than to reflect on the Marriage Feast at Cana ? There is a lay Organisation called "CANA" for married people to renew their lives in Christ and in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

The miracle at Cana was a kind of "epiphany" of Jesus but this time to the newly chosen Apostles. The Gospel tells us that, "Jesus and his disciples had been invited". You see, straightaway after our Lord's election of those who would follow him they were seen as an "item". If you invited Jesus you invited the others. You who have arranged wedding invitations know the feeling! Yet this was a great development for St John for it was the first time in our Lord's public life that the Twelve were given that status belonging together with the Master. Guess what ? To complete the picture Jesus' mother had also been invited (Joseph being dead). Do take notice my dear people. This is important for St John is painting for you a picture of the Holy Church of God – a kind of model. We have Jesus, His mother and the Apostles and disciples and Incarnate Son of God (the Heavenly Bridegroom) all present at A Wedding. Is it not a sign of ultimate joy – a wedding? What could be more delightful to celebrate but the vowed love of a husband and wife, the union created by the Creator would result in the growth of the human family. Christ is the Bridegroom now and his Church is the Bride).

Our Lord blessed this marriage with his divine presence and it is commonly chosen by couples for the Wedding Ceremony Gospel.

However something else is going on in the background which the rest of the guests know nothing about – only the Steward of the feast (The equal to our Banqueting Manager) and the waiters knew and Our Lady. It was this – THE WINE WAS RUNNING OUT.

Now a few years ago I know that feeling because we had a power cut on the bar at St Kentigern's Club on of all nights – St Patrick’s Night!! Imagine not being able to draw a pint on the 17th March??? Luckily Paul Henghan was there and being a Sparkie he leapt over the bar and the night was saved.

The future role of our Blessed Lady was demonstrated in this panic. Our Lady noticed the couple's dilemma and knew who could solve the problem and so she INTERCEDES WITH HER SON. "They have no wine". Our Lord seems to be a bit harsh – "What is that to me???" But Mary knows her loving Son and she knows he will refuse her nothing she asks and in all confidence she tells the servants "DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU". This is just as well because the poor servants were told by Jesus to fill up again the 6 water jars with fresh water – 12 gallons each – and when that was done – the miracle was complete and it was much better than the previous wine. The hills would flow with free wine the prophets had said about the time of the Messiah and here we have it. "HE LET HIS GLORY BE SEEN AND THE DISCIPLES BELIEVED IN HIM". Thus St John completes the story. This first sign or miracle achieved not only great relief for the wedding but an outpouring of confident faith in the MASTER in the disciples and apostles. It also becomes the model of his Mother's power of intercession and it raised the dignity of marriage to a new state because the Divine Presence was fully present to the Couple he had joined together as from creation. So you see there is a lot more going on here in this account than simply the end result.

God Bless you all,

Father Tom Connolly

MARY'S MEALS. There are some boxes for you to take at the back of church. Mary’s Meals is a Catholic Organisation which is new and spends nearly every penny on providing food – no politics or pressure groups or paid employees – all goes to the hungry.

HAVE YOU NOTICED THE NEWLY RESTORED STATUE OF OUR LADY, IMMACULATE, FACING WILBRAHAM RD ? OUR LORD'S FINGER IS REPAIRED TOO AND THE STATUE OF OUR LADY NOW LOOKS BRAND NEW. ALBERTI-LUPTON ALSO CLEANED THE STONE OF THE HIGH ALTAR AND THE AMBO AND THE MEMORIAL STONE LETTERING OVER THE SIDE DOOR COMMEMORATING BISHOP BRAIN , CONSECRATING THE CHURCH AFTER ITS RENEWAL. THANK YOU TO FOUR PARISHIONERS WHO GAVE ME CONTRIBUTIONS TO REPAIR AND CLEAN THE STATUE OF OUR LADY.

FIRST COMMUNION CHILDREN - THEY WILL BE AT THE 11AM MASS TODAY AND THEY WILL RECEIVE FROM THE PARISH THE SIMPLE PRAYER BOOK TO USE IN THEIR DEVOTIONS AND KNOW THE PRAYERS OF THE MASS AND THE PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH USED UNIVERSALLY BY GOD'S PEOPLE FOR THEY ARE "CHILDREN WHO PRAY". HAVING MADE THEIR FIST CONFESSION THEY ARE NOW IN THE YEAR WHEN THEY MAKE THEIR FIRST COMMUNION. THE NEW BISHOP JOHN ARNOLD, HAS DECIDED TO ADMINISTER THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION HIMSELF WHICH I THINK IS ONLY RIGHT. HE HAS YET TO DECIDE THE METHOD AND THE AGE.






Bidding Prayers

Bidding Prayers 3rd Sunday C.

Priest: The miracle at the marriage feast of Cana, caused the Apostles to have faith in Jesus. We all feel the need to respond to our Lord's calling to us to follow him in whatever vocation God has given us. We bring to the throne of Divine Mercy the needs we have and the needs of the whole world.

Reader: We pray for many more generous and youthful hearts to experience the joy and vigour of Christ's call to a priestly or consecrated life Vocation – the calling to Christian Marriage – and all the different ways in which Christ calls us to build up his Body, the Church, on earth. Lord IN YOUR MERCY.

For all those who have to leave father and mother and lands for the sake of progress for themselves and their families- comfort the exile, welcome the stranger, lead all to a safe harbour and to our heavenly home. Lord IN YOUR MERCY.

For the cause of inter racial relations: may the Conversion of St Paul help us never to underestimate the power of God's grace to bring back the stray and to heal the brokenness of human sin and division – may there be One flock and One Shepherd under the supreme pastoral office of the Papacy – the focus of unity. Lord IN YOUR MERCY.

For our First Communion Candidates and their parents and teachers – that they may grow in the love of Jesus, listening to him speaking to them in the Scriptures, in saying their prayers faithfully and at School in the Religious education lessons and Assembly. May they children live the teaching of Christ. Lord IN YOUR MERCY.

For all our sick and those who care for them that the good Lord touch them through our pastoral care and the ministration of the sacraments: Barbara Nolan, Denis McLoughlin , Mary Fitzpatrick, Chris Lyden, Elizabeth Leyden, Christine Booth, Michael Nolan, Mary Moran. Lord IN YOUR MERCY.

We commend to the loving Mercy of our Saviour the souls of those who have departed this life: Marie Whitley, Margaret Dickenson, Jim Mahon AND All those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Michael Foy, Sheila Delaney (11am), Timothy Moloney. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Our Lady is the Purest of Creatures and the House of God, the tower of Ivory – may she pray for us her children now: O Mary, Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. HAIL HOLY QUEEN, MOTHER OF MERCY.

Priest: Oh Lord and Loving Father, see your family gathered around this Eucharistic Table of your Son who founded the church on the foundation of the apostles and hear and answer our prayers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.