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Sermon for 21 February 2016
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SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT C + 21st FEBRUARY 2016. HOLY YEAR OF MERCY

LENTEN MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

My Dear People,

The Transfiguration is described in the Mass assigned today. How necessary that vision was for it must have put heart into the apostles after the terrible experience of seeing their beloved Lord and Master in his Agony in the Garden, and then mocked, falsely accused, tortured and finally crucified.

I find it more and more difficult to watch a film or on telly with any form of violence.

Violence is ugly and dark and distorted and utterly abhorrent to God's creation. No soldier glorifies in it and wants to forget it when the battle is over. You never hear those brave men and women describing the terrible hurt and the wounds and the shouts and agonies of the victims do you? Yet our Lord who is the gentlest and loveliest of the Sons of Men was utterly disfigured by the terrible violence he suffered at the hand of scumbag thugs - forgive them. The Image on the Holy Shroud of Turin brought home to me when I saw it in the Holy Year in Turin Cathedral, the utter dreadfulness of our Lord's Passion.

This is all to show the price of our sins.

We were ransomed say Saint Peter - at a great price. The price was the precious Blood of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. His body was one great mass of whip wounds and blows and stabbings and nail holes. His head was covered with the wounds of the huge thorns, his back almost down to showing his rib cage.

But today - in the Gospel of the Transfiguration, in his very SAME body he is seen brighter than Moses was, when he spoke to God and his clothes whiter than any whiteness you can imagine and the Father spoke as he had to Moses - "THIS IS MY SON, THE BELOVED. LISTEN TO HIM." Oh how we must listen to him and not refuse him!

The Church is his Body of which we are a part and we must listen to him and draw near to him. The Catholic Church has the great task of witnessing to a fallen world which is being crushed under the weight of sins. The Film CABARET showed the decadence of Berlin as Hitler and the Nazis rose in prominence. The world dripped with corruption and in the body politic the corruption spread like a virus. (Pope Francis referred to this in Mexican Society on his recent visit.)

When the crunch came - the evil rose up like a great monster and consumed Europe and in the end, most of the world. It was a terrible evil and I believe that with the slaughter of 180,000 unborn children in England and Wales alone each year and the campaign Governments of all parties have opted for, to corrupt the youth into really sensual and sinful ways through supposed, sex education that is leading to a break down of unprecedented order. By law our kids will have to be taught how to get an abortion, contraception and to esteem gay partnerships as equal to male-female Marriage. The Audit Commission's review of Children's Services provided by local councils demonstrate this really bad breakdown in caring for children who are the most vulnerable - hence the murder of so many of them. When children murder children or youth shoot a little boy for fun, we know it is the tip of the iceberg. Pray this Lent for our nation and the Western World. Big trouble has begun and still those leaders hold forth the same insane message as a solution - "choice" is all they are interested in - freedom of choice. The next false god is EQUALITY. For the powers that be it means, "Sameness". The Church teaches that God made us Different not the Same.

We must submit to God who made us and died for us. God the Father says "Listen to my Beloved Son!" Our Blessed Mother tells us "Do whatever he tells you"

Our Blessed Mother led by her example standing at the foot of her Divine Son's Cross with the Beloved Apostle, John. She stood by the Cross and never doubted her Divine Son's Mission and Purpose - "the Light to the Gentiles and Saviour of His people, Israel" as Holy Simeon has said when she presented him in the Temple.

That is the invitation and it is for us to choose with all our hearts to listen to the Son and submit to his commandments. In listening to him in his Teaching Church - we will find life and joy and indeed eternal life.

Those 54 Catholic MPs who voted for same sex marriage did not listen to Pope Benedict when he spoke so wisely when he addressed both Houses of Parliament when he visited Britain.

My dear People - our Leaders have lost the plot and have become so anti God and Religion.

They have established a new "Morality" and it is all based on the abuse of the Body of Man and Woman made in God's Image and Likeness.

I for one will not allow any school I am Priest to push this false ideology onto our children and youth. I know that Mrs Harrold, our Head agrees with me too.

Our teachers too need protecting for we could be taken to Court for "Hate Crime" for not saying these evil things are perfectly GOOD. Watch this space. King Henry VIII destroyed the Church here over his desire to have more than one wife and all had to approve or die!!

Keep up the prayer.

God Bless and have a joyful Lent.

Father Tom Connolly

HOLY WEEK READERS. In St KENTIGERN'S there is a list on the notice board for the extra readers we will need for Holy Week/ Would all Readers please see to it and put their names down against what they can do for the Triduum Holy Thursday night, Good Friday at 3pm and Holy Saturday Vigil at 8.30pm. Let Peter Ramsbottom know please.

THE DEANERY OF ST AMBROSE. Bishop Brain reduced the deanery sections of the diocese from 13 to 8. This means they are BIG. Our Deanery goes like this: South Manchester, Stockport and Trafford. It goes from Flixton, Urmston, up Stretford way to Chorlton – then Moss Side, Hidden Gem, Denton, Stockport - parishes - 27 parishes in all and the Bishop appointed your Mgr Michael Kuziak as Dean of this grouping. We meet most months in our Marian Room in the Club and Kevin Fitzpatrick provides us with a lunch after our deliberations. Last week we discussed the merging and closing of some parishes.






Bidding Prayers

Bidding for 2 of Lent C

Priest: Let us proclaim the greatness of God and pray to Him for he cares for us all.

Reader: God of all truth, grant every good gift to the College of Bishops and preserve in the faith of the apostles the people you have entrusted to them. Lord in your Mercy.

For the affairs of our nation in the great decision about the EEC, that we will be guided by wise council. Lord in your mercy .

May all who share the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar be filled with love; may they be united more closely in the Body of your Divine Son. We pray for all our fellow believers who are deprived of the Holy Communion because of war or persecution. Lord in your mercy.

Help us put aside our selfish ways; let us put on Christ- the New Man. Lord in your mercy.

May sinners share in the gift of Christ's atonement- may they find true and full repentance and forgiveness of their sins in their meeting with Jesus in Confession Sacrament. Lord in your mercy.

For all those who bear Christ's Passion in illness and sickness and pain: Aiden Kennedy, Christine Booth, Maeve Collins, Irene Farrelly, Pat Snype, Ita Conway, Annette McHale. Elizabeth Leyden. Lord in your mercy.

Let the dead praise your goodness in the peace of heaven: there we hope to clarify your name forever: for those who have died recently. Mary Agnes Kelly, Paul Curry.

And those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Peggy Walsh (VIGIL) Michael Boyd, Roji Thomas, Owen Lambe (9am), Sarah Cahill, Margaret Cole (24th) Philip and Jane Keegan, Gregory Leach, Christopher Keegan. May their souls and the souls of...

Mary stood at the Cross of her Son in his Passion and now stands by the foot of countless crosses with us- we salute her and seek her intercession - O Mary conceived without sin - pray for us… Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy...

Priest:Turn our hearts to yourself eternal Father, so that always seeking the one thing necessary and devoting ourselves to works of love we may come to you in spirit and in truth. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.