Takehomenews 13 December 2020
Fr Colin Writes:
With Christmas just two weeks away, you will need to decide which of the Christmas Masses you would like to come to. Having done so, please ring the Parish Office to book a place, giving your name, how many people in your group, which Mass you will be attending and your phone number: There will be 6 Christmas Masses, 3 on Christmas Eve and 3 on Christmas Day. The Masses, on Christmas Eve will be at 4pm, 6.30pm and Midnight. The Masses on Christmas Day will be at 9am, 10.30am and 12 Noon.
Please take a card giving the time of all the services over Christmas into the New Year. Please note that there will be no Midnight Mass to see in the New Year but there will be Masses on New Year’s Day, 10am and 12 Noon. This card is our Christmas card to you all.
Next Sunday’s Takehomenews will cover 3 weeks.
Lord Jesus you are the light of the world COME LORD JESUS
You are the light in our darkness COME LORD JESUS
Son of God, save us from our sins COME LORD JESUS
Bring hope into the lives of all people COME LORD JESUS
Give your peace to all nations COME LORD JESUS
Be the joy of all who love you COME LORD JESUS
Bless us as we gather here in your name COME LORD JESUS
Lord Jesus, stay with us. COME LORD JESUS
The ‘O’ Antiphons
These antiphons are said or sung at the Evening Prayer of the Church on the 8 days leading up to Christmas. They also form part of the Gospel Acclamation at the day’s Mass. They express that expectation and longing for the coming of the Lord. This week’s ‘O’ Antiphons are as follows:
THURSDAY ‘O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth.’
FRIDAY ‘O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come save us with your mighty power.’
SATURDAY ‘O Stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim. O come to deliver us and do not delay.’
3rd Sunday of Advent Year B
In our Communion Antiphon we pray: “Say to the faint of heart: Be strong and do not fear. Behold our God will come, and he will save us.”
As we continue with our journey through Advent today the Liturgical colour changes for a brief moment from Purple to the brighter colour of Violet or Rose. Ordinarily, we would be more joyful in our celebration of Mass this weekend, as we approach the coming of Jesus, as the incarnation of God. However, we are perhaps, rightly, a bit more subdued this year, because of the ongoing fight against the pandemic that has hit the world so hard. Therefore, as we get to this third week of Advent, it is all the more the reason that we need to have this encouragement from Isaiah to be Strong and not to fear what is to come, but Rejoice in the Lord always because the Lord is near.
In our Gospel today, we meet John the Baptist again, this time in St. John’s gospel. Of all the Patriarchs and Prophets, John the Baptist is by far the greatest, as we heard in our Gospel on Thursday (Mt.11.11). Throughout the Old Testament, Patriarchs and Prophets have made reference to the coming of a Messiah for the people of Israel. But what is most unique to John the Baptist is that he is the only one who could point the Messiah out physically. The Old Testament is a preparation for the Incarnation – the coming of the Lord. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) all start their narrative with the ministry of John the Baptist – pushing him front and centre. In contrast St. John’s Gospel with the Prologue – firstly provides a depiction of the Divinity of Christ, and then, as we hear to today, shows the importance of John the Baptist as the herald of the Lord - The one who goes forth and announces – a bit like when the Cardinal Deacon after a papal election goes onto the balcony of St. Peters and announces the joyous news that we have a new Pope. So, why does St. John choose this approach to discuss the Divinity of Christ first before John the Baptist? The answer is that John the Evangelist was in fact a disciple of John the Baptist first before he became a disciple of Jesus, and places John the Baptist in the larger context of Word being real before the creation of the world.
For us today John the Baptist’s mission is still of relevance and importance because he invites each of us to have faith in Jesus, the true Light - pricking our conscience to get our spiritual lives in order so that we may receive the Light of the World with grace and ease. Jesus, as Light of the World brings the message of Salvation from the darkness of sin. Advent being a season set in darkness is dark because it is a time before the incarnation. John the Baptist is like a match that will light the way to the real source of light – Jesus - who is represented in our Advent Wreath as the central white candle.
Let us this week give thanks to God for sending us his herald, John the Baptist, to go before him, to prepare us for the awesomeness that is the incarnation of God, the Saviour of the World, pointing to Jesus and reminding us to be strong and not be distracted from our faith in Lord.
First Communion 2021
Children in Year 3 or above who would like to receive First Holy Communion next year are invited to complete a yellow—coloured application form from the table at the back of the church or from the office and return it by today Sunday13th December. At the moment we are uncertain how the preparation sessions will be arranged but it will certainly require more parental help at home. Once we have the number of applications, we can start making arrangements for the preparation and the First Communion days.
Those in year 10 or above who would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation next year are invited to complete a blue coloured application form from the table at the back of the church or from the office and return it by today Sunday13th December. At the moment we are uncertain how the preparation will proceed, nor of the date of the Confirmations.
Westminster Year Book
The 2021 edition of the Westminster Year Book is available in the porch. It contains information about parishes, priests, schools and organisations in the diocese as well as a most useful Liturgical Calendar.
Saint of the Week
Monday—December 14th Saint John of the Cross was a 16 century reformer of the Carmelite way of life. Together with Saint Teresa of Avila, he lived the primitive Rule of their Order, and paid a dear price for his commitment to reform and authentic living. Saint John of the Cross died in 1591.
CAFOD World Gifts
When we are buying our Christmas presents, it is right to think about gifts for the needy throughout the world. As in recent years, CAFOD has produced a catalogue of suggestions for various gifts that can be sent to the needy such as a School Starter Pack, a Sewing Kit, Emergency Food and a Terrific Toilet. Please take a catalogue from the porch and make your order direct to CAFOD.
Annunciation Catholic Junior School, The Meads, Burnt Oak HA8 9HQ
Do you want a place for your child in Year 3 in Sept 2021? We are holding a virtual Admissions Meeting on Weds 6th January 2021 at 6.30pm for any prospective parents who may be interested in sending their child to our school from Sept 2021. This is a meeting for parents of children who do not currently attend our infant school as you will have already taken part in our virtual Admissions Meeting earlier this month. It will be held on ZOOM Jan 6, 2021 06:30 PM London Meeting ID: 822 5477 3622 Passcode: 684650 www.twitter.com/ajuniorschool
Kind regards, Aaron Doherty Deputy Headteacher The Annunciation Catholic Junior School 02089060723.