Takehomenews 17 January 2021
Fr Colin writes:
I am pleased to announce that Masses are now being live-streamed from our church. So if you are unable to get to Mass, you can follow it from home. Father David has written about our live-streaming service at the end of this newsletter.
We are hoping that the churches will continue to remain open. So continue to keep the social distance rules inside and outside the church, and sanitise your hands on entering and leaving the church.
On Monday we start the week of prayer for Christian Unity, concluding on the following Monday with the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. You will find a prayer for Christian Unity at the end of this newsletter.
Next weekend is the Sunday of the Word of God. On this occasion we will re-commission our readers before the Liturgy of the Word. When everyone else sits for the readings, readers are asked to remain standing in their place for the re-commissioning for which the answer to the two questions is ‘I AM’. Fr Colin.
Today is Peace Sunday, so please say this prayer:
Loving God of peace, strengthen my determination to work for a world of peace and justice; My conviction that, whatever our nationality or race, we are all global citizens, one in Christ; My courage to challenge the powerful with the values of the gospel; My commitment to find nonviolent ways of resolving conflict-personal, local, national and international; My efforts to forgive injuries and to love those I find it hard to love. Amen.
Rite of Renewal of Commitment by Readers
Priest: Dear Friends, you have faithfully performed the work of Reader in this parish for some time. At this Mass on Bible Sunday you are asked to renew your commitment to this work of evangelisation.
Priest: Christ comes to us in Word and Sacrament to strengthen us in holiness. Are you resolved to continue to perform the ministry of Reader, by proclaiming the Word of God to the people of God in this parish?
Readers: I am.
Priest: Are you resolved to strengthen your faith by regular prayer, to prepare diligently when asked to read, and to live out the Word you proclaim in your daily life?
Readers: I am.
Priest: May the Lord bless you in this work, as you help us to deepen our love for the word of God. We ask this through Christ the Lord, Amen.
2nd Sunday of Year B
When the first disciples come to Jesus and address him, he asks them ‘What do you want?’. These are the first words that Jesus speaks in the Gospel. It could be said that these are the most important words that Jesus addresses to anyone who seeks him out. The whole human searching experience of life could be the answer to the question ‘What do you want?’ What would be our reply to that question? The disciples answer was ‘where do you live?’ Our answer may well be a list of needs for ourselves, our family or our world in general. Ultimately, our answer will be to know Jesus, to find out and understand more about Him and to attain eternal life. At this stage, the disciples were just beginning to find out about Jesus. They had been followers of John the Baptist who had prepared the way for Jesus and then had pointed him out as ‘The lamb of God’.
When the disciples asked Jesus 'Where do you live? Jesus simply responded ‘Come and see’. It is by spending time in Jesus’ company that people are persuaded to follow him. We can think of Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman and the man born blind as examples of this. St John’s Gospel focuses on the importance of encountering Jesus personally. In fact, this is something we all need to do through our personal prayer and through the Eucharist. Those sacred moments after receiving Holy Communion are when we are closer to Jesus than at any other time. We can use these moments not just to know Jesus better but to find out what he wants of us. Even if we are unable to receive Holy Communion for one reason or another, we can still make a Spiritual Communion.
In today’s first reading, Samuel hears a voice calling him. He thinks that it is Eli who is nearby. Samuel hears this call three times and it is not until the third call that he realises that it is the Lord who is calling him. There may be times in our life when we hear a call but do not realise that it is the Lord or through the Lord that we hear it. This should make us more alert to the presence of God in out lives.
We read in the Gospel that the disciples spent the rest of the day with Jesus after their first encounter. They would have asked him lots of questions as well as just listening to Him. The reason why Christianity so emphasises the importance of prayer in all forms is not because it gives answers or achieves success or solves difficulties, but because it enables the one who prays to spend time with Jesus. Once Andrew has come to know Jesus, his first reaction is to go and take others to him. Evangelisation is primarily simply introducing others to this person whom one has met and spent time with.
“As we open the week of prayer for Christian Unity, we pray especially for our shared calling to protect and preserve all life. We pray that our unity and ecumenical efforts on all life issues would inspire the world to join us in defending the lives and rights of all vulnerable in society. Lord hear us”
Following last weekend’s appeal for the Society of Unborn Children, please put any completed postcards into a box as you leave the church. Thank you.
The delayed 2020 Confirmations are taking place this weekend and next. The remaining dates are Sunday 17th 3pm, Friday 22nd 7pm, Saturday 23rd 2pm and 3.30pm.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of TERESA ALI of Gloucester Grove and GLORIA JEAN GOHAGAN.
Fr David writes - Further to Fr Colin’s previous announcement in the Take Home News, we are very pleased to announce that the parish has joined the online Mass streaming service www.churchservices.tv with a 24hr live feed.
The Parish council agreed to invest in this new technology as a means of greater evangelisation and support to parishioners at home, and our loved ones both at home and abroad as a means of connecting with the parish. It is also recognised that this facility will enable a deepening of our individual prayer life especially during these periods of lockdown. Parishioners, where ever you are in the world, can connect with the camera installed in the church via the internet, and with sound when services are being held. There are links on the parish and churchservice.tv websites. Please spread the word of this facility to all your family and friends. There will be occasions when Fr Colin or myself will offer mass at various other times of the day as part of our own personal sacramental life, which will not be advertised. Occasionally, there will be a need to stop the live feed for maintenance work, or for privacy reasons.
Please note that for confessions these will not be heard in sight of the camera to facilitate your privacy. We have made space where the crib was next to the window. We suggest that you approach confession from the side isle from now on.
If anyone has any particular reason or concern that their personal privacy is at risk, please approach Fr Colin or myself and we will be happy to listen and discuss this with you.
I hope that you will enjoy and make use of this new addition to our parish life. It will take some getting used to and might mean we have to tweak a few things over the next few weeks as we get used to broadcasting Mass.
Prayer of Spiritual Communion for those Joining Mass from Home
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.