Takehomenews 28 February 2021
Fr Colin writes:
Usually at this time of the year, those adults preparing to receive the Sacraments at Easter through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults are making their final preparations. They engage in the Rite of Signing, the Rite of Election at Westminster Cathedral and take part in the Scrutinies. This year things are somewhat different and these Lenten events have been delayed. Our parish does not have any candidates for Baptism and Reception this year but there are some parishes with candidates who will receive the Sacraments later on in the year. The Gospel of the Transfiguration which we have today and every year on the 2nd Sunday in Lent looks forward spectacularly to the Resurrection. It gives us hope with a destination in view even more fulfilling than our current hope for an ease in the lockdown rules. For those whose Sacraments have been postponed until after Easter we are reminded that each Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection. We celebrate Easter every Sunday. Let us pray as we do at this time every year for those preparing for the Sacraments, whenever that might be. Please also remember those in our parish who have applied for First Holy Communion and Confirmation and are having to wait to get their programmes under way. We hope that we will be able to make some decisions soon
We apologise that our telephone and livestream system has not been working. Thankfully they are both up and running again.
Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal 2021
Cardinal Nichols thanks you for your generous support for the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal, especially throughout the unprecedented events of 2020. Your donations help fund initiatives in parishes, schools and charities in three mission areas which are more critical than ever. Marriage and Family Life: enriching and supporting marriages, the essential building block of society and the Church. Youth and Evangelisation: helping young people, the future of the Church, as they grow in their relationship with God and deepen their Catholic faith. Caritas Westminster: putting our faith into action by serving those in need. Education Service: supporting our schools. This year, the Cardinal is asking us to think about families who are struggling to put food on the table. Poverty is deepening across our Diocese and the need for foodbanks and supermarket vouchers has accelerated. Through your generosity we’re continuing to provide food for those people most in need. Please take a donation envelope. You can use the QR code to make your donation online. Thank you for your generosity. Envelopes can be put in the Lenten Alms Box by Our Lady’s Altar, as well as any other donations.
Please pray for the repose of the souls of ROSA Martinez alvarez whose burial takes place this week and for ELIZABETH SABEN-QUARM whose funeral Mass will be on Friday 19th March at 11am. Attendance will be at the invitation of the family although the Mass will be livestreamed for anyone to see. May they rest in peace.
2nd Sunday of Lent
This week our readings move from the desert and wilderness of last week to the mountains. Abraham climbs the mountain with his son Isaac to prepare his sacrifice. Jesus climbs the mountain with Peter, James and John for the transfiguration. Later Jesus would carry his cross up Mount Calvary, another mountain scene relevant to our salvation.
Climbing mountains might take one closer to God if one thinks of God as living up in the sky, but climbing mountains also gives one a different perspective on the world below— a greater sense of context and a bigger picture. And the bigger picture we are invited to see is the one presented by faith. This is what Jesus invites Peter and James and John to participate in, although that faith is not fully received until Jesus has ascended Calvary.
Having exhausted the five parks in this parish, the other week I decided to venture a little further to Sunny Hill Park in Hendon. Climbing the hill, reaching the summit and walking along a high path I had an excellent view over to our side of the A41. Although some of the high–rise flats of Colindale obscured a complete view of Burnt Oak, it was an ideal place to pray for our parish and its people.
The Experience of Peter, James and John, the privileged disciples who were able to witness the Transfiguration, would have held them in good stead for the forthcoming sufferings of Jesus. They witnessed the voice of the Father: ‘This is my Son the Beloved. Listen to him’. They would have witnessed the dazzlingly white appearance of Jesus as he was transfigured, and the appearance of Moses representing the Law and Elijah representing the Prophets. Interestingly, both of these had encounters with God on mountains—Moses on Mount Sinai and Elijah on Mount Horeb. The faith of these disciples would have been boosted by this event which was both visual and audible. Coming down the mountain, Jesus told them to keep the transfiguration secret until after the resurrection. Climbing a mountain or a hill can give us a new perspective of what lies below.
As for Abraham, he was prepared to sacrifice his own son in obedience to God’s command. Although God held him back from doing so, Abraham had shown his faith in God and with this mountain experience he was rewarded with being promised with many descendants and was blessed with the title ‘Father of our faith’.
Without putting on our mountain boots, we are invited to be renewed in our faith this Lent. By reflecting on the scriptures, we can have an overall perspective of the purpose of God’s plan for us. Indeed, the two events described in today’s readings were key moments for our journey of salvation.
Thanks from SPUC
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has written to thank us for the White Flower Appeal held last month which raised £225.68
CAFOD Lent Fast Day
There will be a second collection today for CAFOD Lent Fast Day in which you can return the special envelopes.
Abdella lives in an extremely remote and mountainous part of Ethiopia. It takes him ten hours a day to collect water. He says his life is being wasted as he has no time for anything else. Please give today to reach vulnerable communities around the world with water and to provide other vital support. Please donate online at www.cafod.org.uk/give or by using one of our envelopes. You can also easily give via text.
Text LENT 5 to 70460 to give £5
Text LENT 10 to 70460 to give £10
Text LENT 20 to 70460 to give £20
Or Telephone: 0303 303 3030 to donate over the phone
E.g., if you donate £10.00 *Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS.
If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text LENTNOINFO to 70460.
A CAFOD Prayer
Loving God, we hear your call to all who thirst for a brighter future: come to the water. Pour out your Spirit upon us and lead us to walk alongside one another.
Let a desire for change well up within us. May we overflow with compassion and love.
And as a stream wears away stone, may we reshape our world together to reflect your kingdom of hope for all. Amen.
Extra Services in Lent
These services will be livestreamed only:
Tuesdays 7pm-8pm Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction
Fridays 7pm Stations of the Cross
SAFEGUARDING DBS Checks
Some of our Volunteers working with children and the vulnerable need to have their DBS updated, as checks need to made every 3 years. This would include catechists working with children, altar servers over the age of 18, Four-12 members over the age of 18 and Eucharistic Ministers taking Holy Communion to the housebound who are not part of their own family. Many of these activities are suspended because of COVID restrictions but now is the time to get the DBS sorted so we are ready when full parish life resumes. If you are in one of these groups or have become a volunteer recently, please contact our new Parish Safeguarding Representative Macdara Conneely by email on email@example.com who will guide you on what needs to be done. Thank you.
This week’s Saint
Monday 1st March—St David, Patron Saint of Wales.