Takehomenews 31 January 2021
Fr Colin writes:
We have now completed the 2020 Confirmations, spread over 7 Masses over the last two weekends. We are very grateful to the catechists and congratulate the newly Confirmed now in their 11th school year and thank them for their patience in the current situation.
We are also asking for patience from the families who have applied for this year’s Confirmation and First Holy Communions. We don’t know yet whether the Bishop will be able to minister the Confirmations or when they will be. Catechists will be getting in touch with the candidates in due course with the possibility of arranging an on-line preparation. However, the First Communion Catechists feel that this method is inappropriate for the younger children, So we ask the First Communion families to be patient and we will be in touch as soon as we can work out the best way to proceed.
On Tuesday we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas Day. On this day, we recall how Jesus 40 days after his birth was brought to the Temple by his parents and presented to the Lord. The words of Simeon indicating that Jesus would be a light to all nations inspired this day to be remembered with the lighting of candles. Although we will be unable to have a procession this year, we will remain in our places holding lighted candles which will be blessed from a distance. This will take place at the 9.am Mass.
On Wednesday we commemorate St. Blaise. At the end of the 9.00 Mass, there will be the Blessing of Throats from a distance and not individually.
Racial Justice Sunday
Today is Racial Justice Sunday, a day to pray for and support the efforts to bring about racial justice. There will be a second collection to assist with these efforts.
We pray, Lord Jesus Christ,
in your ministry you were approached by people
of many different nations and cultures.
You listened to their cry for help,
treated them with love and compassion,
and brought them healing and wholeness.
In our own time may we provide
to all those who suffer
the help that they need
and the care that they require.
May we respond to the invitation of the Holy Spirit
to dream of a world made new
where the poor are not forgotten
but are given the opportunity to live and flourish
with good health and equal prospects.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.
4th Sunday of Year B
In these early days of Jesus’ ministry which we are reflecting on in our current Gospel readings, it is heartening to read of the reactions of the people to what Jesus was doing. Words like amazement and astonishment keep cropping up. Indeed, they were spectacular moments. The way that the man with the unclean spirit was cured was quite dramatic. The man was thrown into convulsions and made a loud cry. This would have stuck in the mind of those who were witnessing it for some time. It would have left the people with plenty to think about and consequently, we read that Jesus’ reputation rapidly spread everywhere.
But this is not all that the people were amazed about. It was the teaching of Jesus that made them realise that they had entered a new age. Much of the content of Jesus’ teaching would have been new to the hearer. But it was not only that. What made the difference was that Jesus taught with authority. Jesus speaks with prophetic authority in a manner very different from the traditionalism of the scribes. The spirit of the gospel stands out firmly against the spirit of legalism. Even if the scribes were using teachings from the scripture, Jesus was interpreting the scriptures in a new way. In fact, Jesus was fulfilling the scriptures. But when someone speaks with authority it indicates that they must have received that authority from someone. So all this is pointing to the Father who gave the Son authority. This is where some had difficulty. When Jesus explained that he and the Father were one and that He was the Son of God, many could not accept this. They would accept things so far but to claim that Jesus was the Son of God was beyond their power of acceptance. On the positive side, many did accept what Jesus said and the authority with which he spoke. It was this that led his reputation to spread and even more became his disciples.
The first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy also deals with authority—how God’s authority is communicated to Israel. This will be done through prophets who God will raise up. A large section of the Hebrew Scriptures is about the accounts of the prophets and their mission to Israel. These prophets are God’s mouthpiece and the people must listen to them or they will be answerable to God. Moses speaks of a prophet ‘like myself’, to emerge in time. Moses’ standing in the history of Israel is unique as indicated right at the end of the Book of Deuteronomy: ‘Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face’. The prophet who would emerge in time was of course Jesus, who would and continues to speak with authority.
On Racial Justice Sunday, as we pray for equality for all God’s people, we are reminded how Jesus mixed with all types of people and brought his message not just to the Jewish people but to all that God has created in his likeness. As followers of Christ, we have a role to play in ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and equally.
Zoom Parish Council Meeting
We will attempt to have a Parish Council Meeting by Zoom at 7.45pm on Thursday.
The Permanent Diaconate
One of our parishioners Anthony Cecile, is now in his second year of preparation for the Permanent Diaconate. If you are considering the calling, there are 3 dates set for men to ‘Come and See’ about the Diaconate: 17 April, nominally at Golders Green; 22 May, nominally at Radlett and 19 Jun, nominally at Vaughan House, all starting at 10am. These might have to be conducted online if necessary. Prior booking is required as it isn't known whether the event venue is open or the session is online via zoom. For further details and booking, phone Deacon Adrian Cullen on 07961 594725 or contact him by email firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s Saints
Wednesday—St Laurence, St Dunstan and St Theodore, Archbishops of Canterbury.
- St Blaise, he is venerated as the patron saint of sufferers from throat diseases and of wool combers and as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. According to tradition, Blaise was of noble birth and, after being educated in the Christian faith, was made bishop of Sebastia.
Friday—St Agatha, is the patron saint of rape victims, breast cancer patients, wet nurses, and bellfounders. She is also considered to be a powerful intercessor when people suffer from fires .
Saturday - St Paul Miki a Japanese Jesuit, and his twenty-five companions were martyred in Nagasaki, Japan. They were the first martyrs of East Asia to be canonized. They were killed simultaneously by being raised on crosses and then stabbed with spears. Their executioners were astounded upon seeing their joy at being associated to the Passion of Christ.
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.
“For all going through difficult pregnancies, we pray for an overwhelming sense of hope and joy to fill their lives, and for increased support to be given by their family, friends, and local communities. Lord hear us”