Takehomenews 7 March 2021
Fr Colin writes:
Next weekend the boxes of new planned giving envelopes will be available. As in previous years we are not allowed to put them out in the church because of Data Protection. They will be available in the presbytery lobby. This year there is the added rule of social distancing. So please try to keep the distance when collecting your envelopes. Last year the first lockdown more or less coincided with the week envelopes were due to be collected. Although some were collected later, I did deliver envelopes while it was permissible to do so. Even so there were 50 sets of envelopes for 2020/21 which were never collected. We have assumed that these people would wish to have envelopes for 2021/22. So please check whether we have a set for you. If there is not a set available for you please fill out a request form and we will have a set available for you on the following weekend. Next weekend we will be speaking at the end of Mass about the financial situation in the parish and how we can help in these difficult times.
I have contacted the diocese to find out when we might be able to start classes for the First Communion programme. The answer given was not before the 12th April. So, we will be drawing up a schedule with the intention of starting soon after that date, but the actual First Communions would not be until nearer Christmas time. This would mean that the 2022 programme would not start until January 2022 instead of September 2021. However, we would be catching up.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of ELIZABETH SABIN-QUARM (Teresa) whose funeral 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. There will be a Mass at 9am for St Joseph’s Day. As Friday 19th March is a solemnity, there is no need to abstain from meat that day.
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.
3rd Sunday of Lent
Fr David writes:
His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will devour me.” (Ps 69.9) These words and those that proceed them from the lips of Jesus found in St. John’s Gospel are quite a pivotal moment for the disciples and for us. The kind and gentle preacher in the country comes to the great Temple at Jerusalem and is driven to a holy zeal. It causes us to remember Jesus in a particular way.
But what is it they remember? Let us examine the actions and words of Jesus. The actions: Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover - the most important religious feast for the people of Israel. The Law of Moses required every Israelite male to “appear before the Lord God” (Ex 34:23; Deut 16:16) - which is why the temple was extremely busy. In making this journey, Jesus is publicly showing his observance of the Law of God, even though He is the Son of God. The Temple at Jerusalem was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept at God’s command. It was the physical sign of the Law of God as it contained the tablets of stone upon which the Law of God was written. This moral code for the Israelites, which we find in the first reading (Exodus 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17), is held with such high importance that it was always kept close to the people and is why the Israelites were required to go to Jerusalem each and every Passover feast and present themselves to the Lord with a sacrifice. Hence, why there were a lot of people in the temple courtyards and vendors to supply their sacrificial needs – especially for those who had travelled long distances. To keep the Temple clean of the Roman coin there was a separate temple currency without the head of Cesar on it. But with all vending, this was open to abuse and greed. Not to mention the noise, shouting, bellowing, and even manure from the animals. It had become a secular market inside the Temple courtyards.
Jesus, in a peak of holy righteous Zeal, turns the tables over and makes such a scene attracting the attention of all around. The noise stops and everyone is looking at him. “Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.” Jesus wants to instil in the people present a respect for the place they are in. We, here, today maintain a reverence when we are in church - or at least we should. Here we celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice - where Jesus Christ, God and Man, is made really and truly present, reserved in the tabernacle. The way we dress, with our ‘Sunday Best’, the liturgical cloths that we wear and use on the Altar, liturgical gestures and postures, genuflections and reverence to the tabernacle etc. are all expressions of the respect due to the Lord in his temple.
Jesus, is the new temple, because he is the incarnation of God. The Temple of Jerusalem was just an imperfect anticipation of God’s presence amongst the people of the World. The Word of God became man and is the full presence of God here on earth and therefore, the true temple of God. When asked for a sign to justify his actions - Jesus, foretells of his death, and resurrection - calling his own body the sanctuary of the Lord.
This moment then, for Jesus, was pivotal in teaching his disciples, and you and me, about who he really is. For when Jesus had risen from dead, the disciples remembered what he had said and they believed the scripture and the words.
It is important for us to remember, because, by remembering the words and actions of Jesus, our faith is kept alive and well. The moment we leave our faith at the door, is the moment we turn our back on God. God knows our thoughts and our actions - for he can tell what any of us have in our hearts. So come back to him with all your heart and mind and body. Respect the Lord always, but especially in his house with your words and with your actions. Let his Zeal devour you to respect his presence. Amen.
The Parish Finance Committee will meet by Zoom on Thursday at 7.30pm.
New Altar Cloths
We thank the parishioner who has donated 2 altar cloths for our main altar, one for Lent and the other for Eastertide. If there is any other parishioner who has ideas of improving what we have, please let us know. Thank you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org who will guide you on what needs to be done. Thank you.
THE KANYIKE PROJECT
Good news, two hand washing facilities and a supply of liquid soap now enable Health Centre staff, patients and visitors to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. Bad news, the value of main crops has fallen. It takes time to grow, harvest and wash ginger ready for sale; but a farmer now gets less than a third of the price he expected: 60,000 instead of 200,000. For more information please visit.www.kanyikeproject.org.uk