Parish Newsletter 14th February 2021

Sunday : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Contents:  The Gospel Reflection

Notices  (Including details of Live-Streamed Mass)

Reflections for the coming week

Gospel: Mark 1:40-45

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees ‘If you want to’ he said, ‘you can cure me.’  Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him.  ‘Of course I want to!’ he said.  ‘Be cured!’  And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured.  Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your healing, prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’  The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived.  Even so, people from all around would come to him.

Gospel Reflection: : A People of Hope

From the very beginning of our existence, from our first baby cries and wrinkled faces, we struggle to make sense of who we are and what we are, and of the strange new furniture of our lives  – of sounds and smells, of warmth and cold, of light and shadow, of hands and faces. We struggle to put together the bits and pieces of our experience into some kind of understandable order. Perhaps when we do so, we can then live with less fear, especially in the midst of forces which can seem to threaten and overwhelm us.

Sometimes, without asking, we want to know from each other : “How do you cope, because at least you seem to?”; and from those who have gone before us : “What can we learn from your experience?”

However much we might like to be left alone at times, none of us want to be foreigners in our own land, strangers to where life is leading us. To be human is to live in a world of meaning. To live without meaning is to be a stranger in the midst of our own human lives.

As in the Gospel today, may the Lord stretch out his hand and bless us, and bring us that healing and wholeness we need to cope with our own situation right now. 

Notices

The Live-Streamed Sunday Mass from St. Teresa’s is at 10 am during lockdown. Go to this website address, which you are on now, st-teresas-cleveleys.co.ukand click on ‘Live Streaming’..

A Prayer That We Can All Say Together At The Time Of Communion At A LIve-Streamed Mass :

My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament.

I love you above all things,

and I long for you to be with me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

come spiritually into my heart.

I embrace you,

and unite myself to you.

Never permit me to be separated from you.

Amen

We Remember In Our Prayers Rita Cullen whose Funeral Mass is at St. Teresa’s on Thursday,18th February, Betty Walsh whose Funeral is at Carleton Crematorium on Monday 22nd February, and Anita Aisbitt whose Funeral is also at Carleton Crematorium,  on Friday, 26th February. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time.  May they rest in God’s peace

The Season of Lent Begins This Wednesday, 17th February  Last year our normal celebration of Lent was interrupted after it had begun, because of the first Lockdown caused by  the Covid Virus. This year it is being affected right from the beginning. It is still not safe to gather in church for those extra Lenten occasions we might normally have.. However, at the heart of these seven weeks before Easter is an opportunity for each of us to organise a “spring-time renewal” of our own lives – by doing something extra in our prayer, by giving up something (fasting), and by being generous in our charity for others (almsgiving).. The annual Family Fast Day, organised by CAFOD. brings all three of those elements together. This year the Family Fast Day is on Friday, 26th February, when we are asked to eat simply, and donate what we save, or can manage to give, to CAFOD, who will distribute our gifts to those who have real difficulty in finding any food or water at all.

CAFOD has given us Abdella’s story this year. Abdella leaves his home in Ethiopia early in the morning, before it is fully light, to walk and collect water for his family. It is too hot to make the journey any later. By eight in the morning it is already over 40 degrees. He walks along a dried-out river bed, then climbs into the mountains. He goes down into a valley, then climbs another mountain, until he reaches the water. There he fills his jerry cans, taking them back down one at a time to where his donkeys are waiting, before he begins the long walk home.

Abdella says, “I don’t have any more words to express how hard this is. I’m so tired, I’m struggling to give you words. The journey for water is so long.” Without water he cannot make plans for his future.

This Lent let us walk alongside Abdella, and the millions of other people like him who do not have access to safe drinking water. Let us do what we can to make a difference, to bring relief in these desert places, so that people do not have to spend all their time walking to collect water, and can instead concentrate on making their hopes a reality.

Please go to cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Family-Fast-Day which includes a Lent Calendar and prayer card, the ‘Walk for Water’ scheme where we can be involved with and for Abdella next weekend, and ways of donating. For those who prefer to hand in their donation to CAFOD in an envelope, you can always do so through the presbytery letter box. As always Sue Ward will be collating the donations, as our parish CAFOD representative.

Please note :  The CAFOD Lent Calendar 2021 gives us the good opportunity to reflect and pray each day of Lent. It can also be found at cafod.org.uk/Pray/Lent Calendar, where you will also be given the opportunity to download a Lent Calendar for Children, and a Lent Calendar for Young People.

Daily Reflections for this week

Monday (Cardinal Basil Hume)

In searching for meaning and purpose in life, we are trying to catch glimpses of the glory of God. In a great Cathedral like Westminster, it is right that we should use all that is fine and magnificent to give honour and glory to God. But I remember a prison chaplain celebrating mass in a shapeless room made clean and tidy for the occasion. It is no place of beauty and the congregation is composed of the wounded ones of our society; their musical talents minimal, their clothing drab and dull. But God is smiling on them as he does on the congregation of the Cathedral. They, too, are pleasing to God.

Scripture (Isaiah 57:14-15)

Then it will be said “Level up, level up, clear the way, remove the obstacle from my people’s way,” for thus says the High and Exalted One who lives eternally and whose name is holy ‘I live in the holy heights but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the heart of the contrite.’

Tuesday (John Henry Newman)

When God took flesh and appeared on earth, he showed us the Godhead in a new manifestation. He invested himself with a new set of attributes, those of our flesh, taking into him a human’s soul and body, in order that thoughts, feelings, affections, might be his which could respond to ours. When, then, our Saviour weeps with sympathy, let us not say it is love of a man overcome by natural feeling. It is the love of God, the bowels of compassion, of the almighty and eternal, condescending to show us we are capable of receiving it, in the form of human nature.

Scripture (Mk. 1:40-45)

A man suffering from a virulent skin disease came to him and pleaded on his knees saying “If you want to, you can cleanse me.” Feeling sorry for him, Jesus reached out his hand, touched him and said to him “I am willing. Be cleansed.” And at once the skin disease left him and he was cleansed. The man went away and started talking about it freely, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

Wednesday (Henri Nouwen)

The Lord, whose compassion we want to manifest in time and place, is indeed the displaced Lord. A greater displacement cannot be conceived. The mystery of the incarnation is that God did not remain in the place that was proper for him but moved to the condition of a suffering human being. God gave up his heavenly place and took a humble place among mortal men and women. God displaced himself so that nothing human would be alien to him and he could experience fully the brokenness of our human condition.

Scripture (Philippians 2:5-8)

Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.

Thursday (Pope Francis: Evangelii Gaudium)

The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. The Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.

I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us “Give them something to eat”

Scripture (Romans 3:21-24)

God’s saving justice was witnessed by the Law and the

Prophets, but now it has been revealed altogether apart from law: God’s saving justice given through faith in Christ Jesus to all who believe. No distinction is made: all have sinned and lack God’s glory, and all are justified  by the free gift of his grace through being set free in Christ Jesus.

Friday (Thomas Merton)

He “in whom all things consist” was not only to walk with man in the breeze of the afternoon, as he did with Adam, but would also become man and dwell with us as a brother. The Lord would not only love his creation as a Father, but he would enter into his creation, emptying himself, hiding himself, as if he were not God but a creature. Why should he do this? Because he loved his creatures, and he could not bear that his creatures should merely adore him as distant, remote, transcendent and all-powerful. This was not the glory that he sought.

Scripture (Hebrews 2:16-17)

For it was not angels that he took to himself; he took to himself the line of Abraham. It was essential that he should in this way be made completely like his brothers so that he could become a compassionate and trustworthy high priest for their relationship with God, able to expiate the sins of the people.

Martin Bennett

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