21 March 2021
Sunday : Fifth Sunday of Lent
Contents: The Gospel Reflection
Notices (Including details of our churches’ reopening)
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel: John 12:20-30
Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them:
‘Now the hour has come
For the Son of Man to be glorified
I tell you, most solemnly,
Unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
It remains only a single grain;
But if it dies,
It yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
Anyone who hates his life in this world
Will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me,
Wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
Now my soul is troubled.
What shall I say;
Father, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify your name!’
A voice came from Heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’
People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder, others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.
‘Now sentence is being passed on this world;
Now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
Now sentence is being passed on this world;
I shall draw all men to myself.’
By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.
Gospel Reflection : Twenty-Five Years On – Reminiscences Of Death And Life
On the 13th March this year we remembered the twenty-fifth anniversary of the most tragic event which took place in the Primary School in Dunblane, Scotland. The facts are so terrible that they are really impossible to comprehend – when a man took his gun into the school, shot sixteen pupils and a teacher dead, and injured fifteen others, before turning the gun on himself.
In the last two weeks there have been several documentaries about the situation, and its aftermath. The grief was so hard to see and hear. But in one of those programmes made at the time, a grieving parent spoke in an amazing way – “Some say that God brings death. How could God bring about death? God didn’t want these little ones to die! Not my God anyway. Death is the opposite to everything God is. Death is evil.”
And just when the darkness becomes overwhelming again at times in our own day, and in the Gospel the tension mounts as Jesus moves closer to his own death, we have images of resurrection, of life. God gives life. God is stronger than death. Death is powerful, very powerful, and it thinks it will have the last word. But God – Life – is stronger
Let us hold on to Life, to God, even when we have to let go; and when we have to die to ourselves to put others first. Perhaps then we will grow stronger, despite our remaining grief.
We Remember In Our Prayers Tommy McShane whose Funeral was last week, Joan Ashworth whose Funeral is at St. Teresa’s this Monday, 22nd March, and George Cole whose Funeral is at St. Teresa’s on Thursday, 8th April. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
Please Note Some Important Facts
• Both our Churches, St. Teresa’s and St. John Southworth, are open again for Mass next weekend, and all the Holy Week Services are at St. Teresa’s, because they will be live-streamed from there.
• From next weekend (28th March) the live-streamed Sunday Mass will be at 10.30 am each week.
• Next weekend the clocks go forward one hour!!!
• At St. Teresa’s for Holy Week and Easter you have to use the booking system to attend church. At St. John Southworth we will use the usual track and trace system as you arrive for Mass each Sunday at 5 pm.
• Please read all the following instructions about attending church, which our Deacon Bernard, and Sue, have devised for us, as they successfully did last Christmas.
PALM SUNDAY/HOLY WEEK MASS BOOKINGS
MASS TIMES at St. Teresa’s only: Mass times will be as follows:
Palm Sunday 28th March…..(Sat.) 6.30pm and (Sun.) 9.00am, and 10.30am (This Mass is live streamed)
NO DAILY MORNING MASS during Holy Week just the following Mass times and Services.
Maundy Thursday 1st April…….6.30pm (live streamed)
Good Friday 2nd April……11.00am Stations of the Cross (live streamed), and 3.00pm The Celebration of Our Lord’s Passion (live streamed)
Easter Vigil 3rd April……(Sat.) 6.30pm (live streamed)
Easter Sunday 4th April……9.00am, and 10.30am (This Mass is live streamed)
Sadly, again due to Covid 19 and Government restrictions, a booking system needs to be implemented, exactly the same as we had successfully over the Christmas period. This is due to the fact that sections of the church are cordoned off in order to maintain social distancing. As we anticipate a higher demand in attendance over the two week-ends, seats in church will be limited to booked seats ONLY.
Please, Please, follow the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ in order to keep everyone safe.
DO email, phone or text Deacon Bernard/Sue on: firstname.lastname@example.org
01253 858346, 07515347256, 07889532158 ONLY to book your seats. Firm bookings only please.
DO give the following information:
Your contact number
No. of people attending (in your bubble)
Your chosen Mass/Service time (see above)
DO…….If after booking has been confirmed and your arrangements change, then please notify us so
we can reuse your allocation for others.
DON’T……. turn up at church without a booking. We do not wish to embarrass or disappoint by
refusing you entry for that Mass.
We will endeavour to accommodate as many people as possible but we need your cooperation for planning. Please ensure your arrangements are with us in good time. Last day for booking Thursday 25th March for Palm Sunday and Monday 28th March for all other Masses and Services in Holy Week.
To join the live streamed Masses go to the web-site address: – st-teresas-cleveleys.co.uk and click on ‘Live Streaming’. As from Palm Sunday (28th March) the weekly live streamed Sunday Mass is at 10.30am NOT 10.00am.
Daily Reflections for this week
In the Christian story God descends to re-ascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity. But he goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. One may think of a diver, first reducing himself to nakedness then rushing down through the green and warm water into black and cold water into the death-like region of ooze and slime and old
decay; then up again , back to colour and light till suddenly he breaks surface again, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing that he went down to recover. He and it are both coloured now that they have come up into the light: down below he lost his colour too.
Scripture (Psalm 138)
I thank you for your faithfulness and love which excel all we ever knew of you. On the day you called, I answered; you increased the strength of my soul. The Lord is high yet he looks on the lowly, and the haughty he knows from afar. You stretch out your hand and save me, your hand will do all things for me. Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands.
Tuesday (Henri Nouwen)
For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the scriptures. Now I wonder whether I sufficiently realised during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, to love me. God isn’t the patriarch who stays at home, doesn’t move and expects his children to come to him, apologise for their aberrant behaviour, beg for forgiveness and promise to do better. On the contrary, he leaves the house, ignoring his dignity by running towards them and brings them to the table richly prepared for them.
Scripture (Jeremiah 31:3, 33-34)
See, the days are coming—it is Yahweh who speaks—when I will make a new covenant with Israel. This is the covenant I will make when those days arrive: deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they will be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother “Learn to know Yahweh!” No! They will all know me, the least no less than the greatest—it is Yahweh who speaks—since I will forgive their
iniquity and never call their sin to mind.
Wednesday (Peter Abelard)
And so our redemption is that supreme love manifested in our case by the passion of Christ, which not only delivers us from the bondage of sin, but also acquires for us the liberty of the children of God; so that we may fulfil all things from the love rather than from the fear of him, who, as he himself bears witness, showed us grace so great that no greater can be found,. No man, says he, has greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Scripture (John 12: 21-24, 27-32)
When Jesus heard that some Greeks would like to see him he said “Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you most solemnly, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest. Now my soul is troubled. What should I say: Father save me from this hour? But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name! “ A voice came from heaven “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” Jesus said “It was not for my sake but for yours that this voice came. Now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world is to be overthrown. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.”
Thursday (Eucharistic prayer, preface 1)
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. Through his cross and resurrection he freed us from sin and death and called us to the glory that has made us a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart. Everywhere we proclaim your mighty works for you have called us out of darkness into your own wonderful light.
Scripture (Isaiah 54:4-5)
Do not be afraid, you will not be put to shame, do not be dismayed, you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth and no longer remember the curse of your widowhood. For now your creator will be your husband, his name Yahweh Sabaoth; your redeemer will be the Holy One of Israel, he is called the God of the whole earth. Yes, like a forsaken wife, distressed in spirit, Yahweh calls you back.
Friday (1st Epistle of Clement)
Through Christ, we see God’s face as in a mirror, spotless, exalted. Through Christ the eyes of our heart have been opened. Through Christ our dim and clouded understanding unfolds like a flower towards the light. Through Christ, the Lord of the Universe willed that we should taste knowledge of eternity. For he is the very brilliance of the rays that shine from God’s majesty.
Scripture (Hebrews 5:7-9)
During his life on earth, Christ offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learned to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.