28 March 2021
Sunday : Palm/Passion Sunday
Contents: The Gospel Reflection
Notices (Including details of our churches’ reopening)
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel Reflection : Wholly Weak?
Like other creatures with whom we share this planet, we humans have an instinct for self-survival, which can lead us to display a strength and dominance over others which can be so inappropriate, and so often harmful. But, unlike other creatures, we also have a distinctive need for some common purpose in life, even to be of service to others.
For Christians, Holy Week recalls and celebrates specific events which radically altered the course of our human history. We believe God entered our time and world, in an unprecedented way, in Jesus. He gave us Jesus’ teachings and particular way of living as a model for our living. But living his way is sometimes not only a challenge but an affront to the way of living we may have grown used to.
On Palm Sunday we are encouraged to proclaim our praise to the Lord of life and not just to ourselves – to Jesus as the centre and meaning of our lives, and not just to our own interests or comforts. Strangely, we grow by serving something greater than ourselves. Our life expands in proportion to our becoming part of a life bigger than our own.
Perhaps the key to unlock the mystery of life, and of the Cross, is the fact that it is in our weakness and our woundedness, not in our power and strength, that we find our God. This Holy Week is for those who feel wholly weak too!
We Remember In Our Prayers Joan Ashworth, whose Funeral was last week, George Cole whose Funeral Service is at St. Teresa’s on Thursday, 8th April, and three people who have sadly died very recently, and whose Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalised – Peter McQuillan, Ged Harring and Peter Cardew. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
Parish Planned Giving/ Gift Aid Envelopes : As the old ones now run out, boxes of envelopes for the coming new tax year will be available after Masses at both our churches this weekend (27th/28th March) and next weekend (Easter). Thank you to the many people who use these envelopes each year including, very generously, during the times we have had to close this past year. Please will anyone who is paying tax but is not already using our ‘Gift Aid’ envelopes seriously consider it. The scheme really makes a difference to the incomes of our parishes. Steve will be at the back of church at St. Teresa’s, and Jane at St. John Southworth to help you, and to give out the new boxes of envelopes.
In Our Careful Journey Back To Some Normality, From Next Weekend (3rd/4th April) The Times Of Masses For Sundays And Weekdays Are As Follows :
Sundays : St. Teresa’s : Saturday Vigil Mass 6.30 pm, Sunday 9.00 am and 10.30am
St. John Southworth : 5 pm
Weekdays : St. Teresa’s : Mondays and Fridays 9.30 am
St. John Southworth : Wednesdays 9.30 am
Please Note : The Time Of The Weekly Live-Streamed Sunday Mass From St. Teresa’s Is Now 10.30 am
The Times Of This Week’s ‘Holy Week’ and Easter Services, and The Arrangements To Attend Them, Are In The Following (Repeated Notice)
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: email@example.com
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
Monday (Fr. Austin Smith, CP)
The suffering and dying of God is regarded as essential to reach the resurrection, to which we can’t get quickly enough. But this underpins not a theology of the resurrection but a superficial ideology of hope. Before outlining vast theologies of redemption, indeed before talking about the wonder of the Resurrection we should contemplate the absurdity of the death of Jesus. An open contemplation of the death of Jesus, leading to a mystical union with God, leads us to examine the depth of our assimilation of, and relationship to, the values of Jesus. It often seems that it is only at the death of someone that we come to understand, in any depth, our relationship with them.
Scripture (Psalm 42)
I thirst for God, the living God; when shall I go to see the face of God? I have no food but tears, day and night, as all day long I am taunted ‘Where is your God?’ I shall say to God ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go around in mourning, harassed by the enemy?’ Hope in God! I will praise him still, my Saviour, my God. Send out your light and your truth, they shall be my guide, to lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.
Tuesday (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
When Jesus calls his disciples to follow him, it is closely associated with the prediction of his passion. He must suffer and be rejected. Had he only suffered, Jesus might still have been applauded as the Messiah. All the sympathy and admiration of the world might have been focused on his passion. It could have been viewed as a tragedy with its own intrinsic value, dignity and honour. But in the passion, Jesus is a rejected Messiah. His rejection robs the passion of its halo of glory. Suffering and rejection sum up the whole cross of Jesus. This notion has ceased to be intelligible to a Christianity which can no longer see any difference between an ordinary human life and a life committed to Christ.
Scripture (Mt. 27:39-44)
The passers-by jeered at him: “So you would destroy the Temple and in three days rebuild it! Then save yourself if you are God’s son and come down from the cross!” The chief priests and the scribes and elders mocked him in the same way “He saved others but he cannot save himself. Let him come down from the cross and we will believe in him. He has put his trust in God; now let God rescue him if he wants him” Even the bandits who were with him taunted him in the same way.
Wednesday (Martin Luther)
‘Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours. Thus Abraham went forth from his father not knowing where he was going. He trusted himself to my knowledge and cared not for his own, and came to his journey’s end. Behold, that is the way of the cross. The road which is clean contrary to all that you choose or desire—that is the road you must take. To that I call you and in that you must be my disciple.’
Scripture (Ps. 22 )
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. The words of my groaning do nothing to save me. My God, I call you by day but you do not answer, at night, but I find no respite. Yet you, the Holy One, in you our ancestors out their trust, they trusted you and you set them free. But I am a worm, not a man, scorn of mankind, contempt of the people; all who see me sneer and wag their heads, ‘He trusted himself to Yahweh, let Yahweh set him free!’ Do not hold aloof, for trouble is upon me, and no one to help me.
Thursday (Henri Nouwen)
“Can you drink the cup I shall drink?” pierced my heart like a sharp spear. I knew that taking this moment seriously would radically change our lives. It is the question that has the power to crack open a hardened heart and lay bare the tendons of the spiritual life. But why should we drink this cup? There is so much pain, so much anguish, so much violence. Wouldn’t it be easier to live normal lives with a minimum of pain and a maximum of pleasure? “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” Just letting that question sink in made me feel very uncomfortable. But I knew that I had to start living with it.
Scripture (Mark 10:35-39)
James and John said to Jesus, “We want you to do us a favour. Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left hand in glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I shall drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I will be baptised?”
They replied, “We can.”
Friday (Fr. Richard Rohr.)
The supreme irony of the whole crucifixion scene is this: He who was everything had everything taken away from him. Jesus was nailed to the cross, his arms nailed open. He is the eternal sign of God to humans, yet his arms were nailed open because he said in his life “I love you”. When you say this, you give the other power over you: power to destroy you and power to create you. Jesus spoke these words to his creation and we took him at his word. But God says “I love you anyway!” That is God’s great act of reconciliation. What hope!
Scripture (Hebrews 4:15-16, 5:7-9)
The high priest we have is not incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us, but has been put to the test in exactly the same way as ourselves, apart from sin. Let us, then, have no fear in approaching the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace when we are in need of help. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence, he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings; when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.