Fr Chris Cousens—Phone: 853340
Rev Bernard Ward (Deacon) (Tel: 858346)
Enquiries for St John Southworth: Phone: 853340
30 May 2021
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : Trinity Sunday
Contents: Gospel Reflection
Reflections for the coming week
The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’
Gospel Reflection : God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit – But……
A three-part shamrock leaf, a three-barred electric fire, might help, but it is still difficult to grasp our Christian belief that we have three persons in one God. In its simplest form, the Trinity expresses our one God revealed to us in three connected but different ways.
It might always seem an easy way out from the mystery, but in our daily lives many of us find that the most profound way in which God’s nature is shown to us is in Jesus – Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter turned itinerant preacher, who slept, ate, enjoyed company, but who got tired, knew fear and pain and understood failure.
This fully human being was, in a way that is difficult to explain in human terms, also God. In him we see what God is like, expressed through words, tears, healing hands, and dusty, travel-worn feet. Never before had God’s qualities of tenderness and compassion, patience and kindness, been so clearly seen.
Having seen the life of Jesus through the Gospels we can understand more of God, and by believing, and putting our trust in Him instead of just ourselves, we can be saved – set free of so many things that weigh us down. We can also turn a blind-eye to God’s offer, and reject it and all the hope it contains. The choice is ours. But remember – if we choose to see what Jesus means for us, we might then also appreciate the Father who sent Him, and the Holy Spirit whose power for love helps us respond with love, and love others too, because God is present in all of His creation which includes our world and everyone we meet.
We Remember In Our Prayers Ann Walker whose Funeral was last week, and John Joyce whose Funeral Service is at St. Teresa’s on Monday, 14th June. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
Information Received Through Our Own National And Diocesan Church Authorities, Regarding Some Covid Regulations Affecting Both Our Churches :
The use of face coverings, hand washing and social distancing remain legal requirements.
Track and Trace remains in place, though on weekdays those visiting church can take personal responsibility for signing-in.
There is no change at the present time regarding congregational singing, Communion under both kinds, the sign of peace and the use of Holy Water stoups. These are still not allowed.
There is some flexibility in the assessment of the safe capacity of a church, with the possibility to drop to 1metre distancing. However, this depends on several mitigating circumstances, including good ventilation, an evaluation of the virus prevalence in the local area, local percentage of the population vaccinated, and any covid-19 variants of concern in the local area.
Baptisms can take place with up to 30 persons present.
Weddings can take place with up to 30 persons present. (The 30 includes the couple, but not anyone ‘working’ at the event.)
Funerals – Mourners can attend up to the church’s safe capacity. The 30 person rule is dropped. However, the safe number for Funerals may have to be lower than the safe number for Sundays.This is because those regularly attending Sunday Mass are well-familiar with the covid-security rules and lay-out of the church. Mourners are also likely to be greeting one another both inside and outside, especially if they have not seen each other for a long time.
News Concerning the Covid Virus Situation in Our Area, – through Fr. Andrew Dawson, the Catholic Chaplain at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who has been working so hard for us these past fourteen months.
The message around community transmission is that, although most of it is amongst the young – including school children, there is some of the new (‘Indian’) variant in the local community. The good news is that the vaccines do seem to be effective against these new variants. Consequently, anyone who is eligible for a vaccination (including those older people who have not yet been vaccinated) are encouraged to come forward – you have not missed your opportunity to be vaccinated even if the minimum age bracket has moved to a younger age band.
The Winter Gardens is winding down as a vaccination hub, and much of that work is transferring to the Victoria Hospital Site. All people aged 30 or over, plus those who are eligible by virtue of being:
- In the current government age cohort (currently 30+)
- Aged 18 and over with any underlying health conditions
- Aged 18 and over AND living, caring or working with anyone with underlying health conditions
- Health and social care staff
- Any carers – paid or unpaid
can request a vaccination by going on line here: link (Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria Website). Alternatively, some primary care settings are offering the vaccination.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals currently have one patient within 14 days of their first positive test, but none in Critical Care. Two days ago that figure was three, so although the numbers themselves remain low, (and the number of deaths remain unchanged) this hides a slightly larger number of individuals still being affected.
The other key message is that the demands on the NHS have increased substantially since the third step of the lockdown on 17 May, and the A&E department here (as elsewhere) is under significant pressure. Consequently, not everyone is getting good care and some people are experiencing significant waits. This is expected to be significantly worse over the Bank Holiday Weekend. People are being asked to use A&E for life threatening illnesses only, and to seek care elsewhere (NHS111, G.P., Pharmacy, etc), which, in the current circumstances may well be quicker.
The Mass Times At Our Two Churches Will Remain The Same Until The Next Government Review In June
Sundays : St. Teresa’s : Saturday Vigil Mass 6.30 pm, Sunday 9.00 am and 10.30am (live streamed)
St. John Southworth : 5 pm
Weekdays : St. Teresa’s : Mondays and Fridays 9.30 am
St. John Southworth : Wednesdays 9.30 am
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Thomas Merton)
The Lord made his world not in order to judge it, not in order merely to dominate it, to make it obey the dictates of an inscrutable and all-powerful will, not in order to find pleasure or displeasure in the way it worked. The Lord made the world and humans in order that he himself might descend into the world, that he himself might become man. The world was not made as a prison for fallen spirits who were rejected by God. The world was made as a temple, a paradise, into which God himself would descend to dwell familiarly with the spirits he had placed there to tend it for him.
Scripture (1John 4:14-19)
We ourselves have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as Saviour of the world. Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. Love comes to its perfection in us when we can face the Day of Judgement fearlessly, because even in this world we have become as he is. In love there is no room for fear, because fear implies punishment and whoever is afraid has not come to perfection in love.
Tuesday (Julian of Norwich)
We are enfolded in the Father, and we are enfolded in the Son, and we are enfolded in the Holy Spirit. And the Father is enfolded in us, and the Son is enfolded in us, and the Holy Spirit is enfolded in us. Our soul rests in God its true peace; our soul stands in God its true strength, and is deep-rooted in God for endless love. And if we in our blindness and weakness should at any time fall, we should quickly rise and go at once to God in love; not on the one hand crawling abjectly as if we were in despair, nor, on the other, bein over-bold as if we thought it did not matter.
Scripture (Exodus 34:4-6,8-9)
Moses went up Mount Sinai in the early morning as Yahweh had ordered. And Yahweh descended in a cloud and stood with him there and pronounced the name Yahweh. Then Yahweh passed before him and called out, ‘Yahweh, Yahweh, God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and constancy.’ Moses immediately bowed to the ground in worship, then he said, ‘If indeed I do enjoy your favour, please, my Lord, come with us, although they are an obstinate people; and forgive our faults and sins, and adopt us as your heritage.
Wednesday (St. Athanasius)
The Trinity is endowed with the complete power of creating and energising. The gifts which the Spirit distributes to individuals are given by the Father through the Word. For all things that belong to the Father likewise belong to the Son: so that those things that are given by the Son in the Spirit are true gifts of the Father. Similarly, when the Spirit is in us, the Word by whom we receive him is also in us, and in the Word is also the Father, and this is the meaning of the text, ‘We (that is the Father and I) will come to you and make our home in you.’
Scripture (2 Cor. 3:12-18)
Moses put a veil over his face so that the Israelites should not watch the end of what is transitory. But their minds were closed; indeed, until this very day, the same veil remains over the reading of the Old Testament: it is not lifted for only in Christ is it done away with. As it is, to this day, whenever Moses is read their hearts are covered with a veil, and this veil will not be taken away until they turn to the Lord. Now this Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with our unveiled faces like mirrors reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the image that we reflect with brighter and brighter glory; this is the working of the Lord who is the Spirit.
Thursday (St. Thomas Aquinas)
The meaning of possessing something is that it is in our power to use it and enjoy it at will. To have the power to rest joyfully in a divine person is ours by reason of grace alone. Still, as grace is given the Holy Spirit is possessed and dwells in a person and so it is he himself who is given and sent. Admittedly, effect of grace is also from the Father, who abides in us through grace even as do the Son and the Holy Spirit. The entire Trinity abides in the soul by reason of sanctifying grace.
Scripture (Ephesians 2:17-22)
He came to bring peace to you who are far off and peace to those who are near. Through him, then, we both in the one Spirit have free access to the Father. So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; you are fellow-citizens with the Holy people of God and part of God’s household. You are built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone. Every structure knit together in him grows into a holy temple in the Lord; and you, too, in him, are being built up into a dwelling-place of God in the Spirit.
Friday (St. John of the Cross)
It should not be held as incredible in a soul that the promise of the Son of God be fulfilled, the promise that the most Blessed Trinity will come and dwell in anyone who loves him. The Blessed Trinity inhabits the soul by divinely illumining its intellect with the wisdom of the Son, delighting its will in the Holy Spirit, and absorbing it powerfully and mightily in the
unfathomable embrace of the Father’s sweetness.
Scripture (Jn. 14:10-11,23,25-26)
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works. You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; anyone who loves me will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we shall love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him. I have said these things while still with you, but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything.