Parish Bulletin 12th December 2021

St Teresa & St John Southworth Churches, Cleveleys

Fr Chris Cousens—Phone: 853340

Rev Bernard Ward (Deacon) (Tel: 858346) 

Enquiries for St John Southworth: Phone: 853340

12 December 2021


Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433

Sunday  : 3rd Sunday of Advent

Contents:  ​Gospel


Reflections for the coming week

Gospel Luke 3:10-18

When all the people asked John, ‘What must we do?’ he answered ‘If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same,’  There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, ‘Master what must we do?’  He said to them, ‘Exact, no more than your rate.’  Some soldiers asked him in their turn,  ‘What about us?  What must we do?’  He said to them, ‘No intimidation!  No extortion!  Be content with your pay!’

A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap on his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing-fan in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’ As well as this, there were many other things he said to exhort the people and to announce the Good News to them.

Gospel Reflection  :  Gospel Truth/Gospel Relevance

The Gospel reading for this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Today millions live in poverty, die of hunger and have no place to call home, while some of us have more than we could ever need. “What I have belongs to me, and I can do what I like with it” is a widely accepted attitude.

But the fundamental value of the written Gospel and the gospel, the ‘good news’ Jesus came to bring, is solidarity. Solidarity is a radical concept. It means doing everything we can to lift the burdens from the shoulders of those less fortunate than ourselves, at whatever cost to ourselves. It calls us to love, not just those in our family, our friends, or those who are ‘like us‘,  but to have a special love for the poor and those generally neglected.

Love for them is expressed in caring, and sharing what we have. It calls us to recognise that what I have does not in fact belong to us. Everything is a gift, and I am only a steward of the gifts, called to use them responsibly in the light of the needs of others. WE can experience the joy of the rebirth of Jesus in our lives at Christmas in the joy of giving. Perhaps today Jesus would say “Live simply and share generously” or, as CAFOD has said “Live simply so that others may simply live.”

We Remember In Our Prayers  Christine Dempster whose Funeral was last week, Cyril Ireland whose Funeral is at St. John Southworth church on Friday, 17th December at 11 am, and Monica Delaney whose Funeral is at St. Teresa’s on Wednesday, 22nd December 

at 2.30 pm. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.

We Welcome Into The Family Of The Church  Connor Bailey George Brannan whose Baptism takes place this Sunday at St. Teresa’s.

The SVP (The Society of St. Vincent de Paul)  has a special collection at each Mass this weekend. It is a long time since such a collection has been taken in our two Cleveleys churches. As always, whatever you can kindly give will  go to support people in need, whose numbers do increase at this time of year.

STAMPS   With the increased amount of mail coming through our doors at this time of year, please remember that at St.Teresa’s we collect used stamps for the MIssions. Please place them in the box in the porch where you come into church. We are very grateful to Pat who still organises this.

AN IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE TO OUR CHRISTMAS MASSES.  We sincerely apologise but, due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be no Midnight Mass at St Teresa’s this year. All the other Masses remain the same :     

St. Teresa’s Church  (St. George’s Ave., Cleveleys)

Friday 24th December  :  ​Christmas Eve Family Mass,  6.30 pm

Saturday 25th December   Christmas Morning Mass,  9 am  and  10.30 am

Sunday  26th  December   Boxing Day Mass,  9 am  and  10.30 am

St. John Southworth Church  (Northumberland  Avenue,  Cleveleys)  :

Saturday 25th December   Christmas Day Mass  10 am

Sunday 26th December   ​Boxing Day Mass  5 pm  

Unfortunately Our School’s ‘Nativity Celebrations’ cannot be public events this year, either in school or in church. They are being recorded on video, and the link for us to be able to watch them on line will be in the bulletin next week.

100 Club Winners For November, December and Christmas :

November :  Heather Carruthers  £15,  Annie Wright  £10,  Judith Smith  £5

December :  Kathryn Brimelow,  £15,  John Dunkerly,  £10,  Pat Le Bon,  £5

Special Christmas Draw  :  Mary Livesey,  £100,   Rachel Brimelow,  £100

Daily Reflections for this week

Monday (Fr. Richard Rohr)

We are not waiting for darkness to go away. We’ve got to recognise darkness and learn how to live inrelationship to it. I think many people have been seduced into naming darkness light! When we refuse to name darkness, we are trapped by it, but when we can name it, we can learn how to live so that the darkness does not overcome us. The problem of the liberation of the affluent countries is that the edges between darkness and light have become very, very vague. When nothing is forbidden, nothing is required.

Scripture (Luke 3:10-14)

When all the people asked John, “What must we do, then?” he answered, “If anyone has two tunics he must share with the one who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.” There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, “Master, what must we do?” He said to them, “Exact no more than your rate.” Some soldiers asked him in their turn, “What about us, what must we do?” He said to them, “No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!” 

Tuesday (Julian of Norwich)

And when we have fallen through frailty or blindness, then our Lord touches us and calls us. He wills that we should see our wretchedness and acknowledge it. But it is not his will that we should stay like this, nor does he will that we should busy ourselves too much with self-accusation; nor is it his will that we should despise ourselves. But he wills that we should quickly turn to him, for we are his joy and his delight, and he is our salvation and our life. It is his will that we turn quickly, rejoicing more in the fullness of his love than sorrowing over our frequent failures.

Scripture (Zephaniah 3:14-18)

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel shout aloud! Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has repealed your sentence; he has driven your enemies away. The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst; you have no more evil to fear. When that day comes, word will come to Jerusalem: Zion have no fear, do not let your hands fall limp. The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.

Wednesday(The Man of La Mancha)

I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle, their eyes filled with confusion, asking the question: Why? I do not think they asked why they were dying, but why they had lived. Perhaps life itself seems lunatic, who knows where the madness lies? 

Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams – this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only rubbish. Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be

Scripture (1Thessalonians 5:18-24)

Always be joyful; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks; this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Spirit or despise the gift of prophecy with contempt. May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; may your spirit, life and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday (Martin Luther King)

So I say to you, seek God and discover Him and make Him a power in your life. Without Him all of our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darker nights. Without Him, life is a meaningless drama with the decisive scenes missing. But with Him, we are able to rise from the midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy. 

Scripture (Philippians 4:4-8)

Always be joyful, then, in the Lord; I repeat, be joyful. Let your good sense be obvious to everybody. The Lord is near. Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude, and the peace of God which is beyond all understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Friday  (Joan Mary Fry)

Gradually, as mind, soul and even body, grow still, sinking deeper and deeper into the life of God, the pettiness, the tangles, the failures of the outer life begin to be seen in their true proportions, and the sense of the divine infilling, uplifting, redeeming Love becomes real and illuminating. Things are seen and known that are hidden to the ordinary faculties.

Scripture (Isaiah 12:2-6)

Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples! Declare the greatness of his name. Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds, make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Martin Bennett

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