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
9 January 2022
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : Baptism of the Lord
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel Luke 3 : 15-16, 21-22)
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 more is powerful than I am and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’
Now when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’
Gospel Reflection : God Speaks To Each Of Us As He Speaks To Jesus – We Are All God’s “Beloved”
Today we remember that Jesus’ Baptism by John was a special moment – the real coming of God’s spirit upon him, the Spirit who had come to Mary at the moment of Jesus’ conception, and would come to Jesus at his last moment on the Cross. The Holy Spirit brings him new energy. This Feast of the Baptism of the Lord reminds us that something new is happening, and that Jesus is the ‘Beloved Son’, for all time.
The Spirit came upon Jesus, but not just for himself. He would send the Spirit later to us, in particular that we might be people of forgiveness, and of perseverance in doing good. So today is very much about energy and strength. Jesus found a new spirit in himself after his trusting prayer, and after hearing words he would never forget. They give energy to the heart and soul, helping us to be active in our love for others, especially for those who need encouragement too.
When we are honest, we all know that we can get stuck. We need new infusions of the Spirit to give us renewed energy. Can we be the type of people who others think it is good to meet? Today we are asked to be open to the spirit of God, open to new life, new love, really being fully the kind of people we can be.
We Remember In Our Prayers Frances Edmondson whose Funeral is at St.Teresa’s on Monday, 17th January at 1.30 pm, Mary Baker whose Funeral is at Carleton Crematorium on Tuesday, 18th January at 10.30 am, Tom Gradwell whose Funeral is at St.Teresa’s on Friday, 21st January at 12.45 pm, and Linda Whipp whose Funeral is at St.Teresa’s on Tuesday, 25th January at 12 noon. We remember them and their families, and those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they all be in God’s peace.
First Holy Communion : At this point we are hoping to celebrate First Holy Communion at St.Teresa’s (but as always for both our parishes) on Sunday, 15th May 2022. This is for children aged from Year 4 (in Primary School) and upwards. We were hoping to have an Introductory Meeting for parents and children towards the end of February, but this may now depend on the Covid situation by then.
Please Note : These First Holy Communion arrangements, as always, are also for children who are in other schools besides St.Teresa’s, but who are Baptised and within the age group outlined above.
A New Website
Martin Bennett, who very kindly writes the daily prayer reflections which are put after the bulletin on our parish website (www.st-teresas-church.co.uk), has informed us of a new website which you may find interesting and helpful. It contains the work of three Liverpool priests, Frs. Austin Smith, Kevin Kelly and Tom Cullinan. This is being launched via zoom on Saturday, 15th January, 1.30-4.30pm. Christine Allen, the Director of CAFOD, is the main speaker, followed by workshops on the theme ‘Listening to the margins for hope’.
To register please email : firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom link for this day. The website has a wide range of talks and writings on Scripture, pastoral theology, church in the community, and much more. Whether you intend to register for the launch or not, please visit
www.fr-tom-cullinan.co.uk and have a good look around. All the material is freely available.
White Flower Appeal : Next weekend, 15th/16th January there is the annual Special Collection for The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) at all Masses. In common with the Catholic Church SPUC defends and upholds the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death. SPUC is Britain’s leading pro-life campaigning and educational organisation, and is in the forefront of public campaigns to prevent legalised euthanasia and abortion.
Sharing In The Lord’s Ministry
Lord Jesus, touch our eyes
so that we may see the signs of your presence
in our lives and in our world.
Touch our ears so that we may hear your word.
Touch our tongues so that we may profess our faith
Touch our hands so that we may give and receive.
Touch our feet so that we may walk in your ways.
Touch our minds so that we may understand your ways.
Touch our hearts so that we may bring your love
for our brothers and sisters, and to the praise and glory
of God our loving Father. Amen.
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Fr. Richard Rohr)
The incarnation of Jesus demonstrates that God meets us where we are. It assures us that we do not have to leave the world or relinquish our humanity in order to know God. We may want the spiritual without the fleshly; we may want the cosmic without the concrete. But if the Word is ever to be loved and shared, we must risk embodiment, which is always concrete and ordinary. There God is both perfectly hidden and perfectly
Scripture (Matthew 3:13-17)
Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. John tried to dissuade him. “It is I who need baptism from you,” he said “and yet you come to me!” But Jesus replied, “Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands.” At this, John gave into him. As soon as Jesus was baptised he came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God
descending like a dove and coming down on him. And a voice spoke from heaven, “This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.”
Tuesday (Martin Buber, “Tales of the Hasidim)
A helper is needed. A helper for both body and soul, for both earthly and heavenly matters…..who can teach you to conduct your affairs so that your soul remains free, and he can teach you to strengthen your soul, to keep you steadfast beneath the blows of destiny. He has to mix with the people and, in order to raise them to the rung of what perfection they are capable of, he has to descend from his own rung.
Scripture (John 3:11-13,16)
Jesus said “In truth I tell you, we speak about only what we know and witness only to what we have seen and yet you people reject our evidence. If you do not believe me when I speak of earthly things, how will you believe me when I speak of heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of man; for this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Wednesday (A New Catechism)
We must be careful not to start from our human ideas of God, as though apart from Jesus we knew God fully. Jesus is not for those who (think they) know who God is, but for those who seek to know who God is. All we can do is fix our eyes on the man Jesus. Only by thus paying attention to him can we begin to realise something of the God who reveals himself in him. God is much greater than all the ideas we have of “greatness.”
In Jesus’ truly human knowledge, something of his likeness to God radiates. In Jesus, God has become accessible to us.
Scripture (Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7)
Thus says the Lord: Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations. He does not cry out or shout aloud, or make his voice heard in the streets. He does not break the crushed reed, nor quench the quavering flame. Faithfully he brings true justice; he will neither waver nor be crushed until true justice is established on earth. I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right; I have taken you by the hand and formed you; I have appointed you as a covenant of the people and light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.
Thursday (St. Teresa of Avila)
God is greatly pleased when He beholds a soul in its humility making His Son a mediator between itself and Him. I know this by experience. I have understood that the whole foundation of prayer must be laid in humility, and that the more a soul humbles itself in prayer, the more God lifts it up. I do not remember that He showed me any of His marvellous mercies at any other time than when I was as one brought to nothing. Moreover, His Majesty contrived to make me understand matters that helped me to know myself, but which I could never have even imagined of myself.
Scripture (Ephesians 1:17-20)
May the God of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, how rich is the glory of the heritage he offers among his holy people, and how extraordinarily great is the power that he has exercised for us believers; this accords with the strength of his power at work in Christ.
Friday (Bede Griffiths)
We do not overcome darkness by fighting it but simply by bringing it into the light. All the weaknesses we find in ourselves, and all the things that upset us, we tend to try to push aside and get rid of. But we cannot do this. We have to accept that ‘this is me’ and allow grace to come and heal it all.
Scripture (Luke 1:76-79)
And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before God to prepare a way for him, to give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins, because of the faithful love of our God in which the rising of the Sun has come down from on high to visit us, to give light to those who live in darkness and to guide our feet in the way of peace.