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
16 January 2022
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel (John 2:1-11)
There was a wedding at Cana in Gallilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said, ‘Woman why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews; each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim. ‘Draw some out now’ he told them ‘and take it to the steward.’ They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said, ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.’
This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galillee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.
Gospel Reflection : Wine Or Whine?
Things can change. Water can turn into wine. Peace can replace violence. People can be reconciled.
Love can change hardness of heart into compassion, a selfish style of life into generosity. With the touch of Jesus, water can change into wine, and men and women can change into people who bring help and happiness to others.
None of us is stuck in the present, nor are we prisoners of the past. As they always have been, those who try to follow the way of Jesus are people with a future. We are people of the resurrection – new life in this world as well as in the next.
So this week why not make time for more than just complaining about the situations we are in, or worrying about it all. Why not make time to pray – for peace where there is violence, for love where there is hate, and for unity where there is division. And, believe that our prayer can work miracles too. It just might prompt us, and empower us, to put things right ourselves – not just to save people from embarrassment, as at the Wedding Feast at Cana, but to save people’s lives!
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.
White Flower Appeal : This 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.
Afghanistan Crisis Appeal : Last week we saw on our television screens the extent of the humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people in Afghanistan, not least as shown on the faces of babies, children and their parents, literally starving to death. We can’t be human if we were not moved and didn’t wonder how we could help at all. Well one way for us to help in a very practical way has been set up by CAFOD (the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development). They have launched a Crisis Appeal for money donations so that they can continue the work they have already started. CAFOD has local partners in the country who have started to provide families with those most basic things which are urgently needed – food, water and shelter. Can you help in this great task?
NEXT WEEKEND, 22nd/23rd JANUARY, at all Masses in our two churches, we will have a Special Collection so that we can make our own contribution to help save people’s lives. Whatever you give will go directly for that purpose.
The Annual Service for the Week of Prayer For Christian Unity takes place next Sunday, 23rd January, 3 pm at Cleveleys Park Methodist Church. For many years this has been organised by Churches-Together-In-Cleveleys, and this time it is the turn of Cleveleys Park Methodist Church to be our hosts. We will all be made very welcome.
Water Into Wine
Jesus brought the wine of God’s love into our world.
Everywhere he went the old was made new.
For the couple at their wedding in Cana he changed water into wine.
For the widow of Nain he changed tears into joy.
For Zacchaeus he changed selfishness into love.
For the thief on Calvary he changed despair into hope.
And on Easter morning he changed death into life.
Lord, be present with us today, and throughout our lives.
And when because of our human weakness
the wine of love is found wanting,
touch our hearts, and strengthen our wills,
so that we may taste the wine of unselfish love.
Monday (A Carthusian monk)
We can never be urged too strongly to meditate upon the definition that God has given of himself…God is Love. The number of those who know how to give themselves, (and want to do so) is not legion. And amongst those who seem to give themselves, many are seeking something in others to complete themselves. It is in this respect that God is so infinitely superior to us, for he is Love – the gift of self. He is overflowing Plenitude, yearning to pour himself out into our nothingness, in order that he may fill it with his infinite being. The more helpless and imperfect we are, the greater is the capacity he finds in us to receive him. Love, then, for us consists above all in accepting this outpouring of life; for him, love consists in bestowing it.
Scripture (Isaiah 62:1-2,4-5)
About Zion I will not be silent, about Jerusalem I shall not grow weary until her integrity shines out like the dawn and her salvation flames like a torch. The nations shall then see your integrity, all the kings your glory, and you will be called by a new name, one which the mouth of the Lord will confer. No more will you be known as ‘Forsaken’ nor your land ‘Desolation’; but you shall be called ‘My Delight’ and your land ‘The Wedded’; for Yahweh will take delight in you and your land will have its wedding. Like a young man marrying a virgin, so will the one who rebuilt you wed you, and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.
Tuesday (1st Epistle of St. Clement)
Who can describe the chain of God’s love? Who has the capacity to tell the greatness of its beauty? The height to which love exalts us is inexpressible. Love binds us to God, love hides a multitude of sins; love bears everything, love endures everything. In love the Master received us; through the love he had for us, our Lord Jesus Christ by the will of God gave his blood for us, his flesh for our flesh, his life for our life.
Scripture (John 17:20-23)
I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me. May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you loved me.
Wednesday (Thomas a Kempis)
Learn to turn from worldly things, and give yourself to spiritual things, and you will see the kingdom of God come within you. Christ will come to you, and impart his consolations to you, if you prepare a worthy dwelling for him in your heart. All true glory is within, and there he delights to dwell. He often visits the spiritual person, and holds sweet discourse with them, granting refreshing grace, great peace and friendship exceeding all expectation. Come then, faithful soul; prepare your heart for your Divine Spouse that he may deign to come to you and dwell within you.
Scripture (Ezekiel 36:24-29)
I shall take you from among the nations and gather you back from all the countries, and bring you home to your own country. I shall pour clean water over you and you shall be cleansed. I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws. You will be my people and I shall be your God. I shall save you from everything that defiles you.
Thursday (Julian of Norwich)
Although, because of our anger and wilfulness, we are now in trouble, anger and distress, as happens to those who stumble and are blind, we are still kept safe and sound in God’s merciful keeping so that we are not lost. Because of the storms and sorrows that beset us here we often seem to be dead in spirit—as others judge. But in the sight of God, no soul is ever dead, nor ever shall be. I saw that God is our true peace. He watches over us when we can find no rest, and he works continually to bring us to peace that shall never end. We are his crown, and this crown is the joy of the Father, the glory of the Son, and the happiness of the Holy Spirit, and the endless wondering and delight of all who are in heaven.
Scripture (1John 2: 24-25, 3:1-2)
Let what you heard in the beginning remain in you; as long as what you heard in the beginning remains in you, you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And the promise he made you himself is eternal life. You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children – which is what we are. My dear friends, we are already God’s children, but what we shall be in the future has not yet been revealed. We are well aware that when he appears we shall be like him.
Friday (Cardinal Basil Hume)
The mercy of the Father is strong. That mercy is both tenderness and fidelity to those he has created for union with him. Tenderness and steadfastness are a powerful combination, and they are the reason for God wanting to be involved closely with us. Because he so loved us, he became, in his son Jesus Christ, a pilgrim like us.
Scripture (1Cor. 1:4-9)
I am continually thanking God about you, for the grace of God which you have been given in Christ Jesus; in him you have been richly endowed in every kind of utterance and knowledge. And so that you are not lacking in any gift as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed, he will continue to give you strength to the very end, so that you will be irreproachable on the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ. You can rely on God who has called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.