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
30 January 2022
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel (Luke 4:21-30)
Jesus began to speak in the synagogue, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.
They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son. Surely?’ But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Caepernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”’ And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian Naaman.’
When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.
Gospel Reflection : They Hustled Him Out Of The Town
Jesus is for everyone. Some thought that they were the favourites, or chosen or privileged ones of God. They couldn’t accept that he was for the whole world, not just for them.
God is for everyone, at every time of life – for the child in helplessness and security; for the adolescent in confusion and exuberance; in the young adult in searching for and finding lasting love for the mid-adult in disappointment and in joy of children; for the elderly in illness and contentment. Let us give thanks to God, for he is our God at all times and in all places.
And God is in all the places within ourselves, our zones of body, mind and soul – in that lonely place he is friend; in that guilty place he is forgiveness; in that shameful place he is affirmation; in that joyful place he is happiness; in that compassionate place he is mercy; and in that sharing place he is encouragement.
God is big enough for everyone, because God himself is not human like us. God is love, without conditions or boundaries. And for this they wanted to get rid of Jesus, God’s presence among us, God’s hope and trust in us always.
We Remember In Our Prayers Linda Whipp whose Funeral was last week. We remember her and her family, 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 Very Big Thank You for your very generous response last weekend to the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal organised by CAFOD. In the special collection which was taken then in both our churches, £1,665 was donated. Since then more has come in bringing the current total to £2,020. This is a very kind amount of money given to help people of all ages who are dying of hunger and thirst. CAFOD has worked in Afghanistan since the late 1980’s, and through its local partners in the country is now providing those most basic things which are urgently needed. A huge THANK YOU. If any one else would like to add a contribution for this emergency, CAFOD envelopes can be found at the back of church, and handed in there.
Volunteers For CAFOD : A vital aspect of church is people being willing to share their talents, experience and energy. Could a resolution of yours this year be to volunteer for CAFOD? They have lots of different ways in which you can get involved, such as : –
* In the parish – where you will be highlighting CAFOD’s work to support communities globally who are living with injustices and in poverty.
* In local schools – where you will deliver assemblies and workshops about CAFOD’s work. No experience is necessary. Full support, resources and regular training are provided.
* Coordinating volunteers – to help CAFOD support, encourage and bring together a small group of volunteers.
email@example.com or Tel. 07769 931373
A PRAYER FOR PEACE : ONE FAMILY
Lord God, Father of all,
We, your children, are all members of the same human family, your family.
We implore you to help us accept your peace,
To be at peace with ourselves, and to live in peace with others.
Help us to seek wisdom and justice in all we do.
Help us to be more understanding and compassionate when dealing with
To be ready to forgive when wronged,
To be willing to love when hurt, and
To strive for harmony and peace when threatened.
Eternal Father, grant us your everlasting peace.
Diana Ng-Sutherland, CAFOD supporter
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Henri Nouwen)
There is something in us humans that prevents us from letting God offer us a completely new beginning. While God wants to restore me to the full dignity of sonship, I keep insisting that I will settle for being a hired servant. Do I really want to break away from my deep-rooted rebellion against God and surrender myself so absolutely to God’s love that a new person can emerge? As a hired servant, I can still keep my distance, still revolt, reject, strike, run away, or complain about my pay. As the beloved son, I have to claim my full dignity and begin preparing myself to become the father.
Scripture (Luke 4:22-24,28-30)
And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely? But he replied “No doubt you will quote me the saying, ‘Physician, heal yourself,’ and tell me ‘We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own country’.” And he went on “In truth I tell you, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.” When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of town; and they took him to the brow of the hill, intending to throw him off the cliff, but he passed straight through the crowd and walked away.
He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with him you will, in fact, be humble—delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly fancy dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about. I wish I had got a bit further with humility myself, getting rid of the false self with all its posing and posturing.
Scripture (John 3:17-21)
For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be judged; but whoever does not believe is judged already, because that person does not believe in the Name of God’s only Son. And the judgement is this: though the light has come into the world, people have preferred darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, to prevent his actions from being shown up; but whoever does the truth comes out into the light, so that what he is doing may plainly appear as done in God.
Wednesday (Thomas Merton)
Although God lives in the soul of those who are unconscious of him, how can I say that I have found him if I never take any interest in him or desire his presence in my soul? What good does it do to say a few formal prayers to him and then turn away and give all my will to created things, desiring only ends that fall short of him? If my love does not reach out towards him but scatters himself in his creation, it is because I have reduced his life in me to the level of formality, forbidding it to move me with a truly vital influence.
Scripture (Jeremiah 1:5,17-19)
The Lord came to me saying ‘ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you; I appointed you as prophet to the nations. Prepare yourself for action. Stand up and tell them all I command you. Have no fear of them and in their presence I will make you look fearless. For look, today I have made you into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of bronze to stand against the whole country: the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the people of the country. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you, the Lord declares, to rescue you.
Thursday (A New Catechism)
Each person has deep down within them, prior to their personal acts and colouring all of them, an unwillingness to respond to God, a refusal in the face of real love. This does not mean that we will to do evil all the time. But we cannot fail to recognise, as we look towards Jesus’ cross, that our life is not a life of love. Where God shows his love and his heart, we feel that we fall short, and indeed are unwilling and rebellious. We resist. We refuse God’s intimacy. We use our freedom to set ourselves against the divine life, the joy and love, to which we are called.
Scripture (Hebrews 3:12-14)
Take care that none of you ever has a wicked heart, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this today lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we have been granted a share with Christ only if we keep the grasp of our first confidence firm to the end.
Friday (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
By our enemies, Jesus means those who are quite intractable and
utterly unresponsive to our love, who forgive us nothing when we
forgive them all, who requite our love with hatred and our service with derision. Love asks nothing in return but seeks those who need it. And who needs our love more than those who are consumed with hatred and are utterly devoid of love?
Scripture (Psalm 35:11-15)
False witnesses come forward against me asking me questions I cannot answer, they cross-examine me, repay my kindness with cruelty, make my life barren. But I, when they were ill, had worn sackcloth, and mortified myself with fasting, praying ever anew in my heart, as if for a friend or brother; I had wandered restless, as if mourning a mother, so bowed had I been in sorrow. When I stumble they gather in glee, gather around me; strangers I never even knew tear me apart incessantly.