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
20 March 2022
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : Third Sunday of Lent
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel (Luke 13.1-9)
Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable. ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”
Gospel Reflection : Another Chance
Jesus told a story about someone coming to a fig tree and looking for fruit, and wanting it cut down because it was unable to produce anything. But, he was persuaded to give it another chance.
Jesus liked that story because he is the person of ‘another chance’. With his friends, and with everyone, there was always the chance to turn around, and follow him anew, even after denial and cowardice.
Jesus always looks ahead of us on our path of life, and sees a new way – another chance out of failure, a new conversion from selfish ways. To Jesus our book of life is never closed, our disk of life is never full, the song of our life is never sung out.
We are not programmed like a computer, nor is our life’s plan pressed on a compact disc. We are people who can always change, become strong again, walk confident, hand-in-hand with a loving God.
But, as Jesus sees us as people who may change and grow, may we see others in the same light.
We Remember In Our Prayers Jean Unsworth (Sue Ward’s mother) and David Bakerwhose Funerals were last week. We remember them and their families, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
During Lent the Stations of the Cross, with Benediction is celebrated at St.Teresa’s each Sunday at 3 pm
The Response To The CAFOD Annual Family Fast Appeal handed in last weekend totalled £1,200 at St. Teresa’s, and £140 at St. John Southworth. Thank you so much for your very kind response especially as it was given only one week after your great generosity to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Planned Giving/Gift Aid Boxes of Envelopes for the coming new tax year are again available at both our churches this weekend. After Mass, at the back of church, please see Steve at St.Teresa’s and Jane at St. John Southworth. Will anyone who is paying tax but has not signed up for Gift Aid please seriously consider it to help your parish have the money which the Government allows for us. It is worth a lot, especially after these two years of decreased income and current heating and lighting prices. Thank you.
St. Teresa’s 100 Club. 100 Club membership for Renewals and New Members are due before April 1st. Please pick up a form from the table in St. Teresa’s outer church porch, or from Kathryn Brimelow who kindly oganises this for us. She will be at the back of church. When completed please hand the form to Kathryn or put in the weekly collection basket. Please do not leave it in the church porch. Thank you so much for supporting this church fund-raising activity.
A Prayer For Ukraine
Lord of all people and all nations,
We lift before you the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia,
Each girl and boy, each woman and man, living in fear of what tomorrow might bring.
We long for a time you spoke of through the prophet Isaiah,
When weapons of war would be beaten into ploughshares,
When nation will no longer lift up sword against nation.
We cry out to you for peace.
Protect those who only desire and deserve to live in security and safety.
Comfort those who fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Change the hearts of those set on violence and aggression.
Fill earthly leaders with great wisdom to find paths to peace.
Please Lord, come and have your way in your world.
May your will be done here, on earth as it is in heaven.
May your peace reign, now and always. Amen
Daily Reflections for this week
Monday (Evelyn Underhill)
We should think of the whole power and splendour of God as always pressing in on our small souls…but that power and splendour mostly reach us in homely, inconspicuous ways; in the sacraments and in our prayers, joys and sorrows and in all opportunities of loving service. This means that one of the most important things in our prayer is the eagerness and confidence with which we throw ourselves open to his perpetual coming. There should be always more waiting than striving in a Christian prayer.
Scripture (Psalm 145:13-14,17-20)
The Lord is trustworthy in all his words, and upright in all his deeds. The Lord supports all who stumble, lifts up those who are bowed down. Upright in all that he does, God acts only in faithful love. He is close to all who call upon him, all who call on him from the heart. He fulfils the desires of all who fear him, he hears their cries and saves them. The Lord guards all who love him.
Tuesday (Bede Griffiths)
(After a night of prayer which he likened to Gethsemane)
I felt worn out and hopless; I did not know what was to become of me. But as I left the room, I suddenly heard a voice, “You must go to a retreat.” It came to me as a direct inspiration, though I did not know what it signified. The retreat I attended was very simple in character and dealt with the fundamental doctrines of faith. I had studied philosophy and theology, and I knew the elements of church history and doctrine, but the simple truth of the faith had never been set before me. Now it penetrated my soul. The repentance for which I had blindly asked the night before now came over me like a flood.. I went to confession for the first time in my life. My whole being seemed to be renewed.
Scripture (Luke 19:5-10)
When Jesus reached the tree into which Zacchaeus had climbed, he looked up and spoke to him: Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I am to stay at your house today.’ And he hurried down and welcomed Jesus joyfully. They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house,’ they said. But Zacchaeus said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody, I will pay him back four times the amount.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today, salvation has come to this house, for this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.
Wednesday (Preface III to Eucharistic Prayer)
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always to give you thanks. We see your infinite power in your loving plan of salvation. You came to our rescue by your power as God, but you wanted us to be saved by one like us. Man refused your friendship, but man himself was to restore it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him the angels of heaven offer their prayer of adoration as they rejoice in your presence forever. May our voices be one with theirs.
Scripture (Hebrews 12:1-3)
We should throw off everything that weighs us down and the sin that clings to us so closely, and with perseverance keep running in the race which lies ahead of us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which lay ahead of him, he endured the cross, ignoring the shame of it, and has taken his seat at the right of God’s throne. Think of the way he persevered against such opposition from sinners and you will not lose heart and come to grief.
Thursday (Oscar Romero)
The Christian wears the sureness of Christ and is the seed of salvation. If there is hope of a new world, of a more just order, of a reflection of God’s Kingdom in our society, surely you Christians are the ones who will bring about this wonder of a new world – but only when we are all really communicators of the life we come to receive in the Eucharist at our Sunday Mass, communicators of the seed that will transform the world. The Eucharist makes us look back to Calvary and beyond that to Moses and the old covenant. When we leave Mass, we ought to go out the way Moses descended Mount Sinai: with his face shining, with his heart brave and strong to face the world’s difficulties.
Scripture (Isaiah 55:6-8,10-12)
Seek out theLord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near. Let the wicked abandon his way and the evil one his thoughts. Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him, to our God for he is rich in forgiveness. For as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilising it and making it grow to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do. Yes, you will go out in joy and be led away in safety.
When Moses wondered who he was to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt, the Lord answered, “I shall be with you.” That’s all. Simply I’ll be with you! He won’t tell Moses how to do it. He doesn’t give him a timetable, any directions, simply – “I’ll be with you”. Moses’ power is the presence of the Lord. In every religious experience in the Bible, a person comes to an experience of God and God says, simply, I shall be with you. I will do it. Trust me. The directions come as you walk the journey. The word is not fully given until the first steps are taken.
Scripture (Exodus 3:4-8, 10-12)
God called Moses from the middle of the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ He
answered, ‘Here I am.’ God said, ‘Come no nearer. Take off your
sandals, for the place you are standing is holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors.’ Then God said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.I have heard their cries for help. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. And I have to come down to rescue them and bring them out of that country to a country flowing with milk and honey. So now, I am sending you to the Pharaoh, for you to bring my people out of Egypt.’ Moses said, ‘Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ ‘I shall be with you,’ God said.