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
27 March 2022
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Attendance last Sunday: St T’s: 294
Collection: StT’s £691.06
received with thanks
received with thanks
Sunday : Fourth Sunday of Lent
Reflections for the coming week
Gospel (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)
The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said, ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:
‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.
‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”
‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it is only right we should celebrate and rejoice because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.’”
Gospel Reflection : Allow The Story Of The Prodigal Son To Draw Us Into God’s Loving Forgiveness
Two types of people were welcomed by Jesus himself : one was the younger son who had gone away and squandered his life, and returned empty. Those times of life we know were wasted and were wrong – the use of people, or wealth, or life, just for ourselves, and failing to look after those in our care, or neglect God and the things of God.
Jesus always offers acceptance and forgiveness, the invitation to always make a new start; the insight that the future can always be more whole; a welcome to the wasted and battered sides of our lives, in his mercy and forgiveness.
And Jesus also welcomed the elder son type of person in the story : the one who thought he had done everything right, and found it difficult to say ‘I have sinned’ : who had always tried to be faithful, who had practiced his religion, but seemed to do so in isolation, for he could not welcome with compassion the brother who returned home.
And there is a welcome too for us all guilty of the sin of uninvolvement, of caring first for self and not for others. And there is the invitation of the Father to join in with everyone else at the great celebration of reconciliation and forgiveness. For God is the one who can give all, both to those who return to his embrace, and to those who are always in his embrace, for “he welcomes sinners and eats with them”.
A Very Happy Mothers Day to our mothers, and all those who ‘mother us’.
We Remember In Our Prayers Jean Duffy whose Funeral Service is at Carleton Crematorium on Tuesday 5th April at 10 am, Teresa Nicholson whose Funeral Mass is at St. Teresa’s on Wednesday, 13th April at 11 am, and Mary Ciotkowski whose Funeral Mass is also at St. Teresa’s on Thursday, 14th April at 11 am. We remember them and their families, and on this day all our mothers who have died, and all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
Congratulations to the thirteen children who, on their journey to celebrate their First Holy Communion, celebrated their First Reconciliation (First Confession) last Wednesday, and a big thank you to their families and our parish catechists, led by Clare, who are supporting them. First Holy Communion will be celebrated on 15th May in St. Teresa’s church, at the 10.30 am Mass.
During Lent the Stations of the Cross, with Benediction is celebrated at St.Teresa’s each Sunday at 3 pm
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 (John Henry Newman)
Whatever has been your past life, whether (blessed be God) you have never trusted aught but God’s sacred light within you, or whether you have trusted the world and it has failed you, God’s mercies in Christ are here offered to you in full abundance. Come to him for them. Let not your past sins keep you from him. Whatever they may be, they cannot interfere with his grace stored up for all who come to him for it. Keeping from him is not to escape from his power, but only from his love.
Scripture (Luke 15:14-20,23)
The younger son came to his senses and said to himself, “I will leave this place and go to my Father and say ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’” While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him. His father said to the paid servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening and kill it; we will celebrate by having a feast, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
Tuesday (Henri Nouwen)
The question is not ’How am I to love God’ but ’How am I to let myself be loved by God?’ God is looking into the distance for me and longing to bring me home. God is not the patriarch who stays home, doesn’t move and expects his children to come to him, apologise for their aberrant behaviour, beg for forgiveness and promise to do better. On the contrary, he leaves the house, ignoring his dignity by running towards them, pays no heed to apologies and promises of change, and brings them to the table richly prepared for them.
Scripture (Ephesians 2:1-5)
And you were dead through the crimes and the sins which used to make up your way of life when you were living by the principles of this world, obeying the spirit who is at work among those who rebel. We, too, were all among them once, living only by our natural inclinations, obeying the demands of human self-indulgence and our own whim; our nature made us no less liable to God’s retribution than the reat of the world. But God, being rich in faithful love, through the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our sins, brought us to life in Christ and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
Wednesday (St. Teresa of Avila)
Beware of a certain kind of humility suggested by the devil which is accompanied by great anxiety about the gravity of our sins. He disturbs souls in many ways by this means, until at last he stops them from receiving Holy Communion and from private prayer by doubts as to whether they are in a fit state for it, and such thoughts as ‘Am I worthy of it?’ Everything a person in this state says seems to be on the verge of evil, and all actions appear fruitless, however good they are in themselves. They become discouraged. When you are in this state, turn your mind so far as you can from your misery and fix it on the mercy of God, his love for us and all that he suffered for our sake.
Scripture (John 3:13-17)
As Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life in him. 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. For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world but so that through him the world might be saved
Thursday (Carlo Carretto)
When he comes to us in the sacrament at the fervent wish of our faith, the impossible comes true, impurity vanishes, violence becomes meekness, madness becomes beatitude, death becomes life. From the moment our lives cross his, the thing is done. He himself becomes our ‘crossing,’ the continuing Passover. Some people stay on the banks of the Reed sea all their lives. Enclosed in their own impotence, they cannot believe in God’s omnipotence. It is difficult to have faith, to walk in hope. The Exodus lasted for forty years because the people of God found themselves unable to respond to God’s love. They preferred to walk in the desert, frightened victims of their own contradictions and fears. God has constantly to ask: ‘Is my hand too short to redeem?’
Scripture (Jeremiah 31:18-21)
‘Bring me back, let me come back, for you are my God! For since I have turned away, I have repented; having understood, I beat my breast. I was deeply ashamed, I blushed, aware of the disgrace I incurred when I was young.’ Is Ephraim, then, so dear a son to me, a child so favoured, that when I mention him I remember him lovingly still? That is why I yearn for him, why I must take pity on him, the Lord declares.
Friday (Brother Lawrence)
Brother Lawrence began in the most perfect way, abandoning all for God, and doing all for the love of him. He forgot himself totally, and no longer thought of heaven or hell, nor of his past sins, nor of those he would commit after he had asked God’s pardon for them. He never went back over his past confessions. He entered into perfect peace when he had confessed his sins to God. He knew of nothing else to do. After that he left himself in God’s hands for life, death, time, eternity.
Scripture (Psalm 34: 1-4,7-8)
I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise continually on my lips. I will praise the Lord from my heart; let the humble hear and rejoice.
Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; let us acclaim his name together. I seek the Lord and he answers me, frees me from all my foes. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he rescues them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. How blessed are those who take refuge in him.