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
3 April 2022
Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered Charity Number 23433
Sunday : Fifth Sunday of Lent
Gospel (John 8:1-11)
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?’ They asked him this as a test looking for something to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, ‘If there is one of you who has not sinned, let them be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she replied. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus, ‘go away, and don’t sin any more.’
Gospel Reflection : ‘But Jesus Started Writing On The Ground With His Finger’
For centuries people have wondered and imagined what Jesus wrote when the crowd asked him to condemn the woman mentioned in the Gospel today. Whatever he wrote encouraged the woman to stay with him, and put some pressure on the accusers to move away.
Maybe he just doodled, or wrote nothing sensible. Or did he write, so that the woman could see – ‘Stay here, I am with you’. And the woman knew, like all of us can know when we are in trouble, that Jesus is on our side.
Or did he write so that the onlookers could see – ‘Change your hearts, be renewed; forgive in your hearts’.
Maybe he wrote what he later said – ‘I do not condemn you, sin no more’. And all knew they were in the presence of love, forgiveness and acceptance.
Some, like the woman herself, could take this, and stayed to get to know this Jesus. Others, like the accusers, went away, although maybe they came back later to get to know this Jesus too.
No matter what, we should know that he will stay with each of us – with forgiveness and acceptance all the days of our lives.
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 all those whose anniversaries are at this time. May they be in God’s peace.
We Welcome Into The Family Of The Church Charlie Joseph Walton whose Baptism takes place this Sunday.
During Lent the Stations of the Cross, with Benediction, is celebrated at St. Teresa’s each Sunday at 3 pm.
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, the Beginning of Holy Week, which is the greatest week of our whole Church year.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER SERVICES
(All at St. Teresa’s unless otherwise stated)
Maundy Thursday Mass – 6.30 pm
‘watching’ at the Altar of Repose, which will finish thirty minutes after the end of Mass)
Stations of the Cross – 11 am at St. John Southworth and St. Teresa’s
(At 12 noon there is a short Ecumenical Service, organised by all our Churches, outside the TSB bank in Cleveleys)
3 pm The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
(This is the main Service of the day. The church is then closed until the Easter Vigil)
Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil) – 6.30 pm.
Easter Sunday Masses – 9 am and 10.30 am at St. Teresa’s
5.30 pm at St. John Southworth
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