12/12/2010

14/12/2010

St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com

www.stjohnevang.co.uk

www.lpa24.org

0151 645 3314

Reg. Charity 234025

Fr Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

3rd Sunday of Advent 12th December 2010

FAITH IN FOCUS: RAISING EXPECTATIONS

Non-religious people can be forgiven for thinking that Christians are consumed with a religion of fear. In fact, elderly people sometimes remark that their own religious upbringing was characterised by fear of punishment. “Wait till your father gets home” was transferred into threats about what would happen when God came to judge the living and the dead.

If this were true, then Advent would be a miserable season. It would be the time when we all prayed with our lips for the coming of Christ but in our hearts we hoped that it would not be during our lifetime.

Should we be tempted to go along with this in our own practice of faith, then today’s scripture ought to make us think twice. For it forms part of the “Gaudete Sunday” (“Rejoicing”) Advent message: the coming of our God is something to yearn for rather than to dread. We are encouraged to rejoice because our God will come not to condemn us but to set us free. It’s a prize to be grasped, not a plague to be shunned. Advent is not a palliative against the futility of existence; it’s an endorsement of the very meaning of life. It’s a period of great expectations, for when Christ comes, it is to bring fullness of life.

Isaiah tells us that the coming of our God is like an oasis in the desert, like a cure for those who are crippled and struck down. And John the Baptist reminds us that if we want to know whether God really is close by, then we only need to look around us and see the wonders that can happen when the Good News is proclaimed.

And this coming of our God is not merely some distant thing in the future that can have no effect on our lives today. God comes every day. We meet Christ in those whose lives touch ours, both friend and stranger. He looks out on us through the eyes of our smiling grandchildren as much as the tears of the widow and orphan.

The coming of our God is nothing to fear. It is something to look forward to eagerly, both now and at the end of time.

 

WORD FOR TODAY

Today’s a day for rejoicing. Known as “Gaudete Sunday” (from the Latin word for “rejoice”) it is Advent’s midpoint when we pause to recollect that the coming of our God is something which should bring us only joy. To be a Christian is to await the coming of a God whose only desire is to save rather than condemn.

WORD OF GOD

Look, your God is coming-he is coming to save you. (Isaiah 35:4)

 

 

If our religion encourages universal compassion and positive actions and states of mind then it is doing its job. If it causes hatred, fear, division and pride then it isn’t working and maybe we should try something else. (Sean Robsville)

A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein)

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.(Plato)

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Sunday of Advent 12th 5.30

10am.

8pm.

Eileen Markey

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mon 13th 12md

7.30

Funeral Mass

Mary Ann Hearmon

Reconciliation

Tues.

14th 9.15 Ann & Frank McClave
Wed 15th 9.15 Funeral Mass

Pat Ronan

Thurs 16th 7.15.

7pm

Elizabeth Fryer

Advent Scriptures with Philip

Fri 17th. 9.15 Graham Brodin
Saturday 18th. 11.45 Carmel Mass
4th. Sunday of Advent. 19th 5.30

10am

8pm

Nov List

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Fred Archbold, Jane Jackson, William Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Joan Lee, Ann Ferguson, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Mollie Dowling, Kath Holland, Sheila Clayson, Mary Bryden, Owen & Josie Toohey,  Betty Kennedy,  Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Kath Bassett , Christopher & Raymond McNally , Mark Harrison & Genevieve Foster. Those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers

Money Matters-Thank you

Sunday Offering £ 659 54p

Boiler £5.85p

120 Club Winner No £20

Electricity Bills: Hall £202 08p, Church, £154 18p, £101 48p house

Tuesday 14th. Teresa Young

Colette Corkill

Thursday 16th. Noelene Evans

Rosemary Larkin

Saturday 18th. D Humphrey

W Humphrey

 

The Third Sunday of Advent is the “now” Sunday that St Bernard was talking about. We recognise the coming of Jesus in all sorts of people and events in our everyday world. We see Christ not only in the face of the needy but in the rejoicing of those whose lives are enriched and who once again can see, hear and walk. Advent has multi-layered symbolism. There is an undeniable penitential aspect to it as we prepare for the coming of the Son of Man who will judge the living and the dead. But we await this coming in joyful hope, for our saviour comes not to condemn us but to set us free. In fact, on the Third Sunday of Advent it is customary in some places for the liturgical colour to change from purple or violet to rose, thus echoing its popular title of “Gaudete” or “Rejoicing” Sunday. Subtle change of colour and décor, an Advent wreath that visually reminds us of the passing of time, music that is not simply Advent-generic but carefully reflects the stages of the four-week journey… all of this opens us up to the glorious possibilities of God’s grace within us as we celebrate his coming, past, present and future.

 

Have you cooked up your favourite fayre for the parish Christmas party which is this Sunday after mass? Please try to join your fellow parishioners for an hour of conviviality. This is an effort by your parish team to get people together-why not try it? If you need to slip home then you will still have time to rejoin us and to rejoice!

This coming Monday at 7.30pm we will be holding our Advent Reconciliation service. I hope that you will be able to attend despite the weather and that you have invited other people to come along to celebrate the sacrament with us.

The scripture meetings which Philip has facilitated have been most informative and perhaps the final one this coming Thursday will be the best attended of all. It is so wasteful to allow these opportunities to pass us by. We have been a select group but we have all benefitted very much from sharing and hopefully we will celebrate Christmas with a deeper understanding of Emmanuel.

8th December- many thanks to all who came to celebrate with me last Wednesday on my 56th anniversary. It always evokes many memories for me and it is good to have the opportunity of sharing some of them with my parish family

The Pilgrim Troupe’s final presentation for Advent will take place this Sunday at St Clare’s in Chester. The area CAFOD rep. is a parishioner there and she will be presented with the money which the Troupe has collected from its audiences. The gatherings the Troupe attracts are always very impressed with the ‘performances’ and once they have been to one, it whets their appetites for more! It’s just a shame that the audiences are not larger- not for the cast’s sake, but just because it is such an easy prayerful entertaining way of getting to know the seasons and feasts well. If they had a many people as we have for Reconciliation then everyone would benefit!

If you wish to send a card to Fr Dennis (XULU) his address is:

Mechelsestraat 2002

Leuven 3000

Belgium

**As you can see Fred Archbold has joined our sick list. He has had emergency major surgery but is recovering slowly. Please remember him in your prayers. He is so good to this parish. **

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