St John the Evangelist
Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
0151 645 3314
Reg. Charity 234025
Fr Frank Rice
Rev Philip White
4th Sunday of Advent 19th December 2010
You can’t turn on the radio this week without being reminded of how many “shopping” days are left before Christmas is upon us. You could be forgiven for thinking that the main purpose of Christmas is to buy things. And if you haven’t gone out and spent your money on gifts and goodies then perhaps you haven’t really celebrated Christmas.
For Christians nothing could be further from the truth, since Christmas is the celebration of God’s becoming a child in the person of Jesus, and our prime aim is to recall that event so that it may have an effect on us here and now.
Because Christmas has been hijacked as a season of commercial bonanza, it can be hard for us to focus on its true meaning. It is essentially about simplicity rather than opulence. The second person of the Trinity humbled himself to share our human nature so that he could teach us how to live, how to love, how to learn and how to laugh. The birth of Jesus took place so that we could find out what it means to be truly human.
Amid the clatter of TV adverts offering super savings at our local stores, we remind ourselves that the season of Advent is a time of spiritual preparation for the Christmas event. The Church journeys along a four-week path of expectation, of yearning and longing for the coming of the Messiah, of self-examination, of rededication and commitment, of joyful preparation. It’s tempting to jump the gun and celebrate a wonderful carol service weeks before the 25th, or to hold a Christmas party to end all Christmas parties when there’s still ten days to go. But it really is worth the wait if we stop to ponder on the Advent journey.
So today we meet Mary and Joseph in our scripture readings. Both of them aware that something momentous is about to happen to them both patiently pondering on the outcome. No rush. No fuss. Just active co-operation with God’s will as announced by the angel.
If Advent has passed you by, don’t worry. There are still some stopping days left before Christmas.

The maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel, a name which means “God-is-with-us”. (Isaiah 7:14/Matthew 1:23)

It’s hard not to get caught up in the having and hoarding that goes with a consumer Christmas. But today the Church offers us the chance to pause and reflect on the true reason why we celebrate this season: God loved us so much that he was prepared to become a little baby.

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. (Helen Keller)

Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them. (Abraham Lincoln)

The unique personality which is the real life in me, I cannot gain unless I search for the real life, the spiritual quality, in others. I am myself spiritually dead unless I reach out to the fine quality dormant in others. For it is only with the god enthroned in the innermost shrine of the other, that the god hidden in me, will consent to appear. (Felix Adler

4thSunday of Advent
Nov List
Prayer Meeting
Arthur Brockway

Elizabeth Fryer
November List
Joseph McCaffery
Crib Service
‘MN’ Mass
Christmas day
Holy Family

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& Aileen McGuigan.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 £ 744 09p
Dance dividend £ 75
120 Club Winner No 26 P Topping £20
There will be a retiring collection this weekend to help defray flower expenses. This fund usually lasts our flower ladies until Easter (which is late next year!) so please give as generously as you can to this collection. They do a wonderful job week in and week out and I think we are very fortunate to have such talented people in our midst.
Tuesday 21st
Teresa Young
Colette Corkill
Thursday 23rd.
Phil Topping
Gerry Topping
Unfortunately the Christmas party was not well supported though those that did attend enjoyed themselves. If you can suggest a better time or have any other ideas of how we can attract more people to similar events then please have a word. I would like to thank all those who helped.
By contrast the Saturday procession was well supported and animals and children as well as adults took part with great enthusiasm. Many thanks to Maria, the organiser in chief, who took a great deal of time and trouble to clothe people appropriately.

Philip’s scripture talks are finished for now but already some of the group who attended are hoping for more such meetings in the future if he can fit them into his busy schedule. We have been a select group but an appreciative one and we all feel a better understanding of the feast which is almost upon us. You don’t know what you missed

The Reconciliation service was very well attended with some of the beautiful prayers being taken from the Pilgrim Troupe’s Advent presentation ‘Waiting in Joyful Hope’ Their last outing was to St Clare’s Chester where the area Rep for CAFOD was presented with the proceeds from the all five evenings an amount in excess of £400. I hope all who attended the service are now basking in God’s forgiveness -ready for Emmanuel.

The O antiphons started on 17th. These cries of longing for the lord continue until we cry out finally for Emmanuel to enter our hearts.

I hope you will take your newsletters home with you and put them in a safe place so that you can refer to them for Mass times etc. It is a strange and busy schedule ahead of us.

Happily Fred Archbold has now been discharged from hospital and is on the road to recovery. He will have to take things easy for a while and we will have to put up with his absence for a little longer. He thanks all for their prayers and good wishes.

This will be on Friday, Christmas Eve, at 4.00 in Church, and will last for about half an hour.
Could each of the children bring a birthday card for Baby Jesus and a cuddly toy to see the manger?
We look forward to seeing you all then.


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