*St John the Evangelist *

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury,Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice;

Revd. Philip White; Revd. Michael Daly/phone/: 0151 645 3314

/email/: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com

/websites/:www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

First Sunday of Advent 2011 27^th .November 2011.Year B

FAITH IN FOCUS: COME ON DOWN!

As we begin our Advent season today, in preparation for the coming of Christ, Isaiah makes an urgent plea to God. He uses the same catch-phrase as that old TV programme “The Price is Right” by saying to God “Come on down, tear the heavens open”.

Whenever we celebrate Advent we are involved on three levels: past, present and future. And at each level we make that same plea: Come on down!

We look to the past, to history. We recall that the Jewish people were waiting for a Messiah who would lead them to political and religious freedom. In this setting we see Mary and Joseph and we witness the birth of Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem.

We look to the present, to today. Jesus has not stopped coming to us in our day to day lives. He comes and speaks to us in the word of God, in the sacraments we celebrate, in the faces of those who bear God’s impression both in need and in joy.

We also look to the future. Christ will come again in glory when the plan of God is finally fulfilled. This coming will usher in the end of the world and all will be revealed for what it truly is.

So Advent is wake-up time. It’s the four-week season when we look for the ways in which Jesus comes to visit us. It’s easy to get caught up in an Advent that is just a pale religious reflection of the world’s commercial season. It’s easy to get stuck simply on the level of the past and start getting nostalgic and gooey about the trappings of Christmas, getting no further than the crib, the angels and the star. Yet if we are to celebrate the liturgy of Advent then we have to engage on all three levels.

Yes, we do remember the past events of Bethlehem. But our Advent and Christmas celebrations are imbued with the need to be alert and awake to the Christ who challenges us daily in our interaction with others, the same Christ who will come again to judge us on the way we responded to his invitation to love.

And we know that we are really capturing the spirit of the season if, like Isaiah, we can say and mean it when we ask God to “Come on down!”

_WORD OF GOD _

And yet, Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, you the potter, we are the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

_WORD FOR TODAY_

In Advent we contemplate the coming of Jesus. Today he comes to us in the message of his word and in the sacrament which we celebrate in the Eucharist. We stand alert and ready so that we may not miss what he brings today as we await his final coming in glory.

_ANDREW (November 30th) _

St. Andrew, fisherman brother of St Peter, is said to have been responsible for spreading Christianity though Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition suggests that he was put to death by the Romans in Patras, Southern Greece by being pinned to a cross. The diagonal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scottish Flag.

St. Andrew’s bones were entombed, and around 300 years later were moved by Emperor Constantine to his new capital Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey). Legend suggests that a Greek monk called St. Rule (or St. Regulus) was warned in a dream that St. Andrew’s remains were to be moved and was directed by an angel to take those of the remains which he could to the “ends of the earth” for safe-keeping. St. Rule dutifully followed these directions, removing a tooth, an arm bone, a kneecap and some fingers from St. Andrew’s tomb and transporting these as far away as he could. Scotland was close to the extremities of the known world at that time and it was here that St. Rule was shipwrecked with his precious cargo.

St. Rule is said to have come ashore at a Pictish settlement on the East Coast of Scotland and this later became St. Andrews. Thus the association of St. Andrew with Scotland was said to have begun.

_ADVENT_

You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time,

Want us to wait For the right time in which to discover

Who we are, where we are to go,

Who will be with us, and what we must do.

So thank you … for the waiting time. (John Bell)

*Take home the Bishop’s Advent Pastoral letter and read at your leisure.*

1^st Sunday of Advent

27^th .

5.30

10 am

8pm

November List

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mon

28^th .

9.15

Doreen Tiernan

Tues

29^th .

9.15

Bill Ebbrell

Wed

30^th .

9.15

*7.30*

November List

*Confirmation*

Thu

1st

9.15

November List

Fri

2^nd .

November List

2^nd . Sunday of Advent

4^th .

5.30

10am

8 pm

Parishioners

Anastasia Sweatman

Prayer Meeting

_Please pray for our sick and those who care for them_Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, Mary Bryden, Owen & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan.& Chris Foster. Remember also those in theparish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

_*Money*_

Offertory last week: £767 p

120 Club Winners No. 91 P White £20

4 numbers still available

Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present. (Edward Hays)

___*Pope’s prayers for*____*December 2011*__
_*General Intention:*Peace among All Peoples.
That all peoples may grow in harmony and peace through mutual understanding and respect.
_*Missionary Intention*_*: *That children and young people may be messengers of the Gospel and that they may be respected and preserved from all violence and exploitation

Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.

(Pope Benedict XVI)

The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon. (Jan L. Richardson)

Christmas Fair 10^th December. Please keep the goodies rolling in. Take one of the yellow flyers to remind you of all that is on offer and encourage friends and family to come along.

Scout stamps are available to you for the next 3 Sundays. Get a good deal and make someone happy by greeting them with a card this Christmas.

Confirmation of the young people of the LPA by Bishop Mark will take place here on Wednesday 30^th. This is an important event in the life of the parish and the LPA so please pray for the people concerned that the Holy Spirit will overshadow them and strengthen their faith.

We have had just one meatless recipe contribution for the box so far -and that was taken by another parishioner! Don’t worry, you don’t need to own up, but the idea is that you _*bring*_your recipes to church and then we make it into a booklet to be sold for a small amount. Shall we try again?

*Diaries to the ready?As the nights get longer and the cold penetrates the bones, the parish team have arranged a barn dance for January 20th -a treat for us to look forward during these long winter months. *

As promised there is now a fine array of Advent books on the bookstall available for you to buy. The price is indicated on the back of most of the items. Included in the fresh stock are a few copies of the *new*Simple Prayer Book at £1.95p. We have marked down the old ones to 50p There are some calendars for children to guide them on their Advent journeys. Why not make someone’s Christmas and buy a new Sunday Missal! Also there will be some pamphlet copies of mark’s Gospel at a mere 90p.

Mass for CGA (Catholic Grandparents Assoc.) at Liverpool Met on Sunday 18^th at 11am. More details on poster. You are welcome to attend this Mass to be jointly celebrated by Bishop Brian and Archbishop Kelly.