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

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

Solemnity of Mary Mother of God 1st January 2012 Year B

FAITH IN FOCUS:MOTHERHOOD, MEDITATION AND MODELLING

It seems such an obvious thing to say, but Mary is the Mother of God. It’s obvious because we hear it said so many times in our lives, yet astounding when we pause to think what it really means. “Bearer of God” was the very first title officially given to Mary by the Church several centuries after her death. A God who is so powerful that he could have chosen to come down to earth as some sort of spectacular phantasm, to arrive here with armies and cohorts, or at least to come here already grown as an adult, this God chose to become a baby that was carried by a young girl and nurtured in a primitive village of the Middle East. We honour Mary for being chosen, one of our own human race, to co-operate with God in this mysterious and mystifying reality. For she is the Mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God.

Yet she can’t have been just any kind of girl. It must have taken a special personality to be attentive to what God was asking of her. Religious art traditionally depicts Mary in prayer when the angel announced she was to be the mother of Jesus. Just carrying Jesus for nine months wasn’t enough. Mary had to enter in faith into God’s plan, even though she didn’t understand its full implications. And this meant that she had to be the sort of reflective person that is open and attentive to God’s presence and voice. St Luke tells us that she pondered all these things in her heart. Her life of meditation must have thrown up so many strange and frightening questions. But in prayer she talked with God.

Mary is a model of our response in faith to God. She is the pattern of trust and surrender that is demanded of all those who are baptised into Christ’s Church. One of the more recent titles given to the Virgin Mary was by Pope Paul VI who called her “Mother of the Church”. For what she did to serve God in her life is what is demanded of each of us: to be attentive to what God is asking of us personally, to place our trust in God’s powerful presence and grace, and then to find God in all the circumstances of our lives as we respond in Christ to the challenges that meet us daily.

WORD OF GOD

As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

WORD FOR TODAY

As our New Year begins we are only too aware that the song of peace on earth that the angels sang on the first Christmas night finds echoes only in bloodshed in many parts of our world. As Mary brought Christ into the world, we pledge ourselves to be instruments of peace wherever we encounter discord, bringing that peace of Christ to our families, our workplace and our world.

MOST HOLY NAME (January 3rd)

What’s in a name? For most of us these days, there’s not very much. Yet in former days names were often descriptive. So we’re used to surnames like Butcher, Cooper, Carpenter, Fletcher, Tucker, Taylor which all originally described the occupation of the person. And first names too meant something. Philip, Lucy, Gareth, Julia, Ernest, Sarah, Peter and Michelle all originally told us something about the character of the individual. Human beings seem to feel the need for this when they create nicknames that encapsulate something of the person’s character.

If Jesus were born into our society today he would probably be called Joshua, perhaps the closest name that we have to his. For his name means “saviour” or “God who saves”. He is called Jesus because that’s what he does: he saves. And the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus recalls that by his coming among us here on earth Jesus has set us free, has saved us from all that otherwise would drag us down and stop us from enjoying life to the full on both sides of the grave. Jesus has claimed us for God. Can there be a holier name than that?

Mary Mother of God 1st 5.30pm 10am

8pm.

Donor’s Int.

Parishioners

Prayer

Meeting

Mon 2nd. 9.15 Alice Hewson
Tues 3rd. 9.15 Martin Ashall
Wed 4th.. 9.15 McCormick & Dunnion families
Thu

Fri

5th.

6th.

9.15

9.15

Nov. List

Kennedy & McDyne Families

Sun

Epiphany

8th. 5.30pm

10am

Donor’s Int.

Parishioners

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them Frances Heslin, James Sweatman, 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, NoraHh& John McManus. Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Money- thank you

Christmas offertory £1692. 39p.

120 Club Winners No. 72 Scout Group. £20

No 112 T Halewood £10

Reconciliation Collection (Ark) £263 09p

Very many thanks for the all the cards and gifts I have received. I feel very fortunate to lead such a fantastic group of caring & generous people.

God’s only Son doth hug humanity into his very person. (Edward Taylor)

The new supply of Sunday Missals has arrived and I know that at least 2 of them have been ordered. 3 more remain if anyone else would like one at £19 95p

Pope’s Prayer Intentions for January 2012
General Intention: Victims of Natural Disasters.
That the victims of natural disasters may receive the spiritual and material comfort they need to rebuild their lives.
Missionary Intention:Dedication to Peace.
That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will.

Don’t forget the Barn Dance which will take place on Friday, 20th January, in Parish Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets £5. Bring your own drink. This is a real family event- and all in aid of the parish centre improvements.

Tickets available from Ann Murray 645 5514 and Bernard McGuigan.645 7929

Upon these two titles, Mary Mother of God, and Mary Mother of mankind, the whole practice of the Catholic’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is built. (Archbishop Goodier)

By the divine artisan man and woman were shaped and fashioned. By a carpenter’s wife they were equipped to enter more deeply into the mystery of God. And by a carpenter’s son on the wood of the cross their brokenness was repaired. (Mercedes de Vega)

THE YEAR OF MARK

On most of the ordinary Sundays during 2006 (except Lent and Eastertide) we will be listening to the gospel as told through the eyes of St Mark.

Many scholars believe that Mark’s gospel was the first to be written down. His credentials for writing a gospel are impeccable. He was a disciple from Jerusalem who experienced Jesus at first hand. He was Barnabas’s cousin and, after the death of Jesus, he worked as an assistant to St Paul. But much of what Mark has to tell us comes probably from the preaching of St Peter.

Like the other three gospel writers he does not try to write a biography of Jesus, but rather to give us an idea of what Jesus did and said. Like St John he tells us nothing of Jesus’ birth but begins his gospel when Jesus is already an adult. So he is not writing a strict historical account; he’s selecting material to make his point. And strangely, Mark does not report Jesus’ teaching at length. Instead he attempts to make his principal point: that Jesus is the Messiah whom the Jews had been waiting for. But not any glorious, military figure ready to lead a political revolt. Jesus is the Messiah, Son of God, who would be misunderstood, humiliated and executed. Mark constantly points out that some of the things Jesus said and did only make sense in the light of the resurrection.

This is the Jesus we will meet each week in Mark’s gospel. Because it is shorter than the others, there is a period in the summer when we will turn to St John and have five weeks looking at the Bread of Life sermon. But for most Sundays our guide this year will be St Mark.

The Childrens Liturgy restarts next Sunday, 8th January at 10.00 Mass. We hope you all had an enjoyable break, and look forward to seeing you all again, together with any new members and helpers.
May we take this opportunity to remind you that to gain the full benefit, children need to be 4 years old and above. Any younger children are welcome to join us, but they must be supervised by an adult, both in the Side Chapel and on the Sanctuary.
With our very best wishes to everyone for the New Year,
The Children’s Liturgy Team