4th.Sunday of Lent Yr. B 18th March 2012

18/03/2012

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

4th.Sunday of Lent Yr. B 18th March 2012

FAITH IN FOCUS: FACE TO FACE WITH THE SERPENT

When they were wandering in the desert, the Israelites began to get fed up. They lost faith in God’s promise of a land of milk and honey, and when Moses went off they began cursing God for being so slow to help them. They were afflicted with a plague of snakes that packed a deadly bite.

When Moses found out about it he had a bronze serpent made and anyone who had been bitten had to look at the serpent lifted up on high. If they did this they were saved.

What Moses was doing was making them look at a symbol of their own sin. When they saw the bronze snake they remembered and acknowledged their sinfulness. Of course, it’s not a pleasant thing to look at one’s own sinfulness. We find it hard to do for more than a moment or so. That’s because we are reminded of the hurt that our sin causes, and of the gap between the way we act and the way we like to think of ourselves as being. It’s hard to face the serpent within us.

Yet the simple truth is that all God demands of us is that we look deep into our own hearts and recognise our need for change. This is the message of our six-week season of Lent. And we have to be prepared to shed light in the darkest corners of our lives if we are to allow God to take what is rotten and breathe fresh life into it.

If it all depended on us, then we would be lost indeed. Yet the paradox of Christianity is that when we confess our guilt we are saved not by our own efforts but by the grace of God. What sets us right in God’s sight is Jesus’s death on Calvary, not our penitential practices.

And it doesn’t take a genius to notice that when Christ is lifted up on the cross, like the bronze serpent was in the desert, we are reminded of our sin. Christ died so that those who are baptised in him might themselves die to sin and rise to a new form of life. By following his example we can end the long reign of sin in our lives and once again be made whole.

WORD OF GOD

The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

(John 3:14)

WORD FOR TODAY

If we were left to ourselves to realise just how far short of God’s ideal we all fall, then desperation would be our only option. Today our scripture reminds us that those who look into their own hearts and turn to God’s mercy are guaranteed not only forgiveness in this world, but eternal life in the world to come.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

Our faith is sound if we believe that no one, young or old, is delivered from the contagion of death and the bonds of sin, except by our Mediator between God and humanity, Jesus Christ.(St Augustine)

Sin is always loving badly, or not loving at all. Redemption is Jesus Christ restoring to the world the full weight of love, which we robbed it of through our sin.

(Michel Quoist)

Doctors tell us that when a snake bites someone it’s important that they receive the antidote to the bite quickly, and that this antidote is actually made from the poison itself. In a strange way this is mirrored by the bronze serpent as the antidote to the Israelite’s threat, and even more so by Christ being lifted up with the weight of sin so that our sin may be wiped away.

(Yvonne Lunt)

4th.Sun Lent Yr. B 18th. 5.30pm 10am

3pm

8pm

Parishioners

John Devine

Stations of the cross

Prayer Meeting

Mon 19th. 9.15 Vic Gemmell
Tues 20th. 9.15 Jim Sweatman
Wed 21st 9.15 Danny Kenny
Thurs. 22nd. 8am Carolan Int.
Fri 23rd. 11am

12md.

Eleanor McGuigan

Lenten lunch Parish centre.

Sat. 24th. 11.45 Carmelite mass
5th Sun Lent Yr. B 25th. 5.30pm

10am

8pm

Donor’s Int.

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

John Rooney, John Price, Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Teresa McLean, 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 & JosieToohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan. & Chris Foster, Norah & 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

Offertory £829. 78p.

Boiler £58 30p

120 Club No.113 M Rooney £20

For the next week or two, there will be a retiring collection for Easter flowers, the first of two this year. The next collection won’t be taken until Advent so your offerings will take us through until then. Your great generosity is much appreciated by the flower ladies.

Advance warning of our Holy Week Reconciliation which will take place at 7.30 on Monday 2nd April.

Today is Mothering Sunday – a Christian festival celebrated throughout Europe that alwaysfalls on the 4th Sunday in Lent when families traditionally revisited the

churches of their baptism (Their Mother church) Secularly it has become a celebration of motherhood.

Have you returned your CAFOD envelope? If not you can put them through the door of the house or simply add your donation today. Remember the Government will match pound for pound the donations you make to CAFOD this Lent. What an opportunity!

The Pilgrim Troupe invites you to join them in the parish centre on Friday 23rd for a liturgy entitled The SHADOW OF THE CROSS.You may have been to some of their Lenten liturgies in the past but this one is newly written and gives fresh insights into Jesus’ journey to Calvary. We have always supported these events well in the past and I hope this will be no exception. No charge is made but they have a retiring collection for CAFOD.

Please see the notice boards for details of various talks and retreats taking place both locally and in the diocese. There are lots of things on offer including a talk by Fr. Nick Kern to take place at Christ the King on March 22nd at 7.30pm. The title is Models of the Church and arises out of the book of the same name written by Cardinal Avery Dulles

There will be a meeting in the Parish Centre on Saturday, 24th March, at 11am to plan for the Summer Fair and future social events.All welcome.

Laetare Sunday This sneak preview of Easter joy in the middle of Lent is a subtle invitation to respond anew to God’s invitation to deeper friendship with each one of us. How has Lent been going for you so far this year? Will you employ the brief recess from Lenten penances occasioned by LaetareSunday to examine your capacity for love? Will you be ready to modify (or begin) your Lenten project if the need for such seems indicated?

Lent is a great time to begin some serious spiritual reading, well-rooted in sound Catholic tradition that will help us grow in the knowledge of God and of his saving love.

You may have read in the local Press about the death of a teacher at Upton Hall.

A devout Catholic, Gerard Donovan was the Director of 6th Form and was very much loved by pupils and staff alike. He worked incredibly hard to help pupils get into their universities and colleges of choice. He leaves a wife and young son. The school has been rocked by the deaths of two pupils over the past year and is now mourning again. Please remember them all in your prayers.

19th March marks the feast of St. Joseph, the beloved and silent husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was the earthly guardian of Jesus.

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