5th.Sunday of Lent Yr. B 25th March 2012

25/03/2012

*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@gmail.com

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

5^th .Sunday of Lent Yr. B 25^th March 2012

FAITH IN FOCUS: DYING TO LIVE

One of the saddest stories told recently was about a people that were suffering famine. Eventually they were given some meagre rations to keep them from starving to death. In addition they were given seed potatoes to be planted so that they would produce a crop that would eventually feed them. But they were so hungry that they ate most of the seed potatoes and when harvest time came round the yield was so small that it was not enough to feed them.

Stupidity? Maybe, but who knows what we would have done when the pangs of hunger got the better of us? What the story illustrates is that there are times in life when we have to deny ourselves in order to reap the benefit later. At a deeper level it shows that we have to take the long-term view of many things in life rather than going for the here and now.

Of course, the gospel story today involves Jesus reminding us that like the wheat grain we too have to die in order to live. There are circumstances in which we are asked to put ourselves in second place and see to the needs of others first. And this is what is asked of all Christians.

They are not particularly famous, but they are heroic. There’s the wife who has lived with her husband for forty years and now he’s developed Alzheimer’s disease and no longer knows who she is, yet she is there for his every need, putting him first. There’s the family who live with the consequences of the eldest son’s drug taking. Their lives are regularly thrown into turmoil. It would be easier for them to disown him, but they keep supporting him in the hope that the treatment will eventually come up trumps. And what about the teenager who holds faith with his father even though he regularly fails to turn up on weekend visits, or the husband whose wife fritters away their meagre earnings on drink? Or even the kids who let the no-hoper play on their team because his grandma died last week and he’s feeling really low? And then, of course, there’s you. What wheat grain has been offered to you? For Christ says that if you plant it deep, then you will reap a rich harvest.

_*WORD OF GOD*_

*Unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. (John 12: 24)*

_WORD FOR TODAY_

Dying is something we don’t need to wait until the end of our lives for. There are many ways in which we are called to put ourselves into second place day by day. And dying to self means being prepared to forego pleasure, to put someone else as a priority instead of ourselves, to practise self-denial. Our Lenten reading today reminds us of this daily death.

_FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT_

Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled, made nothing?

Are you willing to be made nothing, dipped into oblivion? If not, you will never really change. The phoenix renews her youth only when she is burnt, burnt alive, burnt down to hot and flocculent ash. Then the small stirring of a new small bub in the nest with strands of down like floating ash shows that she is renewing her youth like an eagle, immortal bird. (D H Lawrence)

*The image of the phoenix has been in front of you throughout Lent. Have you thought about it as you have made your Lenten pilgrimage? Have *_*you*_*been renewing yourself in preparation for immortality?*

*Christ the King’s Walsingham Group is advertising the annual pilgrimage to the shrine. Please see the notice board for the poster with details of contacts if interested in joining them.*

5th.Sun Lent Yr. B

25^th .

5.30pm 10am

8pm

Donor’s Int.

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mon

26^th .

9.15

Joy Gillan

Tues

27^th .

9.15

Friends & supporters of McGuigan Family in their sorrow.

Wed

28^th .

9.15

Peter Gordon

Thurs.

29^th ..

*8am*

Eddie Foley

Fri

30^th .

*11am*

*12md.*

Joan Bacrat

Lenten lunch Parish centre.

Palm Sun Lent Yr. B

1^st .

5.30pm

10am

8pm

Peter James

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

_Please pray for our sick and those who care for them_

Fred Archbold, ,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 & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan.& Chris Foster, Norah & John McManus. Remember also those in theparish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

_*Money- thank you*_

Offertory £ 678 87p.

Family Fast £1059. 07p

(This sum will be added to when we have collected all the Friday lunch monies and then the total will be doubled by the government)

120 Club No 70 W Humphrey . £20

*Flower Collection this weekend & next. Your generosity in these straitened times is very much appreciated.*

*There are three modes of bearing the ills of life: by indifference, by philosophy and by religion. (Charles Caleb Colton)*

Next weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of Holy Week. As usual palms will be blessed in the parish centre and the procession will lead us into church. *Please enter into the spirit of Holy**Week and don’t try to barge your way into church ahead of the procession***If you don’t come to the parish centre you have missed part of the liturgy including one of the readings!

*We have a 4 legged visitor on Palm Sunday and we invite the children’s liturgy group (and some of the adults!) to take home today, the biblical costumes that Maria has organised. They can be found at the rear of the church. You will then be ready to join the procession in style!*

*On Monday 2*^*nd* *we will hold our service of reconciliation as we make our final preparations to celebrate the passion death and resurrection of Our Lord-the Easter Triduum. We will have a collection at the service for the work of Lucy Cottee, a former pupil at Upton. You will recall our collection for this purpose last year and you should have a copy of her letter of thanks distributed to you so that you can see what a big difference your contribution made.*

The local churches are planning a ‘Picnic in the Park’- I am certain you will have read the posters announcing that this is the way in which we plan to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee. This promises to be a really fun day with something for every family member to enjoy. I hope you will do your best to attend the party in Mayer Park on Saturday 2^nd June from 10am until 3pm Bring a picnic and enjoy the fun which includes activities and games, free sports coaching, under 5s play area, refreshments and lots more. See the posters for further details.

_*The Journey of Easter,*_*another Churches together event will take place on Good Friday at 12md from the Lady Lever Art Gallery. This is a family event and includes music and a parade. The children will display a giant cross. This is an important witness of our faith to the local area. Please pray for good weather and try to join in.*

Years ago, when the Betty Crocker Company first began selling their cake mixes, they offered a product which only needed water. All you had to do was add water to the mix which came in the box, and you would get a perfect, delicious cake every time. It bombed. No one bought it and the company couldn’t understand why, so they commissioned a study which brought back a surprising answer. It seemed that people weren’t buying the cake mix because it was too easy. They didn’t want to be totally excluded from the work of preparing a cake; they wanted to feel that they were contributing something to it. So, Betty Crocker changed the formula and required the customer to add an egg in addition to water. Immediately,the new cake mix was a huge success. Unfortunately, many people make the same mistake when it comes to “packaging” or presenting the Christian religion. They try to make the call of Jesus Christ as easy as possible because they’re afraid people won’t ‘buy it’ if it seems too hard Jesus said, unless a grain wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it bears much fruit. Jesus then explained what he meant. He said, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it.” It’s true in life isn’t it? If we are going to get anything out of it we have to invest ourselves in it.

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