2nd. Sunday in Ordinary Time 18th January 2015 December. Cycle B.

17/01/2015

St John the Evangelist

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

Priests: Fr. Bernard Forshaw assisted by Fr. Emeka

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

Email: stjohntheevangelist

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

2nd. Sunday in Ordinary Time 18th January 2015 December. Cycle B.

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE POWER TO CHANGE

Can a leopard change its spots? Not if it’s a leopard; but it can if it’s a person. This is the fundamental message of grace. We see it time and time again when people’s lives are touched by God. It is not so much that they themselves do the changing as that God is able to transform them by grace.

Jesus indicates this in the case of Peter in today’s gospel. Your name is Simon, he tells him. But you will become Cephas (Peter) which means Rock. Peter’s friends would have found this nickname quite amusing for they knew Simon Peter well. They knew that if there was one thing that he wasn’t, it was steady as a rock. In fact, he was really quite the opposite: he was volatile, unpredictable and unreliable. So Rock was hardly the best way to describe him.

But what Jesus was doing in changing Peter’s name was pointing to the fact that grace is able to transform, to modify what we are and do. It doesn’t damage our personalities; it builds on our nature and allows the best to be brought out of us while leaving us basically the same person that we were to begin with.

So, from being the up-and-down fisherman that he was, Peter would gradually be transformed into a leader, into a fervent teacher and preacher, into the Bishop of Rome and into such a sturdy advocate of faith that he gave his life for Christ.

In a certain sense we can say that each one of us spends our whole lives changing our names. Every day is a call from God to respond to grace and to hone those qualities within us that God has planted for the good of the Church and the world. At birth we were each given a name. At baptism we began a journey whose destination bears a completely different title: our name in Christ. God does not intend you to have the same name as me; the graces given to you are for a different purpose than mine, since you are unique to God’s plan. We can change and we do change our spots. Jesus called Simon to become Peter. What name is he calling you to become?

WORD OF GOD

You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas, meaning Rock.

(John 1:42)

WORD FOR TODAY

It’s easy to get so caught up in the business of daily life that we end up taking our religion for granted, or at least treating it on the same level as many other activities that we spend our time with. Today we are reminded that it is not we who have chosen to serve God; it is God who has called us. And like Samuel we need to be awake to what exactly it is that God is asking of each of us.

The true physician does not preach repentance; he offers absolution.

(H. L. Mencken)

We must aim above all at an inner renewal, a liberation from the mere following of conventions, a new departure in our way of thinking. More than anything else, we must lament our shortcomings before God, and the community of our brothers and sisters. We must renew the self-understanding each of us must have of ourselves as children of God, as members of the Church.

(Pope Paul VI)

I have nothing to give others; but I have a duty to open them to their own life, to allow them to be themselves – infinitely richer than they could ever be if I tried to enrich and shape them only from the outside.

(Michel Quoist)

RETIRED PRIESTS’ FUND – SPECIAL COLLECTION

Today the annual Special Collection for the Retired Priests’ Fund is being held. With your help, we can build up the Fund to meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests.

Special Envelopes are available for you to use. If you use weekly Offertory Envelopes, please can I ask that you write in your envelope number. If you do not have your Offertory Envelope with you, or you give to your Parish by means of a Standing Order, write in your name and home address. In this way, it will be possible to reclaim the tax on your donation if you have joined the Gift Aid scheme.

A Leaflet about the Fund is also available which explains how to make a regular donation to the Fund by Standing Order, or how you can make your donation by cheque. It also explains how to take advantage of Gift Aid to boost your donation to the Fund. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this very worthy cause and would also like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support.

With every blessing, +Mark Bishop of Shrewsbury

2nd Sunday of the Year 18th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

Theresa McLean

Prayer Meeting

Mon 19th. 9.15am Intentions of Pope Francis
Tues 20th. 9.15am Gerry Wade RIP
Wed 21st 9.15am Birthday remembrance

Celeste Ferreira

Thurs. 22nd. 9.15am. Our Schools
Friday 23rd. 9.15am. John O’Shea

Holy Hour

Saturday 24th.
3rd. Sunday of the Year 25th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30 pm

Ivan Gregory

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for

Peter Carr, Colette Howes, Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, Mary Bryden, Josie Toohey, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Rachel Mulrooney, Winifred Sweeney.

Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Morning prayers is said each weekday at 9am before Mass and Holy Hour each Friday after Mass

Money Matters- thank you

Offertory: £488 71p

Books £8.59p

Crib Offerings (Children’s Society) £19.15p- total £103 64p

There are Joint Pastoral Team meetings twice yearly. The next one is at St Anne’s on Tuesday. Will members please be meet at 7.15 for 7.30pm. Please make every effort to attend.

Children’s Liturgy recommences at the 9.30am Mass this Sunday. The team are looking forward to seeing all the children again.

PEACE SUNDAY (January 18th)

What if all the wars in the world stopped? What if dictators handed power back to the people in their land? What if the threat of violence and oppression was taken away from nations and states? What if fundamentalists of all kinds called a halt to their campaigns? Would we then have peace?

No, we would not have peace. All we would have is a truce at best. For peace does not mean the absence of war, violence and oppression. Peace is not the absence of anything. It is a presence.

Peace only exists when men and women recognise the dignity under God of their fellow human beings, and actively work towards creating a world in which each person can flourish in an atmosphere where their personal and national skills and talents can develop and grow without threat and with justice. Peace is more than stopping fighting. It’s creating shalom, that deep-down sense of wellbeing in mutual dependence and trust. And that’s what we pray for on this Peace Sunday.

Christian Unity: St Teresa Speaks

All must be friends, all must be loved, all must be held dear, all must be helped

Please pray for Keith Ferguson who has died recently and whose funeral Mass will be here on January 26th at 2.15pm. Also for Eileen O’Malley whose funeral Mass will be on Thursday 29th.

We ask consolation for their grieving families and friends.

Please see the notice board for details of an FCJ weekend in Liverpool next weekend. An opportunity for young women

CHRISTIAN UNITY OCTAVE (January 18th-25th)

When the bishops gathered at the Second Vatican Council and spoke about Church Unity they reminded us that ecumenism is not something that comes about by the signing of a document from on high. Not does it happen just by making a covenant from below. It’s a grass roots movement. Church unity is only as strong as our relations with our local churches, and, perhaps more importantly, as our desire to serve our fellow Christians. But it’s more than the occasional joint service in one church or another. They go on to remind us that we need to yearn for our fellow Christians’ well-being if we are to bring about unity:

“There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart. For it is from newness of attitudes, from self-denial and unstinting love, that yearnings for unity take their rise and grow towards maturity. We should therefore pray to the divine Spirit for the grace to be genuinely self-denying, humble, gentle in the service of others, and to have an attitude of brotherly and sisterly generosity towards them.”

This weekend we have a local pulpit exchange. The Rev Richard Hambly will speak to us here at St John’s and Deacon Mike will be speaking at the United Reformed Church in Bebington.

Each weekday service starts at 10.30am and the venues are as follows:

Methodist Church on Monday,

St Andrews Tuesday,

Christ Church Hr. Beb Wednesday,

Jireh Thursday,

St Luke’s Friday

St John’s on Saturday.

Antonia Prescott, one of the directors of The Olive Branch Recovery Communities, has sent a thank you letter to the parish. It is displayed on the notice board and in it she explains how our donation from the signing of the Big Christmas Card helped them in several ways- please take time to read about how your money helped.

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