Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday, 2nd September 2018. Cycle B

03/09/2018

St John the Evangelist

128 Bebington Road, New Ferry, CH62 5BJ

Diocese of Shrewsbury   (reg. charity 234025)

 

Parish Priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw          Deacon: Revd Michael Daly   Phone:   0151 645 3314

Email:     stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com Websites:   www.stjohnevang.co.uk           www.lpa24.org

 

 

Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday, 2nd September 2018. Cycle B

 

FAITH IN FOCUS: LOOPHOLE RELIGION

 

Cardinal Richlieu lived in 17th century France. Like all priests he had made a promise to say the prayers of the Breviary every day. These prayers probably took between 30 minutes and an hour, and in order to get through them he would start at 11.30pm and then at midnight he would say the next day’s prayers. This meant he only had to say the prayers three and a half times a week instead of seven. He fulfilled the religious requirements with the minimum of effort because he’d found the loophole.

The Pharisees in today’s gospel had similar ideas and Jesus detested what they did. They knew how to get away with the minimum because they knew the Law backwards. But perhaps they didn’t know God. They could find all the legal loopholes that made them look good without coming closer to God. And yet they were critical of other ordinary people who struggled to keep the rules. Oddly enough they were not mainly priests. They were largely lay people, illiterate merchants, country people and artisans. At the time of Jesus there were about 6,000 of them.

Jesus called them “hypocrites”, a word that simply means “play actors”. They gave a good performance but their hearts were not in it. And Jesus tells the crowd that God is not interested in the external rituals and practices but in a person’s motives. It’s not what you do but the reason you do it. The “why” is all important.

We sometimes say that a person is a “devout Catholic” or a “staunch Protestant” and we mean it as a compliment. But what does it really mean? What do we have to do in order to qualify for such a reputation? Too often we really mean that these people are always seen in church or are known for their strong beliefs. Today St. James reminds us that all the laws and customs of religion are of no use if we are not really listening to what God wants of us. And he gives us an acid test that is found throughout the bible. How do we treat people who can give us nothing in return (for him these were the widows and orphans of society)? Is our religion about seeing the face of God in the lives of ordinary people and acting on their behalf or is it simply about keeping the rules and safeguarding our traditions? Do we honour God with our hearts or just our lips??

 

Following on from our successful Tuesday night Grace Group, we’re looking to start another all-female Cell Group on Wednesday evenings, starting late September.  Initially meeting every week for 6 weeks, we’ll be studying the book of Esther while loving, encouraging and supporting each other through this amazing adventure called faith! If you’re interested and would like to know more, please contact Claire Griffiths on  07985 312703.

 

Please continue to give generously to the Foodbank. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items for the ITEMS URGENTLY NEEDED: Tinned fish and/or meat, tinned fruit, tinned custard, pasta sauce, long grain rice, instant mash, deodorant, washing powder tablets

 

 

Merseyaid Thank you to everyone who has donated for the refugees. We are no longer able to accept any clothing at present as we do not have a warehouse on the Wirral to sort out and store our donations. This may change in the future and I will keep you informed. Please keep recycling your pre-loved clothing at other outlets. There are always people in need. For any information telephone me 0151 645 7645. Thank you. Cecily Sabino.

 

WORD OF GOD

Theses people honours me only with lip-service while their hearts are far from me. (Mark 7: 6)

 

 

 

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings.

 

 

 

If you have a notice for the bulletin please email it to the parish email address or put it through the presbytery letter box by 12 noon on Thursdays. Many thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

22nd Sunday in Ord Time Cycle B 2nd 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

John McIntosh RIP

Intentions Daly Family

Prayer Meeting

 
Monday 3rd 9.15am Ints Sr Francis Guiney  
Tuesday 4th 9.15am

7.00pm

Michael Brannock Annv RIP

Novena

 
Wednesday 5th 9.15am Ints Canon Brendan Hoban  
Thursday 6th 7.30am Jack McCormick RIP  
Friday 7th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion  
Saturday 8th      
23rd Sunday in Ord Time Cycle B 9th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Sid & Mary Havaard Annv RIP

Brian Nicholson RIP

Prayer Meeting

 
   
Confessions Saturday 4.15-4.45pm  
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily Masses  

Money Matters: Offertory collection £554.51p

The final total for the retiring collection for the Spiritans amounted to £449.80p  Thank you for your continued generosity.

 

Baptisms: The diary for Baptisms is filling up rapidly, so please give us plenty of notice by phoning 645 3314 or emailing us, especially if you have a particular date in mind. We do not want anyone to be disappointed.

 

Confirmation 2018: This year’s Confirmation Mass with Bishop Mark presiding will be held at St Anne’s Rock Ferry on Friday 23rd November at 7pm. The preparation programme will start in September and is open to candidates in Year 9 and above. For further info please email us at st.annes@hotmail.co.uk

 

Weddings: If you are intending getting married at St John’s in 2019 please let us know as soon as possible.

 

 

Tea & Coffee after Sunday 9.30am Mass every week in the Parish Centre. Why not stay a while and meet up with friends old and new.

 

Catholic Chaplaincy at Wirral Hospitals.

If you or any member of your family or a Catholic neighbour or friend are admitted to any of our local Wirral hospitals and wish to be seen by the Catholic Chaplain or receive the Sacraments during their stay in hospital, please telephone 0151 678 5111 Extn. 2275 and leave the patient’s name and ward along with your request for a visit by the Catholic Chaplain.

 

Church Flowers A big “thank you” to the ladies who have joined the team following the recent appeal in the bulletin. If anyone else would like to join our happy band of flower arrangers please contact Kath Clements telephone 0151 334 8272. Ideally we would like to create a four week rota which means that we are looking for just 2 or 3 additional volunteers please.

Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour  From THIS Tuesday         4th September at 7pm and every First Tuesday of the month thereafter a group of parishioners are going to pray this devotion in Church at 7pm. This will be followed by a monthly Benediction. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in this longstanding devotion of the Church which has and continues to bring many blessings and answers to prayer.

Parish Social/Fundraising activities. THIS Tuesday,    4th September at 7.45pm in the Parish Centre there will be a short meeting to discuss future social and fundraising activities in the Parish. What about a Christmas Fair? The Parish Pastoral Team has identified this as a possibility . Would you like to help to make it a reality bringing together our Parish Family and raising much needed money for our Parish. Please do make every effort to come to the meeting on 4th September and if you cannot make it, please let us know your thoughts/views etc.

Adoremus: Next weekend

7th-9th September in Liverpool. Our Parish Delegates should have now received their tickets and packs. If you have not received your pack please contact helen.jones@dioceseofshrewsbury.org Payments for Adoremus are now due: – £20 for one day, £40 for two. (This is the half price rate promised at the time of booking). Cheques payable to St John’s Parish (or cash) to

Fr Bernard, please, this weekend or sometime during this week.

During the Congress a varied Parallel Programme of events will be taking place in and around Liverpool which are open to everyone. For full details of this parallel programme please follow the Adoremus link at www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org.uk.

At Anne’s, Rock Ferry there will be a Day of Eucharistic Adoration on Wednesday,                       5th September from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

 

Mass at 12 noon. This will provide a fitting and immediate preparation for those who are going

to the events in Liverpool and at the same time offer an opportunity for those who cannot attend the congress to spend some time in prayer to support it.

LPA Trip to Shrewsbury: The local parishes are arranging a trip to Shrewsbury on Saturday

29th September. The trip will include Mass and a tour of   the Cathedral followed by free time to explore Shrewsbury. A coach will leave

St John’s at 8.15am and will depart Shrewsbury at 4pm.

 

All members of the Shrewsbury Lourdes’ Hospitality are invited to the AGM, which will take place at

2pm on Sunday 23rd September at St Chad’s, Stockport Road, Cheadle, SK8 2AF (for full directions go to St Chad’s website http://www.stchadscheadle.com). Contact kathemsley@gmail.co.uk for further details.

 

 

A Pastoral Letter

On Celebrating the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress: Come, let us adore!

To be read in all Churches & Chapels of the Diocese on Sunday 2nd September 2018

My dear brothers and sisters,

A great and historic event is about to take place in Liverpool. It will involve several thousand Catholics coming together next weekend, representing millions of the faithful across England and Wales. This, the first National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress to be held in our land for more than a century, has the title ‘Adoremus’ – ‘Let us adore!’ Whilst hundreds of delegates from this Diocese will take part in the Congress on the Friday and Saturday, the National Pilgrimage will close on the Sunday with an event open to everyone: a Blessed Sacrament Procession starting from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King at 1 pm. I hope you may be able to take part in this act of public witness. However, I appreciate many will not be able to be physically present in Liverpool, so I write to invite you to be personally and spiritually part of this pilgrimage. Pope Francis spoke in June this year of how Christ now gives himself to us under the simple form of bread; this, the Holy Father declared, is “the only food which satisfies, for there is no greater love. There we encounter Jesus really …” It led Pope Francis to make this call to everyone: “Let us make Mass our priority! Let us rediscover Eucharistic adoration in our communities”.1

This is a beautiful description of the goals of the Liverpool Pilgrimage and Congress and explains how each of us can be part of it. It is a moment to renew our faith and love for Jesus, truly God and truly Man, who “makes himself wholly and entirely present” in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.2 In the words of Saint John Paul II, “Faith demands we approach the Eucharist fully aware that we are approaching Christ himself”.3 Today in the Book of Deuteronomy we read, “What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord God is to us whenever we call to him?” (Dt 4:7). The answer to this question is now wonderfully given in the Mystery of the Eucharist. May we all draw closer to Him who desired to remain so close to us, and not become like those of whom Jesus says in the Gospel, this “people honours me with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me” (Mk 7:6).

1 Homily of Pope Francis, Corpus Christi 2018
2 cf CCC 1374
3 Abide with us Lord, Apostolic Letter of Pope Saint John Paul II, 2004

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Pastoral Letter: National Eucharistic Pilgrimage & Congress – Sunday 2nd September 2018

When the Church taught how we must each respond wholeheartedly to Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, she turned to the Gospel scenes beginning with the wise men who fell down to worship the infant Jesus. In the same way the Church teaches that, “all the faithful of Christ … must venerate this holy sacrament with the worship which is due to the true God (latria) … For in it we believe that the same God is present whom the eternal Father brought into the world, saying ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’ (Heb. 1:6), whom the Magi fell down to worship (cf Mt 2:11) and whom finally, the apostles adored in Galilee as Scripture testifies” (cf Mt 28:17).4 In the first centuries of the Church, Saint Augustine expressed this call to adore the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood saying, “No one eats that flesh without first adoring it, we should sin were we not to adore it”.5 Eucharistic Adoration is the consequence of the Eucharistic celebration which is itself the Church’s supreme act of adoration, as Pope Benedict explained, “Receiving the Eucharist means adoring him whom we receive”.6

Next Sunday I wish to encourage you to make your own personal pilgrimage by spending some generous time in adoration of Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Saint John Vianney said this time will be the happiest moments we spend on earth! Let us also make reparation for all our coldness and indifference towards so great a Gift as we recognise that “In the Eucharist Jesus does not give us a ‘thing,’ but himself”.7 May this also be a moment to pray for those in our own families, parishes and our nation as a whole who may have lost sight of so great a Love revealed in the Eucharist, “a love which knows no measure”.8

May this coming Sunday be marked by such adoration renewed not only in the hearts of the delegates gathered in Liverpool but in every parish and community of our Shrewsbury Diocese. Let us hear the invitation in the memorable words of Saint John Paul II, “Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous in going to meet him in adoration and contemplation that is full of faith … May our adoration never cease”.9

United with you in this Eucharistic faith and adoration,

+ Mark

Bishop of Shrewsbury

4 Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist, Council of Trent, Chapter 5 5 Commentary on the Psalms 98:9
6 Sacramentum Caritatis, n 66
7 Sacramentum Caritatis, n 7

8 Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n 11 9 Dominicae Cenae, n 3

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