17 January 2021 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time




Jason Welch RIP / Nicky Hanley RIP

John Edge RIP / John Reid RIP

Ann & Anthony Horridge RIP





Church is closed for public worship, for the duration of the current lockdown. 




This Week    
  E. Minister Reader
Next Week    
Ministry E. Minister Reader



TODAY IS PEACE SUNDAY (PAX CHRISTI) – A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace
Resources and prayers are available at https://paxchristi.org.uk/peace-sunday-2021

The peace Jesus gives us
Is a peace for today and for the future.
May the Lord give us this peace,
Full of hope,
That makes us fruitful,
That makes us communicative with others,
That creates community
And that always looks to the definitive
Peace of Paradise.

During this octave of prayer for Christian unity let us pray for our fellow Christians from other traditions.  We are all called to be one in Christ!

TIER 5 NATIONAL LOCKDOWN:  Given the soaring rates of infection and the worryingly high death rates and following advice from the Archbishop in his recent letter to all parish priests, the Deanery and Directors of Health in Lancashire, there will be no public Masses or services in our church
We know that parishioners will understand and welcome this decision.
We all have a moral responsibility to protect the lives of those around us, not just our families, but those in the wider community, especially those who are most vulnerable.
We can do that by observing all the rules regarding social-distancing, wearing face masks, self-isolating and regular sanitising – and also ensuring that we get the Covid-vaccine when we are called to do so.

As you may be aware, our Bishops have lifted the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
To keep Sundays holy, it might be helpful to spend some time reading the Scriptures.  Besides your Bible, the Magnificat publication can be a wonderful aid to prayer and of course, you also get the readings for Mass for every day of the week!  At a cost of less than £1 a week, you may be interested in subscribing now: tel. 020 7448 3618; email: uk@magnificat.com or visit the website: www.catholic-herald.myshopify.com

Masses will continue to be live-streamed and televised for many months yet, so you can still take part in Sunday worship and the Act of Spiritual Communion will continue to be an important part of people’s worship for the foreseeable future.  Please remember that the Sunday obligation remains lifted. 
If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

1st Reading: I Samuel 3:3-10, Speak Lord, your servant is listening
Psalm 39:Here I am Lord, I come to do your will
2nd Reading: I Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20, Your bodies are members, making up the body of Christ
Gospel: John 1: 35-42, They saw where he lived and stayed with hm
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! We have found the Messiah – which means the Christ – grace and truth have come through him.  Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: We have come to know and to believe in the love that God has for us.

 “The Lamb of God”.  A strange title.  But it has a very important and profound meaning in the context of the history of the Jewish people.  John the Baptist stood in the line of that history.  He is the culmination of it, in the sense that he was the final prophet of the Old Covenant, leading to Jesus.
Under the Old Covenant, as we know from our Easter celebrations, the ‘paschal lamb’, the sacrifice offered every year to celebrate and thank God for the escape of the Israelites from Egypt, was particularly significant in terms of prophecy.  The blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the Israelite houses would save them from the destruction about to fall on the Egyptians.  It was to be a ‘lamb without blemish’. 
So now, John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, recognises the One to whom the prophecies pointed and were leading.
The disciples too, having recognised Jesus as a prophet, accept his word.  These men, these three disciples are, like John, Israelites in the tradition of their fathers.  They have listened to the scriptures, read in the synagogue every sabbath, and they have believed.
They have listened, they have believed and now they recognise and accept “the Lamb of God”.
“We have found the Messiah”, they say.


This reflection is from Bernard Keyworth, a parishioner of St Teresa, Upholland.
This Gospel story is about people. By attempting to immerse myself into the story, I try and imagine which one of these people is me. I imagine myself to be one of the disciples. What strikes me about this story is that these two people, Andrew and the other disciple, see Jesus and helped by a personal recommendation, recognise him to be someone of great importance. I think (speaking for myself) in this modern world it can be very difficult to look at others and acknowledge the greatness in them.
The world I find myself living in is very competitive. I always seem to be competing for something: jobs, opportunities, spaces in car parks. To admit that someone is great is apparently not the same as admitting that they are better than me. Rather, it is a trap set by the ego that I often fall into; hence my own reluctance to see greatness in others.
Having said that, there are times in my own life, and I am sure in the lives of others, when I meet, or see, or hear of someone who is so particularly good at something, that my ego is not challenged. Be it a musician, or sportsperson; particularly for me it is often someone who is good at their job, a builder or plumber, maybe someone you can watch from a distance and stand in awe of what it is that they do.
When this happens, I experience a humility, which feels like a pure humility, whereby I don’t feel less of myself, rather, I forget myself. I am sure that is what Jesus had through his goodness, warmth and wisdom, which allowed those around Him to forget themselves; perhaps the best word to describe it is Charisma (which I looked up and found to come from the Greek meaning for “Gift of Grace”). Jesus must have had charisma. It was first recognised by John, and that made these two disciples follow him.
This is the beginning of their story of Calling. In that instant they and subsequently Peter, followed Jesus throughout his ministry, to the end. This beginning is where they saw Jesus as more than just a man, rather, someone of greatness.
Of course, for the Jews, living at this time, they were looking for someone that John describes in this reading as the Lamb of God. Someone who has come from God, someone who (from my understanding of the word Lamb) could take on board one’s sins. Certainly, for these Jews to believe that they were meeting and following the Messiah, as these two did, it must have been a life changing experience.
This helps me to reflect on an aspect of the human condition that I think many others experience, namely the fact that despite all that the world offers, there is something missing. Regardless of the current climate, in this country certainly, we live in privileged times; we have a good health service, enough food and lots of opportunities.
Yet despite everything that is good, there is still something missing from my life; there is something that isn’t quite right. There is a gap in my life. Others have described it better, by identifying that there is something there that is not quite satiable, certainly not in this life. In some ways, I think that if I didn’t believe, this could be a real source of anxiety and depression. I would feel that no matter how good things are, no matter how rich or healthy, no matter how wonderful it is to be around friends and family, there is always something missing. Far from being depressive, this does indicate for me that there is something more that this world can offer.
I think that the people in the Gospel, Andrew, Peter and John knew this. They knew that this world could not satisfy completely, that there was a need for something else. Fortunately for them, and to us who believe, we know that to be the Kingdom, starting now, through Jesus. These men in the Gospel saw in Jesus more than just a man. They were the first believers (amongst the first believers) to believe in something more that this world could offer, a kind of hope beyond hope, someone who could save them, who could take away their sins. Again, this is a concept that I think we in the modern world have lost sight of; the fact that we are sinful creatures and that we do need to be saved from our sins, from ourselves.
As believers we know that there is someone who can do that for us. So, I see myself as one of these disciples. I ask myself how I would react if someone did come along with charisma, who made me forget myself, who could promise to fill that gap in my life and more than that, on a deeper level, take away the badness and wickedness inside me, that would in turn release the goodness and power in me?
This would free me from the selfish ego that would otherwise rule my life. I would be free to love and be loved. If I found someone whom I thought could do that for me, would I follow him? The answer is Yes!

Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by Charlotte Mew (1869-1928).
The Call From our low seat beside the fire
Where we have dozed and dreamed and watched the glow
Or raked the ashes, stopping so
We scarcely saw the sun or rain
Above, or looked much higher
Than this same quiet red or burned-out fire.
Tonight we heard a call,
A rattle on the window pane,
A voice on the sharp air,
And felt a breath stirring our hair,
A flame within us:
Something swift and tall
Swept in and out and that was all.
Was it a bright or a dark angel?
Who can know?
It left no mark upon the snow,
But suddenly it snapped the chain
Unbarred, flung wide the door
Which will not shut again;
And so we cannot sit here anymore.
We must arise and go:
The world is cold without
And dark and hedged about
With mystery and enmity and doubt,
But we must go
Though yet we do not know
Who called, or what marks we shall leave upon the snow.

As a result of your reflection, offer some prayers of intercession for the people and situations in our world today that seem to you to be most in need.

Archbishop Malcolm has asked us to pray the following at this time of crisis:
God Our Father, each person is precious to You.
You are the Giver of life.
Have mercy on us and protect us at this time, as the coronavirus threatens health and life.
You are an ever-present Helper in time of trouble.
Watch over those who are suffering, give strength to those who are aiding the sick and give courage to all in this time of anxiety.
We ask this of you in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ.

We join Pope Francis in his prayer intention for January:
May the Lord give us grace to live fully in fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other religions,
praying for one another, open to all.
We pray for all who are struggling to adapt once again to the restrictions of a third COVID Lockdown …
may we find strength and courage in the knowledge of your presence in the midst of this global pandemic and be supported by family, friends and neighbours.
We pray for all who provide health care in these challenging days and weeks …
may they be given abundant resources to enable all who need them to be cared for with skilled compassion and appropriate medication.

We pray now in the words Jesus gave us:

Our Father, who art in heaven…

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

Locally, there is St Clare’s, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood: www.saintclares.co.uk which streams Mass daily at 9.30am (New time). Please follow the easy links on the website.
https://www.vaticannews.va/en Pope Francis
https://www.churchservices.tv/whats-on-now/ Great selection of Masses and other Church services https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/tv-lourdes/ Mass and daily at 2pm, the Rosary in English
https://www.livemass.org Extraordinary Form (1962 Missal)
Use the website links to EWTN, those who have Sky can tune in on Channel 588, or the Archdiocese to access daily Masses
On the radio: Catholic Radio Sky Channel 0147
Also, you may wish to try the Pray as you Go phone app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.foxcode.prayasyougo&hl=en

PRAYERS from the Archdiocese, for Stations of the Cross etc: https://www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/

Please email the Parish Office with details of any other online services you know of that may help parishioners at this very difficult time. We will try to include them in next week’s Newsletter.

Many thanks to generous parishioners who have sent in donations to our churches. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.
Instead of putting money in offertory envelopes each week, those who are able to make an offering are asked to complete a Standing Order Mandate for your bank, from the parish office. We can email the document to you, if you wish, so that you can print off, complete and send to your bank.
Alternatively, you may still wish to write a  cheque (payable to  ‘Ss Peter & Paul Church Mawdesley’) and post to the presbytery with a covering letter and one offertory envelope for gift aid purposes.

YEAR OF ST JOSEPH: With his apostolic letter, ‘Patris Corde’ (‘With a Father’s heart’), Pope Francis has proclaimed a ‘Year of St Joseph’ running from 8 December 2020 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) to December 2021.At the end of the letter, he asks us to pray the following prayer to St Joseph:
Hail Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you, God entrusted his only Son,
In you, Mary placed her trust,
With you, Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
Show yourself a father
And guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage
And defend us from every evil.
PRAYER CARDS FOR THE YEAR OF ST JOSEPH: Prayer cards are available – please notify the Parish Office and we will send one out to you so that you can say the prayer to St Joseph during the week.  We know we can rely on his guidance and protection in every difficulty and challenge.  And his intercessions are certainly much-needed by us all at the moment!

Denis Blackledge SJ, Jesuit Parish Priest of Saint Francis Xavier’s Church in Liverpool delivers a series of armchair retreats.
​Each week Fr Denis chooses a couple of scripture passages to break open the living word in a homely way to give fresh encouragement, and deepen the daily living of folk as friends and followers of Jesus.
Please use this link: Armchair Retreats | Liverpoolcatholic (liverpoolcatholicresources.com)

For the last ten years, Christ Church in Southport has hosted a public inter-faith Service, which is attended by the Mayor of Sefton, MPs, local faith leaders and supported by UNISON.  Unfortunately, the pandemic means that organisers will not be able to stage a live Service this year.  Instead, they are asking people to log on to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s website, where they will be able to reserve a place at an on-line national Memorial Service.  Type in the following link in order to register your place at www.hmd.org.uk for the Service, which will take place on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm.
The theme of this year’s Service is ‘Be a Light in the Darkness’ – and couldn’t be more relevant in the current crisis.  It is a call to action for everyone marking Holocaust Memorial Day, which asks everyone to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example: identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example: resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.
Increasing levels of denial, division and misinformation in today’s world mean it is important to remain vigilant against hatred and identity-based hostility. Powerful social media, a turbulent political climate, and world events beyond anyone’s control can leave people feeling helpless and insignificant.
However, there is a way for everyone to stand together and represent the best of our shared humanity. We can choose to be the light in the darkness in a variety of ways and places – at home, in public, and online.  And here’s one way: after the on-line Service on 27 January, organisers are asking households across the UK to light a candle and put it in their window to:

  • remember those who were murdered for who they were
  • stand against prejudice and hatred today

Light a candle and put it in your window at 8pm on 27 January 2021  – as long as  you are able to do so safely.

This is a brand new project created by a small team of young lay people to share the Gospel with children. The video episodes are completely free and have been used in many primary schools across the country each week since September. Please click on the link below:
The Mark 10 Mission team is passionate to see the Gospel shared with children and to help them grow in their relationship with Christ. The website is updated each Friday morning with a new episode, so happy viewing!

It is important that we all follow the rules for the Tier 5 National Lockdown in order to protect all age groups, but especially the most vulnerable.
Check out the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home  to find out what the restrictions (and exceptions) are, and to keep abreast of changes in the future
The good news, though, is that the Covid-19 vaccination programme started in West Lancashire on 15th December. The NHS contacts those eligible for a vaccine to arrange an appointment.
Only essential food shops remain open (and post offices)
Leave home to exercise once a day only
No meeting of groups, even outside
No mixing of households
Travel allowed for key / essential workers only
Follow instructions to self-isolate if alerted by Track and Trace
Take regular Covid tests (whenever possible), especially if you’re not displaying symptoms.

It is essential to continue to observe the ‘basics’: hand hygiene, face masks, social-distancing – and lots of good ventilation – at all times