MASS INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
Winifred, John & Mary Cobham RIP
Sheila O’Reilly RIP
Margaret & Thomas Ryan RIP
WELCOME TO THE NEW WEBSITE FOR SS PETER & PAUL, MAWDELSEY!
Church is open for public Masses on Saturday (5pm Vigil Mass) and Sunday (11.15am). Contact the parish office to reserve seats. Booking is essential as numbers are limited. Thank you.
MANY THANKS: For your cards and generous gifts. They are all most appreciated – thank you!
BOOKING MASSES: It is essential to reserve your place at Mass each week. Stewards cannot guarantee you a place if you have not booked. Social distancing rules mean that we are restricted to a maximum of 30 people. Please help us to keep everyone safe.
MASS ON SUNDAYS
Don’t forget that 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. This is especially important for those over 70 and those with underlying health issues, who may be wary of attending public events.
If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
READINGS FOR 3 JANUARY
1st Reading: Ecclesiasticus 24:1-2,8-12, From eternity, in the beginning, God created wisdom
Psalm 147 – The Word was made flesh and lived among us
2nd Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6, 18-18, Before the world was made, God chose us in Christ
Gospel: John 1:1-18, The Word was made flesh and lived among us
Gospel acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia! Glory be to you O Christ, proclaimed to the pagans. Glory be to you O Christ, believed in by the world. Alleluia!
Communion antiphon: To all who would accept him, he gave power to become children of God.
SPIRITUAL REFLECTION FROM ‘OUR FAITH ON SUNDAY’ – 3 JANUARY
‘O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy’, prays the author of the Book of Wisdom (Solomon?), ‘You have made all things by your Word…’ Written so long ago! And today, in 2021, St John reminds us, ‘In the beginning was the Word… through him all things came to be, not one thing had its beginning but through him’.
This world we live in, this universe, is the work of God through and through. Scientists may come and go, but if they do not recognise that over-arching truth, though they may make remarkable discoveries and advance medicine, engineering etc, nevertheless, they arguably fail to understand their work in terms of the whole.
The ‘world is ablaze with the glory of God’, and both the Book of Wisdom and St Paul tell us that there is little excuse for not recognising it. St Paul writes to the Romans, ‘… ever since the creation of the world, the invisible existence of God and his everlasting power have been clearly seen by the mind’s understanding of created things…’
Indeed, ‘fear of the Lord’, humble awe, at the power and majesty of Gd’s works, is the beginning of wisdom.
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL REFLECTION FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE
This reflection is from Deacon Paul Mannings from the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool
Here we have this wonderful prologue to John’s Gospel in which he sets the scene so powerfully. John goes right back to the very beginning when the Word was God, both then and for all ages to come. The Word became manifest in Jesus who lives among us. One of the many joys of this little season of Christmas is to be able to visit the crib, even virtually, after Christmas Day and to reflect quietly on its whole meaning. However cosy and inviting it looks, we are all aware of the reality, a lowly start for Jesus that signalled His life among us as a time to enter into our hearts.
The crib is the sign of that beginning when His first welcomers were classed as the lowest of the low. He came for all. The great came a little later. True, the family moved on quickly from the stable, but those humble origins were to serve the humanity of Jesus well. Let the crib be a sign for us of God’s call to come among us whatever our circumstances. There is much more. During Christmas we are called to reflect on the fact that the birth of Jesus signalled the start of our call to salvation. God saw what a chaotic place the world had become and turned words into action. Through the Incarnation God came in flesh and blood. Yes, it’s a mystery that we cannot come close to fully understanding, yet what we can accept is the fact that through the Incarnation, Jesus placed his roots amongst humanity, us, the people he came to serve, with the promise of a redemption and the gift of eternal life. He came to be like us in every way but sin. It’s the eradication of sin that provides a lifebelt image to this Gospel. The sea of life is beautiful in so many respects and downright evil in others. Jesus throws us that lifebelt each and every time we are cast adrift and in need of hauling back to safety. He wants to stand alongside us at all times. He wants us to stand alongside him.
In the Gospel we hear that there were people who did not accept him. That remains the case. Equally we have those who never waver in their constancy of faith and good works. There are also others who take the centre ground of faith with a heat level ranging from lukewarm to hot, whatever the circumstances. Jesus has never been phased by peoples’ varying responses to His call. His Word remains the Way, Truth and Life. Commitment to these is the call to us at Christmas. Do we hear Him calling us and in our minds see Him reaching out to us? Do we use the natural gifts we have been given for the good of others? Do we offer reconciliation for the wrongs we have caused and show repentance by a new way of life, however often we need to restart? Returning again to the Gospel, we read that all who did accept Him were given “the power to become children of God.” Let that be our authentic Christmas invitation: that call to holiness by acceptance of God’s desire to enter into our lives.
Now, let’s return again to that crib and, in our hearts, re-dedicate our lives to God, who, from the beginning, was The Word, caused the Word to become flesh and keeps open the plea to live among us. Jesus grew up to live the Word in a human life that was all too short. He depends upon us to make the Word our mission and ministry. Lord, may we return to the crib in twelve months and tell you how we have got on!
PRAYER INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
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,
Prayers this week:
We pray for Pope Francis …
may he continue to proclaim the Good News of the Incarnation and its implications for our world today.
We pray for all the people of Europe as we move into a new and uncertain future …
may future relationships be founded on principles of peace and justice for all.
We pray for the success of the vaccines against the COVID-19 virus …
that their impact might result in increasing confidence in a return to more normal daily living.
Take a few moments to receive and reflect on this poem by Edwina Gately.
God is soaked in our world.
God’s Spirit lives and breathes in and through all that is.
We are lost only
when we do not understand
that God is already with and in each one of us.
Our task is recognition of God’s initiative
to be at home in us—
acceptance of God-With-Us.
Then we cannot but be glad.
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.
THE ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
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.
OFFERTORY DONATIONS DURING THE LOCKDOWN
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.
MASSES ONLINE WILL CONTINUE TO BE STREAMED INDEFINITELY
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 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.
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.
HELP US TO HELP MARY’S MEALS!: Don’t forget to place your orders (email or phone) for the calendars: the proceeds will be split between our two parishes and the amazing work done by Mary’s Meals, to feed children in undeveloped countries, so we’d like to sell as many of these high-quality calendars as possible Price: £10 each (cheques payable to ‘Ss Paul & Peter Club).
CALENDARS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT MASS
MARY’S MEALS: In spite of the horrors inflicted by the pandemic, Mary’s Meals has managed (miraculously) to keep their promise of a daily meal for more than 1.6m children in the world’s poorest communities. They have also been able to provide meals for new schools as well. Obviously the work must go on and there are always children to feed. It’s very easy to forget them, especially when everyone is feeling challenged and stressed by this Crisis, but there is some wonderfully encouraging news: the Mary’s Meals ‘Double the Love’ campaign means that any donations made up to 31 January 2021 will be doubled by the UK Government, so the more calendars we can sell, the more money we can raise and the more children we can feed. What a great start to the New Year!If you’ve already got your parish calendar but would like to find out more about Mary’s Meals, please use the link: www.marysmeals.org.uk
Alternatively, you may like to text a donation: text ‘DOUBLE1’ to donate £1 or DOUBLE5’ to donate £5 to 70450.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY – SEE THIS NEW INITIATIVE! ‘The Mark 10 Mission’
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!
A CHRISTMAS TREAT FOR YOU, FROM THE SISTINE CHAPEL: Click on this link to the Vatican website and the Sistine Chapel in order to take yourself on a virtual tour of Michelangelo’s extraordinary masterpiece: a real feast for the eyes and a lovely moment of mindfulness. Enjoy! http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html
LOTTERY WINNERS – December: 1st – Mrs P Harvey, 2nd – Mr S Mercer (Bretherton), 3rd – Mr J Mercer (Euxton)
HELP DURING THE PANDEMIC
It is important that we all follow the rules for our Tier 4 (Stay at Home) area in order to protect all age groups, but especially the most vulnerable.
No mixing of households / support bubbles indoors
Maximum of 1 ONLY in parks, public spaces (not private gardens)
Cafes and restaurants closed: takeaways / deliveries only
Avoid travelling out of the area (apart from work / education commitments) and reduce journeys
No overnight stays
Work from home if possible
Churches are open but no mixing with anyone outside of a household/bubble
It is essential to continue to observe the ‘basics’: hand hygiene, face masks, social-distancing – and lots of good ventilation – at all times.
You can find details of current measures on Lancashire County Council’s website https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/coronavirus-restrictions-in-lancashire/.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES OR NEED ANY HELP, PLEASE CONTACT FR ANDERS AT THE PRESBYTERY IN TARLETON ON 01772 812242, OR EMAIL THE MAWDESLEY OFFICE.
WISHING ALL PARISHIONERS AND THEIR FAMILIES GOOD HEALTH AND A HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!