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Blue Monday
As today is known as '
Blue Monday', we urge anyone who is struggling, on ANY day of the year, to ask for help, to talk to someone, to seek support. Please don't suffer alone...
There are many places to contact who have wonderful people there to help and who can listen to you.
We ask our parish community to pray for God's strength for those who need it right now and God's strength for those who support those in crisis.

Research and visit online resources and helpline... such as; The NHS's "One You" and "Every Mind Matters" campaigns. Samaritans.
Grassroots Suicide Prevention.
PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.
Mind. YoungMinds.
SANE Mental Health Charity.
Supportline. The CALMzone.
The Silver Line

Thank you to Deacon Vincent for his Reflections on Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
1st Reading from 1st Book of Samuel 3: 3-10, 19.
This is the first book of four dealing with the history of how the tribes of Israel transform into a single nation under one king. They are 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings. This book covers the period commencing approximately 1050 B.C. It deals with Samuel anointing Saul as king and David’s advancement. This passage enables us to share Samuel’s first experience of encountering the person of God. There are some key points for all of us from this extract. God approaches Samuel in the stillness and quietness of the night. It is good for us to be still and quiet from time to time; and listen for the Lord. We do not always recognise God’s calling to us. Samuel consults his master Eli about it. We, also, should consult our priest or our spiritual director for guidance, so we can go with confidence to the Lord and say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”. It might seem strange, but we often forget that we are vessels of the Holy Spirit and he is always drawing us closer and closer to the Lord. We need to give time to the Lord in the still moments of our lives so we also, like Samuel, can grow up in the Lord and not let any word of God fall to the ground.

Responsorial Psalm 39:2, 4, 7-10.
A lovely hymn of praise and asking for the Lord’s help. It picks up on Samuel’s experience. Our prayers to the Lord do not fall on deaf ears, the Lord hears us, all he asks is for us to have an open ear to hear him. Never forget to praise and thank Him for all that we are and have.

2nd Reading from 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20.
If we read this correctly we can discover that the early Church did not grow up in a pure and holy era. It grew up in a very coarse and barbarous period. Corinth was renowned for its loose morals, it was a port where many nations came to do business and brought all types of vices with it for entertainment. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians and indeed, us also, to be careful not to slip into the ways of those around us. We need to remember that we are not our own property; we have been bought and paid for by the Lord’s great sacrifice of Himself on the cross. As we have been baptised into God’s family, we have become vessels of the Holy Spirit, so let us keep our bodies pure and holy so that we are not a faulty part of the Body of Christ, his church. This is not easy for us and it was not easy for the Corinthian Christians either. There will always be a struggle against our inclinations, which is why we need to cultivate a regime of prayer and study of the scriptures. Always be careful of the company we keep, so that we are constantly being encouraged to stay close to the Lord. We are on a journey to the Lord, so there will be trials and failures, but never despair. Pick yourselves up and go the Lord; he is always waiting to forgive and rebuild us. He did not come to condemn but to show us the way!

The Holy Gospel according to John 1: 35-42.
The first thing we notice in John’s Gospel is that Jesus is not baptised by John, but is recognised by him, as what he calls the Lamb of God. Now was John referring to the Passover Lamb, or the desert sacrificial lamb who was driven out into the wilderness with all the sins of the people heaped on it? The one thing that is for sure John sees the Holy Spirit come down upon Jesus and is told by God that Jesus is the one that will save the people, by taking their sins upon himself. The other thing we note is that John is speaking to two of his disciples, and when they go off to follow Jesus, he does not call them back, his job was to prepare the people to recognise Jesus, so he has accomplished his mission. Jesus asks the disciples “What do you want? That is a call to us also, as we start to follow him. The disciples are obviously embarrassed and stammer out “Where do you live?” They want to be able to encounter him in the future. Jesus immediately invites them to come and see. That is a call to each, and every one of us. Come and see. It is an invitation to read the rest of this Gospel and come to encounter Jesus the Saviour of the World. Peter is brought to the Lord by his brother, and Jesus immediately recognises his deep toughness and honesty. He will be Cephas the Rock.
Let us stay close to that Rock.
God Bless. Deacon Vincent

Worldwide Marriage Encounter online program

For the past 50 years, Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering marriage enrichment programs all around the world. Focused on couples who want to enrich their relationship and gain a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage, it offers a unique experience to explore your relationship at a deeper, more intimate level, regardless of how long you have been together.
The next Marriage Encounter Online Experience is scheduled on 30 & 31 January 2021 and there are many other dates over the year – you can find out more and book your place at or contact us on 0845 260 2016.

A Message from Bishop Paul McAleenan, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster and Lead Bishop for Racial Justice at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
Ethnic minorities have suffered disproportionately from the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating a systemic problem with racial injustice in our society.
This was dramatically brought home with the brutal killing of George Floyd and the reaction it provoked. As Pope Francis reflects: 'instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think.'
These shameful reminders of racism demand meaningful action to confront and dismantle sinful structures of injustice. Our brother Bishops in the USA remind us that: 'all of us are in need of personal, ongoing conversion. Our churches and our civic and social institutions are in need of ongoing reform. If racism is confronted by addressing its causes and the injustice it produces, then healing can occur.'
Racism is a sin and a violation of human dignity in which we are all complicit. As Catholics we need to acknowledge and confront our own failings, as individuals and as a Church.
Every single one of our parishes, schools and organisations has a responsibility to actively practice anti-racism in all aspects of our mission.
We need to address the lack of visible diversity at every level, so that people can see themselves, their race, their culture and their history in the Church’s life.
We need to engage suppliers and businesses from all parts of the community, seeking out those which promote diversity and inclusivity.
Most importantly we need to actively invite people from different ethnic communities to share their experiences and genuinely listen to their voices, however challenging this may be.
It is not enough to simply denounce racism. This is a time to act. In the words of the Holy Father: 'This is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities — what we value, what we want, what we seek — and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of. God asks us to dare to create something new.'
Join together on Racial Justice Sunday (31st January) in prayer for an end to racism in our world.

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