Whilst we remain closed for the added safety of our parishioners at this time, we await the latest news from the Government and will keep everyone informed as to when we feel it is safe to resume public Holy Mass.
We have been asked to advertise the fact that St Joseph's Church in neighbouring Fishponds has public Mass should anyone wish to attend locally - the details of their Mass times can be found on their website/newsletter - click here to go to their website
This money will go towards our Parish Project The Patrick Wild Centre who we will continue to support for a further year.
If you would like a jar please let us know and we will put you in contact with Anna.
Throughout Lent, the Bishops throughout Europe will celebrate a series of Masses and invite us to join them in prayer for the more than 770,000 people throughout Europe who have died of Covid-19.
On Tuesday 2nd March, Cardinal Vincent will celebrate a special Mass at 5.30pm in Westminster Cathedral as part of this Eucharistic chain, and invites us all to join him via livestream at www.westminstercathedral.org.uk
In this week's talk on the Diocesan "Dare to Dream" Lenten series, Fr Tom Finnegan talks from Trowbridge about the challenges of the 'desert' we have all been in over the past year and how to we need to learn how to live with the new days and challenges ahead.
"In the midst of everything remember that God is with us"
You can see the talks and look through lots of Lent resources on the Diocesan website. CLICK HERE
"The Invisible Suitcase"
A beautiful animation from Child Bereavement UK which explains dealing with emotions in such simple and effective terms.
Another useful charity contact should, you or anyone you know, have a child who needs support.
Please consider supporting charities such as this one in these difficult economic times for the charity sector ~ when fundraising opportunities are lower but the need for their services is higher.
Thank you Deacon Vincent for your reflections for 1st Sunday in Lent.
1st Reading from the Book of Genesis 9: 8-15.
Genesis means “origin”, or “birth”, or “coming to be”, it is a Greek word, the Hebrew name, being, “In the Beginning”. Hence, we have the Gospel of John commencing with the Hebrew title to the first book of Holy Scripture. Genesis is not meant as a historical book, but purely an illustration that everything begins and ends with God. It has a long and complex history, and we cannot be sure when it was written. We should allow the text to take us ever deeper into the mystery of God. The passage we have before us is just after the flood, when Noah and his family, together with the animals are disembarking, and God is addressing them, concerning his Covenant that he will now make, not just with mankind, but every living creature upon the earth. This beautiful image of the rainbow being a constant reminder of this Covenant. It is amazing that after thousands of years we are summoned to be reminded of the Israelites, looking up and being happily ensured that all will be well, and that they are dealing with a kindly and loving God, unlike the irascible and unpredictable gods of the surrounding cultures. It reminds us just how lucky we are to be baptised into this family of such a loving God, who does not just love mankind, but everything of his creation, the whole universe. It is an appropriate beginning to this celebration of our Lenten meditation.
Psalm 24: 4-9.
This psalm focuses upon requesting God’s forgiveness and help to amend one’s life. Just imagine the thousands of people who have reflected upon these words, endeavouring to turn away from sin and believe the Good News. Let us make use of this lent to reflect and follow the Gospel Life more enthusiastically in the future.
2nd Reading from the first letter of St. Peter 3: 18-22.
This is the end of a passage offering comfort to those suffering for the Gospel life. We need to focus upon Christ and see that he also suffered and so we have his consolation t help us through. Some scholars think this is a homily for those about to be baptised, hence the detailed instruction about the true meaning of baptism. Peter refers us to the passage we have read in the First Reading today, namely the flood that it was a loving God that saved Noah, his family and his creatures, by a type of baptism. Through the living waters of baptism comes new life, by the Spirit, it is not just a washing, but a re-birth.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 1: 12-15.
Here we are looking at the results of Jesus baptism in the Jordan and his anointing by the Holy Spirit. Baptism is our common theme and the New Covenant. There is a breathless, urgent quality in the early chapters of Mark. The word that is used is usually translated as sent, but it is more urgent than that it implies that Jesus was hurled into the desert by the Spirit. Notice the starkness of the passage where immediately John is arrested, is the moment that Jesus mission begins. There is a great urgency in Jesus message. It is now a decision is required, and just like John he tells the people that they must repent, turn their lives around, and get their priorities corrected, but there is an addition, they must believe the Good News (Gospel); the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand. The Kingdom is already here it is within our grasp, if we but follow Jesus Christ. This, “Way”, is the road to eternal life with our heavenly Father, a journey with its trials, but full of joy for those who embrace the journey. Let us take the opportunity of this lent to really work at amending our lives, and become happier and more loving people, for God’s sake.
God Bless you all & have a Joyous and Holy Lent.