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Sunday 21st March is the latest Mass for LGBTQ+ Catholics, families, friends, and allies at St Nicholas' Church. It will also be live-streamed. All are welcome to attend.

Monday 15 March Myanmar/Burma Day of Prayer 7pm
We read in last week's Diocesan Newsletter the closing words in a statement from the Executive Committee of Justice & Peace, Europe on the situation in Myanmar 'We stay united in prayer with the people of Myanmar. You will not be forgotten. May truth, justice and peace prevail'.
We too can add our prayers to those being offered around the world by joining with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in its annual day of prayer for Burma online. Benedict Rogers, CSW’s Senior Analyst for East Asia, will host the event and will be joined by Cardinal Charles Bo and Lord David Alton amongst others. Please join in prayer for Burma at this critical time.
See the link to sign up for the prayer session by CLICKING HERE

Thank you Deacon Vincent for your reflections on the reading of 4th Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday)
"1st Reading The Second Book of Chronicles 36: 14-16, 19–23.
This book, in the Jewish version of the Old Testament, is the last book and so the editors end at verse 23, with a message of HOPE, because whatever the disaster to befall the people of God, He is always Faithful to his plan of Redemption. The writers of this book pondered over why God seemed to have abandoned the people and allowed the Sanctuary of the Temple to be destroyed and the survivors taken in slavery to Babylon. This was a disaster for the Jews of the similar proportions to the recent Holocaust. They had to discover why they were suffering, and so they determined it was because they had defaulted on the Covenant and despite the many Prophets God sent, they ill-treated them and followed other ways of living. Hence when the crisis came they did not have the wit to be able to resist the Chaldean invaders, and so were defeated and became slaves, carried away from their homeland to serve in Babylon. Their Sabbaths away from home would last 70 years. But God’s plan had to be accomplished, so Jeremiah was sent to Cyrus, who listened and obeyed the Word of God spoken to him and allowed the Jewish slaves to return free, to re-build the Sanctuary in Jerusalem. God will use Gentiles to accomplish his tasks, so he blesses Cyrus’ endeavours. It is important for us to ponder how God extracts us from disasters, by using scientists and strangers to find solutions, so that we can continue to give glory to Him, and spread the Good News of His Love throughout the world, enabling His Kingdom to Come!!
Psalm 136: 1-6.
In this psalm of one of the exiles to Babylon, we begin to grasp the pain of them being taken away from their home, and they think from their God, as they live among the unbelievers. “Sing us one of Zion’s songs.” Their captors ask, “O how could we sing the song of the Lord on alien soil?” This is a heartfelt cry, so we can get a glimpse of their despair, and sense of loss.
2nd Reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 2: 4-10.
We are invited by St. Paul, to be astonished at God’s generosity, and concentrate on the main theme of Paul’s belief that the Resurrection has a distinct effect on our lives, as Christians, not from anything we deserve, but from the bottomless bounty of God’s loving generosity. He describes us as God’s work of art (or poem). It is worth pondering on the fact that God considers us as his work of art, or poem. We might just think about this in all our sorrow for our offenses, the times we have not lived up to our calling. God regards us as his works of art, so rejoice and be glad at his great generosity.
The Holy Gospel according to John 3: 11-21.
Nicodemus comes by night to the “Light of the World”, Jesus Christ. John is implying that we are in the dark, but if you but move into the light of Christ you will understand. God is not interested in punishing the world. Things go wrong when we move away from his “Way”. He sent Jesus not to condemn, but to save the world. This great saving act will be revealed when Jesus is lifted up on the cross, just like Moses cured the people of the snake bites when he lifted up the serpent in the desert. This is God’s great generosity, so we should always rejoice in our Baptim into the Light of Christ. Evil hates the light, but those who choose Christ come out into the Light. By our Baptism we are re-born into the Light of Christ. This a great day of Joy for us, so we should always be glad and rejoice in God’s great love for us, his works of Art.
God Bless you all, and Keep Safe.
Deacon Vincent"

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