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Day of Reflection
National Day of Reflection - Tuesday 23rd March

Don't forget, we will open the Church from 11am-12.30 for private reflection tomorrow for the National Day of Reflection (Tues 23rd March) to mark the anniversary of the UK's first Covid lockdown & to remember those who have died in the pandemic. You are invited to come in for silent prayer with the Blessed Sacrament between those times or to join together for the minute’s silence & the saying of the Angelus at noon. We will also observe the minute's silence at the end of our usual Mass that evening, coinciding with the national doorstep vigil at 8pm.

Tree of Hope
What an amazing response we have already had to the TREE OF HOPE outside of St Augustine's Church!
There have been so many ribbons tied to the tree over the weekend with a chance to pause and remember loved ones, to reflect on the past year, and to pray for HOPE for the future...
You are more than welcome to bring a ribbon with you to tie onto the tree at any time to suit you or, if you are attending Mass, we will leave white ribbons in a basket to take with you when you arrive and tie onto the TREE OF HOPE as you leave.

Thank you to Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for 5th Sunday in Lent
1st Reading from Jeremiah 31: 31-34.
Jeremiah is taking a message from the Lord to the people. The Lord wants to make a new covenant with the people, not one written down, but one born of love. He wants us to carry his commandments in our hearts so that we automatically do what is right, because we know what the Lord wants of us. Jesus would sum the covenant up as Love God with all you have, and love your neighbour, as yourself, for God’s sake. This is the covenant that Jesus would bring. You will find references to this new covenant in (1 Corinthians 11:25, Luke 22:20 & Mark 14:24, as well as Hebrews 8). This is a strategic point of uniting the Old Testament and New Testament thought. It is an important point for us to ponder at this point in our preparations for Easter. Write God’s Word in our hearts; and come alive with the Spirit.
Psalm 50: 3-4, 12-15.
This penitential psalm continues the theme of Jeremiah, whereby it requests a new heart, a pur heart, and a steadfast spirit. There is a request that God blot out our offenses, as he promised to do in the first reading from Jeremiah “I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind.” It is a truly beautiful psalm to ponder coming towards Holy Week.
2nd Reading from the letter to the Hebrews 5: 7-9.
Hebrews here is considering Christ as High Priest. Jesus is invited by God to the high priestly task; Jesus painfully gave obedience to God, and so became the source of eternal salvation. This book, although not the easiest, is worth working through as it opens up a view of Jesus as the real thing.
The Holy Gospel according to John 12: 20-30.
Now, Jesus realises the final crisis has arrived, with some Greeks, most probably Greek-speaking Jews, and they approach the two Apostles with Greek names for a meeting with Jesus, and immediately Jesus realises that the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. In the parable of the seed falling to the ground, we realise that death is stalking Jesus. We discover that his disciples must also go his Way, but God is still in control. This is the closest John will get to the Agony in the Garden, but God affirms Jesus, and finally Jesus gives a clear indicator of the type of death he must undergo. “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myself.” By his death we are saved, and are drawn more closely to him, so that in our turn, we also will draw all men to Jesus. That is our task; and it is worth pondering this notion over the coming weeks.
God Bless you all & keep safe.
Deacon Vincent

Act of Worship for the 5th Sunday of Lent
Thank you to Martin Le Poidevin for sharing his musical talents with us once again.

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