From Canon Bennie

I want to repeat my thanks of last week for the lovely Easter Liturgies that we had.

“He who sings prays twice” said St Augustine. Certainly, our Music here was outstanding for both Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The latter lasted well over 2 hours. Normally I would notice when a Liturgy ‘drags’ (and just goes on for too long). When I hopped on my scooter (to get back to Shefford) I was sure the clock on my bike had lost its brains…… I just could not believe it lasted for so long and yet I had never noticed. Thank you all our Musicians. AD MULTOS ANNOS.

Both of our Parishes – at Shefford and here – thoroughly enjoyed joining each other. Obviously, it would have been much lovelier if we had the usual complete Masses and Liturgies in each Parish. But, as with many areas in the Dioceses, nowadays, Parishes are increasingly having to share a priest. Thank you very, very much to those of you who came across for Holy Thursday to St Francis. And thank ye too for the great welcome that you gave folk from St Francis at the Holy Saturday Liturgy. Our Servers – just like the Musicians – made a huge contribution to the “feel great” factor that was present during and after both Thursday and Saturday.

And – finally – thank you…. each and every person for the very generous Easter Collection. ***
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The Kerygma

Acts 3:11-26

One of the central truths is the basic gospel message, the kerygma. It is this initial proclamation of the gospel that has the power to change our world our culture and our society – but most of all ourselves. It is first and foremost the message of God's mercy, the message that: "God loves you, Jesus forgives you your sins and the Holy Spirit gives you strength. God has a plan for your life, and you are son or daughter of God, who pours out upon you every spiritual blessing, grace and gift."

Chris
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Easter!

I hope you all have a lovely Easter. I pray especially that God will bless, with Joy, your Family, your home, your concerns.

I thank everyone who made our Holy Week and Easter Liturgies. Musicians, Servers, Extraordinary Ministers, Readers, Commentaries, Flowers, Cleaners, all enhance our Liturgies. I thank God for you and for the time that you are able to give to Him and His Church. These lovely occasions never just happen, as if almost, by accident. May God reward you all for the time that you devote to Him.

It was so pleasing to see the wonderful turnout for our Liturgies. Shefford Church, on Holy Thursday, was like a wedding ceremony – bride’s family on the one side of the Church and the groom’s clan on the other side. The turnout was so pleasing and amazing. Again – well done everybody.

AD MULTOS ANNOS.
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Repentance

John 13:21-38

"No one is beyond redemption. There is no crime, no misdeed, no transgression beyond the reach of God's mercy. However, the sin or transgression that is beyond God's reach, that cannot be forgiven, is where the person who committed it does not seek or want God's forgiveness or mercy. They close their heart and turn their back on God . . . This is why the grace or repentance, the act of contrition, is such a mercy: because it is a sign of God's presence in our lives."

Lord Jesus, this Lent lead me to make a good confession. May I seek out the grace of God's mercy and forgiveness with a humble and contrite heart.

Bible Alive
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Waste some time . . .

John 12:1-11

One of our most precious commodities is our time. During Holy Week, like Mary, we wash Jesus' feet with oil and tears of our time. Waste some time, pour it out generously; find some space to be still and be with God.

Chris (quote from
Bible Alive)
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The Meaning of the Cross

Jesus's cross "has given a meaning to the various, shifting course, the trials, the temptations, the sufferings, of his earthly state. It has brought together and made consistent all that seemed discordant and aimless. It has taught us how to live, how to use this world, what to expect, what to desire, what to hope. It is the tone into which all the strains of this world’s music are ultimately to be resolved.”

Blessed John Henry Newman
http://www.cardinaljohnhenrynewman.com/embracing-the-cross-cardinal-newman/
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Holy Week

On Sunday Holy Week begins. Remember that Jesus was not the victim of the events or of the circumstances of his Passion and death: we witness the unfolding of God's plan of salvation. It is the greatest story ever told, but it isn't only a story; these are real events from history. We give thanks and praise to Jesus because he chose freely and willingly to lay down his life – for us.

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep."
John 10:11

Chris
from
Bible Alive
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Prayer – from Bible Alive

In the prayer at the beginning of Mass, the liturgy points out three key attitudes: vigilance in prayer, diligence in charity and exultation in praise. Firstly, we must pray with vigilance. Secondly, we must be hardworking in charity: fraternal charity – not only giving alms, but being tolerant of those who annoy us, our children when they make too much noise, or our husband or wife when they are difficult. Charity or love always mean sweat, hard work, even tears. And thirdly we must be exultant in joy. This desire to encounter the Lord must be our quest, our deepest thirst and desire.

Bible Alive, 7 March 2018

Holy Spirit, give me the grace today to be an authentic witness of Christian joy, hope and love.

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From Father Bennie

I hope that, for you, Lent is going well. Already we are in the second week! Please do look around for Villages’ Lent Courses and Hunger/ Frugal Lunches going on.

This Monday our own Course begins. It will run for 5 Mondays. It is based on Our Lady and how she carried out God’s will and how she can help us do just this.

Looking ahead, we will all be affected by the Parish having to share me with Shefford – especially in Holy Week. I am hoping that parishioners at both St Francis and here can share my services during Holy Week.

I hope to do the Holy Thursday Mass at Shefford (8.00pm) plus Watching until Midnight. Then I hope to do the Easter Vigil here at St Peter’s (8.00pm Saturday). Good Friday is easy because Deacon Peter Hyde can lead the Afternoon Liturgy (3pm) at Shefford while I am leading here at St Peter’s (3.00pm).
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From Father Bennie

Lent is the special Season when the Church gives us the opportunity to deepen our Catholic Faith. It is a season of amazing possibilities for grace.

We had an excellent start to Lent with a full Church for the Ash Wednesday Mass. Deo Gratias. Well done everyone who was able to make it………. on a cold and miserable evening.

Looking ahead, we will all be affected by the Parish having to share me with Shefford – especially in Holy Week. I am hoping that parishioners at both St Francis and here can share my services during Holy Week.

I hope to do the Holy Thursday Mass at Shefford (8.00pm) plus Watching until Midnight. Then I hope to do the Easter Vigil here at St Peter’s (8.00pm Saturday). Good Friday is easy because Deacon Peter Hyde can lead the Afternoon Liturgy (3pm) at Shefford while I am leading here at St Peter’s (3.00pm).

This year the annual Lenten Course is on the role that Our Lady plays in the life of the Catholic. It runs on Monday evenings. Coming along will not only enlighten you but also it will help you meet other people and to discuss with them your Faith.

And do not forget that Ecumenically there are Lenten Meetings. Going along to these ecumenical events would be a great way of sharing with your fellow Christians.


Fr. Bennie
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