Christian Aid

Another way to help put an end poverty and injustice in the world is by supporting the efforts to raise funds for Christian Aid. For more info click here for fundraising ideas or the parish notice board.
Or listen to the following video:


And if you would like to get involved in the week of activities in Sandy or Biggleswade then please contact Alban on: 681537 or e-mail him on olly1bin@btinternet.com.

Finally I hope the following reflection may help us consider those experiencing severe poverty and injustice in our prayers especially during this week.

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Today's reading

Today's reading, John 8:1-11, is one of the most applicable to today's world, I think. Jesus gives us the stricture that only someone without sin should judge sinners. The woman caught in adultery is accused by many, but none will admit to being sinless and all leave her alone with Jesus:

"Has no one condemned you . . .? Then neither do I."

I think of "road rage" an example of judging others; I see someone else on the road who has done something inappropriate while driving and I judge them immediately; I have to work hard to remember that I too might have been guilty of such a manoeuvre not to long before, and calm down. Jesus does not condemn them and nor should I.

Chris
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Jesus's promise

Part of today's reading, Luke 6:36 – 38 is a wonderful passage.  It's amazing to think of Jesus saying this all those years ago.  To do with how the Father will treat you if you treat others well,


6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”


Chris
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St Patrick's Day

Today, Thursday, is St Patrick's day. He was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland where he spent 6 years of hard labour. Later, when back in England, he heard a call to return to Ireland and he did so as a priest – to bring people to Christ.

In the Confession and Letter to Coroticus, his intimate relationship with his Lord and Saviour is revealed.
‘Keep me as the apple of your eye;
Hide me in the shadow of your
wings.
I sing as I arise today!
I call on my Creator’s might;
The will of God to be my guide,
The eye of God to be my sight,
The word of God to be my speech,
The hand of God to be my stay,
The shield of God to be my strength,
The path of God to be my way.’
(St Patrick)
Bible Alive® 17 March 2011.
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Tsunami and nuclear worries

I reckon that there are a load of people in Japan who need our prayers; just a thought . . .

Chris
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Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. We have until Easter Sunday, on 24 April, to do our spiritual "spring cleaning". May each of us be able to pray and improve during this wonderful period of repentance and renewal. May we all make contact with God and experience his mercy.

Chris

Ash Wednesday cross

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Updated pages

Rather belatedly I have updated the pages for Readers and Eucharistic Ministers. I'm sorry to have taken so long about it, but do have a look and see if it works for you.

Chris
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Feast of the Presentation of our Lord

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, when Jesus was presented in the temple by his parents.  Today we hear the "Nunc Dimittis" by Simeon (Mass is at 0930 at St Peter's).

This prayer is in the Bible Alive © Reflections for today; it's rather beautiful and I thought it worth repeating here:

That true light which enlightens every man coming into his world, has come. Brethren, let us all be enlightened, let us all be filled with light…let us all go together bright with that light to welcome with old Simeon that everlasting shining light. Rejoicing with him in our souls, let us sing a hymn of thanks to the begetter and Father of the light, who has sent the true light and driven away the darkness and made us all to shine with light.’ 
(St Sophronius)


Chris
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"Religious Freedom – the Path to Peace"
by Fr Rob Esdaile


Our society seems uncertain how to proceed when it comes to freedom of religion. Yes, of course, people must be free to believe what they wish to believe; yet organised religion is often viewed as the root of conflict, rather than as a means to find healing for our world. The major fault-lines in global politics are conveniently attributed to the influence of different faith-traditions, rather than (for instance) competition among the major industrial nations for oil and other commodities. Within our own country, whole faith-communities are sometimes regarded with suspicion, even monitored by the security services for possible subversive activities. And there is sometimes a suggestion that it would be much easier if those who have a religious faith kept it entirely private.
On Peace Sunday this year (16 January 2011) Pope Benedict has asked us to reflect on the theme of ‘Religious Freedom – The Path to Peace’. He, of course, isn’t suggesting that believers need quietly to ignore each other or to try not to get noticed by others. His line of thought is, rather, that the spiritual dimension is an essential part of our humanity, and that, unless we attend to this, listening to the inner voice of conscience and becoming people of prayer, we cannot hope to attain peace, either personally or as societies and nation-states. Indeed, without developing our religious life we cut ourselves off from the well-springs of peace and from the possibility of being freed from the destructive patterns of past behaviour.
The Catholic approach to the matter is as follows: we believe that all are children of God, bearing the divine image and likeness (see Gen 1.26-27), whether or not they have a religious faith; and if the love of God is our origin, that same love is also our destination. So history is not simply a matter of chance. It is also the story of Salvation, the place of encounter between creatures and their Creator. Here and now the Spirit of God is at work, speaking to the heart and inviting our response.
We believe that God speaks, not just in the Church but in the whole of Creation, and that Revelation has reached its climax in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Here the Word has truly taken flesh. Here God dwells among us, transforming history from within. But, precisely because we believe this, we must be committed to dialogue, seeking the presence of God in our nonChristian neighbours and in secular culture, too; seeking the signs of the action of the Spirit in our world; looking for allies in our search for God’s Kingdom and God’s Justice in our broken world.
Of course, Christians, and Catholics in particular, have not always been champions of freedom. We still live with the scars (and the hostilities) caused by the Crusades, by the Inquisition, by ‘Christian’ AntiSemitism. Yet one of the great fruits of the Second Vatican Council has been, for Catholics, the commitment to religious freedom and to dialogue with people of other faiths and none. Today the Pope calls on us humbly to use our religious freedom, firstly to deepen our own faith; secondly, gently to witness to that faith to others while also patiently listening to their insights; and thirdly, together with them, to pursue the peace that the world so craves but which our humanity can only achieve by attentiveness to the Spirit of God.
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Over this weekend and the next, we will be conducting a parish census. It is more than four years since the last census was taken and our parish records need to be updated. Accurate and complete information about who is living in the parish and pastoral area is vital to strengthening the Catholic community.
You will find a Census card on your seat together with a pen/pencil; would one representative of each household please complete the card and hand it to an usher as you leave the Church after Mass.
The Census is collecting basic information including name, address, telephone and email. Please be assured that the Census information will be used for Church-related activities only. This includes mailings in the parish and Together in Faith, a parish and diocesan fundraising campaign.

Chris
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