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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

Hosanna!

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Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
 
The death of Jesus was the most significant, momentous, important and wonderful death in human history.  Wonderful because through it he redeemed the world.
 
When you read the Passion today you could ask the Spirit to help you rejoice and glory in the events that are unfolding.  The Spirit leads us to see the instrument of torture, this sign of primitive brutality, as the sign of life.
 
The death of Jesus on the cross is not merely an historic event: it is made real and present to us when we celebrate the Eucharist.  But there is also a way in which the Spirit wants to make it real and present to us in our lives.
 
In other words, we can hope to understand it more deeply, enter into its mystery in a new way, grasp its significance and meaning more actively in our lives.  The key is to want this, desiring it and praying for it.  
 
In this way we can come to understand that the cross is a message with power: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
 
Lord Jesus, you paid the price for our sin.  Teach me this week to glory in the cross and to bow down before you, the Crucified and Risen Lord.
 
Chris
 
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Jesus is God

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John 10:31-42
 
St Athanasius put it well when all those centuries ago he said: “He became what we are that he might make us what he is."
 
Today, give praise and thanks to God for believing that Jesus of Nazareth is God.  Rejoice and praise God that the light of faith has been poured into your heart and mind so that you can freely and joyfully accept God’s ultimate mystery and final revelation.
 
”It is safer to teach that the incarnation was ordained by God as a remedy for sin, and that if no sin had come the incarnation would not have taken place.  Nevertheless, God’s power should not be circumscribed: he might have become incarnate even sin had never entered our world.”  St Thomas Aquinas.
 
Chris
 
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Cn Bennie's Gospel and homily 20-3-20

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Dear Parsihioners of St Peter's,


I was kindly given a video camera by Julie Morrey recently and used it to take a test video (unbeknown to Cn Bennie) from the very from the back of the church. Thinking he may like to make the occasional contact with his flock whilst public services of mass are ceased. But of course would have deleted this had it not been with Cn Bennie. 
I didn't think the sound would be any good but it turned out better than I expected. The video is of Cn Bennie's last public gospel and homily taken on Friday 20th March at St Peters. I producer this shortened version that Cn Bennie would like to be shared. 

I plan to do another this Sunday but move the tripod Close and reduce the height of the Lecture so we can get a better view and hopefully clearer sound. Then again  on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday sessions.





So please expect more to follow.

God Bless,

Alban
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Divine Jesus

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John 8:21–30

It is amazing to think that the divinity in Jesus did not overwhelm his humanity, and that his humanity did not corrupt his divinity.  “What he was, he remained and what he was not, he assumed.” Roman liturgy.

“O only-begotten Son and Word of God, immortal being, you who deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, you who without change became man and were crucified.  O Christ our God, you who by your death have crushed death, you who are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.”  St John Chrystosom

We are called to penetrate this mystery ever more deeply, and we have received the grace to do so.   It is a truth that we will spend the rest of our lives seeking to fathom and understand.  Consider that the One who created the universe, the Lord, the Almighty, worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will and loved with a human heart.

Having been born of the Virgin Mary he has been made truly one of us, like us in every way but one: he never sinned.

“As man alone, Jesus could not save us; as God alone he would not: incarnate he could and did.” Malcom Muggeridge

Chris

From Bible Alive
Bible Alive
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Starting the Day While Staying At Home

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In these unusual times when churches are closed and we are asked to stay at home, Catherine and I have found a way to start each day which has become a great help. We thought it would be nice to share this with others.


On https://www.churchservices.tv/lymington, the Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph in Lymington, Hampshire, live stream their Office of Readings and Morning Prayer at 7am each day.

Although we do not have a copy of the Divine Office at home, we are able to follow the prayers, psalms and readings with the help of https://universalis.com/. There are free trial apps for mobile phones available via links on this site and we use one of these whilst watching the Sisters on a laptop linked up to the TV.

If 7am is a bit early for you, it is all recorded and available for watching back on the same website. Each day they also stream the Angelus, Midday Prayer and Holy Mass at 12pm, Rosary and Evening Prayer at 5pm and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (followed by Compline) at 8:15pm.

Elsewhere on https://www.churchservices.tv/, there are many other Catholic churches in the UK and Ireland which live stream services every day.
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Mary's "Yes"

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Luke 1:26–38
 
Mary prays her yes to God
 
Mary’s fiat, her yes, her consent to God’s will, meant that in the fulness of time God’s son was born of a woman (Galatians 4:4), so that we could become sons and daughters of God.
 
Today we contemplate Mary, our Mother in faith, the Mother of us all.  She is the perfect model of Christian faith, the example of what it means to give oneself wholeheartedly to God’s will.
 
St Teresa of Calcutta said, “Mary showed complete trust in God by agreeing to be used as an instrument in his plan of salvation.  She trusted him in spite of her nothingness because he knew he who is mighty could do great things in her and through her.
 
"Once she said “yes” to him she never doubted.  She was just a young woman, but she belonged to God and nothing nor anyone could separate her from him."
 
We too are called to give birth to Christ and, like Mary, we do so through the path of learning to be responsive, receptive and obedient to the Holy Spirit.  Just as Mary’s “yes” opened the door of our salvation, so too our “yes” to God opens the gate which leads to an ever-deeper experience of living a life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
Lord, we give thanks and praise for Mary, the new Eve, for through her the way was opened for the Word to become flesh and dwell among us.
 
Chris
 
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Jesus heals the official's child

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John 4:43–54
 
In today’s Gospel passage the child of a Gentile officer in Herod’s court is ill and dying.  But his encounter with Jesus is very brief.
 
“Sir, come down before my child dies.” (v.49)
 
 “Go, your son will live."
 
The fever left the child and he was restored to health.
 
The key to this healing was the official’s faith.  “The man took Jesus at his word and departed.” (v.50).  By this John provides us with a great definition of faith: taking God at his word.
 
It’s like saying simply to God, “If you say it is so, then it is so, and I can put my hope and trust in you.”  Faith, we know, is being sure of what we can hope for and certain of what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1).
 
Faith is really no more than taking God at his word.  As St Augustine said, “For what is faith unless it is to believe what you do not see?"
 
Take heart and encouragement from our official in today’s Gospel, for he took Jesus at his word and was mightily blessed.  If we take Jesus at his word we too will be mightily blessed.
 
"The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17
 
Chris
 
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Online Mass attendance

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ONLINE MASSES
 
There are several sites on the Internet where you can “attend” Mass while it happens – real-time streaming;  the Masses at Northampton Cathedral are here (including times):
 
 
But also the Aid to the Church in Need (ACNUK) has a list of other streamed services which you can “attend” while they happen.
 
 
Chris
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Repentance to Bring Blessing

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Hosea 14: 2-10

 

"The Lord says this: Israel, come back to the Lord your God; your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.  Provide yourself with words and come back to the Lord.  Say to him, ‘Take all iniquity away so that we may have happiness again and offer you our words of praise. 

"Assyria cannot save us, we will not ride horses any more, or say, “Our God!” to what our own hands have made, for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion’ – I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them with all my heart, for my anger has turned from them. 

"I will fall like dew on Israel.  He shall bloom like the lily, and thrust out roots like the poplar, his shoots will spread far; he will have the beauty of the olive and the fragrance of Lebanon. 

"They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow corn that flourishes, they will cultivate vines as renowned as the wine of Helbon.  What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when it is I who hear his prayer and care for him? 

"I am like a cypress ever green; all your fruitfulness comes from me.  Let the wise man understand these words.  Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning. 

"For the ways of the Lord are straight, and virtuous men walk in them, but sinners stumble."

 

When our will is weak, when our thinking is confused, and when our conscience is burdened with a load of guilt, we must remember that God cares for us continually; His compassion never fails.

When our shortcomings and our awareness of our sins overcome us, God’s compassion never fails.

Chris

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A Letter from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

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UP-TO-DATE ADVICE IS ON THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS' website

CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES

A letter from the President and Vice-President on behalf of all the Bishops of the Conference

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.

Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.

However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.

Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.

We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the 'serious reason' why this obligation does not apply at this time.

You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk). Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.

The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.

During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.

'The Lord is my shepherd, There is nothing I shall want.'

May God bless us all.

signed . . .

Vincent Cardinal Nichols                                     Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP

President                                                          Vice-President

Text of guidance 18 Mar 20.

 

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