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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

29 January 2012 – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

THIS SUNDAY: Where does authority come from? Why is one man regarded as a prophet, and another as a lunatic, and a third as a hypocrite? Jesus startles the crowds with a “new teaching” today, but what amazes them so much is not the message but the authority behind it: they are convinced because what he does somehow adds credibility to what he says. It‘s the old situation that we are all familiar with – we look through words to see the actions, which show us the real message. The scribes did not heal or work miracles, but simply talked about God. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God, but also shows the people what it is – a Kingdom where all that damages human happiness is abolished. The other side to this is that we must listen to a prophet or teacher when they are backed by such authority; we may not “harden our hearts” and ignore the message when we have recognised that the messenger is sent by God. This is the hard part, because it demands that we too show, by our actions, that we have heard.

THE CRIB: The crib comes down after this weekend having remaining in view for these six weeks since Christmas. A huge thank you for your kindness this year to the homeless of our own city as well as the refugee looking for help and shelter. We’ve sent off £300 gathered from your offerings since Christmas. As we have been drawn to this holy family of refugees in the crib, so you have also reached out to the Christ hidden in the poor and the homeless of today.

FIRST COMMUNION 2012: The preparation sessions for our youngsters pick up again from this coming Wednesday, 1 February.  the children should have their books in school already, but if they haven’t, parents are ask to make sure you send them in, please.

CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE: The Bishop invites all married couples to join him as part of National Marriage Week on Saturday 11 February in the Cathedral for Mass at 12noon. It’s a wonderful gathering from across our diocese. Do go along and celebrate the beautiful state of married life with him. Poster on the board and copies for you to take away from the narthex. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary this year (25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, 50th, 55th, 60th, 65th…) please do let Fr Christopher know that he can ensure you receive your individual invitations from the bishop.

EDUCATION SUNDAY: Next Sunday we ‘celebrate’ Education Sunday. Our Catholic schools and colleges are a great treasure. This treasure has been given to us and we must ensure that we hand it on to future generations. The purpose of our Catholic schools is to proclaim the Gospel. Education Sunday seeks to celebrate the tremendous work that takes place in our Catholic Schools, but also to pray that they may be places where Christ is known and where our dignity, our value and our worth are recognised. The Church has this great gift of education to offer our world and through the work of our schools that treasure is handed on. The retiring collection next Sunday goes to support the Catholic Education Service, working with our Bishops and our schools to keep Catholic Education on the public agenda. Please support Catholic education as generously as you can next weekend for through your giving our schools are supported and nurtured.

PARISH FORUM GROUP meets again on Wednesday 8 February at 7.45pm in the presbytery.

GROWING IN CONFIDENCE IN OUR FAITH IN 2012: There will be one or two opportunities for us, as a parish community, to explore our faith, to ask questions about our faith, and grow in our confidence to live and proclaim our faith throughout this year. The spring will offer us chance to come together in an informal way to ask simple questions and find simple answers. There’s also something planned for the autumn to enable us, as a parish community, to take up the bishop’s invitation to explore to teachings of the Vatican Council. Watch this space and get ready to respond, maybe, to the invitations on offer.

CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME to Maddison Pippa Lewis who was baptised last weekend and also to Jeremiah O’Connor who was also baptised last Sunday. We congratulate them both and also their families.

PARISH LITURGY GROUP: Fr Christopher is pulling together all those with particular responsibilities for the liturgical side of our parish as well as those who coordinate the various liturgical ministries. This gathering will look at ensuring that each of our ministers is formed and supported, as well as providing a real opportunity to reflect upon what we do as a community of prayer. The meeting aims, also, at allowing each of those coordinators to communicate with one another and facilitate a planning of what takes place here when it comes to our prayer. They meet next on Tuesday 6 March at 7.00pm in the presbytery.

THE SEASON OF LENT: This important season of preparation looms on the liturgical horizon even though Christmas is only just behind us. We begin the Lenten season on Wednesday 22 February with our celebration of Ash Wednesday. As a season of prayer there will, of course, be opportunities for us to deepen our prayer; as a season of penance there will extra opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation; and as a season of charity there will the usual Lenten opportunities to reach out to those who hunger and thirst in our world through our fasting and our almsgiving. Watch this space!

CALLED TO BE…18 February 2012 at Sacred Heart, Grange Court Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm. This is an opportunity for adults who work with the young people in our parishes to shape youth ministry. There is a chance to meet our Youth Ministry Coordinator, Dave Wheat, and have a say on the future. This is one of five events taking place in every county in our diocese in January and February.

CANDLEMAS: The beautiful celebration of the presentation begins with the blessing of candles. Mass will be celebrated in the evening on Thursday so do come and celebrate that fortieth day here in Church. The blessing of throats on St Blaise’s day will take place on the Friday morning after Mass.

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