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Fourth Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent

29 March 2014 – Fourth Sunday of Lent

THIS SUNDAY:  When we get to Easter, there are two symbols of the resurrection that we use in Church: fire and light (the Easter Candle) and water (the Font). Last week we reflected on water, and this week there are passages all about light – true light, that defeats the blindness of sin. Again, this would have been offered to those preparing for Baptism, but speaks to all of us who have been baptised, inviting us to be renewed in the light of Christ at Easter. Remember that one of the oldest titles of the newly baptised was “neophyte”, which means “newly enlightened” There is a subtle link between the readings on this Sunday: in the first reading, David is anointed, and the Spirit of the Lord seizes on him. This anointing lights him along the right path – ‘no evil would I fear’ as the Psalm says. Then Paul tells us more about this light: it is Christ shining on us, calling us to live as children of light. All this is summed up in the Gospel, the marvellous story of the healing (by being ‘anointed’ with spittle) of the man born blind. Jesus is the light of the world!


STATIONS of the Cross this Sunday afternoon at 4.00pm followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.


PARISH BAZAAR – 17 MAY: Keep those items for the bazaar coming in – gifts and new goods, bottles and fancy goods, too; toys and children’s books. They can be handed into sacristy or presbytery, or left in the narthex.


A DAY OF REFLECTION in preparation for Holy Week takes place here at St B’s on Saturday 5 April from 10.00am until about 3.30pm. Fr John Udris, Oscott College, will lead the day inviting us to ponder the Triduum in preparation for the celebration of Easter. All you need do is bring a packed lunch. All are welcome. The poster for the Day is on the notice board in the narthex. That’s next Saturday, here at St Bernadette’s. Do come along.


GRAND DRAW TICKETS: Once sold, the completed counterfoils and monies can be put in an envelope and pushed through the presbytery front door, please. Keep picking them up from the narthex and selling them on. There are some remaining books of tickets (£1 per book) in the narthex. If you can help clear those, then pick up one or two.


PALM SUNDAY SOUP LUNCH: The second of the Lenten Soup lunches takes place on Palm Sunday, 13 April at lunchtime. Do make a note and come along to support this simple part of Lent.


FAMILY RACE NIGHT: A fantastic opportunity to come together as the schools finish for Easter – Saturday 5 April from 7.30pm. Entrance is by ticket (60 available), and you can buy your tickets for the evening (£2.50 to include Ploughman’s – under 12’s, 50p) after each of the Masses. A good evening for all the family. Do think about coming along and reserving a table for your group of friends. Each of the races is sponsored and four of the races have already been generously sponsored already. If you want to pick up one of the ‘vacant’ races, then sponsorship costs £30 and you can look at the notice board to see what takes your fancy. This should be a great fundraising event for our parish project.


HAVE YOU THOUGHT… about becoming a Catholic or is there someone you know who might be pondering faith in their own lives? Well maybe now is the time to allow that pondering to take a further step forward into the fullness of life within our community of faith. It is the personal invitation that can often be the gentle nudge for someone to draw closer to the Lord in faith. This Lent could be the time to ask and invite. If so, then what’s next might be a gentle way for that next step to bear fruit! Read on…


LECTIO DIVINA: If you feel you might like to explore this way of praying, then come along on a Thursday from about 7.45pm – you’d be more than welcome. If you want to learn how to pray or deepen your prayer, then this might just be for you. If you are dipping your toe in the Catholic pond, then this prayerful reading of the scriptures is a beautiful way into the life of faith and the life of love.


THE TRIDUUM: There’s a real invitation here to make space in our diaries for these wonderful celebrations of our faith that bring Holy Week and, of course, Lent, to a conclusion. If you have never entered into the richness of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, then why not come along this year. We are fortunate to have Fr Patrick Daly, the secretary to the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union, coming to preside for us at the Triduum. These prayerful celebrations allow us to enter more richly into what lies at the heart of our faith – the free gift of salvation that comes from God through the sacrifice of Christ. PALM SUNDAY: Mass with the Blessing of Palms on Saturday 12 April at 5.45pm. Mass with Procession and Blessing of Palms on Sunday 13 April at 10.30am. Vespers at 4.00pm. HOLY THURSDAY: Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 8.00pm. GOOD FRIDAY: Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at 3.00pm. EASTER VIGIL (Holy Saturday) at 8.00pm. EASTER SUNDAY: Mass at 8.30am and 10.30am. You’ll be able to pick up the handout with the full Holy Week programme next weekend.


200 CLUB NEWS: The March £25 Draw will take place in the hall after this Sunday’s Mass. Because the February Draw drew two spare numbers, the repeat February Draw will also take place… so two lucky winners.


SCHOOL STATIONS OF THE CROSS: The youngsters of Year 5 will be leading the Stations with and for our school on Monday 31 March at 10.30am in the church. It is always a moving and prayerful celebration. Do come along if you can.


MOTHERING SUNDAY: Today, on this Laetare Sunday, we find ourselves rejoicing. Think, today, of where you were baptised and thank God for the gift of faith that was handed on to you.


FIRST CONFESSIONS: The children from school preparing for First Communion this June come to Church on Wednesday morning to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation at 10.30am. Keep them in your prayers.

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