Third Sunday of Easter
Parish Priest – Father David B Barrett – email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Deacon – Rev Peter Griffin – Tel 07850499414 – email – email@example.com
Administrator – Denise Wallinger Tel 01234 711212
SVP Contact – Tel 07925 125206
Parish Website: www.ourladysolney.co.uk
EASTER SEASON LITURGIES VIA YOUTUBE.
THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
Saturday 18th April
6.30pm Mass of the 3rd Sunday of Easter For the people of the parish
Sunday 19th April
10.30am Mass of the 3rd Sunday of Easter David Ashford Intention
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Vespers & Benediction
Monday of the 3rd Week of Easter 27th April
Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Easter 28th April
10.00am Mass Christopher Donnelly RIP
Wednesday – Feast of St Catherine of Siena – 29th April
10.00am Mass Sr Celine Loughnane RIP
Thursday of the 3rd Week of April (Pope St Pius V) 30th April
10.00am Mass Phil & Clare Burrowes Int (60th Wedding)
Friday of the 3rd Week of Easter (St Joseph the Worker) 1st May
10.00am Mass Tony Roche RIP
5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary & Benediction
Saturday – St Athanasius – 2nd May
10.00am Mass Pat Hamilton RIP
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Sat 6.30pm Mass For the people of the parish
Sun 10.30am Mass Alexander Roberts RIP
Sun 5.00pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Evening Prayer and Benediction
To watch the parish Liturgy on the internet, either ask Denise to email you the daily link, or go to our parish website and press the link button that reads TAKE ME THERE. Live Masses have the word LIVE printed on the picture on the screen: you click on that and you should be there. Just make sure that it is the correct Mass.
HOLY HOUR ON SUNDAY – At 5.00pm we will be holding Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Evening Prayer and Benediction. The prayers for Evening Prayer (also known as Vespers) and the for Benediction will be available on the Prayers and Reflections part of the parish website. It is a time for prayer and praise of the Lord Jesus, for quiet reflection and intercession for the Church, our country and our world, and for all who are dear to us.
HOLY HOUR ON FRIDAY 1ST MAY – a time to mark the first day of May, to honour St Joseph the Worker and Our Lady to whom belongs the beautiful month of May. This will be a time of quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament with Rosary and Benediction. it will begin at 5.00pm.
REGINA CAELI – this is the Eastertide hymn and prayer to Our Lady which replaces the Angelus. You will have noticed that I have been singing it after Mass. You will find the full text in Latin and English on the parish website under the Prayers and Reflections section.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION – Even if you are not attending Mass, you can make a Spiritual Communion every day. It is an expressed heartfelt desire to receive Our Lord even when we are unable. In making the prayer, we receive the Lord spiritually. Here is one prayer to make a Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
St Alphonsus Liguori
SISTER CELINE LOUGHNANE DHS – Sr Celine’s funeral will also be private funeral with some of the Sisters and family attending. It will take place this Wednesday 29th April at 11.30am. Please pray for Sr Celine and for her family and for the Sisters at the Convent.
BISHOP LEO McCARTIE was the 10th Bishop of Northampton. He was our Bishop from 1990 until 2001. He passed away last Thursday at St Joseph’s Home in Birmingham. He ordained me a priest and I know is remembered with great fondness by many people. We pray for the repose of his soul.
FOODBANK – Many thanks to all of you who have been so generous in supporting the Food Bank. I have been able to take over to Milton Keynes a good supply to help those in need. A box is left outside the Presbytery door every day for donations of goods such as
- Long Life Juice
- Long Life Milk
- Tinned Rice Pudding / Custard
- Tinned Meat
- Tinned Vegetables
- Tinned Tomatoes
- Pasta Sauce
PARISH SUPPORT – Many thanks to all of you for your prayerful support over the past few weeks. Thanks too for all those who have been supporting the parish with financial contributions: it does help to keep the place going. I know that these are very uncertain times for all of us.
If you would like to contribute, you can either put the offering through the door of the Presbytery when you are out for a legitimate trip – if you didn’t collect your new envelopes, just put down your old envelope number on an envelope with your initials. If you would prefer to set up a standing order for donations to your parish using either your on-line bank account or in your branch, please contact Denise for the relevant details. Any cheques should be made payable to Our Lady Help of Christians.
MASS OFFERINGS (STIPENDS) – If you have any Mass intentions to be offered, please contact Fr David, Deacon Peter or Denise. Please do include the full name of the person for whom you want the Mass to be offered, whether they are alive or deceased.
In the Gospel today, two disciples walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the first Easter Sunday. So much has happened – the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, the flight of the apostles, and now stories that the tomb where he was buried is empty and some of the women are saying they have seen angels declaring Jesus to be alive. They are talking about these things. It sounds like they are puzzled trying to understand it all – the account hints that they cannot understand how the “the one to set Israel free” could have been crucified – how God could let Him fail so visibly.
We may be feeling something similar about the pandemic. We may be wondering, what is its purpose, how it could have happened or even why has God allowed it? Is God punishing us or humanity? Or has it nothing to do with Him? Is this the result of human greed or human malice? Or is it just random with no meaning at all?
In the Gospel story, Jesus comes up and starts walking beside the two disciples as they are caught up in their discussion. He asks them what they are talking about. They tell Him, amazed He is unaware of the events of the last few days. However, what is significant is that they are so caught up with trying to figure everything out but fail to recognise that the one they are talking about is travelling right there beside them. In fact, even when they explain what has happened, they show that they are so focused on the external events they’re describing that they fail to see the meaning which underlies them and holds them together. That meaning is walking beside them – it is Jesus Himself.
Our time of lockdown gives us the opportunity to stand back from everything – from our normal routines, from the busy and fractious world of politics and from the aggressive competition for power that we see displayed between world powers, politicians or by the media. It is a time to pray and to reflect. It is a time to contemplate the meaning that underlies our lives and our world. That meaning is God, made visible in Jesus Christ. He is present to us at all times but it is easy to miss Him. It’s easy to fail to recognise His presence. Yet, He really is present and He wants us to talk to Him and for us to listen to Him.
A key way to begin to be aware of God is to pray in gratitude. Thanking God for everything we have in our lives, for everything we have experienced today or throughout life – this will give us a deeper sense that everything we have is a complete gift. And it begins to open up our awareness of the reality of the Lord’s presence: everything we have, everything we do, everything we are – it all comes from Him. Gratitude will make us aware not of the gifts but of the Giver of all the gifts of existence.
At the moment, politics, international relations and the media all feel somewhat frenzied. They are caught up in a world of fear, accusation, blame and anger – sadly, it’s easy for us to get caught up in all this just by tuning into television or radio. It’s good to be aware of what is going on – but only if we remember that it’s not all that’s going on. What’s going on out there has the power to tip us into confusion and the splintering of relationships. There is no space to recognise the Lord walking beside us if our attention is fixed solely on the world out there.
The two disciples saw only disaster in the Crucifixion. When the Lord explained the Scriptures to them while walking alongside, they began to see it was really God’s plan, redemption, liberation: not the end of a life but the renewal of all human life. They did not recognise Him at first. But they gave time to listen to Him. And at the Breaking of the Bread that evening, the first Mass after the Resurrection, they finally recognised Him.
One thing I am sure of is that God is using this time to encourage us to meet Him, to recognise Him, to evaluate the real meaning and priorities of our lives, to listen to Him and to draw closer to Him. Being too busy in life means that we often don’t give ourselves the chance to work out if we’re busy with the right things: what is truly necessary in our lives? Only stopping to reflect will help us work that out.
Someone said to me that they have felt like a monk or a nun during this time. Maybe we need to be more monastic in our lives. We Catholics, we Christians should pray more than we do. This will give us the space to live life more fruitfully instead of living it frenetically.
If we want to find out the meaning of all that’s happening, don’t just look out there. The Lord is walking beside us – “I am with you always,” He says. It’s time to tune in to Him.
May Our Lady, Help of Christians, who rejoiced at the Resurrection of her Son, St Joseph and St Lawrence pray for us all, for all in the Health Service, for our Governments, for our parish and Diocese and the whole Church – and for all of the world. Let’s continue to support and pray for each other and those in need.
With my love and prayers,
Fr David B Barrett