Newsletter 16th January 2022

Dear Parishioners

Today in the Gospel we hear about the wedding at Cana in Galilee, years ago the account of the miracle at Cana was the gospel reading at every Wedding Mass to show Christ’s blessing on Marriage. But the tradition of the Church has seen this miracle at Cana more widely as part of the epiphany of Jesus. The word “epiphany” means revelation or disclosure. Our liturgical tradition has seen three moments as a kind of “rolling epiphany” or disclosure of Jesus as Messiah.

The first epiphany was to the Magi when Jesus was revealed as Saviour of all people. The second was his Baptism at the Jordan when Jesus was revealed as the Anointed One sent to redeem us from sin. The third is the miracle at Cana when Jesus is revealed as the One who can change water into wine. Of course, it’s about a great deal more than that. It’s about the transforming power of Christ not only over water and wine but over human lives. That’s why John calls this miracle in the Gospel this morning a “sign” because it points beyond itself to what Jesus does among us even now. It’s about Jesus changing the ordinary things of our lives into places of extraordinary grace. 

We are all called to follow the Lord not always in places of our own choosing but in the here and now, in this very place and at this very moment in time where we find ourselves right now, among the people we live and work with, and facing all the issues of our daily lives. We might want it to be otherwise, but we must live in the present moment, in the here and now. The here and now is the path through which we follow the Lord. Cana reminds us that great things can happen in any place and at any time!

But we don’t need to go to Cana to know the transforming power of Christ in our lives. Just as Jesus could change water into wine so too, He can change our past into a different future, our talents into gifts for the Church. Wherever we find ourselves Christ is at work in our midst, all we need to do is be open to the power of His grace and His love, and make space for Christ in our lives, then turning outwards allow His grace and love to work in us and through us. When we do this, we come to see that Christ can make the ordinary things of our lives into places of extraordinary grace.

A reminder that from this Tuesday 18th January we begin the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, which lasts until 25th January. On Tuesday 18th January I shall be at a meeting in the evening of Churches Together, my first opportunity since arriving here to meet with other leaders of the local Christian communities and members of our local church communities here in Grantham. On Tuesday 18thJanuary Mass will be celebrated in the morning at 9.30 am for the Unity of all ChristiansThere will not be an evening Mass that day nor I am afraid our usual period of Exposition and Benediction.  Churches Together in Grantham are also planning a special service to be held at Harrowby Lane Methodist church at 6.30 pm on Sunday 25th January. I hope to be there myself and it would be good if as many as possible from our parish community could come to join with me that evening, as we pray together with our brothers and sisters in Christ from the other Christian denominations in our town.

This Saturday 22nd January at 11 am, at a special Mass celebrated by me, our First Holy Communion candidates will receive their First Holy Communion. Please keep them and their families and our parish catechists in your prayers this week, as they prepare for this important and very special moment in their faith journeys.

Next weekend, Saturday/Sunday 22nd/23rd January at all Sunday Masses, we shall have a collection as you leave church organised by Peter Balfe, for the White Flower Appeal 2022. – The Society for the Protection of Unborn children (SPUC). SPUC are currently campaigning to protect Pro-Life speech. Pro-Life witness is being restricted now more than ever; please be as generous as you can to help SPUC defend unborn babies and their mothers. 

With prayer and best wishes,

Your Parish Priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan


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Message from Bishops Conference of England and Wales