Newsletter- 3rd Week of Advent

Dear Parishioners

This Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Advent – Gaudete SundayGaudete, is the Latin word which means “rejoice,” and is taken from the entrance antiphon for this Sunday’s Mass. Today we are reminded that Christmas draws ever closer, and we are at the mid-point of our Advent journey, and so today we are given the opportunity by the Church to look forward in anticipation and joy towards the coming of our 6Saviour amongst us at Christmas.

The second reading at Mass today from James encourages us though to be patient. In the next few busy weeks ahead leading up to Christmas, it is good to step back, pause and reflect a little and just spend some time thinking about what we are patiently waiting for. We hear in the Gospel how John has been waiting for the Messiah, and while in prison, he sends messengers to Jesus to ask, “Are you the one?” Jesus replies that they should look at the signs. 

Jesus brings physical and spiritual healing to the world. This is the description Isaiah gives of the coming of the Lord. “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.” We are reminded that Jesus is the fulfilment of the hopeful vision of Isaiah. This is a joyful time of salvation. During these next few weeks of Advent, we can reflect and find hope in the healing Jesus brings to us and to our broken world.

Christmas Charity Hampers: Thank you to all our parishioners who contributed both monetary donations and consumable goods for our Charity Christmas Hampers, and to all who came to give of their time last Saturday to pack the hampers ready for distribution. I am particularly grateful to the kindness and generosity of the young people and their families from St. Marys Primary School who kindly collected and donated a large number of food items for the hampers. In total we were able to prepare 36 parish hampers this year, all of which have now been or will soon be distributed to some of the most needy members in our local community in readiness for Christmas.

Christmas Crib Offerings: Christmas time recalls the needs of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. Many parishes across the country adopt Friends of the Holy Land as the beneficiary of their crib collections. We shall do the same here at St. Mary’s. FHLhelp the most deprived Christian families, especially those living around Bethlehem, in Gaza, Israel and Jordan. FHL remains theonly registered UK Charity with its own office, staff and volunteers in the City of Christ’s birth. From Christmas Day and until the end of the Christmas season there will be a basket to collect your offerings placed before the Nativity Scene in church. All donations given will be sent directly to FHL to help support their important aid work.

With my prayers for you and for your families during these last two weeks of Advent.

Your parish priest and friend,

Father Jonathan

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2022 11th December– Newsletter – Download