Newsletter- 6th Week of Ordinary Time
It seems that Christmas is only just past and now we are fast approaching Lent! Easter is early this year and Lent begins on Ash Wednesday 22nd February. Looking ahead:
Ash Wednesday Liturgies: On Wednesday 22nd February we shall offer two Masses at St Mary’s. In the morning at our Parish Mass celebrated at 10 am we shall welcome St Marys School to Mass. Parishioners are warmly welcomed to attend, and the school will be helping to lead the Liturgy that morning. In the evening we shall offer a Parish Mass at 7 pm in church at which we shall be joined by our First Holy Communion Candidates and their families. At both Masses there will be Imposition of Ashes.
Weekdays in Lent: You will see in the Bulletin from this week the times of the scheduled extra periods of Confession, Exposition and Stations of the Cross taking place in the parish during Lent. Stations of the Cross will begin each Friday from the Friday after Ash Wednesday, 24th February, whilst the other extra Lenten Observances begin from Tuesday 28th February in the 1st Week of Lent. The Holy Week Liturgies can also be found in this weeks Bulletin.
Walk With Me: A Journey of Prayer for Lent 2023: This year the Diocese of Nottingham are not publishing their own bespoke copies of this popular Lenten prayer resource, but in order to help each of us reflect and pray more fully each day during Lent I have arranged for copies of Walk with Me – Lent 2023 to be made available in our parish for purchase at just £1 a copy. They will be available on the table as you come into church from Ash Wednesday. In the front of the booklet, you will find a Preface written by Cardinal Vincent Nicholls. This year’s Lenten Walk with Me invites each of us to rediscover the Psalms, just as the disciples did as they walked together on the road to Emmaus. The Risen Lord said: ‘Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures’ (Luke 24:44). I hope you will find these of use as we journey together as individuals and as a parish community during the coming 40 days of Lent.
CAFOD – Family Fast Day – 3rd March: Envelopes for making donations to the Family Fast Day will be available from Ash Wednesday as you come into church and donations can be put into the envelopes provided and placed in the Mass collection plate at all our Sunday Masses celebrated over the weekend of 25th /26th February and 4th /5th March. The theme for this year is: Growing in Strength rooted in Love.
Reception into the Catholic Church: On Shrove Tuesday, 21st February during our evening Mass in the Parish at 7 pm, I will receive, with the Bishop’s special permission, Lyndi – Ann Turner, nee Mallon, into full communion with the Catholic Church. Lyndi has quite recently come to live with her family in Grantham and she originates from South Africa. Since arriving in the UK, she has made St Mary’s her spiritual home. Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares now to take this important next step in her faith journey and as we prepare to welcome her into full communion with the Church.
They are happy who follow God’s law! The readings for this weekend at Mass on the 6th Sunday in ordinary Time, Year A are all concerned with the law and commandments of Moses. They reflect on the happiness which can be ours if we keep to the spirit of the law and not just its letter.
In the First Reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus, the author stresses that we are given absolute freedom to choose to keep the commandments or not. In the Responsorial Psalm we are assured of happiness if we keep God’s law. The psalmist addresses God in trusting words, as one friend would to another. St Paul is keen to tell the Corinthians that wisdom comes from God. We cannot fully understand God’s purpose for us as we need the help of the Holy Spirit to really appreciate the depths of God (Second Reading). Finally, in the Gospel, we hear Jesus telling his disciples that he has come to complete the law, not to abolish it. He is the fulfilment of the law. Using a few everyday examples, he shows how we need to go beyond the letter of the commandments and truly understand what is behind them. This week, we might pray perhaps for all law makers, ecclesiastical or secular, that they may always work for the greater good of all people. We can also pray that the Holy Spirit will be with all those who have the power to bring greater peace into our often broken and fractured world
With prayer and best wishes for you and your families during the coming week ahead,
Your parish priest and friend,
2023 5th February– Newsletter – Download