TODAY'S MASS: Mark's emphasis is distinctly different from that of Matthew and Luke. No details of the testing are given. Rather, Jesus' sojourn in the desert seems almost a return to the peace of the Garden of Eden. The desert of Judaea between Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley is a noble and dignified solitude of smooth, sandstone hills. Nothing grows, of course, but wild camels and the occasional leopard prowl around. There, Jesus was 'with the wild animals' as, led by the Spirit, he made his preparation for his mission. In what way was he tested? We may presume that in solitude and prayer he was working out the implication of the voice from Heaven at his Baptism. How was he to run his course as the beloved Servant of the Lord? Precisely how was he to bring the presence of the Kingship of God into people's lives? The 'forty' is often used in biblical accounts for a period of preparation, as Israel's forty years in the desert, or the forty days between Easter and the Ascension which prepared the Apostles for Jesus' leaving them and then for the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. We may use our forty days of Lent to reflect on how we may bring God's presence to bear in and through our lives. (Fr. Henry Wansbrough, osb)
WEEKLY PONDER: What important lessons have I learned from a challenge in my life? (Liguori Publications)
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: In Italian, Lent is 'Quaresima' or forty days. In German it is 'Fastenzeit' or time for bodily restraint. Our English word comes from an older Anglo-
PRAYER: God of the covenant, O God of mystery, as the forty days of deluge swept away the world's corruption and watered new beginnings of righteousness and life, so in the saving flood of Baptism your people are washed clean and born again. Throughout these forty days, we beg you unseal for us the wellspring of your grace, cleanse our hearts of all that is not holy, and cause your gift of new life to flourish once again (Fr. Kieran, osa)
SAINT THIS WEEK: Monday is the Feast of the See of Peter. This feast has been celebrated in Rome since at least the fourth century. It signifies the unity of the Church founded on the Apostles. (Universalis)
MEDITATION: The love of God is an unconditional love, and only that love can empower us to live together without violence. When we know that God loves us deeply and will always go on loving us, whoever we are and whatever we do, it becomes possible to expect no more of our fellow men and women than they are able to give, to forgive them generously when they have offended us, and always to respond to their hostility with love. By doing so, we make visible a new way of being human and a new way of responding to our world problems. (Henri Nouwen)
WEEKLY BIBLE: Return to me, says the Lord of Hosts, and I will return to you. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the prophets in the past cried 'Turn back from your evil ways and evil deeds' but they would not listen. (Zechariah)
SAINTLY GEMS: Many things are possible for the person who has hope. Even more is possible for the person who has faith. And still more is possible for the person who knows how to love. But everything is possible for the person who practices all three virtues. (Brother Lawrence)
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: In every cross there is a resurrection; in every storm a rainbow assures us of God's presence and victory. (Liguori Publications)
Surround yourself as often as possible with joyful people. Spend your time in places that encourage your own joyfulness.
Only by caring for and loving ourselves can we feel safe. Many fears are born of self-
YOUCAT: (Question 441) What does the Church say about democracy? The church supports democracy, because of all political systems it offers the best conditions for achieving equality before the law and safeguarding human rights. In order to do that, however, democracy must be more than mere majority rule. True true democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law that recognises the fundamental God given rights of all and defends them, if necessary, even against the will of the majority.
THE POPE: Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God's strength...He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.
LENTEN OBSERVATIONS: It is wonderful to see the early weeks of Lent as a catechism for those who are on a journey towards Baptism at the Easter Vigil. Each liturgy offers a new 'lesson in the faith,' for these new believers. Viewed this way, Lent can be a journey of renewal in faith for us all. We listen, with the hearts of children, learning old lessons, as though for the first time. “Creator of my life, renew me, bring me to new life in you. Touch me and make me feel whole again. Help me to see your love in the passion, death and resurrection of your Son. Help me to observe Lent in a way that allows me to celebrate that love. Prepare me for these weeks of Lent as I feel both deep sorrow for my sins and your undying love for me.” (Creighton Ministries)
A PRAYER FROM PRISON: God our Father, help us always to be people of Christian hope, even when, humanly speaking, the situation seems hopeless. May we always believe in the Resurrection as well as the Crucifixion and be sustained by the promise of eternal life with You, Your Son and the life-
SUNDAY READINGS: Genesis 9. God said, “I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
1 Peter 3. Baptism is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience.
Mark 1. Jesus said, “This is the time of fulfilment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT: Today from TWO until FOUR. Short Stations of the Cross from the Lectern at TWO. Use the time profitably as well by Spiritual Reading and saying the Rosary. Can I suggest some Rosary for the good of the Parish and the School. So often we forget ourselves in all of this Pandemic, and yet we are always encouraged to look after ourselves so that we can look after each other. Lent will be as fruitful as we make it.
PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH: (Year of St. Joseph) St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Amen.
SAFEGUARDING: On Friday 5th. February some of the Deanery Priests spent a day with the Archbishop upgrading our Safeguarding Portfolios. It was a whole day, which was quite taxing but necessary, with an additional Certificate obtained! The rest of the priests will have to go on 5th. March.
CHORLEY FOOD BANK: Please leave any food on the church steps. Good quality clothing is also acceptable.
OFFERTORY COLLECTIONS: These can be placed in the plastic box outside the church and hard copies of the Newsletter are available as well.
BAPTISMS: We will resume Baptisms when we are allowed, so please don't think you have been forgotten.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNIONS: Hopefully Jane can run her Sacramental Programme in school time in the Summer Term, and then we can have some form of First Holy Communion Mass involving last year's Candidates and this year's over a couple of Saturdays with limited numbers of guests. This is the idea. I will keep you informed! Thank you for your patience.
MASKS. MASKS. MASKS: Please wear a Mask on church property. Think of others and not just yourself. We are all fed up of Lockdowns, but they will rightly continue if we keep on flouting the Rules!!
ARCHDIOCESAN SYNOD: It has now become Synod 21 from Synod 20. Zoom Meetings will be taking place at the beginning of March. I promise to inform you of any suggested Changes that will inevitably take place. I think the Synod will be “ongoing.”
TAIZE: Peace begins within us. As early as the fourth century St. Ambrose of Milan wrote, “Begin the work of peace within yourself so that, once you are at peace yourself, you can bring peace to others.”
Fr. Peter Charles Crowther, obl.sbso | The Presbytery, Bury Lane, Withnell, Chorley, PR6 8SD | Tel 01254 830 995 | Reg Charity: 232709
© 2021 St Joseph's Catholic Church, Withnell. All Rights Reserved.
Please pray for Pope Francis, Benedict XVI and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon
Liverpool Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool Reg. Char. 232709
GOD'S GREATEST POWER IS THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
KEEP WELL KEEP SAFE WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY
DIRECT DEBIT MANDATE: During the Lockdown, we still need to keep our Parish funds afloat. You can use the Direct Debit Mandate. Download the Form and fill it in and then send it to your Bank. Make sure you put the Parish number 102 on the Form and the Account Number. Let Kath Clemson know any change of amount so that she can adjust the Gift Aid Records. You can get Kath on 01254 831 624. Download form here!
Fr. Peter Charles Crowther, obl.sbso
01254 830 995
Parish Administrator and Catechist: Jane Gilbertson, B.Ed. (Hons), B.Sc. (Hort), CTC.
Lent 1B , 21st. February 2021
1st. Sunday in Lent
Hand in hand w1ith Jesus Remember your daily Rosary
Invocabit me, et eg exaudiam eum
Sick & Housebound
Anointing / Forgiveness
Fr, Charles Lynch, Fr. John Seddon, Robert Heaps, Pamela Higab, Muriel Evans, Kathleen Moss, Sheila Barrow, Margaret Hills, Anthony Clitheroe, Nicola Brooke, John Fisher, Gertrude Smith, Moses Morris, Georgina Barnish, John Brown, Nellie Bolton, Marie Cadwallader, Patricia Mitchinson, David Mahon.
Fr. Laurence Mayne, Fr. Cassian Dickie, osb., Fr. John Daulman, Philip Rushton, Ian Davies, Anne Beconnsall, Rita Maher, Kathleen Mee, Rachel Mason, Eamon Neary and others.
“Get behind me Satan”