Holy Trinity Parish will host a Novena of Grace from 4th-12th March 2014.
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Posted 8th March 2014
in Pastor's Desk
Welcome everyone to our Mass for the First Sunday of Lent. It is a busy Sunday in our Parish as we welcome Fr. Bryan Shortall OFM Cap, Parish Priest of Church Street Parish, and Archbishop Charles Brown, Papal Nuncio to Ireland, to our parish for the Novena of Grace. We thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules in order to be with us this weekend. The Novena continues until Wednesday evening when there will be a cup of tea/coffee after Mass for all in the congregation. I do hope you can come to some of the Novena Masses.
Confirmation Programme Mass
At the 12.30pm Family Mass we also welcome the boys & girls preparing for Confirmation and their families to the final Mass in their programme of preparation for the Sacrament. We are less than a month away from the celebrations and so this is an intense time of preparing. I would ask the families to prioritise prayer time together as they count down the days.
The Gospel today tells us of the origins of the Season of Lent, namely that time of forty days immediately after he was baptised by John that Jesus spent in the desert. Here, Jesus suffered temptation and ridicule from Satan but after this time, he began his public ministry of preaching the Good News of God’s unconditional love for each one of us. This time of 40 days in the desert was a time of preparation and focusing on the mission that lay ahead. We too are asked in Lent to slow things down a bit and look at our life. What are the values I live by? How do I show them? What time do I give to refreshing my faith by personal prayer? Lent is about “Repentance” which literally means turning my life around from the direction it is currently heading. It is a personal journey for each one of us but we do have the support of knowing others in the faith community are on a similar journey.
Posted 1st March 2014
in Pastor's Desk
Welcome everyone. The Gospel today is very challenging. Jesus says very clearly; “No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.” Jesus’ message is not that money in itself is evil. What He is saying is that money can be a great power for good if we control it, and not money, and its pursuit, controlling us. In this parish we have physical monuments to avarice, the pursuit of money, in places like Priory Hall, but each of us needs to reign in our lust for material things and learn to use money for the greater good.
Novena of Grace March 4th-12th
Our Novena of Grace in honour of St. Francis Xavier begins this week on Tuesday. The Parish Pastoral Council has put together a very impressive line-up of preachers for us all. If at all possible do come to all nine Masses; it helps if you have a particular intention you wish to pray for over the course of the Novena. We pray that these Novena days will be a particular Grace in each of our lives and also in the life of the Parish.
Ash Wednesday 5th March (Day to fast & abstain from meat)
Wednesday of this week is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of Lent. On Ash Wednesday we will have two Masses: 10.00am and 7.30pm (Day 2 of Novena of Grace)
Blessed Ashes will be distributed at both Masses to mark the beginning of our Lenten observance. Ash Wednesday is one of only two days the Church asks us to reduce our food intake and to avoid eating meat altogether. The other day is Good Friday.
Posted 22nd February 2014
in Pastor's Desk
Our Gospel reading today sees Jesus dismiss the old Laws of retaliation that were followed by the Jews. That law was established because of the vicious way people would get revenge for any hurts inflicted on them by others. The idea was based on reciprocal justice; what you do to me you will get back in exact measure, it would be “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.
Jesus tells his followers that they must not heed that argument or be guided by it for his teaching is this; “But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away”.
The following of this teaching is needed in today’s world as much as it was in the time of Jesus. We see the spiralling violence on our streets; the bitter disputes between family members that can last generations; does the revenge achieve anything? Does anyone feel better for it?
People often say that Jesus was naive and to live this way of turning the other cheek is to be naive too but the truth is, it is the only way to true healing. If we harbour resentment it eats us up, whereas forgiving others truly sets us free and lifts a burden from us. It is not easy to live by this teaching but the other way is no easier.
Posted 15th February 2014
in Pastor's Desk
Welcome everyone. I hope you all came through the recent storms unscathed? Unfortunately, the church was not so lucky. We have lost 12 slates from the roof but thankfully they are individual slates rather than a cluster in one spot being exposed. Also our billboards on the front lawn of the church advertising the upcoming Novena of Grace were blown down. I write this on Thursday with the Met Office forecasting another storm for Friday so hopefully we won’t suffer further blows! Stay safe everyone.
This Sunday is ACCORD Sunday in the diocese and the annual collection in support of the diocesan organisation will be taken up at all Masses. You can read the Archbishop’s letter about ACCORD here. Please be as generous as you can.
The Gospel today is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus sets out His teaching very clearly on a number of matters such as the meaning of true forgiveness, disputes between people, infidelity in relationships, marriage and the swearing of oaths. Jesus is very clear in saying that He is not looking for lip service from His followers but a changed heart capable of putting His teaching into practice. He wants ACTION. When we hear the Gospel we realise that living this Faith is challenging. It is not about appearing to be good but actually living our lives in accordance with the values of the Gospel. Today’s Gospel will sound harsh to our modern ears. We will see situations from our family and community life echoed in its verses. The number of murders even since the beginning of this year is frightening. They all start as rows and Jesus tells us how to stop the anger progressing to that point. The pervasive nature of porn in our society is distorting our understanding of relationships, particularly for our young people as recent surveys have shown. The message of this Gospel still has relevance for us today and is as challenging now as it was when first preached by Jesus, if not more.