Weekend Message Nov 21
At the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel we hear Our Lord promising the disciples that he is with us ‘until the end of time’. In these days of pandemic, when it is so difficult even for two or three to meet together in His name, where do we look for Our Lord, where can we find him?
In the Gospel for Sunday, Our Lord tells us that whenever we give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, clothing to the naked, or visit the ill or the imprisoned, we do it to Him. I’m sure that Our Lord did not intend to take this list as exhaustive: we could well add giving shelter to the homeless, for instance, or defending the unjustly accused, or supporting asylum seekers, as ways in which we are giving to Our Lord.
So Our Lord is telling us that if we have difficulty in finding him among us, we should look to the poor, those in need, the lonely – and in coming to their aid in whatever way we can, we will encounter Our Lord himself.
As we near the start of Advent, our time of preparation for celebrating once again the Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour, perhaps we should reflect again on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and every day ask ourselves the question which Pope Francis asked us all a few years ago: How have I been merciful today? This would be excellent preparation to welcome the merciful Lord into our lives this Christmas.
The corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry (and thirsty), clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, give shelter to the homeless, bury the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear wrongs patiently, and pray for the living and for the dead.
Prayers for the living and the dead: please pray for Peggy Ward, Nicholas Coote, Father Michael Horrax, Sharron Norton, Michael Maloney, and all who have died recently; and for Joseph Armeni, Dave Knapper, Teresa Maugham, Debbie Bourke, Elizabeth Fullerton, Mary Dunne, Ranjit Mann, and Juanita Zaman (all parishioners or relatives of parishioners) who are seriously ill. Please let me know of any others who have died, or anyone who is ill and asks for prayers.
Thank You! from CAFOD for the Family Fast Day contributions to their work among the very poor in other countries. Between the two parishes we sent them £700.
HAVE YOU SAVED THE DATE! HERE’S A SECOND CHANCE! LACY will be holding their Zoom Celebration for the Feast of Christ the King this Sunday evening at 6.30 p.m. We are hoping that many young people and their families will come along and share this time with us. The theme is “TOGETHER” and the uplifting Young People’s Liturgy will be supported by Fr. Simon Gillespie, hosted by LACY and led by young people. We will also have a chance to hear about the work of Menphys and be able to support them, if we wish, with our suggestion of “home fundraising” – our gift for Christmas. For more information, email LACY at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The ID for the occasion is 864 5877 0122 and the password is: 051306. Please note that all people under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by an adult when linking in. This will be an exciting occasion for all of us to be involved in the celebration, through prayer, readings, music and games! We look forward to seeing you!
November: Month of Special Prayer for those who have died: If you would like a Mass to be celebrated for those who have died, please write down the names of any who you wish to be remembered in prayer during this month, and enclose it in an envelope together with any donation you wish to make for a Mass to be celebrated. This envelope can be dropped in at Church any weekend in the Church post box (Lutterworth) or the presbytery (Narborough).
Despite the restrictions on celebrating Mass together in public, we can all still pray at home, and during this month of special prayer for those who have died, it will be a ‘spiritual work of mercy’ for us all to remember in prayer those of our families, our friends, and our parishioners and benefactors who have died.
Since the Government has closed Churches and all places of public worship, except for funerals, there will be no opportunity for us to celebrate Mass in public, though I will continue to do so privately (as Government restrictions permit). We hope to be able to open again in early December; I will advertise times of public Mass and booking arrangements when permission is given.
At Narborough the intentions for Mass this week will be: Saturday (21st November) Tony Lidgard RIP; Sunday (22nd November) Patricia Partridge RIP; Monday (23rd November) Deceased members of the d’Araujo family. Tuesday Mary Garnett RIP; Wednesday Yvonne Newton RIP; Thursday Deceased members of the Johnson family; Friday Mass in time of pandemic, for the people of the Parishes. Next weekend Saturday (28th November) Deceased friends & relations of P&A Ramoutar; Sunday (29th November) Peggy Ward RIP; Monday (30th November) Christopher Doyle RIP.
Holy Communion at Home for the Housebound: During these four weeks, due to the risk of transmitting the coronavirus, we are no longer permitted to take Holy Communion to the housebound. Hopefully these restrictions will be lifted in early December. Please note that if anyone requires the anointing of the sick, that is still permitted, though without Holy Communion.
First Confession and Holy Communion: Candidates must be in Year 3 at school (or above). Confirmation: Candidates must be in secondary school (or later). Please let me know as soon as possible, and certainly before the start of December, of any candidates for these sacraments. So far I have received four applications for First Confession and Holy Communion, and five applications for Confirmation.
Recycling Textiles: At the moment the firm are no longer collecting in the Leicester area and have no plans to restart collections. If anyone knows of any other organization willing to collect clothes and other textiles in our area, please let me know.
Reminders from previous weeks:
MARRIAGE CARE: Our marriage preparation and support service enable couples to nurture faithful and fruitful marriages that last, as we draw on Catholic teaching and contemporary research to help couples focus on the quality of their relationship with each other.
Our latest resource, Preparing Together Anywhere, is facilitated by two trained volunteers via webcam. Groups of up to 7 engaged couples attend three 90-minute sessions over a period of 3 weeks, with additional resources to enable couples to reflect more deeply in between sessions on the commitment being entered into. Wedding plans may be on hold for some time, but couples need not put their preparation for marriage on hold.
Through our relationship counselling service (now available via webcam), we accompany, with compassion and practical wisdom, couples who find themselves in need of support on their journey. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we know that increases in family stress and impending threat of relationship breakdown will plunge many more into financial difficulties. We are unique in asking couples who come to us for counselling only to pay what they can afford, reflecting our commitment to support those most in need. Please encourage couples to connect with us today at: www.marriagecare.org.uk.
Contributions to the parish funds: The boxes of Planned Giving envelopes are available. If you would like your box of envelopes, please let me know and I can provide it for you.
Standing Orders: I will provide the parish Bank details to anyone who would like to donate by Standing Order or similar electronic means – many of you already do so (and I am very grateful indeed). I can provide standing order mandates for anyone who wishes – please just ask.
Gift Aid: I have copies of the form to complete, so if you are a taxpayer and would like the tax paid on your contributions to be given to the parish, please ask me for a form.
With best wishes to you all, and assuring you all of my prayers, Father John