Message

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

Fire is frequently used in the bible as a symbol of the love of God, a love which works to cleanse mankind of its impurity. Jesus says in the gospel of the Mass this Sunday that He has come to cast fire upon the Earth and that He wished it were already kindled. Love finds its ultimate expression in Christ himself for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. The Lord wants the fire of His love to set alight our hearts, to light them up completely. He loves each one of us with a personal love, as if each one of us were the only object of His love.

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

The liturgy of this Sunday reminds us quite simply, that life on earth is but a short wait for our Lord’s return. The faith which guides us on earth is precisely the certainty in things hoped for, as the second reading says. By means of hope we acquire a firm certainty with regard to what Christ has promised, and a possession, in advance, of the divine gifts. Through faith, we know with certainty the fundamental truths of human existence: that we are made for heaven and therefore all else should be ordered to that supreme end; and that our Lord wants to help us reach this destination with all the help that He can give us. Jesus encourages us to be vigilant because the enemy never rests, he is always on the prowl, and he never sleeps. That is why in the Gospel of this Sunday our Lord warns us to be ever vigilant. Only a small amount of time separates us from that definitive counter with Christ. Each day that passes brings us closer to eternity. It may be this year or the following one…whenever it may be it will always seem as though time and life have passed too quickly. We will be vigilant in love and far from unprepared if we remain faithful in the little things of each day. If we consider these small details when we examine our conscience each day.  Little things are the prelude to greater things, and loving vigilance feeds upon them. Saint Francis de Sales emphasises the importance of conquering in small temptations, for there are many occasions to do so during the day, and many victories in small things are more important than a single great victory. Moreover, even though wolves and bears are undoubtedly more dangerous than flies, they never cause us as much discomfort or try our patience as much. It’s easy, the Saint points out, to avoid murder, but difficult to avoid anger over little things. It is easy to avoid stealing our neighbours belongings, but how difficult it is at times to not desire them. It is easy not to spread false rumours about our neighbour, but difficult to avoid lying in our conversations. We easily avoid drunkenness, but how difficult it is at times to live sobriety. If we are faithful in little things we will be guarded, vigilant, and on the alert, when our Lord arrives.

Thursday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady in Heaven. This Day celebrates the moment God brought Mary - body and soul - into her heavenly home and without allowing her body to experience the corruption of the grave. May he intercede for us from her place above. Don't forget: it is a Holyday of Obligation…even if you are away on holiday!

God bless you!

Msgr Kevin Hale

Priest@LourdesLeigh.org 01702 478078
The Sunday Homily is available as a podcast at
LourdesLeigh.org

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ 

The readings of the liturgy for this Sunday remind us that the pursuit of the things of this earth, to the detriment of spiritual goods, is foolishness. Neither happiness nor authentic human life itself are founded on worldly goods. The rich fool in the Gospel (depicted by Rembrandt on the front cover) discloses  his ‘value system’ in his mental language. He sees himself in a very secure position because he has great resources. He bases his stability and his happiness on his wealth. For him, as for many people, living is a matter of enjoying as much pleasure as possible.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

Jesus had the habit of praying early in the morning in isolated places. The Disciples would often find Him there in deep conversation with the Heavenly Father. When they asked Him how they should pray, He answered their request with the perfect prayer, the Our Father. He pronounced every petition and word of that prayer with care, teaching them how to put their trust in whatever they said to their Father God.

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in christ 

The Gospel of Martha and Mary is a timely one, as we begin the Summer holiday season. To listen to Christ and to serve Him are both noble occupations. As Christians we are called to be both hearers and doers of the Word. So there is no dichotomy between sitting at the feet of Jesus and serving Him; the active and the reflective are two sides of the same call to be disciples.

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ 

The image in the liturgy of this Sunday shows us the disciples being sent out in pairs to announce the Kingdom of God. Wherever they went miracles occurred as the blind received their sight, lepers were cleansed, sinners were moved to repentance. Even after so many centuries, we can still see that the world is in need of the peace that only Christ can give. We don’t need to look far to see the results of this lack of peace: race and class struggles, struggles between ideologies and political parties; terrorism and warfare, riots, disputes, and all kinds of violence. How can we explain such lack of peace?

SS PETER & PAUL

SS PETER & PAUL

Dear Friends in Christ 

The two Saints we venerate this weekend celebrate the beginning of the Christian Faith. The Apostles Peter and Paul are considered by the Church as the first pillars, and not only of the See of Rome, but also of the universal Church, the Church of the living God spread throughout the world. They are the Founders of the Church of Rome, the Mother and teacher of all the other Christian communities, and it was their endeavours that gave them growth by the supreme testimony of their martyrdom: Peter by crucifixion, and Paul by the sword. Peter is the first Pope and Paul brought the Gospel abroad by his missionary efforts.

The Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi

The Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi

Dear Friends in christ 

Corpus Christi - Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ - is the central Mystery of our Faith. It celebrates the gift Jesus left of His very self, the night before He died. It is something that we experience both in the celebration of Holy Mass, and whenever we come into the presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle or in times of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Because Maundy Thursday is overshadowed by the events of Good Friday and the Passion, the Church wished to have a separate Day on which we could celebrate The mystery of Faith.

The Most Holy Trinity

The Most Holy Trinity

Dear Friends in Christ 

The celebration of the Most Blessed Trinity this weekend brings together all of the Mysteries of the Christian Faith; it is the summation of everything we believe, since in God we find all of the perfections of the Christian life; we see what one day we shall be in God Himself. The celebration of Trinity Sunday invites us to make repeated acts of faith. Faith is increased when we make it one of the habits of the interior life, just as any human habit is nurtured and cultivated by the practise of it. The virtues are simply the good habits of the Christian life, and they begin with Faith.

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday

Dear Friends in Christ 

Pentecost was one of the three major Jewish festivals. Many Israelites would go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to adore God in the Temple. It was an ancient thanksgiving celebration for the harvest, fifty days after Passover. In this context, with Jerusalem teeming with pilgrims, God brought the New People of Jesus Christ into existence. Having prayed for nine days after the Ascension, the Holy Spirit is poured-out upon Our Lady and the Apostles in the Upper Room.

Seventh Sunday of Easter Sunday 2nd June Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Seventh Sunday of Easter Sunday 2nd June Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Dear Friends in Christ 

The month of June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a month also full of some of the most beautiful feasts in the Catholic calendar: Pentecost, The Blessed Trinity, Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saint John the Baptist and Sts Peter & Paul. These feasts, and their yearly recurrence, keep our minds focused on the life of Heaven, which was reinforced by the celebration of the Ascension of Jesus last Thursday. These feasts encourage us to not flag, but to keep looking to Jesus, our Good Shepherd and Guide, and to those whom He has raised up to be with Him in Heaven. Thank God for the richness

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Dear Friends in christ 

Fifty days after the Resurrection of The Lord comes His Ascension into Heaven. This Solemnity has been restored to its correct Day and is celebrated on this coming Thursday; it is a Holyday of Obligation. After Ascension Day, the Church joins in continuous and intense prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Essentially the return of Jesus to Heaven at His Ascension, moves us to keep our gaze upwards. Where Christ has gone ahead of us, there we hope to follow.

Fifth Sunday of Easter Sunday 19th May 2019 The Month of Our Blessed Lady

Fifth Sunday of Easter Sunday 19th May 2019 The Month of Our Blessed Lady

Dear Friends in Christ 

This Sunday we welcome our Bishop, Alan Williams, to the Parish. The presence of the Bishop in our midst is equivalent to that of one of the Apostles, since the Bishops of the Catholic Church are the direct descendents of those Twelve that Jesus called and commissioned to teach and sanctify in His name. During 11.30am Mass this weekend the Bishop will confirm twenty-six young adults. They have been preparing since the start of Lent for this moment, which is the completion of their initiation into the Church (begun at Baptism and nourished with the Blessed Eucharist) and now they take their place as fully adult members of the Family of the Church. Please pray for them, their families and their Sponsors, that they will be faithful to the graces and gifts that the Holy Spirit brings them on this occasion. I am very much indebted to the small group of Catechists who have been involved with the preparation of our young people for this Sacrament; I am confident that they have been given a good, solid and spiritual preparation for their Confirmation. Also, please continue to hold the Bishop in the charity of your prayers. He has a hugely important task as our Teacher of the Faith and we ask that the work that has been entrusted to him will be a cause of joy and consolation for him and for us.

Fourth Sunday of Easter - Sunday 12th May World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Fourth Sunday of Easter - Sunday 12th May World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Dear Friends in Christ 

Next Sunday is the occasion of the Visitation of the Bishop, Alan Williams, to our Parish. This takes place every three years and it is also the occasion when the Bishop will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on twenty-six young adults, during 11.30am Mass. The visit of our Bishop is the same as the visit of one of the Apostles, since he is a direct descendent of one of the Twelve. We shall welcome him with the devotion of his spiritual children and look forward to his words of encouragement to us. The Bishop is the first Teacher of the Faith in our Diocese and has the pastoral care and oversight of Clergy, Religious and Faithful, some 240,000 Catholics in ninety Parishes. Please pray for his intentions daily, as the work of a Bishop is both vital and huge within the Church today. I frequently assure the Bishop of our prayers for his intentions. One of the great consolations of a Shepherd is the knowledge that his flock are supporting him through the prayers and sacrifices of their lives.

Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter

Dear Friends in christ 

The Easter reason reminds us that every Sunday is in fact a mini-Easter Day. Back in May 1998 St Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful Letter to the Church entitled The Day of the Lord - Dies Domini - in which he teaches the importance of this Day. It is right, therefore, to claim, in the words of a fourth century homily, that "the Lord's Day" is "the lord of days". Those who have received the grace of faith in the Risen Lord cannot fail to grasp the significance of this day of the week with the same deep emotion which led Saint Jerome to say: "Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, it is the day of Christians, it is our day". For Christians, Sunday is "the fundamental feastday" established not only to mark the succession of time but to reveal time's deeper meaning.

Second Sunday of Easter — Divine Mercy

Second Sunday of Easter — Divine Mercy

This is the Octave Day of the Resurrection and the Feast of Divine Mercy. We renew the joy of the Resurrection on this Sunday as we celebrate the incalculable gift of Divine Mercy which Jesus bequeathed to His Church on the evening of Easter Day: Peace be with you…receive the Holy Spirit...those whose sins you forgive they are forgiven. Each year we have the Devotions in honour of the Divine Mercy in our Parish; they begin this Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm and this year it is extended also to our Deanery who will be joining us. There will be a number of local Priests available for the Sacrament of Confession.

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Dear Friends in christ 

With Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord we begin Holy Week. 

Day-by-day we move with Jesus through the final days and hours of His life on earth: the days of our Redemption. I would like to remind us of the deep spiritual significance of these days ahead. On Palm Sunday we commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; this is where He will accomplish those saving acts. On Wednesday evening at 7pm in Brentwood Cathedral, there will be the Mass of Chrism, during which the Holy Oils for use in the coming year are blessed; the Priests also renew their commitment to service in the Priesthood. 

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends in christ 

The final two weeks of Lent - Passiontide - brings us closer to the highpoint of the liturgical year: the Sacred Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord; Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day. We shall spend these days considering the infinite love of God, who permitted His Son to suffer for our sins. The whole meaning of the Christian life is summed-up in the Cross, and although our crucifixes and images are veiled in purple now, it is so that when they are unveiled on Good Friday, the whole drama of the mysteries of our salvation are made manifest. So, although we veil images and objects at certain times, this is only so that our sense of anticipation be heightened, and when the veils are taken away, we may see the Mysteries with fresh eyes.