MASS TIMES UNDER THE REVISED TIERS ARRANGEMENTS
Friday 4 December 9.30am
Saturday 5 December 6.00pm
Sunday 6 December 9.30am
Tuesday 8 December 9.30am
Friday 11 December 9.30am
Saturday 12 December 6.00pm
Sunday 13 December 9.30am
Tuesday 15 December 9.30am
This pattern of Mass will continue until further notice.
Scripture Readings 1st Sunday of Advent, Year
(Isa 63:16-17; 64:3-8; Ps 79:2-3,15-16,18-19; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37
WAITING FOR THE LORD - OUR LIFE IS A VIGIL.
We wait with longing and joyful hope, for his Spirit is with us, and we know that God is faithful to his promises.
The reading from third Isaiah is part of a prayer written around the end of Israel's exile. Their leaders have been arguing instead of rebuilding the Temple. The prophet recalls God's blessings on Israel in the past, and desperately begs the Lord to come once more in his mercy to the aid of his people, who all now humbly confess their sinfulness. God is our Father, and we are clay, to be formed by his hand.
The Psalm pleads with God to restore his vineyard, Israel, to its former favour. Especially the northern tribes, threatened by Assyria.
Paul's letter to the Corinthians was prompted by internal rivalries. He can't stop talking about Jesus. God has now come, giving "all the graces" "through Jesus Christ", and joining us to his Son.
Since Vatican II we are blessed by reading all through each gospel in turn. Listening to what each evangelist actually says may help us to sense different Christian communities gradually developing their understanding of Christ. This Advent we start the year of Mark, whose gospel is the earliest and shortest. It is the gospel in which no human being recognises or understands Jesus before his death.
Todaywe have Mark's version of "Stay awake!" immediately before Jesus' passion begins.
Psalm Response - God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
Please Pray during the Week for
The Church. The lonely & frightened. The faithful departed - those who mourn. The sick (Margaret McKeown, Pauline Goodly) -and their carers. Victims of coronavirus. World leaders to unite to find a covid solution. The poorer countries where disease and risk are heightened by food and medicine shortages.
Victims of oppression and racial hatred. In gratitude to God for his gifts, his mercy and unconditional love.
For our country - that the special measures will rapidly combat the spread of the virus.
November Prayer for the Holy Souls
Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us. As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen
To keep up your weekly offerings or to make donations
Direct to the Parish - By Standing Order/Direct Debit/ One-Off Donation - ask your bank to pay to
Account Name: RCDN St Patrick Duston Branch Sort Code: 60-06-11 A/c No 59820640.
Let Fr Benny know if as a tax payer you want us to reclaim tax paid on your offering (no extra cost to you).
We will send you a Gift Aid Declaration form to complete and return to the church.
Or use 'Giving Tuesday' to call the Diocesan Finance Office 01604 712065, (10:00- 4:00pm)
Have your debit/credit card ready to make a payment - specify the offering is for St Patrick's Duston.
If the line is busy leave only your telephone number and your name - you will be called back.
We know at present many families are struggling financially so please just do what you can.
ONLINE ADVENT RETREAT FOR YOUNG ADULTS
Sisters from the St. Elisabeth Convent (Minsk, Belarus) are launching the first Online Christmas Market this year. https://catalog.obitel-minsk.com/christmas-market Every item purchased is a donation towards one of the Convent's ministries. The range of unique handmade items on sale will make memorable Christmas gifts.
CATHOLIC UNIVERSE AND CATHOLIC TIMES
At the moment you are unable to collect your paper at mass, but you can get it delivered direct to your home every week, post free. Please go to www.thecatholicuniverse.com or call them on 0161 820 5722 and they will arrange for you. Special offer 3 months: -£22.00 or 12 months: - £80.00
Liturgical Year B - Free e-book (with church imprimatur) for your computer/tablet/phone:
The new Liturgical Year begins this Sunday. You may download it FREE to any computer/ tablet/ phone. It offers the Gospel for every day of Year B-1 followed by a reflection of some 750 words on each daily Gospel.
Son of God: The Daily Gospel Year B-1 may be accessed at the URL address:
Spiritual Holy Communion Oh Jesus, my God, I love you, but unfortunately, I cannot receive you in Holy Communion at this time. Come, nevertheless, and visit me with your grace. Come spiritually into my heart. Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like your own most Sacred Heart. Amen.
Daily Mass on line www.northamptondiocese.org/live.
POPE FRANCIS - THE SEASON OF ADVENT
Advent encourages us to reflect on the contrast between our daily routine and the unexpected coming of the Lord. The Gospel, the Pope said, is not trying to frighten us, but "to open our horizons" to further dimensions, giving meaning even to everyday occurrences.
This perspective, he continued, is also an invitation to "sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world" but rather to keep them in their proper place. If, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to be overpowered by a concern for material things, we will not be able to perceive what is much more important: our final encounter with the Lord. And so, the Pope said, Advent is "an invitation to vigilance, because, not knowing when He will come, we must always be ready to depart."
During Advent, Pope Francis concluded, "we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life that is presented each day with its newness. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own established plans, because the Lord comes in the hour which we don't imagine."
Pastoral Letter First Sunday of Advent
29 November 2020
Dear friends in Christ,
'Christmas is cancelled!' This abrupt headline appeared during September, causing consternation throughout the land. It became clearer, journalists were referring to the cultural trappings of a festive season. But there was also the lingering prospect that we may not be able to meet up with all our loved ones because of the virus. In truth of course Christmas cannot be cancelled. It is a historical event, one which has a wonderful implication for ourselves as we journey through these difficult days with hope. In the words of St Paul, 'when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.' (1 Gal 4.4-5) Three centuries after the apostle wrote those words St Athanasius reflected upon what it means that God sent his Son, born of a woman. This great theologian of Christmas lived in a time when some denied the truth of the Incarnation, that Jesus is consubstantial with the Father. And so he tells us why Jesus, 'the incorporeal and incorruptible Word of God entered our world.' (St Athanasius, On the Incarnation, 2.82) Our human minds 'had fallen finally to the level of sensible things'. (Ibid 3.16)
On this First Sunday of Advent, Jesus invites us to raise our minds beyond the senses in order to ponder the mysteries of faith. God's unfolding plan of salvation will reach a climax at the end of history. We should await this day with active faith, and not in some distracted and indifferent manner. Rather, Jesus tells us in today's Gospel, 'Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.' Maybe these words sound threatening to us? It does not have to be so. Like excited children waiting for Christmas to come, our Advent faith encourages us to await Jesus' second coming with longing and persevering hope. And there is more. Jesus tells us today that he has 'left his servants in charge, each with his own task'. Pope Francis explains this task clearly, 'In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptised, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelisation? The new evangelisation calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptised.' (Evangelli Gaudium 120) There may be many reasons why we feel inadequate for this missionary task. We may have become indifferent and have fallen asleep. Perhaps our confidence has been robbed by scandal and institutional failure on the part of the Church. We feel ashamed by our weakness and lack of gifts. Despite all these things, Pope Francis makes it clear we are all in this together. We may have the idea this is for others. And even if we want to be missionary disciples, perhaps we are unclear about what this looks like in our lives.
St Therese of Lisieux, Patroness of the Missions, said, 'I will desire in heaven the same thing as on earth: to love Jesus and to make him loved.' (Letter to her missionary brothers) Does this not encapsulate the essence of mission? First of all, a real desire that others find Jesus to be the Way, the Truth and the Life in their own lives. (Cf Jn 14.6) And secondly, a recognition that mission is about bringing others into a personal and loving relationship with the Lord. We might develop business plans, pastoral plans, have all sorts of strategies and projects, but if we do not know that Jesus loves us unconditionally and we are invited to love Him in return, then we are missing the mark by a long way!
We learn from our experience. After some initial disorientation at the beginning of the pandemic, it is as though we Catholics have found our feet again during the lockdowns. We are reaching out to those in need in so many largely unobserved ways. Parish communities are using virtual platforms and social media to share a rich feast of liturgical, spiritual and catechetical experiences.
There is social outreach to the elderly and to families, food banks and errand services. A number have risen to the challenge of church stewardship, enabling our churches to be open for prayer. I sense in all this, we seek to encounter the face of Christ ourselves, and living out our inheritance as adopted children of God in baptism. We are using our imagination to reach out to others. We are being missionaries.
And as we begin a new year in the Church, there will be even more need for creative ways to become more effective missionaries. Please do not be disturbed by the challenges we face at this time. Jesus is Emmanuel, God amongst us. And Jesus chose to be God amongst us in the form of a helpless babe in Bethlehem. We too may feel helpless at times, especially in these days we live through, but these feelings should not overwhelm us. The mystery of Christmas invites us to be enfolded in the love made present to us, especially when we become poor in spirit.
Yours devotedly in Christ,
Bishop of Northampton
Given at Northampton on the Feast of Christ the King and appointed to be read or distributed in all churches and chapels of the Diocese on the First Sunday of Advent, 28th and 29th November, 2020
Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that you may believe - but believe that you may understand. St Augustine of Hippo
Page 1 of 5