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Mass Resumes on Saturday 5th December

Saturday at 5.30pm

Sunday at 9.00am

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There are strict guidelines which have been issued by the Government and Diocese in regulations.

These safety measures include:

Masks to be warn inside the church.

Stewards will help guide parishioners inside the church to their seats.
The church will be cleaned after EACH service:
All benches will be wiped down with cleaning fluid and paper towels.
Handles on doors and table surfaces to be wiped down.
Gloves MUST be warn.

It is ESSENTIAL that we have people joining the cleaning teams – parishioners over 70 may not be part of these teams, we will need a team of four. If there are no cleaning teams, then the church CANNOT be opened. If anyone can help, please contact myself on 01582 792270.

Thank you

Fr Michael

First Sunday of Advent – Year B

“God of hosts, bring us back, let your face shine on us and we should be saved” – Response for Psalm (79). The Gospel is a strong response, to let the plea/request heard in the psalm. Jesus speaks to us all and tells us to “stay awake”. There is no point in asking for God’s help, if we do not stay alert enough to hear and see what Jesus is offering us. He is offering all that he receives through the spiritual partnership that is the Holy Trinity. When a person finishes working they receive a P45, often with information of a “gift” of money for past work.

I wonder what quality of P45 will we receive at the end of our lives? We would want it to be a confirmation of our earthly communion with Father/Son/Holy Spirit.

Ronald Knox speaks of Holy Communion at/ through the Mass, as having no human standard that could compare or even be measured with any earthly terms. Knox goes on to say that we confuse value with price. Sometimes, we slumber  in the presence of the heavenly bread and in so doing, we discard Jesus because there is no calculated value.

In these difficult times, we appreciate what we long for, partnership in God’s Grace through receiving Holy Communion.

At these times, we turn to the Holy Spirit and our Confirmation Gifts – Wisdom, Understanding, Right Judgement, Courage, Knowledge, Reverence, the spirit of Wonder and we in the presence of God. In these times, with the longing for the Bread of Heaven itself, we turn to the Gospel and Psalm and hear them exhorting us to keep imploring the presence of Christ. Knox reminds us to Christ’s Life giving action !I am he who bade this be done, I will supply what is lacking in you, come and receive me.

St Paul, in the 2nd Reading (Cor 1 V 3-9) “and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his son Jesus Christ and God is Faithful”

Stay awake and listen.

With love and prayers.

Fr Michael

This week all through Advent, I will turn off the T.V & radio etc, favourite programmes and pray/read scripture and Be awake and alert to the Holy Spirit.

Week 34 – Our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King

All the Readings glorify Jesus as the place of companionship, where Life Eternal is the reason for life. Each Reading has been placed in this Feast Day Celebration, to let us know and understand that Jesus Christ is the one true Shepherd. All humanity is called into the “Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David” (the Gospel Acclamation) Christ fulfils the promise made to King David – remember David dancing with joy in the presence of the one and only Divine God. David dance with all his might, then he offered fellowship offerings. (2sam 6 v 13-19)

In our Mass, we join with Christ in the fellowship offerings. We acknowledge Christs death for our sin and acknowledge Christs Resurrection for our eternal life with him. The Gospel leads us into the “way of Jesus Christ”. The Dance of life and light or the darkness of sin in all its sadness, is presented to us in the Gospel. (Mt25 v 31-46)

The First Reading (Ezk 34 v11-12 & 15-17) reveals to us our King as shepherd, who will show us where to rest when we are lost. The Psalm (Ps22) echoes the promises of resting with the words (In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever”) Yes, the Servant King will guide us into fellowship with Trinity God.

There is deep and great solemnity in the phrase in the Second Reading “And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all” Therefore, Father/Son/Holy Spirit will share their pure love of their fellowship with us. May we dance with all our might with Family and Friends and everyone in Heaven, when the time comes for us to enter Heaven. May our heads be anointed with oil and our cup be overflowing.

This week I will be aware of the promise and guidance that is in the Readings of this Feast Day. There is a chance to read and reflect.

At this time we remember the Feast Day of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

With love and prayers

Fr Michael

 

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Judy Atkins who died recently, we offer our prayers and condolences for Arthur and Family.

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Friday afternoon I visited a remarkable man whose loving wife had recently died. The man spoke of his wonderful wife with a simple, yet strong and profound love for her. I found it interesting that the First Reading of today is about the perfect wife. The man did not need to read those verses from Chapter 13 of the Proverbs, he had only to be with his wife and remember the past years as they – husband and wife – lived and worked side by side. It is clear that the husband has confidence in his dear departed wife. Three phases are apparent in their marriage 1.”Her husband’s heart has confidence in her” 2″She holds out her hand to the poor, she opens her arms to the needy” 3″the woman who is wise is the one to praise”

There is a true echo of the husband’s dependency in the beloved wife, because they depend on each other as a unit while remaining independent.

In all of life and death, there are moments/events that cause us to look forwards and backwards and find the Lord Jesus present. The 2nd Alleluia praises the generosity of Jesus acknowledging us with “Make your home in me as I make mine in you says the Lord. Whoever remains in me bears fruit in plenty. The fruit is being aware of those in need and acting with love.

In the Gospel, we hear Christ imploring us to be faithful in spreading the Gospel of our Trinity God.

This week I will read the First Reading several times. I will also dig a small hole in the ground and leave it open until I have decided on a charity to give to.

With love and prayers

Fr Michael

 

Please remember in your prayers Judy Atkins who died recently. We offer our condolences to husband Arthur and to the family. May Judy rest in Peace. Amen

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this Remembrance Sunday, we are marking the one hundredth year of the end of World War One. There is also remembrance of all who have died in conflicts that have followed. The question “when will war stop happening?” is always present. Human beings are pulled down by conflict and power on a continual basis. So, thank God for the Reading from Wisdom – Wisdom is found by those who look for her.  I rejoice in the phrase “you will find her sitting at your gates”. This phrase informs, that before I leave my home there is a need to meet and walk with wisdom by my side, then I will curb my inklings of selfishness and pride. Then I shall treat and great people with a quiet heart.

I find an echo in the psalm (P 62 v 2-8) there is a longing for company with God and knowing his love is better than life. What a deep statement to step into and with it comes rejoicing. While we rejoice, we cannot be at war with those around us.

The Gospel Reading, with its story of sleepy bridesmaids alerts me to continually seek the company of wisdom.

The Second Reading is to help us be certain that because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we also will rise and “so we shall stay with the Lord for ever”. With such thoughts as these, you should comfort one  another” (Thess 4 v 13-18) Especially during this month of November, we pray for our beloved departed and those who have no-one to pray for them. Look back in hope and courage at the Festival of All Saints celebrated last week. We draw joy in the Company of Saints.

This week, I will stay with the tree and pray that Lady Wisdom will spend time with this foolish person (me!) as I am ready to listen. I pray for us all for Peace and Calm during this lockdown.

With love and prayers

Fr Michael

Church Announcement

Due to the recent government guidelines Church services are on hold till further notice. We will update the details on the website when new advise is available from the government. Please revisit our website in the future for future details.

Covid 19 Update

Keep an eye out on the website for future updates this week

All Saints & All Souls

I have just finished a novel, in which a boy of 11 yrs of age ran away from home because his Mother was dying. The boy didn’t want to be in the home when his Mother died. While having a rest, the boy met up with an old man who helped the boy to accept the reality. For me, the story brought two facts to my attention. One thing is, death happens for everybody and secondly is, do not waste time running away. The time needs to be used in being present.

I love choosing a bar of chocolate and looking forward to choosing a quite time and space to enjoy the chocolate itself. When the chocolate is eaten, there is satisfaction and happiness, yet there is the sadness of no longer having the chocolate. Allow me to continue and not get too simple an idea of the fact of sorrow experienced in death.

We can too easily wrap ourselves up in the things and people and events of life. So, when death happens for our beloved ones or for ourselves we might find we have been consumed by shallow living. There is a tendency to forget to sit down and talk about what death really is. Death simply expressed is The Letting Go! We let them go or, we let go. In the reading from Isaiah, we read that God destroys death for ever and we shall join in the banquet prepared for all peoples. (IS 25 v6-9)

Once we have discussed a little about death, we gradually relax our fearful grip on life and relax into the presence of Jesus Christ. Then we can read, hear feel the power of the Resurrected Christ and know the promise received by our Family and Friends and Community of ALL THE SAINTS. Yes, everyone can turn to the Lord and be saved.  “My dear people we are already the children of God and we shall see Him as he really is” (2nd JH 3 v3)

In the Beatitudes (MT 5 v1-12) we read on ALL SAINTS DAY, we are showered with advice and promises to help us let go of anything that pulls us away from Christ, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven” (MT 5 v12)

On All Saints Day we rejoice in the open community of all who have gone before us in the presence of Trinity God. On All Souls Day, we pray for all our beloved ones who have died and those who have no-one to pray for them. We continue to pray all through November.

Each day this week, I am going to stand near a tree and think about all people growing into the companionship of Jesus. I’m sure I’ll find time for some chocolate as well!

With love and prayers

Fr Michael

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Saturday, I had the great pleasure and privilege of conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation on some of our young adults of our two parishes of Redbourn and Wheathampstead. In general, the sacrament of Confirmation is reserved to a Bishop, so a parish priest does not often get to confer Confirmation. I must admit I couldn’t help thinking about “days of yore” when a Bishop would sit on his horse and give Confirmation to the people, the local priest had gathered together. Those were simpler days, yet also there were plagues and sickness to deal with.

The Faith continues.

During the ceremony on Saturday, the candidates were asked to formally state the essential belief of being a Catholic follower of Christ.

In the Gospel of today, we read of the religious and community leaders trying to disconnect Jesus and disconnect him from the people once again, Jesus cuts to the essence of the question about the greatest commandment. How profoundly simple is his answer – “love God with your whole being, mind and body and soul”. Then Jesus brings to life the “action of the Law by telling those listening to love their neighbour as themselves. Therefore, Jesus opens up the Law so that every person can understand and follow the Law and commandments.

In the Psalm, is an ancient echo of what Christ taught with these phrases “I love you Lord my strength” and “My God is the rock where I take refuge” and “He was given great victories to his king and shown his love for his anointed”

This day and these times, it is good to remember our Baptism and our Confirmation. These two connected sacraments are our strength and our hope for action in our lives. In Jesus Christ we find the meaning of life.

On the way to the Confirmation I did look into the fields, but I did not see any horses available, maybe another time.

This week I will read about Baptism and Confirmation.

With love and prayers.

Fr Michael