Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 23rd February 2020

The Lord is Compassion and Love

An understanding of the true teaching of the Law is presented in different ways in this week’s readings.

In the First Reading from Leviticus, Moses receives instructions to tell the people to become more like their God in their dealings with others. ‘Be holy for I am holy.’

St Paul, in the Second Reading, reminds the Corinthians that the indwelling of the Spirit makes them sacred. This is more important than all their divisions. In Christ we are all the temple of God.

The Psalm, uniting these readings, is a prayer of praise and gratitude to the God who is love and compassion: he heals, forgives and redeems us.

Jesus, in the Gospel, is like the new Moses. He is the new law-giver, taking the teaching of the Law to a deeper, more demanding level.  Being ‘perfect like our heavenly Father is perfect’ asks us to assume Jesus’s values and treat our neighbour as a brother or sister in Christ.

Maybe this week, we can consider these values – perhaps not always shared by those around us and pray for the grace to be more accepting of all whom we encounter.

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 16th February 2020

‘Be my protector, O God … lead me, guide me for the sake of your name’

Today’s readings reveal God’s law as something different from human-made laws, which are imposed on people to keep them in check.  God’s law is born in love and given in love, and is fulfilled by our loving response to it.

Because God does not impose the law, we are always free to choose our response.  God’s loving and wise care (Second Reading) means that we are supported in our response (First Reading).

When we do respond lovingly, we will experience happiness on earth (Psalm) and know greatness in God’s kingdom (Gospel).

Let’s ask for the grace, in the coming week, to really seek the Lord with all our hearts.  And to respond to the circumstances of our daily lives with loving wisdom, knowing that in everything we are being guided, held and encouraged by God’s law of love.

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 9th February 2020

A good person is a light in darkness: generous, merciful and just.

The readings this week speak of the need for those who believe in God to show that this makes a difference to the way they treat others. It is not enough to believe; we are asked to give evidence of our faith by showing others what God is like through the way we live.

We are called to serve the hungry, the homeless, and the destitute; to act in ways that prevent oppression, anger and harsh words (First Reading); to speak, not out of our own goodness or holiness, but in the power that comes from the Holy Spirit (Second Reading); to become like lights shining in the darkness,
so that our good works encourage others in their journey towards the praise of God in their own lives (Gospel).

If we live in these ways, the Lord promises us lives of integrity, free from fear and full of trust in God. We will find joy in living in the presence of the Lord (Psalm).

We pray for the grace to become humble servants relying only on God to help us serve others (Second Reading).

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Living Theology at Loreto, Llandudno, 10-12 July, 2020

Come and hear a wonderful range of speakers at the annual Living Theology Summer School – set in the beautiful coastal location of Llandudno!

Friday 10th – Sunday 12th July 2020
Loreto Centre, Abbey Road, Llandudno LL30 2EL

PUBLIC LECTURE
Friday 10th July, 7.30pm (Registration from 6.15)
Speaker: Sean Ryan, Reading the Bible as the Inspired Word of God

COURSES THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

Keynote Speaker:  Sean Ryan

With a choice of courses from:

Mike Smith SJ:
(1) The Last Supper Today (Saturday);  (2) Hope for the Future (Sunday)

Josette Zammit-Mangion IBVM:
(1) Reading Galatians (repeated both days)

Michael Barnes SJ:
Who do you say I am? (repeated both days)

Suggested Donations (but please see the important note in the brochure about bursaries):

£80 for the whole weekend (non-residential), including coffee/tea and a light lunch;
£190 (residential en suite accommodation);
£40 for just Saturday or Sunday;
£5 donation for just the Friday lecture.

Click here for the_2020_Living Theology Brochure (includes booking form)

Click here to book online

For further information, please contact Sr Ewa Bem IBVM at the Loreto Centre. Tel:  01492 878031 or email:  loretocentre@yahoo.co.uk
http://www.loretocentre.org.uk

 

The Presentation of the Lord, 2nd February 2020

My eyes have seen the light of salvation!

Forty days after Christmas, we observe the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple (the feast of Candlemas), when we celebrate Christ as the light of the world. In many places candles are blessed in church and carried in procession to welcome him. This day also marks the end of Christmastide, and the slow return of longer daylight hours.

Today’s First Reading is a prophecy in which we can recognise the Messiah. His coming will be a challenge, but also good news for those who welcome him.

We sing the Psalm as we follow the Lord, our King of glory.

Christ has come to live among us as one of us. Although he is God’s Son, he was tempted in every way that we are, and so is able to help us in our temptations (Second Reading).

The Gospel reminds us of the first time the Lord entered the Temple, with Mary and Joseph. There he meets Simeon, an old man who recognises Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah; together with Anna, a prophetess who tells everyone she meets about him.

As we read Simeon’s warning to Mary that her Son will be rejected, and that a sword will pierce her own soul, we might bring to mind and pray for all mothers, particularly those who witness and suffer the loss of their children, whether we know them personally or not.

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Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, 26th January 2020

The Lord is my Light and my Help

Pope Francis has designated today as the Sunday of the Word of God, when we are reminded that the Lord is in constant dialogue with his people through his Holy Word. Let us ask to hear the Lord and enter more deeply into relationship with him as we pray.

In the First Reading, Isaiah foretells of the Lord coming among his people, describing him as a light who will guide them through darkness, easing their burden and bringing them joy.

The Psalm continues the image of the light of the Lord giving us strength and helping us to overcome fear. Its words encourage us to seek the Lord and remain hopeful.

The Second Reading is a heartfelt call for unity, made to the early church in Corinth. It is a timely reminder for today’s Church that we are all united though the Good News we are called to proclaim. Christ is one and cannot be divided up: we are all one in him.

Isaiah’s ancient prophecy of the Messiah as a light in the darkness is repeated in today’s Gospel, where Matthew links it to the start of Jesus’s mission. On hearing that John the Baptist has been arrested, Jesus sets out and begins to preach, using the same call to repentance as John did. Just as John had gathered a small group of followers, so Jesus invites the first of his disciples.

As we pray, let’s remember that we, too, are called to follow Jesus. We do not pray alone, but belong to a community of believers united by our baptism. We share the same hope of which the psalmist sang, and are guided by the same light that Isaiah spoke of. May we seek and build the unity that Paul longed for.

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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 19th January 2020

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant … I will make you the light of the nations!’

As we begin the New Year, whatever our mood or life-situation, our readings give us hope and comfort as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s life of service and ministry.

In the so-called ‘Servant Song’, Isaiah writes of the mysterious servant of the Lord God. Christians have long identified him with Jesus, who was formed by God in the womb and sent into the world as ‘the light of the nations’. (First Reading)

The words of the Psalmist would fit well on the lips of the Servant. He worships God with ‘an open ear’, and with a spirit that delights in generous service.

In the Gospel, we encounter not only Jesus as he begins his public ministry, but also John the Baptist, who witnesses to Jesus’s baptism. John hears the voice of the Father and sees the Spirit descend and rest on Jesus: a revelation of the three persons of the Trinity.

In the Second Reading, Paul wishes the Corinthians the grace and peace of Christ; a grace that implies everything associated with God’s free gifts to us in Christ.

We, too, like the Corinthians, have a calling to be holy and to lead a life of prayer. This week, we might pray for the grace of an ‘open ear’ and an open heart, and ask for continued faithfulness in our Christian ministry this coming year.

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