LIVE STREAM – WEDNESDAY OF WEEK 3 OF THE YEAR

WEDNESDAY OF WEEK 3 OF THE YEAR

Mass 09.30am & 7pm

 http://ustre.am/UCOl

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Readings at Mass


First reading 2 Samuel 7:4-17
The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
  ‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today, but have always led a wanderer’s life in a tent. In all my journeying with the whole people of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of Israel my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” This is what you must say to my servant David, “the Lord of Hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’
  Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.

Psalm Psalm 88:4-5,27-30
I will keep my love for him always.
I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
  I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever
  and set up your throne through all ages.
I will keep my love for him always.
He will say to me: You are my father,
  my God, the rock who saves me.
And I will make him my first-born,
  the highest of the kings of the earth.
I will keep my love for him always.
I will keep my love for him always;
  with him my covenant shall last.
I will establish his dynasty for ever,
  make his throne endure as the heavens.
I will keep my love for him always.

Gospel Acclamation 1S3:9,Jn6:68
Alleluia, alleluia!
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening:
you have the message of eternal life.
Alleluia!
Or
Alleluia, alleluia!
The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower;
whoever finds this seed will remain for ever.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 4:1-20
Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen!, Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
  When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’
  He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’
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LIVE STREAM – 3RD SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

3RD SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

Art Ordinary 3A

MASS – 10.30am  (PLEASE NOTE DIFFERENCE IN USUAL TIME)

http://ustre.am/UCOl

We will spend most of the Sundays of the coming year in the company of Saint Matthew. His Gospel (like the others has its own characteristics. He is writing for a Jewish audience, and so is always at pains to stress one thing: that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah. He does this by reference to Jesus’ teaching and miracles, and very often by quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament to show that Jesus was their fulfilment. Today is a perfect example. “Zebulun and Naphthali” was an old name for the area round Capernaum by the side of the Lake of Galilee, a busy fishing and trading area, with many Gentile towns and settlements: it is here, rather than in the dangerous town of Nazareth, that Jesus “settles” and begins his ministry. This is where the proclamation of the Kingdom of God begins, as was foretold, and the first followers are invited to join Jesus.

LIVE STREAM – THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL

The Conversion of Saint Paul
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Mass – 0930 – http://ustre.am/UCOl
Saul, the young man who looked after the cloaks of the men who were stoning St Stephen, grew into a dedicated and efficient persecutor of Christians. Today’s feast celebrates the day that Christ appeared to him in a vision as he was on the way to Damascus, reproached him for his persecutions and converted him to the true faith.

LIVE STREAM – S FRANCIS DE SALES

St Francis de Sales (1567 – 1622)
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MASS – 0930  –  http://ustre.am/UCOl
He was born near Annécy, in Savoy, studied the law, and was ordained to the priesthood despite the opposition of his father. His first mission was to re-evangelize the people of his home district (the Chablais), who had gone over to Calvinism. Always in danger of his life from hostile Calvinists, he preached with such effectiveness that after four years most of the people had returned to the Church. He was then appointed bishop of Geneva, and spent the rest of his life reforming and reorganising the diocese, and in caring for the souls of his people by preaching and spiritual guidance.
  St Francis taught that we can all attain a devout and spiritual life, whatever our position in society: holiness is not reserved for monks and hermits alone. He wrote that “religious devotion does not destroy: it perfects,” and his spiritual counsel is dedicated to making people more holy by making them more themselves. In his preaching against Calvinism he was driven by love rather than a desire to win: so much so, that it was a Calvinist minister who said “if we honoured anyone as a saint, I know of no-one since the days of the Apostles more worthy of it than this man.”
  St Francis is the patron saint of writers and journalists, who would do well to imitate his love and his moderation: as he said, “whoever wants to preach effectively must preach with love.”

LIVE STREAM – 2ND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

 2ND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

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MASS 10.00AM

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There is no break between Christmas and Ordinary Time – one flows almost seamlessly into the other through the Baptism of Jesus. We ended our Christmas Season thinking about the “revelation” of the Son of God – people realising who this “Jesus of Nazareth” actually was – and this continues today, as we interject a passage from Saint John before we begin our weekly reading through Saint Matthew’s Gospel. New Year is about beginnings, and as we return to the beginning of Our Lord’s public ministry there is a sense of something exciting about to happen – even though we know the story, we dive into it once more, like returning to a favourite novel or film. So it is with joy that we stand in the country of the river Jordan, and recognise Jesus of Nazareth as the Chosen One of God, who offers himself to do God’s work.

Mass Booklet

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LIVE STREAM – S ANTONY THE ABBOT

St Antony, Abbot (251 – 356)
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Mass 9.30am –  http://ustre.am/UCOl
St Antony is the originator of the monastic life. He was born in Egypt: when his parents died, he listened to the words of the Gospel and gave all his belongings to the poor. He went out into the wilderness to begin a life of penitence, living in absolute poverty, praying, meditating, and supporting himself by manual work. He suffered many temptations, both physical and spiritual, but he overcame them. Disciples gathered round him, attracted by his wisdom, moderation, and holiness. He gave support to the victims of the persecutions of Diocletian, and helping St Athanasius in his fight against the Arians. He lived to be over a hundred years old, and died in 356.
  The Gospels are full of wise sayings of Jesus that seem to be ignored, and one of the most poignant of these was in his meeting with that young man who asked over and over again, insistently, “What must I do to have eternal life?.” When, in the end, Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect he would have to sell all that he had and give the money to the poor, the young man went away, sorrowing; because he was very rich. What could be more of a waste than that? You tell someone what he has to do, and he is afraid to do it. And yet… 250 years later, St Antony hears the story, and does give away all that he has, and becomes the founder of monasticism. And then again, over 1,000 years later, St Francis of Assisi hears the story, and gives away his possessions (and some of his father’s) and revolutionises Christianity again.
  Not all the words that we speak are forgotten, even though we cannot see their effects ourselves. Let us pray that those unknown effects may always be good ones.

LIVE STREAM – OUR LADY ON SATURDAY

MASS OF OUR LADY ON SATURDAY

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MASS 9.30am – http://ustre.am/UCOl

Church has a tradition of honoring the Virgin Mary on Saturdays, chiefly by offering special votive Masses for Our Lady on this day of the week. The roots of this practice are said to lie in the belief that Mary was the first person to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection; some readers will know that St. Ignatius invites the exercitant to meditate upon this appearance in the Fourth Week of the Spiritual Exercises. The scriptures are silent on this event – as they are on much else that has a cherished (and even essential) place in Christian tradition – but it seems right that the first person to receive the news of the Resurrection would be Christ’s own mother.

The tradition of dedicating Saturdays to Mary should also remind us of the experience of Holy Saturday, the time between Christ’s passion and death on the cross on Friday and his Resurrection on Sunday. If every Sunday is in some sense a Feast of the Resurrection and if every Friday recalls the Passion (through such customs as abstaining from meat on this day), then it makes sense to see the experience of Holy Saturday as somehow present in every Saturday. This isn’t to say that we should spend every Saturday thinking about Christ in the tomb – just as we don’t spend every Friday meditating constantly on the Passion – but it is to say that the tradition of honoring Mary on Saturdays may have something significant to offer us.

These thoughts came to me today during my Jesuit community’s morning liturgy, which was celebrated as a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As we offered prayers for the victims of last Saturday’s shooting in Tucson, for a recently deceased Jesuit of our community, and for others who have died or are suffering, the essentially consoling nature of today’s liturgical commemoration struck me in a way it hadn’t before. We all suffer from the pain of separation – the pain of losing people we love, of being far from those we care deeply about, and of being estranged or unreconciled in one way or another. We might think of these as Holy Saturday experiences of a kind, experiences which make us feel emotionally and spiritually bereft. It’s hard to imagine that Mary did not feel this way herself on Holy Saturday, even if her faith in the Resurrection remained strong.

The commemoration of Our Lady on Saturday offers us a consolation as well as a challenge. The consolation involved is not necessarily of the warm, fuzzy and naturally ‘comfortable’ variety; rather, the consolation here comes in the reminder that we are never truly alone in our pain. The losses and separations that we all suffer are individually unique and perhaps even incommunicable; nonetheless, loss and separation remain universal human experiences, experiences we shall never be fully free of this side of the Resurrection. Reflecting on Our Lady on Saturday, the challenge for us is to consider how we can make Mary’s experience our own. What lacks and losses do we feel most acutely? What sort of personal resurrection(s) do we seek? How, finally, does our own experience of loss and separation prepare us to meet the Risen Lord?