All posts by Parish Secretary

Jesus the Prophet

Jesus is speaking in the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth. At first, his words meet with approval. But as he begins to challenge the worshippers, their mood changes. Jesus sees that the people of Nazareth are looking for miracles and wonders, like the ones they have heard about elsewhere, before they will put their faith in him. He reminds them that their ancestors rejected all of the prophets sent by God, and that God’s love and mercy are not restricted to one nation, but are for the whole of humanity. No wonder the members of the synagogue congregation become angry, and try to drive Jesus out of town!
The rejection that Jesus suffers in Nazareth recalls the rejection suffered by the prophets before him, and points forward to his ultimate rejection and crucifixion. Jesus will stand firm in the face of all the attacks on him. His response to opposition is not anger, but perfect love.

Catholic Theology Research Seminar

Theology, Evolution and Violence: On Making War or Peace? The annual Teilhard Seminar, supported by the British Teilhard Network, www.teilhard.org.uk Presented by Prof. Celia Deane-Drummond, University of Notre Dame, USA. This Thursday, 7th February, at 5.00pm Pemberton Lecture Room, PG20, Palace Green. The seminar will be followed by a meal for those who wish to take part – contact ccs.admin@durham.ac.uk for more information.

Parish Reading Group

The parish has a Reading Group which discusses all sorts of literature (not just theology nor only Christian writing). All members of the Parish are welcome to join, including undergraduates and post graduates.

A reminder that our next meeting will be on Tuesday 29 January at Orchard House at 8pm, to discuss Kamil Shamsie, Home Fire.

To enter the house come to front entrance. On your left on the outsideby the front door  you will see a panel. Dial 48 and follow instructions which will be given.

This text is being fulfilled today

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks in public for the first time. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he begins his ministry of teaching. In the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth, he chooses the words of the prophet Isaiah, to tell the people that his coming is good news for the poor, for prisoners, for the sick and the downtrodden. The promises that God made through the prophets are being fulfilled in Christ.
The Gospels show Jesus encountering different reactions to his ministry. Those who are poor and powerless will welcome his message of hope. The sick will flock to him for healing. Others, though, will reject the challenge of his teaching – the call to act justly and to forgive those who wrong us. The Word of God is life-giving, but also disturbing. It is a Word that changes the world. The Spirit of the Lord has been given to us, too, and the Spirit calls us to action.

Diocesan Holocaust Memorial Evenings

Diocesan Holocaust Memorial Evenings on the theme ‘Torn from Home.’ Tuesday 29th January at 7.00pm at St Mary’s Catholic School, Benton Park Road, Benton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7PE (speaker: Mrs Gay Keenaghan) AND Thursday 31st January at 7.00pm, at St Michael’s Catholic Academy, Beamish Road, Billingham TS23 3DX (speaker: Mr Zigi Shipper BEM). Booking is essential for both events, at www.interreligioushn.eventbrite.co.uk or by telephone on 0191 265 5290.

Thank You

For all your generosity with fundraising over the past year. Before Christmas we sent off a donation to St Cuthbert’s Hospice of £868.64 from money raised at 10am Mass tea and coffees and profits from the Shared Harvest in September (please see letter on the noticeboard). This week we sent off to buy 13 birth certificates and a tree for life with the money raised over Advent and we have twinned our toilet with one in Malawi with money donated over the year in the toilet twinning box.

The First of the Signs

The wedding feast at Cana would be a huge celebration. The whole village would be invited, along with the family and friends of the bride and groom. It was a joyful day. But if the wedding party ran out of wine, joy would turn into embarrassment and social disgrace for the host family. Jesus’ mother spots the situation, and turns to her son, with absolute confidence that he has the power to help. Though Jesus at first seems reluctant, he works a miracle that saves the day: by changing water into wine, he transforms embarrassment into delight.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ miracles are described as ‘signs.’ They are signs that God is with Jesus, and working through him. The signs bring about faith, for those who are ready to see. This miracle, prompted by the unquestioning faith of Jesus’ mother, reveals Jesus’ glory and leads his disciples to believe in him. The revealing of the Son of God, which begins at Christmas and continues at Epiphany, reaches a new stage. Now Jesus will be revealed to the whole world.

Ushaw Lecture

Tuesday 22 January 2019: Ushaw Lecture by Julian Coman (The Guardian) on the Politics of Place. Globalisation, the economic crash of 2008 and a migration crisis have triggered a crisis in western European societies. From Brexiting Britain to an Italy where nationalism is resurgent, the far right is mobilising a romantic politics of place and identity, which is hostile to the outsider. How can progressive thought fight back? 5.30pm drinks for 6pm lecture at Ushaw College. All welcome; please register via https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com or call 0191 334 1656.

Advent Collection

This year we raised money for birth certificates. A birth certificate costs £25, and is possibly the most valuable item a child could receive. When babies are born at home in poor, rural areas, it is too difficult to travel to register the birth. But a child without a birth certificate faces problems. In Zimbabwe, for example, children without a birth certificate cannot go to school, take exams, apply for an ID card, vote, or access many other basic essential services. Because of your generosity we have raised £336 enough for 13 birth certificates! Thank you.

YOU ARE MY BELOVED

John the Baptist drew the people with his message of repentance. They came to John for baptism in the River Jordan; a symbolic action, showing their desire for forgiveness of their sins and a new direction in their lives. So why does Jesus come to be baptised by John? He is without sin, and has no need for repentance or forgiveness. But, by immersing himself in the waters of the Jordan, Jesus shows us that he is fully immersed in our human condition. His baptism symbolises his unconditional ‘Yes’ to his Father’s plan of salvation. Without sin himself, he will share fully in the consequences of sin, all the way to the Cross. After his baptism, Jesus receives the Holy Spirit and hears words of consolation and encouragement from God the Father: ‘You are my Son, the Beloved.’ In our own baptism, we said ‘Yes’ to God’s plan for us, and we were adopted as God’s children – brothers and sisters of his beloved Son.