Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye

Sometimes Jesus’ parables need translation from the context of 1st century Judah to our own time, but not today. The image of the splinter in a brother’s eye and a plank in our own is all to clear. In today’s gospel Jesus uses the image to invite us to have him as our teacher and guide, because “the fully trained disciple will always be like their teacher”.

The gospel reminds us to avoid criticising others when our own faults are much more evident and to stop and spend some time knowing what our planks of sin are, so we can root them out, not for blaming others but by stripping away the externals to focus on our self. Thus, we can recognise our sins and weakness and come to repent for them.

Today’s gospel is therefore a perfect one to hear just before we begin the season of Lent – Ash Wednesday is on Wednesday – why, because Lent is a time to strip away our comforts and our delusions, to see ourselves more clearly through the lens of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

St. David’s Day

A reminder that the day before Lent, as well as being Shrove Tuesday is the celebration of the Patron Saint of Wales, St. David. We can come to celebrate St. David’s Day and pray for all the people of Wales at 10.00am on the Solemnity of our nation’s Patron.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi – Yr Offeren yn Gymraeg

Alternatively, we can come along to celebrate St. David’s Day at Mass in Welsh? Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Peter Davies at St. Teilo’s on Tuesday, March 1st at 6pm. Bilingual booklets will be provided. Croeso cynnes i bawb!

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, a day of Fasting and Abstinence when all Catholics fast from one meal and abstain from meat. Age restrictions apply to the fast. Lent is a good time to remember that all faithful Catholics are expected to keep abstinence from meat on all Fridays of the year.

There will be two Masses on Wednesday, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 10am and at St. Teilo’s at 7pm. Ashes will be distributed during both Masses.

Prayer for Ukraine

Pope Francis writes:

I invite everyone to make this coming 2nd March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace: let believers dedicate themselves intensively to prayer and fasting. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.

Let us offer up or Lenten observances for the People of Ukraine and for peace in their land.

Lent

For other thoughts on the way we can mark this year’s Lent please see the Parish newsletter.

Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time – Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate

Today’s gospel comes from the part of St. Luke’s gospel which is often called ‘Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain’. In St. Luke’s Gospel, this teaching is addressed to Jesus’ disciples in contrast to the Sermon on the Mount in St. Matthew’s Gospel, in which Jesus’ words are addressed to both the disciples and to the wider crowds.

 

Today’s words are familiar to us. They constitute the crux and the challenge of what it means to be a disciple: Love your enemies, turn the other cheek, give to those who ask, do unto others, lend without expecting repayment, judge not lest you be judged.

 

In today’s gospel the focus is on the behaviour of those of us who wish to follow Jesus and those who choose to be “sinners.” More than any of the other gospels St. Luke emphasis that following Jesus is not about perfection, but about trying our best. He highlights that God the Father, as depicted by Jesus is a merciful and loving God who understands our failings but calls us back to know God’s mercy and change our lives because of it.

 

So today as we listen to Jesus’ words we are challenged to be more like God. God loves us beyond our expectations, beyond anything we can possibly imagine. In response to God’s love, we are to love God and our fellow humans as God loves, beyond expectations and with a depth beyond imagining. A real challenge, but one in which God helps us as we make our best efforts to follow in is way.

 

No need to book to attend Mass at St. Teilo’s or Our Lady of Lourdes

Now we are at Alert Level 0 in Wales there is no need to book to attend Mass at either of our churches on Sundays or weekdays, nor will a record of attendance be kept.

 

You are, of course, asked to continue to be considerate to others and to remain at a reasonable distance from other attendees where possible. If you are a vulnerable person, printed cards are available at the back of the Church saying, “PLEASE RESPECT THIS SPACE”. You are able to take a number of these cards and place them each side of you to ensure no one encroaches on your safe space.

 

Mass Times this week

Please note the change to the time of Mass on Friday

 

Monday – No Mass

 

Tuesday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Wednesday – 10am at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

 

Thursday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Friday – 9am at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Saturday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Saturday Evening – 6pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

 

Sunday Morning – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Sunday Evening – 4:30pm Yr Offeren yn Gymraeg – Mass in Welsh

 

Sunday Evening – 6pm at St. Teilo’s Church

Friday 18th February – Stay Safe – Stay Home

Due to the predicated weather, we are recommending that parishioners stay at home tomorrow morning and attend Mass and Adoration via the Live-Stream on the Parish home page.

Please pay close attention to the Met Office advice and Stay Safe.

May be an image of text

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time – They left everything and followed him

This Sunday’s Gospel tells two stories of people who welcome Jesus’ message. Firstly, an enthusiastic crowd has gathered on the shore of the lake, eagerly pressing forward to hear Jesus’ teaching. Jesus seems to be in danger of being crushed or at least being pushed into the sea! He takes the unusual step of teaching from Simon’s

boat. Secondly, Simon and his companions are washing their nets on the shore as

Jesus teaches, no doubt listening to what he has to say at the same time. When Jesus finishes his teaching, he asks Simon to put out into deep water and prepare for a catch.

Simon protests: if they caught nothing all night, the best time for fishing, what hope was there of a good catch during the day? Anyway, what would a craftsman like Jesus know about the art of commercial fishing?

Nevertheless, Simon does as Jesus asks and an extraordinary abundance of fish is caught – enough to almost sink two boats. Overwhelmed by the huge catch, Simon senses both the presence of the Divine and his own unworthiness and begs Jesus to leave him.

In response, Simon Peter, James and John abandon their thriving business, leaving everything behind, nets, boats and employees, and follow Jesus.

 

No need to book to attend Mass at St. Teilo’s or Our Lady of Lourdes.

Now we are at Alert Level 0 in Wales there is no need to book to attend Mass at either of our churches on Sundays or weekdays, nor will a record of attendance be kept.

You are, of course, asked to continue to be considerate to others and to remain at a reasonable distance from other attendees where possible. If you are a vulnerable person, printed cards are available at the back of the Church saying, “PLEASE RESPECT THIS SPACE”. You are able to take a number of these cards and place them each side of you to ensure no one encroaches on your safe space.

 

Parish Feast Days

St. Teilo

Wednesday is the celebration of St. Teilo one of the Patronal Feasts of our Parish. Given the feast day, Mass will be celebrated on that day in St. Teilo’s Church at 10.00am. The patron of a church is celebrated as a Solemnity in that church; therefore Mass will include the Gloria and Creed and some hymns as is fitting for a Solemnity

 

Our Lady of Lourdes – World Day of the Sick

Friday, February 11th is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the second Patron of our Parish. Mass on that day will be celebrated as a Solemnity in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. Mass will be at 2.30pm.

The time of Mass on this day has been changed to the afternoon to enable as many of the elderly, sick and housebound as possible to attend to receive the Sacrament of the Sick. If you can offer a lift to any sick, elderly or housebound parishioner, please do make the offer to them. We will have refreshments after Mass in the Church porch.

 

Mass Times this week

Please take special note as there are a number of changes of times and venues this week

Monday – No Mass

Tuesday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Wednesday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Thursday – 10.15am at St. Teilo’s Church – Requiem Mass of Mrs Grace O’Donnell

Friday – 2.30pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

Saturday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Saturday Evening – 6pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

Sunday Morning – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Sunday Evening – 6pm at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Full details are available in the Parish Newsletter.

Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time – God is Love

For many the verses from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:13) that we read in the second reading at Mass today are the best known in the whole bible. The focus on Love and what love means in the reading means it is used at Weddings, at Funerals and on lots of other occasions. Sometimes then we need to challenge ourselves to listen to the words afresh, to learn the words anew.

 

Knowing that God is Love (1 John 4:17) enables us to reframe this reading by realising that everything that is said about Love in this reading can be said about God himself. Perhaps this reframing will help us take these familiar words even closer to our hearts.

 

So:

 

God is always patient and kind; God is never jealous; God is never boastful or conceited; God is never rude or selfish; God does not take offence, and is not resentful. God takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; God is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

 

God does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

 

Guidance from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on Covid-19 at Alert Level 0

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has published an updated set of guidance for Catholic Churches which took effect from Thursday, January 27th in England and from Friday, January 28th in Wales.

 

The new guidance says: “Regarding the liturgical action, there should be a return to the normal mode of celebrating Mass respecting the integrity of the Rite.” This includes the return of Holy Water to the stoops at the back of the Church, the return of the Offertory Procession and Sign of Peace at Mass. However, for the sake of everyone’s wellbeing we will continue to offer the sign of peace by a reverent bow to our neighbours until we review things again in the summer.

 

The only remaining restrictions are the ongoing wearing of face coverings/masks and the good practice of sanitising hands on the way in and out of Church. In addition, the priest and Eucharistic Ministers will need to sanitise their hands before and after distributing the Blessed Sacrament. For the present the recommendation of communion under one kind remains.

 

The guidance can be read in full here.

 

No need to book to attend Mass at St. Teilo’s or Our Lady of Lourdes.

Given the new guidance, we can confirm that there is no need to book to attend Mass at either of our churches on Sundays or weekdays, nor will a record of attendance be kept.

 

You are, of course, asked to continue to be considerate to others and to remain at a reasonable distance from other attendees where possible. If you are a vulnerable person, printed cards are available at the back of the Church saying, “PLEASE RESPECT THIS SPACE”. You are able to take a number of these cards and place them each side of you to ensure no one encroaches on your safe space.

 

Mass Times this week

Monday – No Mass

Tuesday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Wednesday – 10am at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

Thursday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Friday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Saturday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Saturday Evening – 6pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

Sunday Morning – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Sunday Evening – 6pm at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Full details are available in the Parish Newsletter.

Third Sunday of Ordinary Time – Sunday of the Word of God

Today’s First reading from the Book of Nehemiah (8:2-6,8-10) has these wonderful words:

 

Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

When Ezra the priest says these words, he is speaking to the remnant of Israel who have returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and its temple. It was a time of restoration, not only of the ruined city, but also of obedience to the law of God.

The first reaction of the people of Israel to hearing the word of the Lord is sorrow and weeping because they have gone so far away from its teaching. But Ezra tells them not to weep because of God’s word, but to rejoice and celebrate because of they can now hear God’s Word and make it their own. Living in the way the Lord calls us to live is indeed the way we know that “The joy of the Lord is our strength”.

We at times can be worried about what is happening to the Church in this time after Covid-19, we can seem like a small remnant of faith whose numbers have declined during the Pandemic. Ezra reminds us that our trust, our hope is not in ourselves, but in the Lord. So let us rejoice and give thanks because “The joy of the Lord is our strength”.

 

Attending Sunday Mass

This weekend will be the last weekend that we are at Alert Level 2 in Wales. The current arrangements are coming to a conclusion on Friday, January 28th. Therefore, from next weekend there will be no need to register or sign in for Mass. Arrangements will return to those which were in place before Christmas.

You are asked to continue to be considerate to others and to remain at a reasonable distance from other attendees where possible. If you are a vulnerable person, printed cards are available at the back of the Church saying, “PLEASE RESPECT THIS SPACE”. You are able to take a number of these cards and place them each side of you to ensure no one encroaches on your safe space.

Face coverings/masks are still to be worn in Church and everyone is encouraged to sanitise their hands on arrival and departure from Church.

 

Mass Times this week

Monday – No Mass

Tuesday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Wednesday – 10am at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

Thursday – 12 Midday Funeral Mass of Erik Jonsson at St. Teilo’s Church

Friday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Saturday – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Saturday Evening – 6pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

Sunday Morning – 10am at St. Teilo’s Church

Sunday Evening – 6pm at St. Teilo’s Church

 

Full details are available in the Parish Newsletter.

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time – Peace Sunday

The Second Sunday of Ordinary Time is celebrated throughout the Church in England and Wales as Peace Sunday. This year, the Holy Father has asked us to focus on the ‘Dialogue Between Generations, Education and Work: Tools for Building Lasting Peace’. The full text of Pope Francis’ message for the 55th World Day of Peace (Peace Sunday) can be read here.

 

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, the National President of Pax Christi, the International Catholic Movement for Peace, says:

This year has been one of unprecedented and continuing challenges. We are all conscious of the need to restore and rebuild our communities here and around the world, accepting that we need new ways of working and relating to each other. The Christian message of peace, through reconciliation, justice and nonviolence, can offer hope and direction in these times.

 

In this country, we have an active Catholic peace movement in Pax Christi, which does a great deal of good work to promote peace and nonviolence through parishes, schools and social media.

Their website suggests many ways we can all become better peacemakers. There are activities for families to do at home, including a peace liturgy for young children.

 

Mass at St. Teilo’s

Mass next weekend will be on Sunday at 10am and 6pm. While we are Alert Level 2 in Wales, you must book in advance if you wish to attend Sunday Mass at St. Teilo’s.

Bookings for the next Sunday are now open here.

 

Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes

Mass next Saturday Evening will be at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 6pm.

There is no requirement to book in advance at Our Lady of Lourdes but you will be asked to register your attendance when you arrive. Please be ready to give the Welcomers your name and email or phone number for the Parish Records.

 

Covid rules at both Churches

  • Continue to wear a face covering when attending Mass.
  • Keep a two-metre distance from other households/groups within the Church and on entry and exit from Church.
  • Do a lateral flow test before seeing others who you do not see regularly (e.g. before Sunday Mass) and only attend Mass if the result is negative.
  • If you have symptoms or suspect you have symptoms, please attend Mass online rather than take the risk of infecting others by attending in person.
  • If you have a positive lateral flow test or symptoms of Covid, please do not attend Mass until you have quarantined for at least 7 full days after a positive test and have two negative lateral flow tests on Day 6 and Day 7 or beyond.

 

Weekday Mass

Fr. John is away this week, there will be no Weekday Mass in the Parish on Monday or Saturday morning.

Mass on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be at 10am.

We will record attendance at Weekday Masses during the period of Alert Level 2, but there is no need to book to attend Weekday Mass.

 

Full details are available in the Parish Newsletter.

The Baptism of the Lord

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas.

The Church recalls Our Lord’s second manifestation or epiphany, which occurred on the occasion of His Baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to give birth to sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes. In the Eastern Church, this feast is called Theophany because, at the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan, God appeared in three persons. The Baptism of John was a sort of sacramental preparation for the Baptism of Christ. It moved men to sentiments of repentance and induced them to confess their sins. Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the “substance of our flesh” and was recognised “outwardly like unto ourselves”, He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism which would remove all the sins of the world: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world”.

Many of the incidents, which accompanied Christ’s Baptism, are symbolic of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ’s Baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His Baptism Christ was proclaimed the “Beloved Son” of the Father; at our Baptism, we become the Sons and Daughters of God. At Christ’s Baptism the heavens were opened; at our Baptism, heaven was opened to us.

Mass at St. Teilo’s

Mass next weekend will be on Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at 10am and 6pm. While we are Alert Level 2 in Wales, you must book in advance if you wish to attend Sunday Mass at St. Teilo’s.

Bookings for the next few Sundays are now open here.

In addition, you are requested to:

  • Continue to wear a face covering when attending Mass
  • Keep a two-metre distance from other households/groups within the Church and on entry and exit from Church
  • Do a lateral flow test before seeing others who you do not see regularly (e.g. before Sunday Mass) and only attend Mass if the result is negative
  • If you have symptoms or suspect you have symptoms, please attend Mass online rather than take the risk of infecting others by attending in person.
  • If you have a positive lateral flow test or symptoms of Covid, please do not attend Mass until you have quarantined for at least 7 full days and have two negative lateral flow tests on Day 6 and Day 7.

Please wait before entering the Church so that you can be directed to your allocated seat. Please do not go forward for Holy Communion until you are directed to do so.

Weekday Mass

Fr. John is away this week, there will be no Weekday Mass in the Parish on Monday or Saturday morning.

Mass on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be at 10am. On Friday Mass will be the Requiem Mass for Anne Stagg at 10.30am all are welcome to attend.

We will record attendance at Weekday Masses during the period of Alert Level 2, but there is no need to book to attend Weekday Mass.

 

Full details are available in the Parish Newsletter.

Second Sunday of Christmas – In the beginning was the Word

In the beginning was the Word:

and the Word was with God

and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things came to be,

not one thing had its being but through him.

All that came to be had life in him

and that life was the light of men,

a light that shines in the dark,

a light that darkness could not overpower.

 

This Sunday between Christmas and Epiphany reminds us of the root of our celebration. That God sent his own Son into the world to bring light to the darkened world.

 

The word WORD as used by the gospel writer was the Greek word LOGOS, which has an Hebrew equivalent DABAR. It doesn’t simply mean word in the common sense of that which is spoken or written. Rather it implies a creative, doing, making WORD. As the Greeks understood it, the WORD is the source of reason and wisdom in God and, when uttered, is the creative expression of the vision, the purpose, of God.

 

It is through our words that people can know our inner selves, it is in coming to know the WORD of God, in and through Jesus, that we can know the very person of God himself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus, the Word, is the Way, the Truth and the Life, our way, our truth, our life.

 

The first reading (Ecclesiasticus 24:1-2,8-12) reminds us that “The creator of all things instructed me, and he who created me fixed a place for my tent.

He said, “Pitch your tent in Jacob, make Israel your inheritance.”

 

The second reading (Ephesians 1:3-6,15-18) reaffirms this truth: “Before the world was made, God chose us, chose us in Christ…determining that we should become his adopted sons”

 

All three of today’s readings focus on the revelation which we celebrate at Christmas. That is that Jesus, Son of God, not only became a human being, but he entered fully into our human situation subject to all its weaknesses. Again and again he was criticised for mixing with sinners, outsiders, the scumbags, the flotsam and jetsam of life. He accepted our human condition in its fullness to bring us back into the unity with God which was intended since the beginning of creation.

 

We rejoice that God’s Word became flesh, for now our flesh can become fully immersed into the mystery of the Godhead if we but turn to him and take his Word, his life, to our heart and lives.

 

Mass at St. Teilo’s

 

Mass next weekend will be on Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at 10am and 6pm. While we are Alert Level 2 in Wales, you must book in advance if you wish to attend Sunday Mass at St. Teilo’s. Bookings for the next few Sundays are now open here.

In addition, you are requested to:

  • Continue to wear a face covering when attending Mass
  • Keep a two-metre distance from other households/groups within the Church and on entry and exit from Church
  • Do a lateral flow test before seeing others who you do not see regularly (e.g. before Sunday Mass) and only attend Mass if the result is negative
  • If you have symptoms or suspect you have symptoms, please attend Mass online rather than take the risk of infecting others by attending in person.
  • If you have a positive lateral flow test or symptoms of Covid, please do not attend Mass until you have a negative result of a PCR test from the NHS or have quarantined for at least 7 full days after a positive test and have two subsequent negative lateral flow tests.

Please wait before entering the Church so that you can be directed to your allocated seat. Please do not go forward for Holy Communion until you are directed to do so.

 

Weekday Mass

 

Mass on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday will be at 10am and at 9.30am on Friday.

 

We will record attendance at Weekday Masses during the period of Alert Level 2, but otherwise the arrangements at weekday Mass will remain as previously.

 

The Celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord

 

Thursday is the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Masses on Thursday will be at 10am and 7pm.

 

We will record attendance at the Holyday Mass, but no pre-booking is necessary.

 

 

Full details are available in the Parish Newsletter

Mary, the Mother of the Lord

Today we honour Mary, the Mother of the Lord on the first day of the Civil Year. Let us ask Our Lady for her maternal care for our Parish and our families.
Mass today is at Midday at St. Teilo’s
 
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
 
A Happy and Blessed New Year to you all – may the Lord be close to you throughout 2022.