Baptism of the Lord

Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity 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 beget 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.

The Epiphany

The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world.

The great feast of the Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men, the Magi, from the East, together with His baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the Magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first fruits of the nations who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The Magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the Messianic light of the Star of David, the One who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship Him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the Messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.

The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 528

May the light of the star, the light of faith, lead you into a closer encounter with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Holy Family Sunday

Today is the feast day of the Holy Family, and also every family’s feast day, since the Holy Family is the patron and model of all Christian families.

Today is to be a huge family feast, devoted to the Holy Family as a model for the Christian family life.

As Rev. Edward Sutfin states:

The children must learn to see in their father the foster-father St. Joseph, and the Blessed Mother as the perfect model for their own mother. The lesson to be learned is both practical and theoretical, in that the children must learn how to obey and to love their parents in thought, word and action, just as Christ was obedient to Mary and Joseph. Helping mother in the kitchen and in the house work, and helping father in his odd jobs about the home thus take on a new significance by being performed in a Christ-like spirit.

A happy Holy Family Day to all the families of our Parish and beyond.

On the Feast of Stephen

Today is the feast of St. Stephen

You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew Chapter 10 verse 22.

St Catherine of Siena reflects

In the name of Jesus Christ crucified and of gentle Mary. I Caterina, slave of the servants of Jesus Christ, am writing to you in his precious blood. I long to see you bathed and drowned in that blood, which will make you strong enough to bear with true patience any trial or trouble, from whatever source it may come. It will give you perseverance to endure even to the point of death in true humility.”

St. Stephen pray for us

Christmas Masses

The Parish Newsletter for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (22nd December) is now available.

 

It includes all the Mass times for the Christmas period.

 

If you haven’t got time to click the link and read the whole newsletter, the Mass times for Christmas Day are as follows:

 

Vigil Masses on Christmas Eve
4.30pm at St. Teilo’s – Offeren y Nadolig (Mass in Welsh)
6pm at Our Lady of Lourdes with Carols from 5.30pm

 

Midnight Mass on Christmas Day
12am midnight at St. Teilo’s, with Carols from 11.30pm
12am midnight at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)

 

Daytime Masses – Christmas Day
9am at St. Teilo’s – Mass of Dawn
10.30am at St. Teilo’s – Mass of Christmas Day
10.30am at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)
12pm midday at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)

 

St Stephen’s Day – Boxing Day
10.30am at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)
12pm midday at St. Teilo’s – Our Altar Servers, as members of the Guild of St. Stephen, will renew their promises to serve on the altar during this Mass.
12pm midday at Our Lady of Lourdes – Msza w języku polskim (Mass in Polish)

 

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

Today is the last Sunday of our preparation for Christmas, the anniversary of Christ’s birth. Like Joseph, we can all feel unworthy of the honour of welcoming him into our hearts and our homes. We are indeed unworthy, not because we have little of this world’s goods, but because we have so little humility, so little charity, so little faith and trust in God’s goodness. Let us try to imitate Joseph and Mary, the humblest of the humble, the kindliest of the kindly, and the greatest-ever believers in God’s goodness and mercy. We can never hope to equal them, but we can follow them humbly, from afar.

 

Third Sunday of Advent – Gaudete Sunday

Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, is also called Gaudete Sunday.

This name comes from the antiphon we use at Mass today. The antiphon, in Latin “Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete” or in English “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice” has been used on this day since the ninth century.

Today reminds us both of the joy of expectation of the coming of our Saviour at Christmas and of the traditions of our ancient faith which we continue to celebrate in our Mass today. In the spirit of the joy of expectation, the Church marks today with rose-coloured vestments and we light the rosecoloured candle in our Advent Wreath.

Second Sunday of Advent

Today’s Gospel Reading invites us to consider John the Baptist and his relationship to Jesus.

John the Baptist appears in the tradition of the great prophets of Israel, preaching repentance and reform to the people of Israel. In fact, the description of John found in this reading is reminiscent of the description of the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). In this reading, John directs a particularly pointed call to repentance to the Pharisees and Sadducees, parties within the Jewish community of the first century.

John marks the conversion of those who seek him out with a baptism of repentance. In this passage, John himself alludes to the difference between his baptism and the one yet to come: “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance . . . He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11).

In this reading, John makes very clear that his relationship to the Messiah yet to come (Jesus) is one of service and subservience: “. . . the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals” (Matthew 3:11). In the context of Matthew’s Gospel, today’s passage is followed by Jesus’ baptism by John, an event that is attested to in all four of the Gospels and appears to have been the start of Jesus’ public ministry.

John’s preaching of the coming of the Lord is a key theme of the Advent season. As John’s message prepared the way for Jesus in the first century, we, too, are called to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming. We respond to John’s message by our repentance and reform of our lives. We are also called to be prophets of Christ, who announce by our lives, as John did, the coming of the Lord.

May our Advent be filled with a patient waiting for the Lord to come in our hearts and lives.

First Sunday of Advent – Year of the Word

Today we begin the Year of the Word: “The God who Speaks ”. As we begin the season of Advent, the start of the new liturgical year, the Church not only wishes to indicate the beginning of a period, but the beginning of a renewed commitment to the faith by all of us who follow Christ, the Lord. This time of prayer and personal development is so powerful, rich and intense; it endeavours to give us a renewed impetus to truly welcome the message of the One who was incarnated for us.

 

In fact, the entire Liturgy of the Advent season, will spur us to an awakening in our Christian life and will put us in a ‘vigilant’ disposition, to wait for Our Lord Jesus who is coming. During this year, Year A of the cycle of readings, the Church uses the Gospel of Matthew to draw us into the mystery of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

To support us in our engagement with St. Matthew’s Gospel, a pocket-sized New Revised Standard Version (NRSV – Catholic) version of the Gospel of Matthew has been specially produced and is available, one per family, for each of our parishioners.

Please take your copy and make use of it in the year ahead.

Padre Pio Mass, Prayers and Veneration of his Relic – Monday, November 11th

On Monday, November 11th at 7pm, St Teilo’s hosted an evening of prayer and devotions to St Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio).

The Cappagh Padre Pio Prayer Group from Omagh, County Tyrone visited St. Teilo’s with its relic
of St. Padre Pio. The relic is a glove that covered Padre Pio stigmata.

Canon Isaac welcomed the group on their first visit with the relic outside of Ireland. Those who attended prayed the Padre Pio Novena prayers, rosary and venerated the Relic.

Proceeds from the event went to the Saint Padre Pio’s hospital in San Giovanni, Rotondo.