Yearly Archives: 2020

REFLECTIONS ON AN EASTER JOURNEY

Introduction
It is a pleasure to offer these few brief “Reflections on an Easter Journey – Today”.
These reflections will try to describe what life is like today in the land where Jesus travelled to give His life that we might live. The Holy Land is a rapidly changing area, and now has only 1.2% of its population is Christian. Emigration is constant and the pressures on Christians is severe.

As in this country there is currently significant restrictions on movement of people in Palestine.  The Coronavirus has had the impact of virtually shutting off much of Palestinian land. On 6 March the Palestinian Authority declared a “lockdown” of mobility and social meeting in the area. This has kept the number of cases with Coronavirus low, currently around 100, and few deaths.  The impact on the economy has been devastating since much is dependent on tourism. That has simply collapsed.

As so often happens there are unknown consequences of crises.  In The Holy Land there is a resurgence of the spiritual life of Christians.  There is an awareness that humanity is not saved by material wealth and celebrities, but by faith and good works. So not all is disaster and gloom.

Jesus went to Jerusalem not only to die – but that He would rise for us and be Our Saviour. Keep that in mind through the darker days that cover us. Journey to Easter with that hope.

Beginning The Journey
We shall begin this journey after the miracle of “The Raising of Lazarus” (John 11: 1-45) and what took place after that. Indeed it was this miracle which seems to have been a factor in provoking the Pharisees to begin the actions that would lead to the Crucifixion. John says, “Since that day on, they (the Pharisees) made the decision to kill him. Jesus did not walk in public among the Jews anymore. He went away to a region near the desert, to a city called Ephraim, and it was there that he and his disciples dwelt” (John 11: 53–54).

So this journey takes us to Ephraim, today known as Taybeh.  This town is 12 miles or so from Jerusalem with a population of around 2,500 people and is now best known for the production of Taybeh Beer!  It remains a quiet town with a relatively high proportion of Christians (around 30%; the rest being Moslem). It was the last all-Christian town in Palestine. There is still an active Christian community here, with a vibrant Catholic parish and school. Today there is also a Nursing Home, Beit Afram, run by the Catholic Church.  This is an important service for the elderly and the frail people of that area and an example of the importance of the Catholic Church in The Holy Land.

As with all towns in The Holy Land it is on top of a hill – away from the dangerous valleys that can flood in winter, and for the cool breezes in the hot summers. So Jesus would have stayed in and around this rocky area, preparing Himself for His travel to Jerusalem.

Reflection:
So Jesus left his friends – Lazarus, Martha and Mary – and went to the solitude in the hill country around Taybeh. There He and His disciples fortified themselves spiritually through quiet prayer knowing what he would face when He went to Jerusalem.

As we isolate ourselves these days, we might think that there are some people afraid because of ailing health and an uncertain future.  We keep especially in our prayers – our families; the elderly; neighbours; those living alone; and those with illness; and those who are afraid.

Yes, Jesus was afraid of facing the end of His life, and we might think of others in that situation.

Can we this week offer some practical help?  You can be at home and comfort others. Our faith is expressed not just in words but in good works.

This week can we stay at home and lift the phone to, say two people who may be alone or suffering?
Can we email someone whom we have neglected?
Can we simply offer a prayer…?

Be with Jesus on His final journey… and so to Jerusalem …

Collection Contributions

A number of parishioners have asked if there is a way for them to continue making contributions to the first or second collections during this (at present unlimited) time of closure.

There is a good number of ‘Gift Aid’ parishioners who pay through the credit transfer system and there are others who pay through the envelope system and there are those who pay through the collecting bags at mass.

If you normally pay through your bank by credit transfer your contributions will continue unless amended by yourself.  If you normally pay by envelope or by collection at mass and would like to continue making contributions you could give instructions to your bank to make payments.

There are fixed costs and variable costs associated with running the parish and parishioners can be assured that every effort will be made to minimise the variable costs but the fixed costs will not disappear and we would very much appreciate your help in dealing with these costs during the upcoming unknown times of this virus. All contributions would be gratefully received.

If you would like to join with other parishioners in continuing their contributions please let me know of your intentions so that we can ensure that credits received are allocated to the correct accounts.

Kind regards and keep safe,

Joe Byers

Parish Accountant

Tel. No 0141-637-3023

E-mail   joseph.byer@ntlworld.com

Free access to Magnificat Online and Catholic Herald

Dear Father

As there will be no public Masses for an indefinite period and an increasing number of people are self-isolating there will undoubtedly be a substantial number of your parishioners who will be unable to get to Church for several weeks. To help them follow the Mass, daily prayers, reading, etc. at home, and also keep up with the weekly church news we are offering free access to Magnificat online, and for those who would like the Print Edition there is a special one-off 4-month subscription to Magnificat and/or a 3-month subscription to The Catholic Herald at substantially discounted and affordable prices to ensure that the maximum number of people can take advantage.

So that as many people as possible can take advantage of the free and/or discounted offers can you please make your parishioners aware of these options and how to order in any way you are able? They can only be ordered by telephoning Margaret on 020 7448 3607 or Paul on 020 7448 3618 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Dennis Charlick
Circulation Director

The Archdiocese of Glasgow is a charity registered in Scotland (SC018140).

The Holy Father

THE HOLY FATHER, FRANCIS, WILL OBSERVE A PERIOD OF PRAYER AND EUCHARISTIC ADORATION ON FRIDAY 27TH MARCH AT 5:00PM (UK TIME). DURING THIS TIME THE HOLY FATHER WILL IMPART AN EXTRAORDINARY URBI ET ORBI BLESSING AT THIS TIME OF GLOBAL CRISIS. YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS MOMENT OF PRAYER. IT WILL BE STREAMED ON VATICAN NEWS AND ACCESSIBLE THROUGH CHANNELS LIKE EWTN.

Spiritual Resources

Pray as You Go                                                                              Jesuit Missionaries

www.prayasyougo.org.uk                                            App available for smart phones

Pray As You Go is a short daily prayer session lasting approximately ten to twelve minutes. The format includes a piece of music, a reading from the readings of the day and a short prayerful reflection based on the chosen reading.

It particularly appeals to me because it’s related to one of the readings of the day, it allows me to experience different types of spiritual music and I like the idea that I’m connected to others who are meditating on the same reflection. However, the Jesuit site also offers a number of other resources including reflections on the rosary, lectio divina and personal retreats. 

In response to our current period of uncertainty Pray as You Stay was launched on Monday 23rd March as a prayer support for us during these very difficult and challenging times.

To access other Jesuit resources including ‘United in prayer – be near Jesus at home,’ copy this link into your search engine:  https://www.pathwaystogod.org/

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Lenten Reflections from John’s gospel                 Redemptorist Publications

Father Denis McBride is described as ‘a renowned priest, lecturer and author.’ You may be familiar with his books already as we have a number of them in the prayer group library. We also used pictures from his book ‘Stations of the Cross then and now,’ for our Lenten Reflection Evening in 2018.

The Lenten reflections include an introductory video which compares John’s narrative to the other three gospels. The three Lenten Narratives reflect on:

  • The Woman of Samaria
  • The Man Born Blind
  • The Raising of Lazarus

How to access:       www.rpbooks.co.uk   or google:  Redemptorist Publications

Rectangle: Rounded Corners: RP response to COVID 19

Click on the red rectangle which says

Scroll down to the heading:                                                                                                            Three Lenten Narratives from the Gospel of John. Clicking on the picture of Father Denis will take you to all of the videos or click on the ‘watch now’ box to watch straight away.

Mass on line

I know many of you have already accessed mass and other online services via the Archdiocese of Glasgow website:     www.rcag.org.uk 

Vatican Services can be accessed via Vatican’s YouTube channel

I chose to watch Sunday mass and exposition there this week. I found the service very intimate and was left with the feeling that I personally had attended mass with Pope Francis and a very small group of others. The translator was excellent and led exposition beautifully, in my opinion.

Redemptorist Publications are also providing access to Father Denis McBride’s Sunday mass from Saturday noon. www.rpbooks.co.uk    

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National Novena to Our Lady of Knock                    www.knockshrine.ie or google Knock

Parish Church Live Stream

Knock is conducting a National Novena to Our Lady of Knock from 17-25 March. Novena intentions: Praying for a swift end to the Coronavirus, the protection of all people against it, all who are ill at this time and all medical and civil authorities.

Two sessions daily:                 12 noon: Angelus, Mass and Novena prayers
7.00pm: Rosary
7.30pm: Mass and Novena prayers followed by Eucharistic blessing

Apparition Chapel Live Stream

The Apparition Chapel, the site of the apparition at Knock in 1879 is also accessible on livestream and provides access to the ‘sacred silence of the site.’ It creates a still, tranquil and prayerful atmosphere.

Light a Candle

Candles can be purchased online (suggested donation 2 Euros). Candles will be lighted and placed at the apparition site on your behalf.

—————————————————————————————————————-Resources for Catholics

The Tablet Catholic Newsweekly    

The Tablet has constructed a very long list of resources which are available on line at this time. www.thetablet.co.uk/ or google:  The Tablet

Scroll down and click on the heading under the picture of Pope Francis. ‘Isolated but not alone: resources for Catholics.’

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Music

Pray as You Go provides artist and album information for all of their music. I’ve found it a good resource for exploring new music. While I’ve downloaded the specific songs and tunes I’ve wanted from iTunes, I’d assume they’ll also be available through Spotify or the details provided should help you to purchase an album.

Artists whose music I’ve shared at our prayer ministry and reflection evenings include:

Artist                                                  Albums

Eric Nordhoff              Soaking – Your Great Name and Quietime

Salt of the Sound        And on Earth Peace, Dwell Among Us, In Prayer, Lent Vol 1, Waiting for the Dawn

Karen Money              Secret Things

Noirin Ni Riain           Vox De Nube (The Beatitudes)

Taize                            Laudete Omnes Genti, Laudate: Music of Taize

Reading

I know many of us already read Father Ronald Rolheiser’s column in the Scottish Catholic Observer. His weekly column, as well as archived columns, may be accessed at www.ronrolheiser.com or google: Father Ronald Rolheiser

He has provided an excellent column this week reflecting on how we may grow through this time. You can also sign up for a twice weekly e-newsletter to twice weekly receive a reflection from his archives.

There are many books we could consider recommending just now. If I had to choose just one, my recommendation would be the late Father Daniel O’Leary’s ‘Travelling Light.’   I think this book requires dedicated time to read and reflect on the daily two page ‘breather’ before participating in the suggested reflection.  Perhaps we have the time for this just now.

Poetry

From BBC Radio London .. Yes there is fear yes there is …

This poem was penned by a Capuchin Franciscan brother in Ireland. If you are unable to access it using the above link, google: Youtube Radio London, Yes, there is fear.

Worth a listen to if you haven’t heard it already!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace. (Numbers 6:24-27)

Keep safe

Message to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Glasgow

My dear brothers and sisters,
You will by now have heard the news that public Masses will not be celebrated in the Archdiocese of Glasgow for an indefinite period after today, the Feast of St Joseph, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

St Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church and we ask for his prayers at this time.
The decision to suspend Masses was for me most distressing. Heartbreaking, I would say. In the end, however, I could not avoid it. I know that you will be very sad. It is really hard to contemplate weeks and months without Mass.

I said in my homily last Sunday that, whatever happened, the Church would not abandon you. I repeat that pledge to you now. So here are some ways in which you can sustain your life in Christ and in the Church.

• During this time without Mass, every parish Church is unfortunately closed 
• If you want Confession ask the priest .
• Again, if you need the Anointing of the Sick, just phone your priest.
• You can say the Rosary at any time and call on the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
• Mass is streamed live from St Andrew’s Cathedral every day. Some parish churches have the same facility.
• Try to follow Holy Week and the Passion of Jesus from your home. I know it’s almost unthinkable that we cannot kiss the Cross on Good Friday and go to Mass on Easter Sunday, but we can still celebrate the Sacred Triduum and Easter in our homes by following Mass on television or live screening. We may also be able to see the Holy Father give us his blessing on Easter Sunday.

• Keep in touch with us through consulting the Archdiocese of Glasgow website and Facebook pages. There will be regular updates on our response to the pandemic. We would really love to hear from you there too.

During Lent we are called to follow Jesus more faithfully. We never imagined that our Lenten penance would be that we would have to do without Mass. We never imagined that Our Lenten fast would be a fast from the bread of life in the Holy Eucharist. So our Lent will continue into Easter as we wait with patience until we can be satisfied once more with Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
I do not know how long this pandemic is going to last. I do not know how long we will have to be without public Mass. Soon we will be at Easter. “Christ is truly risen, Alleluia”, is the acclamation. We continue to put our trust in Jesus as we confront these strange and unprecedented days.

I give you my word that I will reinstate public Masses as soon as we are told it is safe to do so. In the meantime, let us pray for each other. Keep safe. Keep well.

May God bless you all.

Yours devotedly in Christ

Philip Tartaglia
Archbishop of Glasgow
Feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church