The Gospel calls us to place all our trust in God and his providence. Through prayer and the sacraments we are to store up treasure for ourselves in heaven. Though we are poor in spiritual things, God makes us rich through his grace, allowing us to be sharers in his life and love.
Making a Spiritual Communion *
29th November 2020
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
People of the Parish
Create a prayerful setting through the placing of a crucifix, Bible, statues, icons, etc Then follow this order of service:
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Read the Entrance Antiphon
To you I lift up my soul, O my God.
In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame.
Nor let my enemies exult over me;
and none that hope in you be put to shame.
In silent prayer call to mind your sins then make the following penitential act:
You were sent to heal the contrite of heart: Lord have mercy
You came to call sinners: Christ have mercy
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:
Lord have mercy
Pray the Collect (the Opening Prayer of the Mass of the day)
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.
Through 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.
First Reading: From the prophet Isaiah, 63: 16-17; 64: 1, 3-8
R. God of hosts, bring us back;
let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hear us, shine forth from your cherubim throne.
O Lord, rouse up your might, O Lord, come to our help. R.
God of hosts, turn again, we implore, look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it, the vine your right hand has planted. R.
May your hand be on the man you have chosen, the man you have given your strength.
And we shall never forsake you again: give us life that we may call upon your name. R.
Second Reading: From the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 1, verses: 3-9
Gospel: A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he come unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Today is the first Sunday in Advent and the central theme of Advent is the coming to us of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is, of course, already present to us, he is at hand, in our midst, within us, but the grace of Advent
allows us a more concentrated, vivid and renewed awareness of his presence among us.
During this liturgical season Christ makes himself known to us, in a special way, as the One who is God yet who wants to be with us for he is the God who wants us to know him and love him. He is the God who comes to us, in Christ, and makes himself one with us, in order that he might wed himself to us in love so that the two become one. Never has there been such a love story to compare with that of the love of God in Christ for us. No wonder the Psalmists praises God by saying: ‘Your loving kindness is better than life’
and elsewhere: ‘I will sing forever of your love O Lord!’
And that’s why Christian prayer during this season of Advent might be summed up in those words which close the last book of the Bible: ‘Amen - so be it - Come to us Lord Jesus.’ And he does come to us, to reveal the otherwise hidden mystery of the Godhead to us. So that we might know God and love him forever. It for this we were made. God made us for himself. We are the beloved bride whom he comes to win in Christ. Mere creatures, yes, but through divine grace to be made one with God through that same Spirit of love working in us which binds the persons of the Holy Trinity in unity. That is why Christ prayed for us saying: “May they all be one, as you Father are in me and I in you, that they may be in us.’
And out of his great love for us, Christ comes to us in many ways every moment of our lives and the season of Advent reminds us to stay awake
so that we don’t miss him. He stands at the door of our lives and knocks
and he graciously waits for us to let him in but if we are distracted with other things, - if our will is divided and our desires dispersed - if our lives are too cluttered and filled with other things - if there is no time for the God who comes to us - if there is no room for him then he will not impose himself on us. He is humble and gentle of heart. He will enter and make his home with us only when he is invited as our chief love and desire and as he is the
supreme being, infinitely surpassing all others in excellence, it is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation that he should have the first place in our hearts. His loving perfection is such that it is right and just that he is not prepared to be treated as second best, that he refuses to be an afterthought,
- a life-style accessory, - a comfort blanket, - a God of the gaps. When he is number one in our lives - when we desire him above all else
then he will enter and sup with us, become one with us and we with him.
Staying awake is therefore also about being aware of all that prevents Christ from entering into our lives, - being aware of all that prevents us from recognising not only Christ’s presence in the sacrament of the altar but prevents us from recognising him as he comes to us in the sacrament of every present moment.
So, through our wholehearted observance and celebration of Advent,
may we learn to stay awake in order that our desire for the God who comes to us in Christ may increase and so drive away all those things in our lives
which are incompatible with our knowing God and loving him forever.
Amen, so be it,
Come to us Lord Jesus.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, have mercy on us
Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, pray for us
St Andrew, pray for us
St Edmund Campion, pray for us
St Francis Xavier, pray for us
St Birinus, pray for us
Blessed Robert Grissold, pray for us
Pray the Creed
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen
Offer up Prayers of Intercession for the Church, for the world, for our community, for the sick and for those who have died - and offer up your own intentions.
A Prayer in time of sickness and disease:
All powerful and merciful God,
our refuge and our shield,
bring healing to all those suffering as a result of sickness and disease.
Guard and protect us from all harm
and assist those whose skill and art can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.
Ask for Our Lady’s prayers, saying the Hail Mary…
Pray the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father…
Pray the Agnus Dei:
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
Make a Spiritual Communion* - asking Our Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and feed you with heavenly grace so that you might be one with Him. You can use the following prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori:
My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Ask for God’s blessing and protection:
May the Lord bless us and keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen
Make the sign of the Cross saying:
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Finish with the Prayer to St Michael:
Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down into hell Satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen
* A Spiritual Communion can be made if one has a deep desire to receive Our Lord and to be one with him - even if one cannot, for whatever reason, receive him sacramentally. Spiritual Communion is an act of love and desire to be united with Christ and is a means of drawing on the life of the Holy Spirit dwelling within our souls.
The Church teaches us that we can receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in spiritual communion if we have a great desire to receive him and to feed on him, the spiritual heavenly bread, through our longing for the Blessed Sacrament. In spiritual communion we invite Our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts.
In this way we can receive the graces and blessings of the Blessed Sacrament even in those circumstances where we are unable to receive Christ in Holy Communion. And the good news is that we can make a spiritual communion several times a day. Indeed, St Maximillian Kolbe endeavoured to make a spiritual communion - asking Our Eucharistic Lord - to come to him every fifteen minutes - every time his clock chimed.
St Teresa said: “Spiritual Communion is very profitable, therefore do not omit it for by it the Lord learns how much you love him.”
I will post the Sunday Collects, and Readings week by week on the parish website.
I hope this has proved helpful. Please don’t feel bound by these suggestions
- if you have your own better way of staying in prayerful and close spiritual communion with Our Lord then, of course, follow it.
Be assured of my prayers - please keep me in yours. Remember that the Rosary is a most powerful means of prayer.
With all good wishes and every blessing
Weekday Spiritual Communion
You can use the format for Sunday’s Spiritual Communion for daily worship and prayer. The Sunday Collect and scripture readings can be used throughout the week but if you prefer you might like to use the Gospel of the day - I will supply the scripture references for these. Also, please don’t forget the supreme value of praying the Rosary daily.
Gospel readings for the First Week of Advent
Mon 30 Nov Feast of St Andrew
Matthew 4: 18-22
Phoebe Stevens (Birthday)
Tues 1 Dec Feast of St Edmund Campion
Luke 9: 23-26
Wed 2 Luke 10: 21-24
Thurs 3 Memorial of St Francis Xavier
Matthew 7: 21, 24-27
Fri 4 Matthew 9: 27-31
Sat 5 Feast of St Birinius
Matthew 9: 35-37
Sun 6 SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Bethany Food Bank Appeal
Please find below information about an appeal from G&T SVP. Can you please bring it to the attention of all the parishioners you are in contact with, and if they can donate any food etc it would great. It can be delivered to Lesley Murtagh at 36 Arden Close Balsall Common. If they can't get there if they let Joe Martin know he will go and collect it and take it around. There is also a collection box in Tesco in the Village. Please help us to help disadvantaged families in the area.
The Bethany Food Bank Appeal has produced a weekly newsletter showing their progress. You can find there below:
|09.07.2016||Church Consecration||This is a very special year in the life of our parish, as our church will be consecrated on 9th July by Archbishop Bernard Longley. Preparations are already underway, both for the consecration service itself, and for various fund-raising activities. Updates on our progress so far are published in our Easter newsletter available online (along with our weekly Sunday bulletin) on this website For more details of how you can be involved, please speak to Joe Martin or Ian Clarke, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|30.11.-1||Lent Breakfasts & Talks||The breakfast talks continue throughout Lent at the Methodist church hosted by local churches. This week (29th) the speaker is Rev Dr Stuart Jennings "The Godliness of the Puritans". Saturday 7th March at 8.30am, Blessed Robert Grissold is hosting the Lenten breakfast at the Methodist church. Cost £2.00 and consists of cereals, croissants, and toast followed by the Lenten talk. The theme this year is "Moving forward by looking back". New visions for the future of Christianity. Speaker Mr Peter Larkin "The drama of Catholicism". All welcome.|
This is a very special year in the life of our parish, as our church will be consecrated on 9th July by Archbishop Bernard Longley. Preparations are already underway, both for the consecration service itself, and for various fund-raising activities. Updates on our progress so far are published in our Easter newsletter available online (along with our weekly Sunday bulletin) on this website For more details of how you can be involved, please speak to Joe Martin or Ian Clarke, or email email@example.com.
The breakfast talks continue throughout Lent at the Methodist church hosted by local churches. This week (29th) the speaker is Rev Dr Stuart Jennings "The Godliness of the Puritans". Saturday 7th March at 8.30am, Blessed Robert Grissold is hosting the Lenten breakfast at the Methodist church. Cost £2.00 and consists of cereals, croissants, and toast followed by the Lenten talk. The theme this year is "Moving forward by looking back". New visions for the future of Christianity. Speaker Mr Peter Larkin "The drama of Catholicism". All welcome.