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On Friday 22 January 2021 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons comes into force. This is an historic milestone on the path to nuclear disarmament and an opportunity to refocus on genuine peacebuilding rooted in dialogue, justice, respect for human dignity, and care for our planet.
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As a result of the ongoing Coronavirus situation the instructions are that all public worship should once again cease and the churches be closed. I wish to remind you that Mass is celebrated each day for the people of our parishes and their intentions. I hope to use bulletin/information sheet and the parish websites to provide the Sunday readings that people can sit quietly and reflect on them.
Funeral Masses will still be able to take place but with only 20 people in attendance following Government guidelines.
A TALK ON PRAYER WITH FR BENJAMIN. Will be livestreamed from St John’s on Wednesday at 7pm.
Following the First Minister’s statement that all places of worship will close from Friday 8 January until Monday 1 February 2021, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have issued the following statement:
“Recognising the dangers posed by the new faster-spreading variant of COVID-19, we note the Scottish Government’s decision to close all places of worship from Friday 8 January 2021.
The Scottish Government believes that such measures are necessary to curtail the spread of this new strain during the roll-out of the vaccine. We appreciate the difficult choices facing the Scottish Government at this time and we have shown ourselves ready both to cooperate with and to support its efforts in protecting the common good. This has included curtailing public worship in extreme circumstances and for a limited period.
However, we are also perplexed by the decision, given that the stringent measures taken since last March to ensure public safety in our churches have been effective. No evidence has been forthcoming to justify the inclusion of places of worship as sources of infection. Without such scientific evidence these restrictions will appear to Catholics to be arbitrary and unfair. Moreover, a significant number of other sectors similarly restricted last March alongside public worship – such as construction, manufacturing and elite sports – have now been left free to continue in operation.
We also note that, in England, the essential contribution of public worship to the spiritual welfare of all citizens during this crisis has now been endorsed by the decision not to close places of worship while the Scottish Government has apparently retreated from this view, causing dismay and confusion
We are very aware of the disappointment these closures will cause not only to our own Catholic community, but to many of our fellow-Christians and those of other faiths in Scotland. We wish to emphasise again the spiritual, social and psychological benefits provided by continuing public worship, and we ask for these to be taken into full account in future decisions. Public worship is a human right and is a duty humanity owes to God. More concretely, Catholics need the Eucharist and the Sacramental encounter with the LORD as necessary to their spiritual wellbeing and their ultimate salvation.
While we unequivocally share the common goal of protecting public health, we urge the Scottish Government, when the present measures are reviewed later in January, to reconsider these restrictions in the light of the above concerns.”
First Reading: I Samuel 3:3-10.19
Samuel was lying in the sanctuary of the Lord where the ark of God was, when the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” He answered, “Here I am.” Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, since you called me.” Eli said, “I did not call. Go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Once again the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, since you called me.” He replied, “I did not call you, my son; go back and lie down.” Samuel had as yet no knowledge of the Lord and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Once again the Lord called, the third time. He got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, since you called me.” Eli then understood that it was the Lord who was calling the boy, and he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if someone calls say, ‘Speak , Lord, your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord then came and stood by, calling as he had done before, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Samuel grew up and the Lord was with him and let no word of his fall to the ground. The Word of the Lord
R/ Here I am Lord! I come to do your will
I waited, I waited for the Lord and he stooped down to me; he heard my cry. He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God. R/
You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I. R/
In the scroll of the book it stands written that I should do your will. My God, I delight in your law in the depth of my heart. R/
Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly. My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord R/
Second Reading: I Corinthians 6:13-15. 17-20
The body is not meant for fornication; it is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God who raised the Lord from the dead, will by his power raise us up too. You know, surely, that your bodies are members making up the body of Christ; anyone who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body. Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God. The Word of the Lord
Gospel: John 1:35-42
As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, “Look, there is the lamb of God.” Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, “What do you want?” They answered, “Rabbi,” – which means Teacher- “where do you live?” “Come and see” he replied; so they went and saw were he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour. One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,, Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” – which means the Christ– and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, “You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas” -meaning Rock.
PROMPTS FOR FAITH-SHARING
In the first reading, Samuel hears God’s voice calling to him as he sleeps. How do you experience the voice of God calling to you?
The psalm response for today echoes Samuel’s answer to the voice calling to him in the night, “Here I am.” How do you practice being present to God and to those who share your life?
St Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that your bodies are members making up the body of Christ?” How would you answer Paul’s question.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is identified as the Lamb of God, as Teacher, and as Messiah. What do these titles tell you about Jesus’s identity?
Will be livestreamed from St John’s on Wednesday at 7pm.
Unfortunately due to the updated Government Guidelines, I am now having to work from home. I am however still available Monday-Friday 09.30am-2.30pm. You can still contact the parish on 463461, this number has been transferred to my mobile so I will still be able to take any urgent calls. Please note that for anything urgent outwith these hours please contact Canon Martin at St John’s on 463225.
Please take care and stay safe and hope to see you all soon.
The diocesan website has been updated to reflect the current work of the Safeguarding Team. The pages can be accessed by visiting www.gallowaydiocese.org.uk and selecting “Safeguarding”. This will bring you to a new page with a further menu providing information on different aspects of Safeguarding within the diocese. Please note that any volunteers who still require training can visit the “Training” page and contact any trainer to arrange a session, or can join a session scheduled in the calendar.
Are suspended at the present time.
Because of the closure of the churches this collection will be
Please click on links below for the Bishop’s Message and a Summary of Justice and Peace work in Scotland 2020.
GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION
The Regulation came into force on Friday 25th May 2018, and gives individuals greater rights and control over the use of their personal information. Your privacy is important to the Parish Communities of St. John’s and St. Mary’s. We use the personal data, provided by you for Pastoral support and the administration of weekly collections. The information is held securely and confidentially in electronic or paper format. We will not share this information with third parties without your prior consent. A fuller Privacy Notice is now available on the Diocesan website. www.gallowaydiocese.org.uk/privacy-policy-and-gdpr