As an example for us to follow, the Holy Family can seem a little too perfect: when we consider the more “dramatic” events of the Christmas and Easter story, it can seem so far removed from us. And yet, as today’s Gospel reminds us there were also the so-called “hidden years” – the many years of family life in Nazareth, spent in ordinary things. During that time, we hear how Jesus grew and matured, and in the glimpse of that family life we see our example. Our celebration of this feast announces that there is a lasting value in the ideals of family life, and the relationship between husband, wife, parents and children. Whatever the changing details of each age, honour, understanding and love always remain the recipe for the perfect, and holy, human family. It is love that we put on over all the other clothes of changing cultures and places, to guarantee the life of the family in imitation of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
1 Samuel 1: 20 – 22, 24 – 28;
1 John 3: 1 – 2, 21 – 24,
Luke 2: 41 – 52.
Father John Kelly, on behalf of everyone at St Helen’s Catholic Church Caerphilly, would like to wish you a blessed and peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope to see you over Christmas and, if not, in the New Year. God Bless!
In Paraguay there are a group of people whose houses are built on a landfill. They are quite remarkable people. Out of people’s rubbish (people like you and I), they have managed to create musical instruments and even form an orchestra (the Landfill Harmonic). They have so little but so much and this is a brief glimpse into their lives.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/52711779 w=560&h=315]
This Sunday is called “Gaudete” Sunday — “Rejoice Sunday”. This comes from the readings we hear today, and it underlines an important point. In the Gospel, we hear John the Baptist telling different groups what to do – they must repent, and change their lives. We might think of this as a rather joyless thing – something which is hard and unrewarding. The message of this Sunday is that repentance and changing our lives to welcome Jesus is something richly joyful. When we are planning to welcome anyone we love to our homes, we set about cleaning and preparing for their visit with enthusiasm – nothing is too much trouble for someone we care for greatly. Even scrubbing the bath or polishing the furniture can be a happy and joyful thing! The message of this Sunday is that preparing to welcome the Lord – even though it may involve hard work – is something utterly joyful, be cause of our love for Him, and His love for us
This Weekend’s Readings
Zephaniah 3: 14 – 18,
Philippians 4: 4 – 7
Luke 3: 10 – 18
There will be tea, coffee, biscuits and a chat, in the hall after morning Mass this Sunday, and EVERY Sunday: An invitation for the Year of (shared) Faith, Family, and Friendship. (Thanks, Tracy & Steve)
The times of the Mass of Christmas will be the same as last year:
- Monday 24th December @ 6.30pm, and 12midnight (carols at 11.30pm)
- Tuesday 25th December @ 10.00am.
This Thursday, 6th November, is the Feast of Saint Nicholas, better known as ‘Santa Claus’, known for his generosity and care for the poor: His sign of three gold balls, nowadays associated with pawnbrokers, represents the bags of gold he secretly gave to three young girls whose father couldn’t afford their dowry to allow them to marry.
As usual, the great Season of Advent begins, not by talking about Christmas, but about the Second Coming. We’ve had this theme already for the past two weeks, but there is a slight change of emphasis in the Scripture readings offered for this Sunday: here the tone is positive: it is the “promise” of what is to come that we contemplate. Even in the Gospel, though it talks of the dreadful signs that mark the end times, we hear of a promise – “liberation”. For this we should stand erect and hold our heads high. The central theme is that we welcome the coming of a person – Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, and this is what links this Sunday to the coming feast of his birth: we are now preparing to celebrate how he once came: may these preparations also help us to prepare for him when he comes again.
At the Sunday Mass on December 2nd, 2012 we enrolled Cherie Elsbury and Zoe Reynolds, two regular members of our community, as Catechumens, learners of the way of Christ (as we all are) asking for formation and initiation into the Sacramental life. We also welcomed Emma Yates as a Candidate, a Baptised adult asking for Confirmation in the Communion of the Body of Christ at Easter. They now have special status in the Family of the Church. Welcome! If you would like to explore becoming a Catholic, or simply to find out more about the Catholic faith, take a look at our RCIA page.
On Saturday evening, 1st December, the Parish Finance Committee made a small presentation to Mr. Bill Morrissey on his retirement from the Committee. The Committee is most grateful to Bill for his many years of Service, and the whole Parish thanks him for the great contribution he has made in the committee’s work, especially in care for maintenance and development of the church buildings and in monitoring the supply of gas, electricity, and water. Thank you, Bill.