17th/18th March 2018

Dear Parishioner

Today's readings focus on the approaching death of Jesus which Paul considers a priestly sacrifice and John considers the moment of Jesus' "exaltation" and "glorification". The readings offer us a challenge. Just as Jesus became the "Promised Messiah of Glory" and the "Conquering Son of Man" by offering his life for others, we, too, must possess Heaven by dying to self and by spending our lives in self-giving, sacrificial service.

The first reading, taken from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah, explains how God will replace the Old Covenant of Judgment with a New Covenant of Forgiveness of sins. This New or Renewed Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah was fulfilled, at least in part, through Jesus' life, death and Resurrection.

The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 51) is our cry for mercy from God as we ask Him to cleanse us from sin and guilt and create a "new heart" for us.

In the second reading, we are told that it is by Jesus' suffering and death, in obedience to his Father's will, that Jesus established the New Covenant. Using metaphors of the "sown wheat-grain" and the "spent life" in today's Gospel, Jesus teaches the same lessons.

The Gospel hints at the inner struggle of Jesus in accepting the cup of suffering to inaugurate the New and everlasting Covenant. However, Jesus accepts the cross as his "hour", meaning the stepping-stone to his passion, death, Resurrection and exaltation.

He also considers his "hour" as the way of glorifying his Heavenly Father and of being glorified by his Father. In addition, it is the way by which Jesus draws all people into the saving action of God. Finally, the "lifting up" of Jesus on the cross and later into Heavenly glory by Resurrection and Ascension is the assurance of our own exaltation and glorification, provided we accept our crosses.

So we ask the Lord all the blessings we need to spend our lives as a selfless service for our fellow brothers and sisters.

Fr Sabu Pariyadan RCJ



Please remember to pray for:

Daily for the sick clergy of our Diocese

The sick and housebound

Those who have recently died

Years Mind:
Sunday: Ian McIntosh, Fr Donal Donegan
Tuesday: Fr Sidney Williams
Friday: Fr Arthur Holmes
Sunday: Fr John Sherlock

Next Sunday - PALM SUNDAY (B)

Procession: Mark 11:1-10
Blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord!

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
I did not cover my face against insult - I know I shall not be shamed.

Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
He humbled himself but God raised him high.

Gospel: Mark 14:1-15:47
The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.