This is for the whole Parish to read and use. Please let me know if you'd like to be a contributor.


The will of God

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As we set out today to obey God and do his will, our heart, our mind and our conscience will learn to detect what brings us peace, wellbeing and happiness – and what does not. Pope John XXIII said once, "You know it is not the noise we make in our liver, nor the things that we see, that count, but the love with which we do the will of God."

Chris
(from today's Reflections in Bible Alive)
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Baptism of the Lord

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Jesus's baptism was the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God's Suffering Servant. He allowed himself to be numbered among us sinners – he is truly "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

In today's Gospel we are seeing unfolding before our eyes the "fulfilling of all righteousness" (see Matt. 3:15). We are witnesses to Jesus's consenting to his Father's will, which was his death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

The coming down of the Spirit at Jesus's baptism looked forward to the coming down of the Holy Spirit on us, a prelude to the new creation. We commit ourselves to entering more deeply into the mystery of our baptism, praying about it, seeking to understand it and growing in our appreciation of the wonderful grace.

Chris
(from Bible Alive)
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The Holy Spirit

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The Spirit knows our hearts and our shortcomings but wants us to have confidence in his power to renew us. The command to love one another would be impossible to fulfil were we to rely on ourselves – we need his love, help and support. When we welcome the Spirit to be our teacher and guide he will come without our knowing, without our being aware of how it happens. But we will find him dwelling within, speaking to us and counselling us what we must do. If we are sorrowful he will comfort us in our affliction. The flame of his love will burn in us and we will love God and our brothers and sisters with a love that is encouraging, warm and constant.

Chris
(from Bible Alive Reflections)
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Love

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Today's first reading is from St John's first letter, 1 John 3:11-21. John knew and talked to and touched Jesus, the Son of God, the one who laid down his life for mankind.

"This how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." (v16).

And from Victor Hugo, "To love another person is to see the face of God". The key to loving others is to know that we are loved by God. And we know that we are loved by God because he sent us his only son to die for us.

God bless

Chris
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The New Year

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Happy New Year!

We do not know what the New Year will bring us or our community, or any community around the world. But we do know that whatever happens to us, tragedy or joy, peace or war, tumult or stability, we are children of God, redeemed by the Son and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Regardless of any New Year resolutions that we might make the most important resolve that we can commit to ourselves is to know the love of God and the power of His resurrection.

"Everything comes from love, all is ordained for our salvation; God does nothing without this goal in mind."
St Catherine of Siena

Chris
(from today's Reflections in Bible Alive).
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