Parish Newsletter- 7th March 2021

Due to level 5 Government Restrictions, all non-essential public ceremonies are suspended. Therefore all public Weekday and Weekend Masses are suspended until further notice.
Sunday Mass from Clara at 11.30am can be viewed by going online to ‘YouTube’ and searching ‘St. Brigid’s Church, Clara’.
The Parish Office will also be closed. Anyone wishing to book or rearrange Masses, please leave a message on the answering machine and we will return your call.
The Churches will remain open for people to spend time in prayer in the Presence of the Lord. People are encouraged to enter into spiritual communion through Mass being live-streamed from some of the other parishes in this or other dioceses. Also, there may be services on local radio or RTÉ that people can access.

Mass Intentions
Sunday 7th March @11.30amWilma, Josephine & Patrick Colgan. Willie
& Cecelia Lynam. Noel Fitzpatrick.
Val Dillon. Frank Keegan. Madge, Hugh
& Ann Holloway and Deceased of the Holloway Family
Sunday 14th March @11.30amJosie Smith (Month’s Memory). John (Jerry)
Rock. Dan & Margaret Mahon. Michael &
Elizabeth Baggott. Sonia Murphy.
Jack, Aileen, James & Charlie Roche.
John Naughton. Nora and Mary Caffrey.

A Prayer for Lent
Loving Father, may we live in this time of Lent avoiding distractions that take our gaze away from you. May we quiet the noise that pulls us from adoration of you and puts our attention on lesser things. May we simplify where we have been stressed, may we surrender what has been burdensome, may we repent of what has been sinful, Lord Jesus. May we see your goodness in new ways throughout this season of Lent. May we know the depths of your love for us more fully. May we feel the pain you endured for our sake, Jesus, and may we rejoice that you conquered every bit of evil when you rose to life again.

A Question of Authority! Who has the Authority in my life?
It is tough at times to figure out who has authority on certain issues. There are ‘experts’ everywhere, telling us how we should eat, exercise, manage our finances… the list goes on. Something that has struck me during the current pandemic is how hard it can be to know who to believe. We hear from doctors and virologists, politicians and economists, and their opinions don’t always align. It can take us a while to trust the voices we hear in the media. The Temple scene in today’s gospel sparks a debate about Jesus’ authority. While he certainly cuts an authoritative figure as he drives out the stall-holders and money-changers, he is immediately questioned. The Jews demand a sign to explain his provocative words and actions, as if to say ‘Who do you think you are?’ It is interesting to note that in John’s Gospel, this scene takes place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (unlike the other Gospels where it comes towards the end). This would explain the disbelief of the witnesses. In calling the Temple ‘my Father’s house’ Jesus identifies the source of his authority. But his interrogators do not understand, nor do his disciples, though we are told it later makes sense to them after the resurrection. This scene offers more than an angry Jesus and a clueless audience. It is a public revelation of Jesus’ identity and authority, as the one in whom God’s presence dwells. It also emphasises the radical new way of living that Jesus has come to bring about. As we journey through Lent, we ask ourselves where the message of Jesus has become obstructed in our lives, and how we might open our hearts again to his presence and guidance.
‘I invite all Christians, everywhere, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them… The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realise that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.’ Pope Francis

COVID-19 Support Line for Older People.
ALONE manage a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to Coronavirus. Professional staff are available to answer queries, give advice and reassurance. The support line is open seven days a week, 8.00am – 8.00pm, by calling 0818 222 024.

This year Trocaire’s Lenten Campaign will focus on exploring the Impact of Conflict on Families in South Sudan. This Lent, we learn more about the suffering of people who have lost their homes and loved ones to war, and how they are rebuilding their lives through love, friendship and solidarity. Trocaire boxes are available at the back of the Churches or visit the website to donate.

Image by James Tissot courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

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