Parish Newsletter- 21 March 2021

COVID-19 MASS ARRANGEMENTS
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 IntentionsMass Intentions
Sunday 21st March @11:30amJimmy Dolan (Month’s Mind). Eamonn McRedmond
& deceased of the McRedmond & Keeney Families.
William, Mary & Pat Fleming. Frank & Margaret
& deceased of the Simpson Family.
Mary Lowe. Aoife Doyle. Shane Rabbitte
Sunday 28th March @11:30amBill & Angela McCaffrey.
Michael, Teresa & John Mc Caffrey. Baby Lucy Mullen.
Ethel Pinkerton. Maureen Farrell. Ann Naughton.
Bridie Coady. Maura & Reg Eyre. Claire & Rob Loureiro

A Prayer for Lent
Loving Father, in this time of Lent, we’re reminded of our own difficulties and struggles. Sometimes the way has seemed too dark. Sometimes we feel like our lives have been marked by such grief and pain, we don’t see how our circumstance can ever change. But in the midst of our weakness, we ask that you help us to be strong. Lord, rise up within us, let your Spirit shine out of every broken place we’ve walked through. Allow your power to shine through our own weakness, so that others will recognize it is You who is at in our lives. We ask that you would trade the ashes of our lives for the beauty of your Presence. Trade our mourning and grief for the oil of joy and gladness from your Spirit. Trade our despair for hope and praise. We give you thanks and we believe that this time of pandemic will fade away. Thank you that you are with us in whatever we face and that you are greater than this trial. We know and recognize that you are Lord of all life and we are confident that you have good still in store for our future. We thank you that you are at work right now, trading the ashes of our pain for greater beauty. We praise you, for you make all things new. In Jesus who is with us now and for ever.
Amen

WE SHOULD LIKE TO SEE JESUS!
Those poor Greeks. Did you notice that they never actually get to meet Jesus? At the start of today’s gospel, some Greeks who are followers of Jesus come to Jerusalem. They are travellers, outsiders, and would like to meet Jesus in person. But when Philip and Andrew relay the request, Jesus begins to talk about how his ‘hour’ is coming. It is the last we hear of the Greeks, who disappear from the story altogether. But they are important nonetheless. Firstly, they indicate that word about Jesus is spreading. More importantly, they prompt Jesus to reveal that, when his hour comes, he will draw ‘all people’ to himself. In the space of a few short verses, we go from a brief mention of a group of foreigners seeking Jesus, to Jesus making it clear that his saving mission is for all people, of all nations, both Jews and Gentiles – including these Greeks! There is no suggestion from Jesus that some groups are ‘in’ and others ‘out’. All are included. All are invited. All are welcome. I remember once hearing someone describe their home as a domestic church, a place of ‘indiscriminate welcome’. As we continue our journey through Lent and soon into Holy Week, we listen carefully to these words of Jesus. He came for everyone. He wishes to draw all people to himself. Notwithstanding the current restrictions on gatherings and public worship, let us take this time to reflect on the world we would like to build when things open up again. Are we open to everyone, including ‘outsiders’? Do our homes, parishes and communities radiate welcome, where all who enter experience God’s love? ‘For some, the good news is that there are insiders and outsiders and they are the insiders. For others, the good news is that there are no outsiders.’
Rachel Held Evans

Offaly Personal Assistant Services are currently recruiting for Personal Assistants in Social Care in Tullamore, Banagher and Portlaoise. The service provides support for people with disabilities in the community, assisting them with activities of daily living. Please contact: Roisin Kennedy, on 085 8050539 or

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