Because of the coronavirus pandemic, public Church services and gatherings are suspended till further notice. will celebrate Holy Mass privately every day and assures you of his prayers for you and your family.
A READING FROM THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - 2:14.36-41
On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd with a loud voice "The whole House of Israel can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ." Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the apostles "What must we do, brothers?" "You must repent" Peter answered "and every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God will call to himself." He spoke to them for a long time using many arguments and he urged them "Save yourselves from this perverse generation." They were convinced by his arguments and they accepted what he said and were baptised. That very day about three thousand were added to their number.
FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF SAINT PETER - 2:20-25
The merit, in the sight of God, is in bearing punishment patiently when you are punished after doing your duty. This, in fact, is what you were called to do because Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow the way he took. He had not done anything wrong and there had been no perjury in his mouth. He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults. When he was tortured, he made no threats but he put his trust in the righteous judge. He was bearing our faults in his own body on the cross so that we might die to our faults and live for holiness. Through his wounds you have been healed. You had gone astray like sheep but now you have come back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
READING FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - 10:1-10
Jesus said "I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock. The gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him. They do not recognise the voice of strangers." Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them. So Jesus spoke to them again "I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe. He will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full."
If you know anyone who needs a parcel of food essentials left at the door, please get in touch with the Parish Office on 01294 464063, with the name and address.
Please pray for the repose of the souls of James Terence McHugh who died in Canada on 18 April and Joseph McIver - wee Joe the baker - who died in on 27 April. May they rest in peace and rise in glory!
VOCATIONS SUNDAY 2020
To mark Vocations Sunday this year, Father Martin Chambers, our Diocesan Vocations Director, will lead a Holy Hour at 4.00pm on Sunday 3 May. Please join in that prayer at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTax4U-0XnRvKDWbByv4QlQ. In the nine days leading up to Vocations Sunday, several priests of our diocese and our two seminarians will present a short reflection each day on what Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood might mean. You can follow them each day on our Facebook page.
PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
Please pray this prayer for Vocation every day this week.
Lord Jesus, once you called the first disciples in order to make them fishers of men. Continue to let resound today your powerful invitation - Come and follow me. Grant to young men and young women the grace of responding promptly to your voice. Sustain our bishops, priests and consecrated souls in their apostolic work. Give perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are fulfilling an ideal of a life of total consecration to your service. Enkindle in our parishes a missionary zeal. Send Lord, workers into your fields and do not let mankind be lost because of a lack of priests, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel. Mary, Mother of the Church, Model of Vocations, help us say "Yes" to the Lord who calls us to collaborate in the Divine Design of Salvation. Amen.
POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR FAMILIES GOING HUNGRY AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Pope Francis asked people to pray for families who are struggling to put food on the table during the coronavirus pandemic. "In many places, one of the effects of this pandemic is that many families find themselves in need and they are hungry. Let us pray for these families, for their dignity" he added. The Pope said that the poor are suffering from 'another pandemic' - the economic consequences of layoffs and furloughs. He said that the poor also suffer from the exploitation of unscrupulous money-lenders, and prayed for their conversion. In his homily in the Chapel of Casa Santa Marta, his Vatican residence, Pope Francis reflected on Christ as our intercessor before God. "We are accustomed to praying to Jesus to give us this grace, that other, to help us, but we are not accustomed to contemplating Jesus who shows the Father the wounds, to Jesus, the intercessor, to Jesus who prays for us" the Pope said. "Let us think about this a little. For each of us Jesus prays. Jesus is the intercessor. Jesus wanted to bring his wounds with him to show them to the Father. It is the price of our salvation" he said. Pope Francis recalled an event in chapter 22 of the Gospel of Luke when Jesus said to Peter at the Last Supper "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail." This is Peter's secret" the Pope said. "Jesus' prayer - Jesus prays for Peter so that his faith may not fail and he can, Jesus says, confirm his brothers in faith. And Peter was able to go far, from cowardly to courageous, with the gift of the Holy Spirit thanks to the prayer of Jesus" he added.
CROWNING OF OUR LADY FOR MAY
It's been a month since we went into lockdown and our Churches were closed. We have entered the month of May, a month traditionally dedicated by the Church to Our Lady. We know that the Mother of God has been given great power and therefore we can feel confident in asking her to come to our aid during this crisis, petitioning for an end to this grave situation, for comfort while we are threatened by disease and away from the sacraments, and for the conversion of the world. The statue of Our Lady will be crowned on this first Sunday of May at Saint Peter's. We will crown our Blessed Lady years for deliverance from Coronavirus, for all the NHS staff and carers, all the sick, those presently in hospital and all who have died recently. May Mary, the Health of the Sick and the Refuge of Sinners intercede for us and pray for us.
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Every day this week, Father Duncan will celebrate Holy Mass privately, focusing on these Thoughts for the Day taken from Answering the Questions of Jesus by Father Andrew Apostoli.
A message from Father Duncan on Sunday 3 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish. Pope Francis has said that our Faith is found not just in lists of doctrines but in relationship with a person - Jesus Christ. What better way to deepen that relationship than to enter into conversation with him? And what better way to enter into conversation with Jesus than to answer the questions he asked throughout His ministry? Every day this week, we will reflect on some of the questions asked by Jesus that gently guides us into a deeper understanding of the wisdom of who he is and what he is asking of each one of us. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Monday 4 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Geralyn McGarvey and Mandy Dillon. First question - Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house? When Jesus asks his parents why they didn't go directly to his 'Father's house,' he is, first of all, as we've said, revealing His relationship to his Heavenly Father. He continues to be Mary's and Joseph's son. As we saw in the Gospel, he went back to Nazareth and 'was obedient to them.' This is a great reminder that Christ spent three decades with the Holy Family, living in Nazareth. He was getting ready for his mission work. But He was also the Son of the Eternal Father. His parents can't quite grasp this but Mary ponders it in her heart - and there's a second takeaway from this question of Jesus - He is telling us where to find him.". Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Tuesday 5 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Jean McLellan in thanksgiving and John McLaughlin who died recently. Second question - Why are you afraid, have you no faith? Faith also has a second aspect, this one related to the heart - or, more specifically, the confidence we have to live according to the faith. In this sense, faith is like trust. This is a similar message that we read in Paul's Letter to the Hebrews. Again, let's take the idea of Heaven. Not only do we believe it exists, but we also have confidence - 'assurance' - that we will achieve the Kingdom of Heaven with God's grace. When Jesus dealt with people, he wanted them not only to believe in the truth that he taught, but also to have confidence in organising their lives around those truth. Jesus had to teach that kind of trust to his disciples. If the people were going to follow him, they had to trust him. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Wednesday 6 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Noelle Collins at her anniversary and Shirley Currie who died recently. Third question - Will you also go away? Jesus is telling his Apostles that if they can't handle His teaching on the Eucharist, then they should walk away as well. That's how insistent he is on this teaching - and that's why we say in the Church that the Eucharist is the source and centre of the Christian life. In response, Peter, acting as a spokesman for the apostles, affirms their faith and trust in Jesus. At this point they probably did not understand how Jesus could possibly feed them with His flesh and blood - just as we don't often understand what Jesus wants from us. Even so, they believed He was the one whom the Father had sent, so they trusted him. Unlike the disciples who left, they believed without seeing the proof with their own eyes. That faith was rewarded at the Last Supper, when Jesus formally instituted the Eucharist. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Thursday 7 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish, Lorraine Docherty and Patrick McGuire at his anniversary. Fourth question - Do you know what I have done to you? By performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, we will not only be fulfilling Jesus' teaching in this Gospel story but will also be building the 'civilisation of love' that Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have talked about. Remember the old saying, 'It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness'. If we see all the problems in the world and just throw up our hands and walk away, then we're avoiding our responsibilities. But if we light one candle, others will be encouraged to do the same. We can change the world, as Mother Teresa would say, one person at a time. The second way we can answer this question of Jesus is by honestly asking ourselves - what has Jesus done for me? Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Friday 8 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Jean Owens and Nora King who both died recently. Fifth question - For what can a man gain in return for his life? We need to live with the end of our lives in mind. Heaven will fulfil our every desire. All the happiness, beauty and joy we can find in this life are but a tiny reflection of the happiness, beauty and joy of God himself. Heaven is going to fulfil every hope we've ever had - every dream will come true. And hell will fulfil every dread we've ever had - every nightmare will come true. The stakes are high. It's eternal happiness or eternal misery. We have to live each day making sure we follow the way that will lead us to Christ. It can be shocking to hear Our Lord talk about the lengths we should go to in order to see Heaven and avoid hell. He famously said "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:29). The point is that there should be nothing in this life that we should be unwilling to sacrifice if it stands in the way of our getting to heaven. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
A message from Father Duncan on Saturday 9 May 2020
Today, I celebrate Holy Mass privately for the Parish and Michael Bruin at his anniversary. Sixth question - Do you love me? Peter's reconciliation with Christ should give us courage. In spite of his denial, he is still entrusted with the great work of the Church. We should never use our failures as an excuse to stop trying to serve the Lord. The Lord restores us. He gives us the grace and the strength because we can't do it by ourselves. Like Peter, we begin again. Pope Saint John XXIII said that when we die, the Lord will only ask us one question - How much did you love me? We can prepare for answering that question by asking ourselves as if Jesus himself were addressing us - Do you love me? How would we answer that right now? Do you love me? - that's the question. Please be assured of my daily prayers for you and your family.
OPEN THE ROSE
A young, newly-ordained priest was walking with an older, more seasoned parish priest in the garden one day and, feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was inquiring of the older man. The parish priest walked up to a rosebush and handed the young priest a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. He looked in disbelief at the older priest and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know God's will for his life and for his ministry. Because of his high respect for the older priest, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact. It wasn't long before he realised that it was impossible to do so. Noticing the young priest's inability to unfold the rosebud while keeping it intact, the older priest began to tell him the following poem.
It is only a tiny rosebud, a flower of God's design
But I cannot unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine
The secret of unfolding flowers is not known to such as I
God opens this flower so sweetly when in my hands they fade and die
If I cannot unfold a rosebud, this flower of God''s design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom to unfold this life of mine
So I'll trust in him for his leading each moment of every day
I will look to Him for his guidance each step of the pilgrim way
The pathway that lies before me, only my heavenly Father knows
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments just as He unfolds the rose
REASONS WHY EVE WAS CREATED
• God was worried that Adam would frequently become lost in the garden because he would not ask for directions.
• God knew that one day Adam would require someone to locate and hand him the TV remote.
• God knew Adam would never remember which night to take the bins out.
• Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God caught him hiding in the garden.
• And finally, the number one reason why God created Eve - When God finished the creation of Adam, he stepped back, scratched his head and said "I can do better than that!"
JUST FOR A LAUGH ...
There were two men shipwrecked on an island. The minute they got on to the island one of them started screaming and yelling, "We're going to die! We're going to die! There's no food! No water! We're going to die!" The second man was propped up against a palm tree and acting so calmly it drove the first man crazy. "Don't you understand? We're going to die!" The second man replied "You don't understand. I make £100000 a week - we'll get found soon." The first man looked at him quite dumbfounded and asked "What difference does that make? We're on an island with no food and no water! We're going to die!" The second man answered "You just don't get it, do you. I make £100000 a week and I give ten percent of that £100000 each week to my parish in the collection. I give £10000 each week to my parish." The first man, still dumbfounded said "I still don't understand!" The second man said "Listen, I said just relax, I give £10000 a week to my Church, Believe me, my parish priest in Ardrossan will find me!"