Bulletin 31 Dec. 2023

Feast of the Holy Family

New Year’s Day: Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

A New Year is about to dawn for us, 2024. There have been many festivities across the world with pealing bells and thunderous fireworks where the timeline is different from ours and where the New Year has already begun. It is fitting that we begin the New Year with Mass. It is our way of calling on God to bless us as we undertake another leg of the journey into the future. We have plans for 2024 but we really don’t know what will happen. Will our plans go the way we intend? Or will the unexpected change everything? The one certainty about the future is that it is unknown. Tomorrow is the solemnity of Mary Mother of God. Incidentally, this feast is not primarily about Mary; it has to do with Christ. The identity of Jesus Christ is revealed in this feast of Mary, Mother of God. Of the many titles given to Our Lady, this title is among the most controversial. In the early church there were two views about the motherhood of Mary. One suggested that Mary was the mother of the human Jesus only but was not mother of the divine Jesus. This view was put forward by the patriarch of Constantinople whose name was Nestorius. The other position disagreed with this because it recognized a problem, viz. if Mary is the mother of the human Jesus only then the unity of the human and divine in Jesus is in question. The more correct view is that Mary is the mother of Jesus God and man. This view was accepted by the Church at the Council of Ephesus in 431. It protected the unity of the divine and human in Jesus: there are not two persons in Jesus. This means that we can call Mary mother of God. She is obviously not mother of God the Father or God the Holy Spirit: she is mother of Jesus Christ, who is God and man, the second person of the Blessed Trinity. What we discover in this Marian feast is that doctrines concerning Mary are not primarily about Mary but about her Son. I wish you every blessing, good health and freedom from needless worry in 2024.

Thanks to all who ensured that we had a worthy celebration of Christmas this year. The preparation of the crib and sanctuary in the weeks prior to the feast gave us a fitting setting for our Christmas Masses. Singing makes such a difference to the liturgy and the choir and music groups this year were very much appreciated by the congregations, as evidenced by the spontaneous applause at each Mass. Thanks to the priests who concelebrated the Masses and were available for Confession. A special word of thanks to the collectors and the generous offerings which they collected at the Masses.

First Wednesday Prayer at 10.00 am, led by the Legion of Mary

Feast of the Epiphany: Next Saturday, 6th January Mass at 10.00 on Saturday for the feast, which is a Holy Day of Obligation.

New Rotas: New rotas are available in the sacristy for Ministers of the Word and Ministers of the Eucharist.

Recent Death The death has occurred of Mary Connolly, Friars Road. We pray for her and we sympathise with her family.