St. Mary-the-Virgin, News for Sunday 29th December 2019

St. Mary-the-Virgin, News for Sunday 29th December 2019: The Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

“Christmas is a time for family” it is often said; and we hope that you have been able to share this festive period with your own family or as part of a wider “family” of friends and fellow worshippers from church (our church family). On Sunday we will be celebrating The Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as they are faced with the very real dangers of living in Palestine some 2000 years ago, when King Herod set his soldiers to massacre the children born in Judaea at this time. The Commemoration of The Holy Innocents is kept tomorrow (Saturday 28th December with Mass at 9.30am). It is hard to believe that the Son of God and his Mother and Step-father were forced to escape into Epypt as refugees.It is also important to remember that this was a devout Jewish family, who would have prayed together every Friday evening as they started their Shabbat (Sabbath) Meal. If you attended one of Father Matthew’s  Advent teachings on “The Lord’s Prayer”, you may have heard the proverb: “The family that prays together, stays together”. I wonder how good we are at praying together as a family? Perhaps that’s a resolution for the New Year?

Of course, New Year’s Eve is just a few days away and we shall be starting a New Year and a new Decade in 2020 – and as an added bonus, a Leap Year too! The New Year’s Day Mass for Mary, The Mother of God takes place at 12.00 noon on New Year’s Day. As our Parish Patron, Mary has such a special place at the heart of our worship and, of course, at the heart of the Nativity. She has transformed many lives in many places – not least by her apparitions. If you have never visited Lourdes, then you might like to take the opportunity of the Pilgrimage being arranged by Fr Jason at St Andrew’s Kingsbury in May 2020. 

Christmastide continues into next Sunday when we shall be keeping The Feast of the Epiphany – but more about that next week! In the meantime, as 2019 draws to a close, may we wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.
(David Griffiths)