Fifth Sunday of Lent, 3rd April 2022
Go and sin no more
What motivated the Pharisees in that confrontation about sin and punishment? They caught a woman in the act of adultery and brought her into the Temple precincts, thronged with people, to shame her as publicly as possible. Then they wanted to carry out the death penalty as laid down in the Torah, namely death by stoning. As an added extra, they wanted to use the occasion to discredit Jesus in the eyes of his followers. “What have you to say?” they demand of him. If his response was simply, “Leave the woman alone; let her go free,” they could accuse him of condoning adultery. But if he agreed with their sentence, he would be seen as lacking in mercy. Jesus saw through their plotting and made them withdraw in confusion.
What did Jesus write with his finger on the ground? The Gospel gives us a possible clue. It does not use the normal Greek word for “write” (graphein), but a compound word (kata-graphein) which means to draw up a condemnation. Possibly he may have listed on the ground some common sins against humanity, to make them think. At any rate, his challenge that the person who was without sin should cast the first stone met with no response. Although Jesus did not condemn the woman, neither did he excuse what she had done. “Don’t sin any more,” was both a pardon and a warning to her.
Like the Pharisees, we may be tempted to imagine a God in our own image and likeness, as a stern, punitive father, who can be persuaded to forgive only after our abject repentance. This kind of religion can be cold and loveless. And as St Paul says in the Second Reading, trying to relate to God just by strictly keeping the Law is an obsolete kind of religion. Only when we let God’s love, as seen in Christ, to embrace and change our heart, can we begin to grow.
To judge from today’s gospel, the worst of the seven deadly sins seems to be not lust, but pride. The Pharisees’ proud self-righteousness left them feeling no need to ask God for mercy. Like the woman in danger, we need to admit our own sins and pray for mercy rather than condemn others. Even when we fail in our ideals, we trust in the mercy God extends to the sinner. For even our sins make no difference to God’s enduring love for us.
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A MESSAGE FROM FRANCESCA
As you know I have been suffering with my back for many years and unfortunately it has deteriorated greatly since the end of last year. There is nothing more they can do surgically. I have to live with pain management and changes in the way in which I live.
After much consideration, advice from my medical team and lots of prayer, I have had to make the very hard decision that I cannot continue as Catechetical Co-ordinator, a job that I have done for over 14 years. I have loved working with you all, it has been an honour seeing our parish grow in faith, community and love. I have had constant support from you all over the years, especially from the children preparing for the sacraments, their families, our committed team of catechists, other volunteers and the parish team. I would like to thank you all for your prayers, please keep praying for me. I will still be an active member of the parish and I hope to be able to support the parish on a voluntary basis as and when I am able. God bless you all, with much love and prayers, Fran.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON FILM
TODAY, 3rd April, at 3pm in the hall. Come for afternoon tea and a chance to view ‘The Way’ about the camino to Compostella starring Martin Sheen.
Please note that Mass is at 9am on Wednesday so that Fr Shaun can get to a funeral elsewhere.
MASS INTENTIONS FOR MAY
May be booked from 10.30am on Tuesday 5th April at the Parish Office, either in person or by phone.
LIGHT A CANDLE FOR UKRAINE
This afternoon the church will be open for people to come and light a candle and pray for the situation in Ukraine. This is a Churches Together ecumenical initiative and we are the church for Potters Bar.
When we see the suffering of the people of Ukraine on our screens we feel so powerless and we want to reach out to help. At the moment the situation is changing each day and there are two ways in which we can help:
Donations of money
The Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral and community organisations have united to work with accredited and registered Ukrainian charities to provide medicines, food and critical services to support the most vulnerable to overcome the consequences and trauma of war. Donations can be made by cheque (payable to AUGB LTD – Central Appeal Fund and sent to Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London, Chancery Office, 21-22 Binney Street, London W1K 5BQ), directly to the central appeal fund (AUGB Ltd, Account Number: 80038237, Sortcode: 20-65-89, with reference HelpUkraine) or online: https://www.gofundme.com/f/helpukraine
You can offer accommodation at
Churches Together in Potters Bar has pledged to co-ordinate our local response to support refugees once we know the number, their location and their needs. This will be some time but, in preparation, we are aware of the facilities which we have. If you have a specific skill which may be of use once people are here please email your details to the Parish Office and we will contact you once we know which skills are needed.
GOOD FRIDAY WORKSHOP
This parish is unique in having a workshop for children of primary school age on Good Friday afternoon while their parents can attend the main liturgy in the church. We join together at the end to venerate the Cross. We have not been able to do this for two years because of COVID precautions. This year, on Friday 15th April, at 3pm, we would like to do this again. We can only do this with the help of volunteers. Please sign up on the board in the narthex or email the parish office.
HOLY THURSDAY FOOT WASHING
We need 12 people to have their feet washed during the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 8pm on Thursday 14th April at 8pm. Please sign up on the board in the narthex – don’t be shy!
SUMMER HOLIDAY CLUB!
We are working with the other churches in Potters Bar to run a Holiday Club for primary-school-aged children in Potters Bar from 22-26 August at Pope Paul School. It will be great fun and a great service to families who cannot afford to get a holiday this summer. We need volunteers! People to run crafts, games, drama, music and caterers. Five of our young people were involved in the day last summer and really enjoyed themselves. Can you commit to the whole week or just afternoons or just certain days? Please see Fr Shaun if you can help. There is a coloured sheet in the narthex, ‘How to volunteer for the Holiday Club’. Use them to register with Scripture Union.
THE CARDINAL’S LENT APPEAL
The Cardinal’s Lent Appeal allows people at home to lead a life of dignity and worth. There are donation envelopes and posters with a QR code. The main collection will be on Holy Thursday but you can give at any time during Lent. For more information, go to
Palms will be blessed at all Masses next weekend. Please bring greenery to be blessed as well.
The proposed showing of the film ‘Of Gods and Men‘ cannot take place next Sunday. At 3pm there will be Stations of the Cross (St Alphonsus Ligouri) and then the Sacrament of Reconciliation until 5pm.
Due to clashes with other services there are not the priests available for a Penance Service in Holy Week. Instead there will be extra sessions of Confessions. See Holy Week leaflet for details.
ANNUAL MASS OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
Westminster Cathedral, Saturday 14th May 2022 at 3.00pm. The Cardinal is inviting to this Mass all couples in the Diocese, who are celebrating their 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and every year over 60) Wedding Anniversary of Catholic Marriage in 2022. If you are celebrating an anniversary, please give the parish office the following details: husband and wife’s names, wedding date, full postal address and email (or telephone number, if no email).
See, Judge, Act Following the pandemic many households now also face new hard ships as prices rise. Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), the Catholic agency addressing poverty and injustice, has released a free new booklet to increase awareness of Catholic Social Teaching on poverty and to inform local responses. Please take a moment to read and engage with it. Download from www.csan.org.uk
The Church of King Charles the Martyr are looking for a cleaner to manage cleaning of the halls and church. 10 Hours a week, £9.75 an hour. For full details please go to www.kcm-church.org.uk
PLEASE PRAY FOR
Please remember in your prayers the sick, their, including: Damien Grafton, Marsaili MacAuley, Linda Brooks, Patricia Wallington, Grant Davis, Bridie Spelzini, Frank Casali, Susan Lundrigan, Jean Rudd, Theresa Round, Joan Bonner, Jean Lowery, Jamie Giles, Mary Lindsay, Paige White, Christakis Christofides, Philomena O’Sullivan, Bernard Keown, Ann O’Neill, Jason Mosely, Robert Chambers, Abbey Cummings, Anne Conlon, Kathy Lavelle, Monica Doheny, Vincent, Lee & Abigail Clark, Maria Halsey.
Recently dead: Bridie Hennigan, Pauline McHugh and for all those whose anniversaries occur about this time, including Tom Tapsell and Jane Woodcock.
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
10th April, Palm Sunday (Year C)
Luke 22:14 – 23:56
Newsletter deadline – Tuesday 9.30am
TIMES OF MASS & OTHER LITURGIES
Sunday 3rd April Fifth Sunday of Lent
10am Mass Fatuma Mary Awori Ndira RIP
6pm Vigil Mass Paddy Joe McManus RIP (5th Anniversary) 9am People of the Parish
11am Tom and Rita Butler RIP
Monday 4th April 10am Mass Rolando Lenza RIP and the Intentions of the Lenza Family
Tuesday 5th April 9.30am Rosary
10am Mass Violet Beeby RIP
Wednesday 6th April 9am Mass Aleykutty Matthew RIP
Thursday 7th April No Mass
Friday 8th April 10am Mass Intentions of John Kennedy
7pm Stations of the Cross
Saturday 9th April 10am Mass Mrs Prior RIP
10.30 – 11.30am Exposition & Reconciliation
5.15 – 5.45pm Sacrament of Reconciliation
6pm Vigil Mass People of the Parish
Sunday 10th April Palm Sunday
9am Marianna and Michael Hanni RIP
11am Peter Philbin RIP (Anniversary)
3pm Stations of the Cross & Reconciliation (until 5pm)