Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. The opening words in the first reading of Mass today from Isaiah 40:1-5 are powerful words from God to a people who were in exile, distant from their homeland, and to all that they held dear. “Console my people, console them” says your God” We could do with hearing those words of consolation today. We are facing into another week of lockdown and we hear the sad news that 170,000 jobs will go in corporate Britain because of this awful pandemic, and the numbers of the unemployed could rise higher. Mental health patient numbers are rising and our resources to cope with these problems are growing thin on the ground. The Covid pandemic has brought home to us like nothing else the pain of human isolation and disconnection. In many ways it has held up a mirror to us in which we can see so much more clearly the fragmentation of human relationships which has become so normalised that we barely notice anymore how lonely we are. Where can we find that consolation, comfort, connection and contentment that the prophet Isaiah speaks of? Listen to the opening lines of the Gospel of Mark 1:1-8 today “The Beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God” In the midst of all the bad news the Gospel we are told is the good news! In a time when the world has been dramatically transformed, many people feel disconnected and abandoned by God. Today’s readings reveal that we are not alone. Even though we are trying our best to be socially distant from one another God is not socially distant from us. A word for God that we will hear in our Christmas readings is the word, “Emmanuel”, which means “God is with us.” John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets but he is the first to proclaim that the Messiah, our Rescuer, our Saviour “will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”(Mark 1:8). Christian message is not only “informative” but “performative”. That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. During Advent we are invited by God to be open to His Presence, ‘Turn to me and be saved, for I am God. There is no other.’ (Is. 45:22). This God is the only one we’ve got. We might want another one, a God we understand better, or who is more predictable, but God is God, there is no other. We cannot change God, in the midst of these bleak times, our only hope is to change ourselves and our perspective on God. Take comfort also from the words of Julian of Norwich ‘but all shall be well. All shall be well; and all manner of things shall be well’. (Revelations of Divine Love, 27)
Feast Days of the Week: Monday St. Ambrose (340-397) Elected Bishop of the Milan by the laity in 374 and was great influence on St. Augustine’s conversion. Tuesday: Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mary “by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved free from all stain of original sin”
Lockdown: There will be no confessions or priests on duty during this time. However our church will be open from 9.30am – 5pm for private prayer. Masses will be celebrated at the normal times without a congregation. You are welcome to join us for these Masses by means of our webcam. Visit www.thegraan.com. Masses will be at 7 pm Monday to Friday. It is important to note that on Tuesday the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Mass on our webcam will be at 10:30am; 12noon and 7:00 pm. Weekend Masses Saturday (6.30pm), Sunday 10.30am, 12noon & 4pm.
Mass: From this Friday (11th Dec) our church is open to the public for the celebration of Mass.
Confessions & Duty will resume on Friday 11th from 2pm to 5pm. We are putting on extra confessions on Saturday next 12th from 2pm – 6pm.
Exposition next Friday 11th from 10am – 2pm.
The Shop: The shop has been restocked with a selection of cribs on display as well as candles, diaries, cards and suitable gifts for Christmas. Christmas Mass Bouquets: We have a new selection of Christmas Mass Bouquets cost £2 / €2.50. Until Thursday next 10th if you wish to contact us as regards purchasing cards or religious goods please ring us during office hours (9.30am – 5pm) and we will try our best to facilitate your requests. Our 2021 Graan Calendar is available free of charge at the Graan shop.
Graan Draw: Our first prize in our draw is £5000 and the second prize is £1000 followed by prizes of £100. The tickets are £1 / €1 each or a book of 6 for £5 / €5. Because of Covid regulations we are unable to sell tickets in our usual outlets and we would appreciate it so much if you could help to sell a couple of books of tickets for us. The draw will now take place on the 18th Dec 2020.
Thank you: We do appreciate your generosity towards us during these difficult days. A special word of thanks to all those who anonymously donated their contributions towards the upkeep of the Graan. These are difficult days for all of us and we know that financial constraints are affecting us all and it is wonderful that you are so generous to us. Be assured of a constant remembrance in our prayers.
“May Hope Be Yours‘ – CD: As we move through this pandemic, funds raised by the sale of this CD will be of great benefit to so many families and individuals whose challenged circumstances became even more challenged because of Covid-19. All proceeds go to St. Vincent de Paul Society. Cost: £15 and available at the Graan shop. Thanks for your generosity.
Jim Hannigan, Cootehill
Molly Goodwin, Lisnaskea
Mickey Mc Elroy, Coleshill Road, Lisnaskea
Mary Conway, Brackvede Pk, Enniskillen
Jimmy Murphy, Bigh, Coa
Vincent Donegan, Loughshore Rd, Silverhill, Enniskillen
Joe Carleton, Ashwoods, Enniskillen
John & Ellie Barrett, Straglongford, Trillick
Tom Mc Farland, Enniskillen
Elizabeth & Patrick Duffy, Tonnagh, Derrygonnelly
Maura Curran, Westbridge House Enniskillen
Claire Burleigh, Finaghy, Belfast
Patrick & Katie Treacy, Drumcose
Jimmy Smith, Derrrygore Terrace, Enniskillen
Ignatius Swift, Lisnaskea
Jack Mc Sorley, Trillick
Dessie Neilan, Garrison
Patrick & Catherine Mc Govern, Doagh, Derrygonnelly
John & Margaret Presley, Market St, Enniskillen
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201