Welcome to St John Ogilvie's.
This Sunday we celebrate
the Third Sunday of Lent.
Churches remain closed for the time being due to Covid-19 retrictions announced by the Scottish Government on 5th January 2021. Despite the more recent announcements by the Government, there continues to be uncertainty surrounding the date when and how our churches will reopen this spring. There is also uncertainty about how many people will be allowed to attend ceremonies. We will keep you informed of developments in this respect.
During these difficult times you may wish to join one of the many live streamed services from churches around the UK (and beyond).
We had previously identified a number of churches which live-stream Holy Mass. These are listed below. We are not, however, sure whether streamed Masses from those churches will still go ahead under the extended restrictions.
Please continue to view this website for futher information.
Church which Previously Streamed Mass
Our sister parish, St Mary's Star of the Sea streams their Masses on Facebook (12 noon weekdays and 10.30am Sundays). You can go to the Facebook page by clicking here. In the menu at the top click on "More" then click on "Live" or sometimes the Mass is on the opening Facebook page.
Or celebrate Mass with Archbishop Cushley which can be viewed from 9am on Sundays on YouTube - click here.
Masses from St Joseph's, Broomhouse are also live streamed from their Facebook page - Click here. In the menu at the left click on "Video".
Or you may wish to join Mass celebrated from St Joseph's Parish Community Leicester by Father John Daley, Catholic Men's Society National Chaplin, on YouTube - Click here
And those of you with an Irish connection might wish to join Mass from the Sacred Heart Church Cork - click here. or from St Mary's, Ballyhea, Cork - click here
Sunday Family Prayer Service
You may also wish to organise a Sunday family prayer service in your home. A suggested prayer service for families has been prepared by the Catechetics Commission. You may find this helpful - click here.
We are now into the Third week of Lent. With the church closed because of the Covid-19 restrictions, it will not be possible to have lenten services this year. However, as in previous years during lent, we are making available Stations of the Cross so that you can make a personal journey on the Way of the Cross.
The stations are "Stations of the Cross for our time". They provide prayer and reflection on today's situations.
Please click the button below to go to the stations.
And every Monday during Lent you can join online Pro-Life Stations of the Cross organised by the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office, starting at 7.45 each Monday. For more information and to register, please click here. (You need to register for each Monday you wish to join these stations.)
Other Lent Resources
The Archdiocesan Catechetics Commission has produced a range of resources for Lent that will assist adults and children to deepen their understanding of this holy season and aid them in their prayer life. Find them in the resources section by clicking here.
Also, you may wish to join the remaining INSPIRE prayer talks organised by the Catechetics Commission of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh. This is an online series of talks where guest speakers will guide you prayerfully through the Season of Lent. All talks on Zoom, 7-:7:45pm. If you miss a talk you can find it on the Archdiocese YouTube page by clicking here.
TALK 3: Prayer as a Relationship Reflected in St Teresa of Avila, with Sr Sally Rollo. 7.00pm, Tuesday 16th March. To go to the registration site click here
TALK 4: Praying the Passion according to St Mark, with Archbishop Leo Cushley. 7.00pm, Tuesday 23rd March. To go to the registration site click here
Also, the Bishops Conference of Scotland has produced a range of resources for use at home: click here.
The resources from the Bishops Conference include a Microsoft Sway document "Lent at Home" which can be accessed directly from this website by clicking here. This may not, however, be available on all devices.
Online Retreat for Lent
Join this Jesuit retreat daily thoughout lent with prayer, reflection and music.
See wesite at https://www.onlineprayer.net/
Millions of people in Tigray, Ethiopia have been forced to flee their homes because of ongoing fighting in the region. They are now at imminent risk of starvation, very frightened and without access to proper sanitation or medical care.
Much of the conflict has been centred around the Tigray region, where Mary’s Meals has been working for several years with a trusted partner to provide meals for vulnerable children in school (and, more recently, at home while schools were closed because of the pandemic).
We need your support to continue this life-saving work and help families in Tigray at this distressing time. It is clear that the people of Tigray very urgently need our help. Due to fighting in the region, millions of people are living in fear of starvation.
The region’s capital, Mekelle, is being overwhelmed by displaced and traumatised people arriving every day. Many are unaccompanied children who have lost their parents.
To go to the Marys Meals website where you can make a donation, please click here.
Despite the church being closed Father Tony will continue to deliver his homily on this website. This week Father Tony gives us a reflection on this the Third Sunday of Lent. And Br Michael Moore provides a further reflection. Both reflections can be found immediately below the Readings panel.
And just in case you've forgotten what Fr Tony looks like, here is a picture of him.
A number of parishioners have asked how they can support the parish at this time. Bank transfer is a simple and safe way to make a donation, either one-off or on a regular basis through standing order.
If you wish to use this method, here are the bank details:
Sort code: 80:02:27
Name: ST JOHN OGILVIES (use block capitals)
Bank: Bank of Scotland, Corstorphine.
Parishioners can set up the arrangements themselves whether it’s a one-off donation or a monthly standing order. The standing order can be cancelled at any time.
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) has announced that supporters of the much-loved WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE Appeal, will soon be able to get their hands on the WEE BOX.
Despite the lockdown, supporters of the charity can get their WEE BOX online now at www.sciaf.org.uk/weebox.
For more than two decades, the initiative has been a fixture in many households throughout Scotland. Every year, generous Scots give up a treat for Lent and place the money they would save into the WEE BOX.
Money raised from this appeal helps to provide the crucial schooling, healthcare, food, sanitation, and support to earn a living that families need to work themselves out of poverty.
The Scottish aid charity has developed comprehensive online resources, jam packed with exciting activities for all ages to ensure people are able to continue to support the appeal.
Penelope Blackwell, Director of Public Engagement said: “The money raised from Lent appeals provides a lifeline to thousands of families who are less fortunate and gives them the hope and support they need to build better futures. We cannot do any of this without the help of our supporters and I would like to thank each and every one you.”
To order a WEE BOX go to: www.sciaf.org.uk/weebox. or call 0141 354 5555.
From the 12 February to 11 May, all public donations to the WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE appeal will be doubled by the UK government.
Mass Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent
(7 March 2021)
Exodus 20:1-17 - The Law given at Sinai.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25 - The crucified Christ, the power and wisdom of God.
John 2:13-25 - Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up.
We cannot publish the readings here for copyright reasons but they can be found in full on Universalis.
Click button to go to Universalis.
A Homily from Fr Tony for the Third Sunday of Lent
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
A parish in which I worked had a newspaper and cigarette booth where commuters on their way to work purchased their daily paper and 20 cigarettes. The owner of the booth was a most sullen, cantankerous man. One day I mentioned to a neighbour, who was a regular customer, that I was surprised the booth did so well considering the attitude of the owner. My neighbour gave me a lecture not on religion but on Transactional Analysis. He said “I don’t want anyone else to decide how I am going to act. I decide how I am going to act. I am an actor not a reactor. That is why I continue to give Jack my custom.” That was a lesson for me.
We live in a world of deep divisions. Everywhere we see polarisation, people bitterly divided from each other by ideology, politics, economic theory, moral beliefs, and theology. We tend to use over-simplistic categories within which to understand these divisions: the left and the right opposing each other, liberals and conservatives at odds, pro-life vying with pro-choice.
Virtually every social and moral issue is a war-zone: the status of women, climate change, gender roles, sexuality, marriage and family as institutions, the role of government, how the LGBTQ community is to be understood, among other issues. And our churches aren’t exempt; too often we cannot agree on anything. Civility has disappeared from public discourse even within our churches where there is now as much division and hostility within each denomination as there is between them. More and more, we cannot discuss openly any sensitive matter, even within our own families. Instead, we discuss politics, religion, and values only within our own ideological circles; and there, rather than challenging each other, we mostly end up feeding each other in our biases and indignations thus becoming even more intolerant, bitter, and judgmental.
Scripture calls this enmity, hatred, and indeed that’s its proper name. We are becoming hate-filled people who both fuel and justify our hatred on religious and moral grounds. We need only to watch the news on any night to see this. How is this to be overcome?
The collective heart will change only when individual hearts first do. We help save the sanity of the world by first safeguarding our own sanity, but that’s no easy task.
It’s not as simple as everyone simply agreeing to think nicer thoughts. Nor, it seems, will we find much common ground in our public dialogues. The dialogue that’s needed isn’t easily come by; certainly, we haven’t come by it yet. Many groups are trying for it, but without much success. Generally what happens is that, even the most well-intended dialogue quickly degenerates into an attempt by each side to score its own ideological points rather than in genuinely trying to understand each other. Where does that leave us?
The real answer, I believe, lies in an understanding of how the Cross and death of Jesus brings about reconciliation.
This reconciliation does not happen through some kind of magic. Jesus didn’t break down the divisions between us by mystically paying off some debt for our sins through his suffering, as if God needed to be appeased by blood to forgive us and open the gates of heaven. That image is simply the metaphor behind our icons and language about being washed clean of sin and saved by the blood of Christ. What happened in the cross and death of Jesus is something that asks for our imitation not simply our admiration. What happened in the cross and death of Jesus is an example for us to imitate.
What are we to imitate?
What Jesus did in his passion and death was to transform bitterness and division rather than to retransmit them and give them back in kind.
In the love which he showed in his passion and death Jesus did this:
He took in hatred, held it inside himself, transformed it, and gave back love.
He took in bitterness, held it, transformed it, and gave back graciousness.
He took in curses, held them, transformed them, and gave back blessing.
He took in paranoia, held it, transformed it, and gave back big-heartedness.
He took in murder, held it, transformed it, and gave back forgiveness.
And he took in enmity, bitter division, held it, transformed it, and through that revealed to us the deep secret for forming community, namely, we need to take away the hatred that divides us by absorbing and holding it within ourselves and thereby transforming it. Like a water purifier which holds within itself the toxins and the poisons and gives back only pure water, we must hold within ourselves the toxins that poison community and give back only graciousness and openness to everyone. That’s the only key to overcome division.
We live in bitterly divisive times, paralysed in terms of meeting amicably on virtually every sensitive issue of politics, economics, morality, and religion. That stalemate will remain until one by one, we each transform rather than enflame and retransmit the hatred that divides us. And when we do, God will act. Because of those who love, God will change this world.
And a further Reflection on the Gospel from
Brother Michael Moore, OMI
Jesus Disturbs the Peace
If you ‘Google’ the name Jesus and search images, there are countless pictures and paintings of Jesus; some old, some very modern. He is often presented as the kind and peaceful Messiah. A popular image of Jesus is him as the Good Shepherd carrying a sheep on his shoulders. These are all very helpful for us, but they don’t convey nor capture the fullness of who Jesus is and neither can they. The gospel today offers us an image of Jesus that we might find difficult to understand. Jesus is in the Temple and he is angry, even violent. He walks forcibly into the Temple, makes a whip from some rope, overturns tables, throws the moneychangers money on the ground and drives the animals out. Then he turns his attention to those who had turned the Sacred Temple into a marketplace. He doesn’t hold back; he condemns them for violating and desecrating The Temple; ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ What are we to make of this today?
For Jesus this is both a moment of protest and prophecy. The Temple was the most sacred place of prayer for the Jewish People; it was the very place where God ‘lived’. Sadly it had become a place of commerce, cheating and injustice. Those who came to pray had to buy animals to sacrifice. They had to buy these with the Temple’s own currency, which they also had to buy. The moneychangers cheated those who came to the Temple. Jesus protests against this; his anger and apparent violence are righteous and justified. He is protecting and defending the poor and the Temple. This angers both the Roman and Jewish authorities.
This is also a very radical and explicit prophesy. Those present want a sign from Jesus to explain what he was done. Jesus says in reply; ‘Destroy this Temple and in three days, I will raise it up.’ As Jesus cleanses the Temple, he also reclaims it for its original sacred purpose; the worship of God. We know now the Jesus was not talking literally about the Temple, but of his own resurrection. As the gospel says, ‘he was speaking about the sanctuary that was his body.’ Jesus will be the new the temple and sanctuary through whom people will encounter and experience God.
In the Temple, Jesus not only upsets the tables, he upsets and disturbs the people who were there. He challenges their idea of who and what the Messiah of God is. The message he brings is challenging and radical. Does Jesus and the gospel challenge or disturb us today? It is worth remembering that the word of God Mary heard disturbed her and she wondered what the message meant. The events of Holy Week will challenge and even disturb us today; if we let them. When Jesus washed his friend’s feet, they too wondered what this gesture meant. The pain and apparent tragedy of Good Friday challenges not only our image of Jesus, but perhaps also of God. There is always that danger that we make Jesus and God in our own image. Through the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus we are asked to broaden our vision and open our hearts to experience a Jesus who will do and say things ‘which no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind cannot perceive; all that God has prepared for those who love him.’(1. Cor. 2.9).
As we take another step on our Lenten journey, may we open our hearts and daily lives to the radical message that Jesus brings offers us – which may challenge and disturb us.
Bethany Sleep Out -
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and we remain under strict government restriction, we are taking the Bethany Sleep Out ONLINE and bringing the spirit of the Sleep Out to you at home, virtually!
We’re calling on you all to sleep out on the night of 19th March but rather than doing so in one big venue, to sleep out at home! Choose a secure, isolated environment such as a private garden, allotment, garage or even a fort in your living room – the choice is yours!
For more information and to sign up, click the button below.
Reflections on the Gospel According to Mark
An On-line Project lead by Father Tony
In 2021 we follow the Gospel according to Mark. This is the shortest of the four Gospels. If you are searching for something to do during Lockdown, this could be an opportunity to become more familiar with the New Testament. Each week on the Parish website we will carry an item on each of the headings listed below. You don’t have to register to take part. After we have received our vaccines, if there is sufficient interest I will provide opportunity for group reflection.
Throughout the project we will be using the NRSVCE (New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition)
The full text of the Mark’s Gospel from the NRSVCE version can be accessed from the project page
This week our "Mark's Gospel Project" looks at Mark 11.1 to 13.37 - The Messiah in Jerusalem. This comes in two separate papers.
For this week's project click on the button below.
And for those of you who missed the earlier episodes, you can catch up here: -
Fairtrade Fortnight 2021
Fair Trade fortnight this year runs from 22nd February to 7th March. Although we cannot have the Fair Trade stall in the church, you can still support Fair Trade by buying Fair Trade products when you are out doing essential shopping.
You can also get involved in Fair Trade's campaign on climate change. Here is what Fair Trade are saying about that: -
"In Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, we will highlight the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in the communities Fairtrade works with. The facts are straightforward. Farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected by it. They have told us that:
- Climate change is one of their biggest challenges right now.
- Low prices for their crops mean that they are struggling to fight back.
- Only with more money will they feel equipped to meet their everyday needs and deal with the challenges they face from climate change.