Welcome to St John Ogilvie's
Special Website Page.
We have created this Special page to give our parishioners access to the liturgy during this time when public Mass has been suspended due to the spread of the caronavirus.
The page provides links to the liturgy for each Sunday, a reflection on the Gospel, some prayers and "virtual daily Mass" from St Francis Xavier's, Falkirk.
A Christian Response to Coronavirus
The first is the move from "I" to "we". This is a frightening situation that we face together. The common good — the good of us all — must be given first place; within the common good, we will find our own good. That is a very Christian virtue.
The second is an attitude of concern and compassion. Even if we must be isolated in our own homes or workplaces, modern communications allow us to stay in touch in a way impossible before. This is a great benefit. But, we need to choose to stay in contact, perhaps with a greater frequency so that people don’t feel abandoned.
The third is a respect for truth. In recent years, the truth has suffered in public discourse, giving rise to a horrible expression, the post-truth era. In these days, we need to pay attention to science and medicine and less attention to opinion-makers and rumours. A society without truth cannot last. Today, right now, we need truth more than ever before.
Lastly, as Christians, we can pray. We can pray in particular for scientists, medical personnel and politicians. These are wonderful people with a huge job of work before them. As we pray for ourselves and our families and friends, we pray too for all who look after the common good.
We pray for all those in our country and throughout the world suffering from the Coronavirus. May its victims and their families be strengthened by the support of our community of faith and restored soon to full health. We also pray for our leaders and medical personnel who deal with the virus. May we keep calm and may we join together in solidarity with care and compassion to tackle this scare. This we ask in confidence though Christ our Lord.
And we are asked to pray The Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Please see the readings for Sunday 29 March (scroll down to Sunday Readings panel) then read Fr Tony's Homily which he has provided as a reflection on the Gospel reading.
We are hoping to be able to publish a Homily each week during this time when Mass has been suspended. And just so that you don't forget what Fr Tony looks like, here is a picture of him.
The outbreak of Covid 19 virus in Scotland demands from all of us a response which recognizes the serious threat to all people, especially the elderly and those with underlying illnesses, and our duty of care to them. Having given due consideration to the words of the First Minister (on 23 March), we, the Bishops of Scotland, agree that our churches should be closed during this period of national emergency for the common good. There will be no celebrations of baptism or marriage but we will continue to offer prayers for those who have died and for their families who mourn their passing. The Church is not only a building but the people of God at prayer wherever they may find themselves. We encourage all Catholics and all people of faith to pray unceasingly in their homes for our nation at this time in particular for our political leaders, our health care professionals and all those suffering from the virus. May this lived Lenten experience lead us to new life and healing at Easter.
A streamed Mass is now available from our sister parish, St Mary's Star of the Sea. It is on their Facebook page. Futher details can be found below where information about other Masses can also be found.
You may have difficulty accessing the website of St Francis Xavier's. It seems the traffic to that site is very heavy causing problems for the site. But keep trying or use one of the other sites listed.
An Important Message from Fr Oliver Barry OMI
We hope this message finds you safe and well. We invite you to take a few moments to view a video message of hope and support from Fr Oliver Barry OMI, provincial of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate here in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
You can view the message on our website by clicking here.
We would like to assure you that the Oblates are here to support and accompany you, and to pray with you and for you at this time. We invite you to join us online over the coming days and weeks in prayer, community and solidarity.
The Oblate Communications Team
FRESH START STARTER PACKS
As we follow the Government's Guide Lines we are no longer able to receive goods donations and are having to purchase ALL items for our Starter Packs. If you are able to help us by making a financial donation, in lieu of actual goods, so we can continue purchasing items for our vital packs then we would be extremely grateful. You can donate on our Just Giving page by clicking the Donate button.
As ever, a huge thank you to everyone who has and continues to support us at this difficult time.
WWF Earth Hour : More people than ever before are waking up to the crisis. We’ve destroyed forests, polluted the oceans and caused devastating changes to the climate. In 2020, world leaders will make important decisions that will decide the health of our planet for years to come – on the climate, our food systems and our relationship with nature. There’s never been a more important time to come together.
Earth Hour's inspired millions to take action, influenced climate policy across the world, banned plastic on the Galapagos Islands and protected forests in Uganda. Earth Hour is the world’s biggest switch off event – a moment millions come together for nature, people and the planet. You are invited to join in WWF Earth's Hour by turning off your lights for 1 HOUR between 8.30pm-9.30pm on Saturday 28th March 2020.
REMEMBER TO TAKE PART IN 2020 EARTH HOUR - SWITCH OFF YOUR LIGHTS BETWEEN 8.30 AND 9.30 ON SATURDAY 28TH MARCH.
St John Ogilvie's Bonus Ball suspended from 29th March. If you have paid in advance your credit will be carried forward in the Parish Account until the reinstatement of the Bonus Ball after Scotland has been declared free of coronavirus.
Mass Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A
(29 March 2020)
Ezekiel 37:12-14 - I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live.
Romans 8:8-11 - The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you.
John 11:1-45 - I am the resurrection and the life.
Some Reflections on the Gospel
A Homily from Fr Tony
Our life-long journey to God is one of continuing conversion. This conversion is told in the three stories of weeks 3, 4 and 5 of Lent. An important aspect of conversion is change - repentance, acknowledging our sins and turning to God. It is not about dwelling on our shortcomings and failures by wallowing in guilt, but rather it is about the turning to God for strength. Repentance is a hope-filled action, which leads us to celebrate salvation by God in Christ.
In week 3 of lent, we had the story of the Samaritan woman who asks for a cup of water and experiences the healing of the Lord who is the Living Water not only for her, but for her townsfolk as well - "Coming to Faith".
In week 4 of Lent, a blind man who needs 20/20 vision learns that the Pharisees are more blind than ever he was, and are in desperate need of healing by the Lord who is light of the world - Coming to Light, to See.
Today, in week 5 of Lent, we have Martha and Mary weeping outside a tomb, and asking that their brother might live again, and receiving the healing message of the Lord who is Resurrection and Life and who promises life eternal - Coming to Life.
These conversion stories about coming to faith, to light, and to life, tell us not only what happened to the Samaritan woman, to the blind man and to Lazarus, but they tell us what is happening in the lives of all of us - as together we journey in Lent towards renewal in Christ at Easter.
By the power of the Holy Spirit we are enlightened to see the world and ourselves as God sees them, and we are freed to receive from Christ:
• the gifts of living water (faith),
• new sight, (new vision, new values, to see ourselves, others out world with Christ’s vision) and
• eternal life.
This story is about more than the raising of Lazarus, Martha and Mary’s brother, to an extended life on earth. It is about the raising of St. John’s audience, including ourselves, to eternal life. Remember that at the time this gospel was written (around 90-110 AD) the young Jewish-Christian community had been waiting for the return of Jesus (the 2nd coming), and were wondering what was happening. Moreover, many Jewish Christians who believed in the divinity of Jesus were being expelled from the synagogue, and were being exposed to Roman persecution, even martyrdom.
Some in John’s audience were saying along with Martha and Mary, "Lord, if you had been here my brother (or sister) would not have died." Martha’s response to Jesus is the one that John wants his audience (and us) to give, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world".
When someone we love dies, we become acutely aware of a large absence in our life, an absence that seems to fill the world. Death of a loved one brings into sharp focus their unique quality, and we often regret that we didn’t make more room for them in our life. A time of regret and reproach. Sorrow can often take the form of wishing "If only I had . . . "
Simone de Beauvoir’s small book, "A Very Easy Death", is an account of her relationship with her dying mother.
"I had grown fond of this dying woman. As we talked in the half-darkness I allayed an old unhappiness; I was renewing the dialogue that had been broken off during my adolescence and that our differences and our likenesses had never allowed us to take up again. And the early tenderness that I had thought dead for ever came to life again, since it had become possible for it to slip into simple words and actions."
Their rediscovery had waited a long time, right up to the door of death; but the lateness of the hour didn’t lessen the power of their reconciliation. Last moments together for mother and daughter became a time of healing and new life. A tender relationship that was dead was brought to life again.
The death of Lazarus leaves a large absence in the lives of those who loved him. When Jesus arrives, Lazarus was already dead. Martha voices regret: "If you had been here, my brother would not have died." John tells us at the beginning of the story that "Through the death of Lazarus the Son of God will be glorified."
Last week the blind man shows Jesus as the light.
The death of Lazarus now shows Jesus as the life.
When Jesus tells Martha that her brother will rise again, he will show her that he means now. "I am the resurrection and the life."
The darkness of the tomb is not too dark for Jesus; the death of Lazarus does not mean it is too late for Jesus to be his life.
"Lazarus, come out."
We are called to believe in a resurrection that transforms, a resurrection that is lasting. In his confession in St Matthew's Gospel, Peter said: "You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world." Through these words the Evangelist tells us that in order to experience Jesus as the true life that conquers death, we must accept him as God’s anointed Son.
The miracle is that while he is dead, Lazarus hears the word of Jesus and obeys. Hearing the voice of the Son of God, Lazarus lives again.
When Lazarus comes forth he is still wearing the clothes of a dead man.
Jesus now addresses the community "Unbind him and let him go free." In obeying the word of Jesus the community plays its part in helping Lazarus unwind and emerge into the light of his new life.
The "dead man" emerges totally wrapped in the burial shrouds. Lazarus will die again, but Jesus, whose burial cloths are left in the tomb, is the giver of life who will never die.
And what does this Gospel say to us?
The story of Lazarus proclaims the great truth that Jesus is the Lord of life.
He has power to call us out of our tombs - for the christian, life only begins when we, even though we are dead, hear the Word of God and obey it.
We know from experience that we don’t have to be dead physically to be in need of being raised up.
We can be dead in the midst of life - hoping for a word and a community that will put us together again.
The voice of Jesus calls us all away from making the tomb our natural habitat.
It challenges us to take responsibility for our brother who, like Lazarus is loved by Jesus.
If we see someone buried alive, we are invited to do as Jesus and the community in the Gospel did. Call them, and help them go free.
If we do that as part of our lenten task, then resurrection at Easter won’t come as too much of a surprise.
During these difficult times you may want to "attend" a streamed Mass from St Francis Xavier Church, Falkirk.
Mass Times at St Francis Xavier's
13.30pm (Polish Mass)
19.00pm (Evening Mass)
St Mary's Star of the Sea
Live streamed Mass now on the Facebook page of our sister parish, St Mary's Star of the Sea,
at 12 noon, Monday to Friday and 10.30am on Sunday.
Also Adoration at 6.00pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Press button to go to Facebook page and when there click "Follow"
scroll down a bit until you see "St Mary's Star of the Sea, Leith is live now".
then in the controls at the bottom of the video click "Live"
Do this around the starting time of the service.
Click a button to find a recorded Masses
First, a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Cushley,
and second, a Polish Mass
(I hope this doesn't constitute a "mass gathering"!)
Please also visit the Archdiocesan website for up-to-date information from the Archbishop.
Here is a little "taster" from the Archdiocesan website.
Archbishop Cushley today (23 March) highlighted on national radio how people are rising to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic with "acts of selfless love".
He spoke on BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, to discuss how examples of good deeds and self-sacrifice are providing inspiration to millions of people across the world.