Next Before Lent

SUNDAY NEXT BEFORE LENT 19^th^ February 2023. Hymns 358, 271, 304, 388

FIRST READING Exodus 24.12-18 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’ So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, ‘Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.’ Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 2 R. Blessed are they who put their trust in God.

1. Why this tumult among nations, among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth, princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
“Come, let us break their fetters, come, let us cast off their yoke.” (R.)

2. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger, his rage will strike them with terror.
“It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” (R.)

3. I will announce the decree of the Lord:

The Lord said to me: “You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day.

Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them, shatter them like a potter’s jar. (R.)

SECOND READING 2 Peter 1.16-21 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

GOSPEL Matthew 17.1-9 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.'

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A warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's.

As we move towards Lent, today's readings might prompt us to ask ourselves how ready we are to “listen to Him” - something we may particularly need to do in the coming weeks. A special welcome to Fr Paul, who is kindly celebrating today and will also be celebrating Mass for us on Ash Wednesday (see below) and on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us for tea or coffee in the Vestry Hall after Mass, so that we can welcome you properly.

Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday, 22^nd^ February. Mass at 7.30 pm.

Bishop Norman will be celebrating and preaching for us next Sunday, the 26^th^ February. Let us all be present to welcome him and share in the parish lunch after Mass.

Garden Working Party meets for general cleaning and tidying on Saturday 25^th^ from 9.30 to 12 noon. Everyone welcome – please speak to Martyn. Thank you to our gardeners, and to all who have been working quietly, month after month, to keep our church and its surroundings looking their best.

Our Lent Quiet Day, accompanied by Fr Derek, is booked for 25^th^ March at The Friars. We shall have the use of the St Albert Room, and the beautiful Cloister Chapel will be the setting for our Mass. If the weather is kind, there is the chance to take some quiet time in the delightful grounds. If you haven't put your name down and would like to do so, there is still time – please speak to Jonathan. Cost per person will depend on final numbers – but it will be around £10-£12. (We bring our own lunch). It will be particularly good to hear from drivers willing to offer lifts.

From Our Tower:

Kent County Association

Maidstone, Kent

St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 5 February 2023 in 41m (6–1–24 in C)

1320 Spliced Surprise Minor (2m)

(720 York; 600 Durham; 10 com.

1Pam Thomas

2Philip Jarvis

3Paul Barton

4Mark Elvers

5Rupert Cheeseman

6Neil Jones (C)

Rung on the Saints' Day of the Martyrs of Japan, 1597.