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NEWSLETTER

With the church being closed at the moment due to the Coronavirus outbreak, there are some parishioners who have not been able to pick up their new box of Offertory envelopes and, given the uncertainty as to how long the church will remain closed, it is our intention to deliver the boxes directly to you.  This may take a few days, but please bear with us.
Many thanks for your support. 






































Sunday 31 May



PENTECOST   



Monday 1 June



Mary Mother of the Church



Tuesday 2 June



Tuesday Week 9 in OT     SS Marcellinus & Peter



Wednesday 3 June



SS Charles Lwanga & companions



Thursday 4 June



Our Lord Jesus Christ Eternal High Priest



Friday 5 June



St Boniface



Saturday 6 June



Saturday of Week 9 in OT   St Norbert



Sunday 7 June



TRINITY



 

PENTECOST SUNDAY


If any man is thirsty, let him come to me!


He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive


 


        The Feast of Pentecost stands with both Easter and Christmas as one of the principal celebrations of our Christian faith. In each of these great feasts of the life of Our Lord, we recall that God, of His own loving initiative, brings about a transformative change in our human nature to save us and to make us capable of receiving eternal life.


        At Pentecost, God poured into the hearts of believers a new and wondrous gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. This gift is not ‘something’, but a person who enters our lives and of whom we say in the creed, is The Lord the giver of life. When I think of my life and its meaning, it perhaps doesn’t occur to me that I need to think of the Holy Spirit, and that to do so opens up completely new dimensions and horizons to the way we perceive ourselves.


         The very essence of God is life, eternal life. The communication of life to us is very much the work of Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit the Creation came into being. God breathed life into us to make us a living being. For this reason, we think of the Spirit as the breath of God. It was by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit that Mary conceived Jesus Christ. At his Baptism in the Jordan river, the Holy Spirit was manifest in the form a dove. In the Spirit, Jesus was raised from the dead and in the celebration of Mass, the Holy Spirit is called upon to transform the gifts of bread and wine into the wondrous presence of Christ, the Bread of Life.


        We do not see the Holy Spirit. By definition the Spirit is immaterial and invisible but, at certain times, the Spirit does take a visible form such as in the form of tongues of fire at Pentecost or the form of a dove at the Lord’s Baptism, so that we may better recognise the reality of his presence and working. Such is the necessity of the Holy Spirit and our dependence on him that, as St. Paul says, we could not even call God Father or Jesus Lord unless the Spirit enabled us to do so.


      


 


        Such is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, that at the first Pentecost people of different languages heard the Word of God proclaimed in their own tongue, as we hear in the First Reading of Mass. One Lord, One God, One Faith are preached to the whole world and so a universal Church, the Catholic Church, comes to birth. Hence, Pentecost is also known as the Church’s birthday.


       Why is it the case that we as Christians do not pay sufficient attention to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity? Pentecost invites us to put the Holy Spirit in focus and to be aware of His presence for,


                         The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world


The Holy Spirit who is ‘Gift’ is also the bearer of the most prized and precious gifts of God. In the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, we hear of them in the prayer accompanying the Laying on of Hands, said by the Bishop,


Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgement and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.


        St. Paul, in the Letter to the Galatians, contrasts the fruits of the Spirit of God at work in us with a spirit of self-indulgence that we so often give into. The spirit of self-indulgence brings forth jealousy, bad temper, quarrels, wrangling, idolatry, sexual irresponsibility and all the other works of corrupt human nature. What the Spirit of God brings is very different: love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self- control. We must overcome those ‘toxins’ which disease us and prevent us from belonging to Christ.


                      Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit


Happy Feast of Pentecost,


Fr Anthony


              


   


 


 

The Seventh Sunday of Easter


Father glorify your Son


Let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him


Dear parishioners,


                                 The days between the Feast of the Ascension (last Thursday) and the Feast of Pentecost (next Sunday) have a special focus and significance; these days are days of novena to the Holy Spirit for all of us.


                                  At the Ascension Jesus gave to his followers what sounds like  ‘mission impossible’,


                                    Go make disciples of all the nations


How could a small band of disciples realise what to us seems unrealistic, unbelievable and beyond human capacity? When something appears to us beyond the realms of probability, we often laugh. For instance, when St. Paul proclaimed the Resurrection to the Athenians, some burst out laughing. However, the disciples did not do so when Jesus spoke those words Go make disciples of all the nations! They knew already that they were not alone, for Jesus had promised he would not leave them orphans but would be with them until the end of time, and that he had also promised to send the Holy Spirit. Entrusted, then, with Our Lord’s own mission, the first thing the disciples did was to pray.


                                    In the First Reading for mass this Sunday, taken from The Acts of the Apostles, this scene of prayer is described. The venue is an upper room where they were staying, and gathered together are the Apostles and several women, including Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and some of Jesus’ relations amongst his extended family. All these joined in continuous prayer. This is an image of believers united in prayer, bound in fellowship, awaiting God’s action and the coming of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the disciples did not laugh at ‘mission impossible’, but believed what is impossible to man is possible for God. This was something Mary had learned herself at the Annunciation when the angel declared The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Who knows, but perhaps in


 


 


 


the course of these days of deep prayer Mary recalled for the disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit at her own conception of Christ, for at Pentecost, the Church, now conceived in believers, was to come to birth.


                                     This scene of the disciples gathered in prayer and awaiting the Holy Spirit is one we should keep before our minds. It is an authentic image of the Church gathered as one around the Lord, in the Holy Spirit, turned to the Father, but directed to the salvation of the world in mission. Prayer is not just about ‘asking’, but about ‘being’ in the presence of God and sharing the divine life. In the Gospel Reading, from St. John, Jesus says,


Let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him


Prayer helps remind us that God had created us principally as spiritual beings capable of receiving and living the life of God. Indeed, at the beginning, God breathed life into us and so made us living beings. Now the Holy Spirit seeks to come and dwell within us and bring us into communion. As a practical suggestion, it can be helpful to say hymns to the Holy Spirit as payers during these days of novena.


Fr Anthony

There is to be an ecumenical initiative of local Christian Churches for the days between Ascension and Pentecost. It is called Thy Kingdom Come and consists of a scripture reading, reflection and hymn by local clergy and parishioners. Fr. Anthony’s turn is on May 28th. These can be found on Utube at the following link.


YouTube Channel-  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMuYu-V3381Gn9HgE66NYjg


YouTube Playlist for Thy Kingdom Come- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhsTZcn46JG5PSWLKOvx2RKDx0I_12ORn


 


 

Reflections for Thy Kingdom


























































































Date



Reading



Person doing Reflection and Prayer



Person doing Reading



Music and who will record it



21st May



Acts 1:1-11


 



Becky (Cheswardine Benefice)


Chris – Part 2 - Communion



Lindsey Glover & family



Crown him with many Crowns


In Christ Alone (James Sale)



22nd May



Exodus 35:30-36:1


 



Rich Clarkson (Amica Benefice)



Rich to sort & upload



Rich



23rd May



Numbers 11:16-17,24-29


 



Rob Richards & Barney Reeve (Readers


In Cheswardine Benefice)



Barney Reeve



‘Will you come and follow me’ (recorded by Sairana and Kayban – Holy Week (? Wednesday)



Sunday 24th



John 17:1-11



Rev. Lucinda Wray-Wear (Little Drayton)



Brian Hatton to organise



Brother, sister, let me serve you (recorded by Sairana and Kayban for Holy Week – Thursday reflection)



25th May



Numbers 27:15-end


 



Ruth Jefferies (MDMC)



MDMC



MDMC



26th May



Corinthians 12:1-13



Rev Marcus Griffiths (Baptist Minister)



Marcus to sort



Marcus to sort



27th May



Matthew 3:13-end



Ian MacFarlane



Ian to sort



‘This I believe’ St Mary’s music group – uploaded by Ian.



28th May



Matthew 9:35-10:20



Father Anthony Wild



Beeston Family


 



Come down, O love divine


James Sale



29th May



Ezekiel 36:22-28


 



Rev Jane Morris



Brian Hatton to organise



Breathe on me, Breath of God. – John Naylor



30th May



Ephesians 6:10-20


 



Catherine McBride (St Marys)



Catherine to sort



Lord I look to you (MDMC list)



31st May



Acts 2:1-21


 



Bishop Sarah



Brian Hatton to organise



Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me – being recorded by Sairana and Kayban



 

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER


I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate


to be with you forever,


that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive


 


Dear Parishioners,


                                 I hope you are all keeping well. Recently, the clergy have been updated on the ongoing closure of our churches. As matters presently stand, it appears that restrictions on the closure of public places of worship will continue for the moment, although there is some hope that initially there may be opening for private prayer. Meanwhile, it is good, where possible, to participate in Sunday Mass via streamed services or, if one is unable to do so, to set aside time to pray with a text of the readings and prayers of the Sunday Liturgy. Mass, of course, continues to be celebrated each day in church remembering both the needs of parishioners and all of society at this time.


                                As the weeks go by, we are now at the threshold of Ascension Thursday this week and the coming feast of Pentecost. The days between these two great feasts are marked by the Novena to the Holy Spirit in order that we might be focused and prepared to celebrate the gift of God’s Holy Spirit to believers and to the world.


                                On these days following the Ascension, let us think about the person of the Holy Spirit who is the Lord the giver of life, as we profess in the Creed. We recall that Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, those who worship God worship in Spirit and truth. In today’s Sunday Gospel, Our Lord speaks of the Spirit of truth who is with us and dwells within us.


                               The world does not know him, though he is indeed present. The world closed in on itself excludes God’s Spirit, but those who believe and recognise him are ‘alive’. In the Creation, God brings all living things into being, breathing his life into them. In the new creation in Jesus Christ, God shares and bestows on us his own divine life.


 


 


 


                              In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, there is reference to those baptised receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation which involves the laying on of hands. In this wonderful sacrament, likewise, the Holy Spirit has come to us, but we do need to pray that this sacrament, which completes our initiation into Christ Jesus, may be at work in us each and every day. In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as the Advocate who constantly makes intercession for us. He is in us and with us.


 


Let us pray,


Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.


May I mention an ecumenical initiative of local Christian Churches for the days between Ascension and Pentecost. It is called Thy Kingdom Come and consists of a scripture reading, reflection and hymn by local clergy and parishioners. Fr. Anthony’s turn is on May 28th. These can be found on Utube at the following link.


YouTube Channel-  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMuYu-V3381Gn9HgE66NYjg


YouTube Playlist for Thy Kingdom Come- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhsTZcn46JG5PSWLKOvx2RKDx0I_12ORn


 


 


                                


 


 

                                               FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER


 


                                      I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.


                             No one can come to the Father except through me.


                                    If you know me, you know my Father too.


              If someone had never heard those words before, but responded to them, the first remark such a person may make could well be, “I’ve never heard anyone speak like that before. Who said it?” Of course, we know who said it, Jesus Christ, and the response of the-would-be enquirer is correct; no one has ever spoken like this before! Who, indeed, could make such a claim?  What is even more striking in Jesus’ words is that the Way, the Truth and the Life, is not some sort of programme, a book, a technique or any ‘thing’ for that matter. The Way, the Truth and the Life is a person, one unique person alone, Jesus Christ.  The Way is a person, the Truth is a person, the Life is a person. There is nothing abstract here, but a tangible person whom the first disciples saw and touched and heard. Ultimately, what we find expressed in Our Lord’s words is the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God. The one who seeks truth and life must come to Jesus Christ and open the door to him. Moreover, Jesus’ words are not only words but are one with his life and are confirmed and demonstrated by the events of his life. Jesus’ way leads through death to Resurrection and the Kingdom of God.  In the opening sentences of this Sunday’s Gospel, our Lord reveals the destination of His Way.


             Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.            There are many rooms in my Father’s house; …. I am now going to prepare a           place for you.                                                                             


            Once again, the person who had never heard those words before might consider these extraordinary claims and actually desire to receive what has been offered. Such an open and receptive response is exactly what the Apostles experienced when, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, they first preached the Good News of the Gospel. In the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we are told that the word of the Lord continued to spread and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased. Such was the development of the


 


 


 


 life of the Church that the Apostles made provision for growing needs by sharing their ministry with others by instituting the ministry of Deacons, just as today many forms of ministry, lay and ordained, work together to build up the Body of Christ which is the Church.


                 As we might expect, not everyone accepts and believes in Jesus Christ and the Gospel he has taught us. In the Second Reading, St. Peter speaks of the Lord as the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God but this stone rejected by the builders has proved to be the keystone.


                Throughout the Scripture readings for this Sunday, the theme of ‘trust in God’ is very much present. Jesus, himself, commands us trust in God still, and trust in me. This trust is a confidence in God which is born of faith, and in particular that God can bring positive things from negative things, good from evil. The Apostles underwent many trials on account of God’s word, but were undaunted, and from the seeds they planted, then watered by the Holy Spirit, countless numbers have come to know and follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life.


               In these very challenging times for the whole human family, our first response must, surely, be to pray and trust in God.


Fr. Anthony


 

                                          GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY


                                I have come so that they may have life


                                              and have it to the full


 


Dear Parishioners,


                                 The parishes have received a message from the Archbishops of England and Wales under the title A People who hope in Christ, to be circulated in our communities. Please do take time to read this message which carefully considers the situation in which we find ourselves as a Church and the need for restrictions on the use of places of worship to stem the transmission of the virus, and so preserve life and the common good of society. Given that there is likely to be a phased return to travelling and gathering, Church authorities are planning for this time in consultation with the statutory public health agencies. We all desire the opening of our churches and access to the sacraments, and look forward to that day.


                                  This Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is also known as ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’, since in the Gospel Jesus speaks of himself and his relationship to each one of us in this way. “I am the Good Shepherd,” says the Lord. To his hearers, who knew and prayed the psalms, this was a familiar image of God, described in that most loved and sung psalm, Psalm 22, which begins with the words, The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. We should be able to recite it by heart as a most wonderful prayer and expression of intimate relationship with God, containing, as it does, the experience of placing one’s total trust in the guiding hand of the Good Shepherd who leads us along the right path and accompanies us on the journey of life in this world to the His own dwelling, where we live forever and ever. The psalm speaks of absence of fear, even if one should walk in the valley of darkness, and contains a prefiguration of the banquet of the Eucharist and the sacraments and, indeed, of Jesus, himself, the Good Shepherd. The trust, hope, faith and knowledge contained in this psalm make it a ‘must know prayer’, and one that brings consolation in adversity.


The picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is not a sentimental one. Some fundamental questions arise for us. Do I want to follow, to be taught and to be guided by the Jesus?  The now sainted John Henry Newman reflected on personal experience, earlier in his life, in the poem Lead kindly Light. As he travelled, for a while, amid the encircling gloom, he reflects that I loved to choose and see my path and pride ruled my will: remember not past years. Many saints have not always followed the right path, but they are saints because they sought that path and, when found, followed the Good Shepherd wherever he led, and who says to us,


                    I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full


This Sunday is a Day of Special Prayer for Vocations. Also, now we have begun the month of May, let us keep it as a month of special devotion to Our Lady and pray the Rosary.


Fr. Anthony


 


 


 


 

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER


                               They recognised Jesus in the Breaking of Bread


 


Dear Parishioners,


                                 As the ‘lock down’ continues and restrictions look set to remain in many places, Catholics throughout the world rightly experience a real absence in their lives in being unable to regularly receive the sacraments (except in an emergency). But, of course, faith teaches us that God is never absent and is with us always. The wellspring of God’s grace flows in many and varied channels. A crisis often brings out the best in people, even the heroic, as we are reminded each day. In adversity, some of the lessons God has taught us throughout the ages are often more readily learned. This is not just a case of being optimistic in difficult circumstances. Rather, the Resurrection of Jesus has transformed the very foundations of existence such that, even in the heart of darkness, the new life of Easter cannot be repressed but shines forever as the glorious outcome that awaits us. The Cross leads to the Resurrection and the Resurrection demonstrates that suffering and even death itself cannot restrict the power of God and the fulfilment of His purposes. Our faith, then, is not a mood of optimism, but the knowledge of what we might call a divine positivity that redeems the fallen and negative aspects of existence.  We should read and re-read the Resurrection Gospels, as we do in the Easter Season, for here we are brought into the personal experience of those who first encountered the impact of meeting the risen Jesus and, as ordinary men and women, became a new person in Christ.


                              The Gospel Reading for the Third Sunday of Easter is the well-known and much-loved passage that recalls what happened to two followers of Jesus on the road to the village of Emmaus. These two disciples did not rank amongst the group of the Apostles but amongst the wider group of men and women who were also known as ‘his disciples’. Their faces are downcast; their hearts broken; their hopes and beliefs shattered; their world had fallen apart and apparently come to an end. Tragically, for some, this means there is no purpose to life anymore. It is in this state of turmoil that they meet one whom they perceive to be a stranger and, seemingly, not abreast of the latest news.


 


This mysterious stranger explains the meaning of sacred scripture to them such that they will later say, “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scripture to us?” Thus engaged, and at a late hour in the day, they invite a fellow traveller on the road to stay with them in their home. When he takes bread, blesses it and gives it to them, they recognise it is none other than Jesus, now truly risen from the dead. This was the second time Jesus, in simple form, celebrated the Eucharist.


                            For the early Christians, the expression ‘The Breaking of Bread’ was the term used to refer to the mass and here we observe its principal elements. The reading and proclamation of God’s word in sacred scripture and the enactment of what Jesus did at the Last Supper form the basic shape of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. In a missal, or on the mass sheet, we note the headings Liturgy of The Word and Liturgy of The Eucharist. In faith, we recognise the sacramental presence of the risen Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine and his Word spoken to us in scripture, not just to be received and heard, but to be lived.  The mass corresponds with one of the names prophesied of Jesus, Emmanuel, a word meaning ‘God-is-with-us’. How, close God is to us! He is our Eucharistic Lord who wants to walk the road of life with us. When faith is lacking or insufficient, the risen Jesus is made a ‘stranger’.


                         It is instructive to recall, especially at a time when we are prevented from attending Church, that two disciples encountered the risen Lord ‘on the road’ and ‘at home’.  The Church does not consist of bricks and mortar, but ‘living stones’ and ‘active members’ who form the body of Christ wherever they are. In this sense, we are all disciples on the road of life, not to a village, but to the destination of glorious Resurrection.


Fr Anthony


 


 

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER


The doubting Thomas exclaims


“my Lord and my God!”



The days following Easter Sunday until today are known as the Easter Octave. Each day is celebrated Joyfully as Christ’s rising day with the Gospel at mass recalling how the risen Jesus showed himself to his disciples, to their great joy and utter astonishment which words cannot describe. The same Jesus whom they knew to be crucified and buried in the tomb was now before them in person, somehow different yet truly Jesus risen from the dead. How could this happen? How was it possible? How do you explain it? This just doesn’t happen! Once you have died you have died. But the fact of the matter is that the women and the Apostles do actually behold Jesus risen from the dead and cannot deny their senses! How was this possible? The Resurrection passages in the Gospels do not investigate that question in the form of a thesis. The reality is that Jesus is truly risen from the dead and is present there before their very eyes. The Resurrection of Jesus is the work of God, testifying to the Father and the Holy Spirit in whom Jesus is raised, thereby vindicating him as Lord and Saviour beyond doubt.


Beyond doubt? Doubt and being beyond doubt are very much at the heart of the Gospel Reading for this Octave Day of Easter. Where do we stand ourselves? That Jesus is truly risen is now beyond doubt for the women and the Apostles who have seen him on different occasions. There is one, however, who does doubt, one who is also an Apostle and so one of the Twelve called by Jesus to closely collaborate in his work. His name is known to posterity as ‘The Doubting Thomas’. He actually says in categorical terms, “I refuse to believe”. He insists that his own proof criteria of ‘seeing and touching’ be met, and refuses, as well, to believe the others who tell him that they have seen the Lord. The risen Jesus cedes to Thomas’ demands, but adds, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”. Obstinate doubt, at once, is turned to deep and true faith. Thomas now exclaims in no uncertain terms, “My Lord and my God!” In the risen Jesus, Thomas beholds the divinity of our Lord, but not just as an objective fact. The risen Lord is “my Lord” and “my God”. In faith, Thomas experiences that personal relationship God seeks with all of us, not in isolation, but in the communion of believers with him which is his body the Church. The doubts of the Apostle Thomas have been blown away. He is now the ‘Believing Thomas’. He has travelled a journey from doubt to being beyond doubt.


The Resurrection of Jesus is not to be thought of as merely the happy ending to a sad story. Jesus is now in a totally new existence. The women and the Apostles do not just see the risen Lord, but find themselves transformed themselves by the new reality of the Jesus’ Resurrection. From now on they will live a new way of life in Christ who lives in them and also in us. This is exactly what happened to St. Paul when, some years later, he experienced the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. Likewise, Paul’s refusal to believe in the risen Lord accompanied by violent attempts to persecute such faith, was turned to utter conviction of the Resurrection. Paul’s Damascus Road conversion follows that of Thomas, from doubt to being beyond doubt. If Christ had not risen said Paul, our faith would be in vain. This is the new normal!


Fr. Anthony



Divine Mercy Sunday On this Octave Day of Easter, which is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday, we celebrate the mercy that God has poured out upon the world through the mysteries of the saving life, death and glorious resurrection of Our Lord. Praying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy is a beautiful and meaningful way of recalling God’s merciful love. The prayers are said on the Rosary





EASTER 2020


The celebration of Easter 2020, no doubt, will be of particular remembrance in years to come. On this day of all days – The Day of Resurrection – the Church here, and in many places, is unable to assemble to greet and worship the Risen Jesus whose first words to us are, “Peace be with you”, and, as a community, to proclaim his victory over sin and death. But, is this the way we should remember Easter 2020? An eccentric Easter! Surely, the Resurrection, which shows us how God draws good out of evil, and turns the ‘negative’ to ‘positive’, invites us to express our faith with renewed conviction and vigour in the restrictions we experience. Easter 2020 could be remembered as how our faith was renewed and expressed in a creative way in the domestic church of our own homes. If we are missing Church, that’s a really good sign. If we are not missing Church, then something is missing in our personal faith and we can see that as a symptom of a need, a need for faith ‘to wake up’!


The other morning, I heard the dawn chorus, nature’s own symphony greeting the new day. Just as nature is uninterrupted, so also the life of faith remains uninterrupted. Church doors closed on Easter Sunday do not interrupt the reality of the glorious Resurrection of Jesus and its power to transform our personal lives and the whole world too. Easter is not cancelled! In a crisis, there are always opportunities. The Resurrection of Jesus teaches us that the faith and new life he has revealed to us, are irrepressible. Restrictions and frustrations do not contain faith, or imprison it, but challenge us to express our faith and celebrate it in a given set of circumstances, strange though they may be.


First, in the greater time available to many, but not of course to all, there exists an advantage to take hold of, not just for leisure or to kill boredom, but to gain profit from such time. Recalling that this year is a A Year of the Word, perhaps it is a while since we last opened our Bible? Let’s read the Resurrection passages in particular. One favourite for many is the account of what happened on the Emmaus Road, a Gospel reading especially relevant to present circumstances. Where did the two disciples meet the Risen Jesus whom, at first, they did not recognise? They met him on a road and, subsequently, in a house and home, where they recognised Jesus in the Breaking of Bread, which is how the early Christians referred to the mass. In other words, we meet Jesus in all sorts of places and situations. There is the opportunity to dedicate time to prayer. Hymns, with their words and glorious melodies, can be a helpful place to start, since they are inspiring and uplifting. Perhaps, we could think over and pray one of the glorious Easter hymns at this time. Why not sing a hymn at home? For those who have gardens, why not build a little Easter Garden. Last Year the Holy Father, Pope Francis, strongly urged and reaffirmed the building at home of the Crib. Why not an Easter Garden? The Christian faith is very creative. That is why the world has so much great religious art and so many iconic buildings.



Secondly, there is the Internet with many good websites. To be recommended are those of an American, Catholic Bishop and contemporary Evangelist, Bishop Robert Barron.


Thirdly, there are the glorious mysteries of the Rosary to pray which recall the Resurrection, the Ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit, as well as the Mysteries of Light. Perhaps, as do Eastern Christians, we could create a ‘holy hearth’ in our homes with a religious image before which we could pray. We could pray the Angelus at 12noon and 6.00pm before an image of Our Lady, who was also the sorrowful mother at Calvary.


A particular feature of the Liturgy of Easter Sunday mass, and the preceding Easter Vigil, is the renewal of Baptismal promises in the Creed presented in the form of questions. This Easter, let us recall our baptism into the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and with full heart and faith as conviction greet the Risen Jesus with the words, Christ has died, Christ is Risen! Alleluia, Alleluia and Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son, endless is the victory thou o’er death has won.


Wishing all our parishioners and, indeed, everyone, the grace and blessing of the glorious Resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead.

Fr Anthony


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