Dear Parishioners and all those who logged into our Parish,
may the joy and peace of the Risen Christ be in you and upon you.
A What’s App has recommended lighting a candle at 7.30pm and saying a prayer – something we can all do, and at the same time.
The Parish Bulletin is available via the Parish website.
The celebration of Mass took place at 7pm on Saturday 25th April – Parishioners and others joined via the webcam.
Once again, I would like to share some thoughts with you. Intercom, a Catholic Pastoral and Liturgical Resource magazine that I receive monthly gives a thought on the readings:
First reading: from the Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 22-33.
‘You had Jesus crucified, but God raised him up.’ This powerful statement runs like a refrain through the early preaching of the apostles. Where human wickedness brought death, God had brought life.
Responsorial Psalm 15.
Show us, Lord, the path of life.
Second reading: from the first letter of St Peter 1:17-21.
St Peter insists that we are a diaspora, a people ‘living away from home.’ As such, we are to be ‘scrupulously careful,’ and mindful of how our membership of God’s Kingdom calls us to live.
Gospel: according to Luke 24:13-35.
What was it that led two sad and weary disciples to turn right round, to retrace their steps with joy and enthusiasm? It was the encounter with Christ, in his Word and in the Breaking of Bread.
My few words:
At the beginning of Mass:
We gather again – at a distance – to celebrate Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We hear in today’s Gospel about two disciples who listen to the Word of God and join in the Breaking of Bread with Jesus – this encounter encourages them to return to Jerusalem and share their story. May our joining in this celebration of the Eucharist encourage us to face this night and the week ahead as true living disciples of Jesus Christ.
For the times in the past – maybe today or during the past week – that we have not portrayed the presence of the Risen Christ in our thoughts, words or actions we ask forgiveness….\
After the Gospel:
Today, our Parish should have been celebrating First Holy Communion. It’s one of those days’ children, parents, grandparents and families look forward to. And once your child starts Primary School you know that in Primary 4 this day will come around. Hopefully, before the year is out, we will celebrate First Communion, whenever restrictions on large gatherings are relaxed.
Receiving your First Holy Communion is part of the journey of faith. Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus it is part of a journey of getting to know Jesus, the Son of God, and recognising his presence in your life.
In last week’s Gospel the disciples in the room recognised Jesus immediately and so did Thomas when he eventually met him.
In the Emmaus story the disciples did not recognise Jesus at first. They came to recognise him in two ways. Firstly, through the scriptures: they said, did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us? And that is true for us. By reading and reflecting on the scriptures we can come to know something of God and how we are to live in response to that God. Through the scriptures we come to know about the forgiveness and welcome of the Prodigal Father; the generosity and sharing of God seen through Jesus feeding the five thousand which echoes the generosity of the same God with manna in the
desert to the wandering Israelites; the blessing and care of God that extends to foreigners like Naaman the leper from Syria or the Samaritan woman at the well or to sinners and people on the margins of society like Matthew the tax collector and Mary Magdala; a care and concern that includes those who think God has no time for them – people like the centurion at Capernaum who was unworthy to have Jesus come under his roof or the woman who was sick for twelve years and wanted only to secretly touch the hem of Jesus’ cloak or Peter who declared, leave me Lord for I am a sinful man.
Yes, being familiar with the scriptures can lead us to understand ourselves better and our God too, and that the God who made us wants our company – we can come into his presence.
The two disciples, having been brought through a lesson on the scriptures, came to recognise Jesus fully at the Breaking of Bread. This Emmaus meal, this table fellowship, that we call Mass is the second way we recognise the Risen Christ.
And, somewhat like Peter who recognised Jesus walking on the water and he too then walked on the water so the two disciples fired up with the knowledge that the Risen Christ was with them, because they recognised him, hurried back to Jerusalem, even though it was evening and the journey hazardous. As St Paul wrote – I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
We can recognise the presence of God in Jesus in the scriptures and in our participation at Mass.
There is another way to recognise the Risen Christ and Peter alludes to it in his sermon in the First Reading – ‘What you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.’ Boys and girls, a little word to you – hello! At home and at school you are taught how to live like Jesus – to share, to be helpful, to be kind, to make up after fighting, to say sorry, to care for the earth. And when you live like that your parents and family and friends can say like St Peter – I can see and hear the outpouring of Jesus in you! Keep doing that.
And for those of us a little older we can see this presence of Jesus around us too – in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. And if you
want evidence of the Risen Christ among us in our community and country, then you will find him in the many hospitals and care homes and in the community, in the caring and healing hands of our doctors, nurses, orderlies, home carer’s, and many other medical professionals. You will find him in the delivery drivers, those who empty our bins, the postman and postwoman, the shop workers, the many trades people across many spheres of life who keep our essential services running, so that we may lead as normal a life as possible in these difficult times. And you’ll find the Risen Christ in the person who knocks your door or window or phones you to make sure you are ok or to see if you need anything. And also in the person who brings you groceries or food or treats.
The Risen Christ is working in and through all of these people and he is working in and through you and me. We are now his hands and his feet, and his mission is now our mission. As a father, mother, daughter, son, grandfather, grandmother, aunt or uncle, we all now have been called to breathe new life into our homes that helps us to be more patience, more kind, more considerate and forgiving, more generous with our words of support and above all, more loving and caring of each other. Do this, and all of us will recognise in this great time of silence and stillness, the presence of the Risen Christ among us.
At the end of Mass:
Parish Bulletin: some relatives or neighbours may like a printed off version of the Bulletin given to them!
I draw your attention to the WEEKLY FOOD BOX scheme. If you or someone you know could avail of this service, you’ll find details in the Parish Bulletin on the Website.
Graveyards/cemeteries: following a review by local government the restrictions on visiting graveyards/cemeteries has been lifted (as of 25th April). Parishioners can now freely visit graves without hinderance. Hopefully the regulations on Churches will also be reviewed and changed.
I saw a report during the week about those of us who are living alone. It referred to the fact that many people in those situations talk our loud to themselves. There was nothing wrong or concerning about that. Some of us do like the sound of our own voice!!! Only get concerned if you answer back!!!!
Time to laugh!!
I wish you all the peace and joy of Easter
Continue to do what we are doing for the good of us all – stay at home!
Keep safe and well and keep your distance!