3rd SUNDAY OF EASTER

 

We continue to think about the Resurrection this week, from three different perspectives: the Gospel gives us another story of Jesus appearing to his disciples – this time the beautiful story of the meeting in Jerusalem, when Jesus proves he is alive and no ghost by eating some grilled fish: he reminds the disciples that all he suffered and rise so the repentance for the forgiveness of sinscould be preached to the whole world. The first reading shows us Saint Peter’s doing just that, as he addresses the crowd in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost: he takes them through recent events (fifty days earlier), highlighting the important point, that he and the disciples can witness to the raising of Jesus from the dead, and calling them to “repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.”The second reading brings this into our lives: the resurrection is not just a historical event, which we remember. By baptism (which we renewed at Easter) we become part of Jesus in his dying and his rising, as he ‘becomes the sacrifice that takes our sins away. So all that Saint John tells us about the commandments and avoiding sin is our way of living the Resurrection.

 

3rd Sunday of Easter 2018 Newsletter

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 3rd SUNDAY OF EASTER

2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER

Divine Mercy Sunday

 

After the joys and exuberance of Easter Sunday and Easter Week, we settle down into the longest Season in the Church’s Year – Eastertide. This period of fifty days is a time of sustained gladness, which comes through reading and reflecting on the Scriptures which describe the risen life of Jesus – not just his appearances to the disciples after the Resurrection, but the teachings from his ministry which reveal the risen life he now possesses. We also spend time hearing about how the Resurrection made a difference: how the timid and frightened disciples were able to leave Jerusalem and proclaim a message of life over death to the whole world, as we read through the book of the Acts of the Apostles. We also linger over the first letter of Saint John, which ties together so many of the themes of Easter: life, faith, baptism, the Spirit – all brought together in the person of the Lord Jesus, risen from the dead. On this second Sunday, we continue to track through real time, by hearing what happened in Jerusalem on the Sunday after the Resurrection, with the Lord appearing to Thomas – strengthening his faith, and strengthening ours as we listen to the account.

2nd Sunday of Easter 2018 Newsletter

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

“Christ our Passover has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast then,
in the Lord.”

When the Word is proclaimed, it is real and active – the Lord is present, and what is described is, in a sense, happening now. On certain days this is made more obvious by the selection of scripture that refers to a particular time or day. Such a selection occurs this morning, when we go with Mary Magdalene to visit the tomb, only to make – with her – a momentous discovery: the tomb is empty, he is risen!

 

Easter Sunday 2018 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

Palm Sunday

 

On Palm Sunday the long reading of the Passion dominates the celebration, and in a sense its meaning is obvious. Do not allow this, however, to detract from the other readings, which give the vital context necessary for understanding the Passion as more than just a long story. It is our story – the tale of how God achieved OUR salvation by the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ

Palm Sunday 2018 Newsletter

 

 

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on Palm Sunday

5th Sunday of Lent

“If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvest”

In the weeks of Lent so far we have followed God’s work of salvation: we have seen the Covenants he established with Noah, Abraham, Moses and the people of Israel after the return from Babylon. Now we come to one of the most significant parts of the Old Testament: the promise of a brand new Covenant, which will be different from all those that went before. This Covenant will see God and Man living more closely together. For the ratification of a Covenant, something was always sacrificed as a sign of the new relationship – normally man would offer some animal offering to God. But the New Covenant will be ratified not with the death of sheep or bull, but by the death of Jesus Christ, God and Man. In this perfect sacrifice is the source of our eternal salvation.

 

5th Sunday of Lent 2018 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 5th Sunday of Lent

4th Sunday of Lent

“God sent his Son, so that through him the world might be saved”

There were two remarkable moments in the story of the Old Testament where God saved his people; one was in the escape from Egypt – we’ll keep that for the Easter Vigil. The other was the end of their second exile, this time in Babylon, which we hear of today. Of course there was an even greater moment when God saved his people: the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God – and we hear Jesus tell Nicodemus about that today. So today’s theme is “salvation”: but to understand “being saved”, we must ask “What from?” Saved from slavery, from exile, from human enemies – these are all clear. But the last and greatest salvation brought by Jesus is harder to understand: saved from sin and death. These threaten us as much as any other enemy, and our salvation in Jesus is as real as any other.

 

4th Sunday of Lent 2018 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 4th Sunday of Lent

3rd Sunday of Lent

 

This week, in our journey through the Old Testament, we reach Covenant Number Three: and this is the big one – the Covenant with Moses at Sinai. The Ten Commandments are (or should be) familiar to us all: they form our side of the agreement with God – if we stick to these rules and commands, then we are truly God’s people, and he is truly our God. If we ignore them, or break them, then we break the Covenant or relationship.  The Temple was, for the people of Israel, the place that guaranteed the permanence of this Covenant – God dwelling with man. Jesus alerts us to the new Temple – himself – since he is the core of the New Covenant, God and Man in perfect unity. Only by the destruction of this new Temple, in his death, will he rise again as an eternal Temple, and the eternal guarantee of the New Covenant which we enjoy.

 

3rd Sunday of Lent 2018 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 3rd Sunday of Lent

2nd Sunday of Lent

“This is my Son, the Beloved.”

We spool forward a few centuries in the story of the Old Testament, to arrive at Abraham, “our Father in faith”. Today we hear of another Covenant (like last week) – even though the word is not used. God promises Abraham descendants like “the stars of heaven”, and the showering of blessings. This shows how much God loves Abraham, and all his children.  This love is proved for us in Jesus: God loves us so much he sacrificed his only Son (just as Abraham was willing to do); but this is not all: Jesus also rose from the dead, to stand at God’s right hand and plead for us. All this is revealed in the story of the Transfiguration, where Jesus is seen in the glory that is rightfully his as the only Son of God. Not until after the Resurrection will the disciples see this fully again.

 

2nd Sunday of Lent 2018 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 2nd Sunday of Lent

1st Sunday of Lent

 

“Jesus was tempted by Satan, and the angels looked after him.”

We begin our Lenten journey at the decisive moment of the flood, when God establishes his first Covenant with man, in the person of Noah. Noah was saved from the waters, while we (as Saint Peter points out) are saved by the waters of Baptism. This is the Covenant we live in, thanks to Christ, who came to establish this “new and eternal Covenant in his blood”. He is the only one who can do this, because he is without sin, despite “having been tempted in ever way that we are”.

 

1st Sunday of Lent Year 2018 Newsletter

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 1st Sunday of Lent

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

“The leprosy left him at once and he was cured.”

Thankfully, we do not encounter leprosy in our culture. It can therefore be difficult to enter into the real depth of today’s readings. We have to understand that leprosy meant exclusion, rejection and the end of “normal” life. For your leprosy to be cured would be like being given a second chance at life. What is the cause of exclusion and rejection in our society – or even in the Church? Who are those who must “live apart”? And how can we put into effect in our day those most touching of the words of Jesus, when asked if he wants to cure the leper: “Of course I want to!”? Contemplating exclusion and rejection in our world can be hard work: Saint Paul guides the way: the Christian path is not to work “for my own advantage, but for the advantage of everybody else”.

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018 Newsletter

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time