Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus
THAT IN ALL THINGS GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
This Sunday is all about the “Divine Community” - in other words, the way in which our God is in himself a communion of love: Father, Son and Spirit, distinct yet perfectly united - three persons, one God.We hear of the perfect union between Father and Son, revealed in the mysterious poem of the First Reading, where the Son is “Wisdom” joining the Father in the act of creation. This union bears fruit in the Spirit, who pours this perfect love into our hearts, so that we may imitate the “Communion of Love” by living together and hoping for our place within the Divine Community.
We arrive at the fiftieth day ‑ the completion of the Easter Season, and the completion of the Paschal Mystery: the Lord has died, is risen, has ascended to heaven and now gives birth to his Church, by sending the Spirit upon the apostles. This feast of the gift of the Spirit is so significant for us, because it marks the handing on of Jesus' ministry to the Church ‑ in the Church we are guaranteed the presence of the Lord, in his sacraments, in his ministers, in the Blessed Sacrament and in his Celebrated Word. It also marks the fulfilment of our thoughts about baptism throughout this season: the gift of the Spirit which we receive in Confirmation is the `seal' of our baptism, guaranteeing and confirming all that baptism achieves.
Today, as I said in the previous post we are keeping as a special day of prayer, along with Christians throughout the world "Thy Kingdom Come". At the end of Mass we will expose the Blessed Sacrament and take turns to keep vigil.
At 6pm we will sing the Evening Prayer of the Church and end with Benediction. The Church will be open all day, so do come and pray if you are nearby!
THE LITURGY TODAY
My Apologies for the lack of blogs lately. But as our Holy Father St Benedict Says "always we begin again" so here we go!
For the last 2 years we have taken part in the Global prayer movement which is “Thy Kingdom Come, and this year is no exception.
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.
During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will
After the very first Ascension Day the disciples gathered with Mary, constantly devoting themselves to prayer while they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Like them, our reliance on the gift of the Holy Spirit is total – on our own we can do nothing.
Through the centuries Christians have gathered at that time to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ picks up this tradition. Over the past three years more and more worshipping communities have dedicated the days between Ascension and Pentecost to pray ‘Come Holy Spirit’.
We are praying that the Spirit would inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our friends and families, our communities and networks. It has been amazing how many varied ways there have been in which people from every tradition have taken up this challenge. The effects have been remarkable.
It is our prayer that those who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and his love for the world will hear it for themselves, and respond and follow Him. Specifically, we again invite each and every Christian across the country to pray that God’s Spirit might work in the lives of 5 friends who have not responded with their ‘Yes’ to God’s call.
On Pentecost Sunday (9th June) at the end of Mass we will expose the Blessed Sacrament, and I will be asking people to keep watch for at least half and hour until 6pm when we will celebrate Evening Prayer and conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. I encourage you to come and to invite someone to come with you to evening Prayer.
PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
Today we begin our Holy Week journey. This is a week like no other in the Church's liturgical year. It can tiring, exhausting even. We walk with our Lord this week, and we feel many emotions. Joy and Sadness. In all this we need to remember that we know the end of the story - the sadness we feel should not be for the horror of what happened but sorrow for our sinfulness.
There is a logical development in the readings this Sunday: in the Old Testament, God asks us to look forward to the "new deed he will do", when he will put "water in the wilderness"; we then see the new deed, which Paul talks about, to be the "supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus", and sharing the "power of his resurrection"; so who is this Jesus, and how is he "water in the wilderness? It is because he brings hope for the future and forgiveness of our sins, as the Gospel story relates. This Sunday's readings are there for our encouragement, to help us look forward to Easter, and the meaning of Jesus Passion, Death and Resurrection: that meaning is Reconciliation and a new creation (as we heard last week). We are driven on through Lent by a vision of the marvels that God has worked, and that God will work for us.
THE LITURGY THIS WEEK
Every year, on the Second Sunday of Lent, we hear about the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain top. Why? Jesus revealed his glory to the three apostles in order to strengthen them for the journey ahead - the journey to Jerusalem, Gethsemane and Golgotha. The same vision is today offered to us, to strengthen us in our Lenten Journey of Faith. Last week we heard about temptation: this week we are driven onwards by a vision of glory that will be ours - the goal of our lives of faith and all that we do as Christians. The transfiguration represents the final destination of our lives, if we are faithful in resisting temptation and living each day as faithful members of Jesus Christ. In our journey of renewal and new commitment through Lent, we are spurred on and encouraged by today's vision to see why the effort is worth it.
THE LITURGY THIS WEEK
As with each First Sunday of Lent the Gospel tells of Jesus temptation in the wilderness; as we begin the journey of Lent, during which we will consider our lives as members of the Church, we look to the example of Jesus when it comes to dealing with temptation. Choosing to follow God's path is the first characteristic of the Christian: this is underlined in the two other readings, which outline the two" creeds" or statements of belief - one of Israel and one of the Christian. Both of them emphasise "believing in the heart and confessing with the lips": both creeds underline the Salvation that God has achieved - for Israel it was freedom from Egypt, for the Christian freedom from death in Jesus.
THE LITURGY THIS WEEK
What is compassion? What is love? And how do we live them out in our own age? These are the questions that spring from the Gospel today. In many ways this is the hardest teaching Jesus offers us, because it goes against so much of what the "modern world" would have us believe. Look at the first reading: David and Saul are enemies, and Saul is suddenly in David's power. The logic of the modern world would say "Strike while you can." But David chooses another path. He is compassionate. We can all think of times when we were in a position to take revenge, score a victory over someone, take it out on them. Our measure of our faith is whether or not we were compassionate - especially with our enemies - as Jesus taught us.
Life is often about picking our way through opposites - choices and decisions that surround every moment of every day: should I do this or that, choose this way or that way, and so on. Just as there are choices on either side, so there are opposing consequences blessings and curses, in the language of the first reading, happiness and woe in the language of the Gospel. In Saint Luke's version of the Beatitudes, we see Jesus setting out very clearly the teaching that life is about choices, and that we must take control, and be responsible for the life we choose, or even the conditions of life that we embrace or accept.
We hear the call of another prophet this week - Isaiah. This introduces the Gospel, where we see Jesus calling his first disciples to follow him. Notice that the initiative is Jesus' there is no application process or interview procedure! Notice also the way that Jesus calls his disciples in this account - not with words, but with a miracle that is also a parable. It is, in a way, a miraculous "job description": if the disciple trusts completely in the one who calls, then the result will be truly amazing - a huge catch of men and women hungry for God. Simon's simple words "if you say so" give us an example of Christian discipleship: we should leave our own concerns behind, and simply follow the Lord with great trust.
ALL SAINTS CHURCH
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