Greetings to you all.
Here we are and it’s May already. It used to be celebrated in our Church with May Devotions and Processions and Crowning ceremonies in honour of Mary the Mother of Jesus, our Mother in heaven. The liturgy police decided that was NOT LITURGICAL, as well as processions becoming unpopular because of the political struggles in Northern Ireland.
The external signs of devotion may have decreased, but Catholics still rely so much on the Hail Mary when saying their prayers. Have you got at statue of Our Lady that you can honour with flowers this month? Pope Francis asks the whole Church to pray the rosary each day during the month, that God will rid the world of the plague we call Covid. I will try, and I hope you will. In the past it has been really effective. Mary’s intercession can help us again.
With regard to last week’s mention of the nine million lives destroyed ‘legally’ since the Abortion Act in 1968, a wise parishioner drew my attention to the one place in the bible that indicates that an unborn baby is a person known and loved already by Almighty God.
Psalm 138(139)vv.13-15 has the psalmist praying to his Creator:
For it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of your creation.
Already you knew my soul; my body held no secret from you
When I was being fashioned in secret and moulded in the depths of the earth
This psalm is of course paraphrased in the familiar hymn ‘O the Word of My Lord’.
This Sunday the reading from Acts has the ‘new’ apostle Saul encountering suspicion and animosity. Not many preachers make themselves universally popular, do they? John’s first Letter continues to startle us; and John’s gospel pictures the unity of believers as branches of a vine, the vine that is Christ, and stresses the importance of not getting severed from the source of life-giving grace. This image, and Paul’s model of a human body, are so important to our understanding of belonging to the Church.
Mrs Maria Jones and family wish to thank you all for your support and prayers, and your kind messages of sympathy during the illness and dying of Mr David Jones. Please accept her deep gratitude to all.
There’s still no definite announcement about being able to fill the church again, despite the joy of seeing a crowd at last at a few football matches and at The Crucible in Sheffield. Thank you for your patience and persistence phoning up on Wednesday afternoons to book a place for Sunday mass. It is good to see people gradually able to return. We thank God for keeping us safe, and commend to his mercy the people in those places in the world that are not so fortunate. In this week of elections, we can pray for the people in power who have had to make so many decisions that couldn’t possibly be the right ones all the time. And pray too perhaps for the many people who are feeling the strain of being restricted for such a long time.
God bless and keep you all.