Hello again and greetings as we grapple together with the problem of how to cope with an invisible and unpredictable enemy, while at the same time trying to enjoy life and help one another to do that.
If any of you have particular difficulties then feel free to share them. I’m still here, and the recent fabulous weather has made life more pleasant. Can you remember all that rain in February and March?
We’ve actually had a real spring. We have also had a liturgical season of joyful celebration, with the most positive and
uplifting scripture readings, being guided to reflect on our baptism: to recall the total change in our very being; called out of darkness into the wonderful light, living under the law of freedom, sharing the life of the Blessed Trinity in a supernatural way.
After forty days the Lord ascended into heaven, ‘to my Father and your Father’. We share the life which lasts for eternity, the life of the risen Body of which Christ is the Head.
We are invited to rejoice,
“that where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.”
Now there is a change of mood and of emphasis. Today’s readings see the gathering of the disciples in prayer, with several women including Mary the mother of Jesus. We hear Jesus promising to pray for those of us who are ‘in the world’. Strangely, we hear St Peter encouraging believers when they have to suffer.
But we look forward to further celebration next week when we recall the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to strengthen and inspire with confidence those who have been gifted with faith. I feel emboldened to offer again the page of prayers to the Holy Spirit, so that we can all keep the time before Whit Sunday united too in prayer with those first disciples, and we can ask that the holy Spirit will again come upon us, and inspire us all and bring us comfort.
As Parish Priest, one of my obligations is to offer Mass on each Sunday and Holyday specifically for the parishioners – you are used to seeing that on the weekly newsletter.
Apart from the two such festival days this week, I have offered Mass for Pauline Slattery’s intentions, for those of Julia Martin, and Ed Jago. This continues to be one of the great privileges of priesthood, and I pray that “my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father”.
There is so much to thank God for, as well as so much to ask for. Congratulations to Angela, Peter, and Mary who successfully arranged the sale and delivery of 216 items of plants, sold to raise money for CAFOD, and raise spirits too.
Thanks to all the clients who arrived as arranged to collect them on Wednesday. We unite with the Bishop and the Diocese in prayer on Friday 22 celebrating the anniversary of the Cathedral in Shrewsbury, and again on Monday 25 the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, the patroness of our Diocese. (It’s actually a Bank Holiday!) For news about possible re-opening of churches, search cbcew.org.uk, the hierarchy’s official website.
KEEP SAFE AND SANE EVERYONE.
Fr. Tony Elder
Click here to download the Prayers to the Holy Spirit.