Pastors Desk: Second Sunday of Easter / C

Posted 27th April 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 28th April 2019 - Second Sunday of Easter / C

peace-be-with-youToday we hear how the doors were closed in the room where the disciples had gathered for fear of the Jews. Something amazing happens when Jesus appears and greets them with the words “Peace be with you”. The disciples are filled with awe and are unable to respond to Jesus’ initial greeting so he repeats it once more. He then gives them the gift of the Holy Spirit and commissions them to go out and forgive sins.

Thomas is not present when Jesus appears and he fails to believe the other disciples when they tell him that they have “seen the Lord”. Jesus’ death had shattered Thomas’ faith so he wants personal proof that Jesus is risen. It’s another eight days before they are finally together again and this time Thomas is present. Jesus invites him to place his finger in his wounds in order that he will be convinced and believe.

When it comes to God’s mercy we often fail to be convinced and believe that he forgives us our sins. We may find it easy to tell others that God forgives them but when it comes to ourselves we have yet to be convinced, just as doubting Thomas is in today’s gospel. Very often the problem is that we can’t forgive ourselves for the sin we have committed or the hurt we have caused to others.

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, like Thomas we are all a mixture of belief and unbelief when it comes to accepting God’s mercy for ourselves. We may have doubts in our minds but faith in our hearts. So today we pray: ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief’.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Easter Sunday / C

Posted 20th April 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 21st April 2019 - Easter Sunday / C

easter-sunday3During Holy Week we can focus a lot of our attention on Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday so that by the time we reach Easter Sunday our celebration of the Resurrection is not as joyful or its meaning as clear as it should be to us. Ultimately, the Resurrection of Christ is the basis of our Christian faith.

Our gospel begins today with Mary Magdalene’s empty tomb resurrection experience. She finds the enormous stone rolled back and quickly goes to tell Simon Peter about her discovery. They immediately go and find that Jesus body has disappeared. We are told ‘they saw, and they believed’. They finally understood what the teachings of scripture had meant.

Sometimes life can create or send experiences our way that might be like living within a tomb-like space. That may be the tomb of despair, discouragement, doubt or perhaps bereavement. Moving out of this dark and inhospitable place may not be as easy as it seems to others, our family and friends for example. It may be some time before we are free and able to move outside into the light once more. But we should never despair and give up hope that at some point we will be able and free to move on.

As Christians we are called to live a joyful life to the full, so we experience the risen Lord in all the events of our lives. The joyful and the sad ones alike.

We pray that the joy of the Easter Day may penetrate our minds and hearts to make us a resurrection people visible to others each day.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Palm Sunday / C

Posted 13th April 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 14th April 2019 - Palm Sunday / C

palm-sundayToday we celebrate Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday. It’s on Palm Sunday that we begin our journey through Holy week and welcome Jesus into our lives asking him to allow us to share in his suffering, death and resurrection.

Before his triumphant resurrection Jesus will have to endure great suffering and death. While he is in the Garden of Gethsemane he prays to the Father asking him to take this chalice of suffering and death from him. He is mocked and spat upon and a convicted murderer is set free. Peter denies that he knows him and the apostles forsake him. He must surely have felt a great sense of abandonment by those he loved. It is his mother Mary who stands alone at the foot of the cross faithful to the end.

I was listening to radio during the week. The interviewee recalled how they had to live with daily pain from an unprovoked physical attack they received some years ago. The perpetrator got off lightly but they are left coping with the emotional and physical scars. But that started me thinking. Their condition was not life threatening. What about someone who is living with cancer or having treatment? Someone coping with the pain of bereavement? Surely this person could gain some comfort from that fact?

But all suffering is relative. We all have to bear ‘crosses’ from time to time in life. What may be a cross to one of us may be a slight inconvenience to another. In this solemn week ahead we are asked to journey along the road with Mary and the few who remained faithful to Jesus. We are invited to carry our own sufferings and hurts along the road too remembering the words of scripture ‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest’.

Fr. Gerry

Holy Week and Easter Ceremonies

Posted 8th April 2019 in Ceremonies

Please click here for the timetable of Holy Week and Easter Ceremonies at Holy Trinity Parish.

Pastors Desk: Fifth Sunday of Lent / C

Posted 6th April 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 7th April 2019 - Fifth Sunday of Lent / C

fifth-sunday-lentToday we hear how the Scribes and Pharisees bring to Jesus a woman who was caught committing adultery. It’s worth noting that there is no mention of the man who must surely have been caught too. We can only assume that he was allowed to walk freely away.

They claim that the law of Moses allowed them to stone the woman to death. Their main interest is hearing what Jesus has to say in the hope they can catch him out in some way and find him guilty.

In the middle of their persistent questioning Jesus looks up and challenges the one who has not sinned to cast the first stone at this unfortunate woman whose sin was now public knowledge. Soon it’s very obvious that none of them is sinless and free to throw a stone at the woman or indeed criticise her brokenness any more.

We can all be like the Scribes and Pharisees from time to time. Often the sins of others, our parents, children, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, partners, colleagues, neighbours etc. are known to us and we can criticise or constantly remind them of their faults and failings. However, we also need to remind ourselves that we are never in a position to criticise or throw stones at them.

The words of Jesus are striking when he says to the woman “has no one condemned you?” … “no one sir” is her reply and he adds “neither do I condemn you… go and sin no more.” Jesus restores her to peace and friendship with God.

In this season of Lent, we all have the opportunity to draw closer to the Lord and be healed or relieved of the burden of our own sin and brokenness.

Fr. Gerry