Pastor’s Desk – 3rd Sunday of Easter

With their dreams shattered by the events of Good Friday it now seems that the Apostles are anxious to get their lives back to normal. Simon Peter says that he is going fishing and some of the other disciples decide to join him. After trying all night, they have nothing to show for their labours.

As they return to the shore Jesus calls out and asks ‘have you caught anything, friends?’ No, they reply. He encourages them to cast their nets once more. Miraculously this time their nets are filled to capacity with fish. It suddenly dawns on them who this man is.

When they reach land Jesus invites them to ‘Come and have breakfast’. Though none of them asked him who he was they all knew in their hearts that it was Jesus. He shares the bread and fish with them. In the course of conversation, he asks Simon Peter three times if he loves him and gives him an instruction. The third time he tells him ‘Feed my sheep’.

We all need food daily to help our bodies and minds to function. If we don’t have regular and healthy meals, we will eventually begin to have problems. It’s the same with our spiritual lives. They need to be nourished by prayer and scripture. The Eucharist is food for the soul and gives us that spiritual nourishment we so badly need to guide and direct us.

Because we may have a busy lifestyle we can end up eating ‘fast food’ and not sit down to eat properly. So too with our spiritual lives. We need to take time daily to sit and relax, come into the Lord’s presence and allow ourselves to be present to him also. Then our own ‘spiritual nets’ will provide us with the nourishment we need for the journey.

Fr. Gerry

Pastor’s Desk – 2nd Sunday of Easter

Today 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

Pastor’s Desk – Easter Sunday

During 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 Magdalen’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, as 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

Święconka – Blessing of Easter Baskets

On Holy Saturday, 16th April, we will celebrate the Polish tradition of Święconka, the Blessing of Easter Baskets.

We invite families to gather in the parish church with their Easter Baskets at 11.30 am for the blessing. All are welcome: click here for directions.

The link below includes the blessing prayers in Polish and a summary in English, and an explanation of the contents and symbolism of the baskets.

Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested in participating.