Takehomenews Sunday 9 May
Fr Colin writes:
On Thursday we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, a Holy Day. Masses will be at 9.am and 7.30pm. There will also be a Mass at 11am, livestreamed only, for the benefit of the Annunciation Schools, but is open for everyone to watch. We celebrate Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of God the Father when he promised to send us the Holy Spirit and gave the disciples the power to go out and proclaim the Good News and to baptise. Spreading the message, or evangelising, is something we all have a responsibility for. Christ, our head and founder, seated at he right hand of the Father, is ready to support us in our tasks.
Pope Francis has called for a global prayer marathon for the entire month of May, praying for the end of the pandemic. The initiative will involve in a special way all shrines in the world in promoting the initiative so that individuals, families and communities all take part in reciting the Rosary. This theme of global prayer for this intention is a reminder of the account of the Acts of the Apostles (12: 1-12) when all the church prayed for Peter who was imprisoned. As a result, God sent an angel to free him, illustrating how the Christian community comes together to pray in the face of danger and how the Lord listens and performs an unexpected miracle. Each day in May, there will be a livestream from one of 30 chosen Marian shrine or sanctuaries to guide the prayer at 6pm (Rome time) on all Vatican media platforms.
First Communion programme
The children in group A have their second session today (Sunday) at 9.15 in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. The children in group B have their second session next Sunday (16th May).
Vaccine Confidence Webinar
A Covid-19 vaccine confidence webinar has been organized for the Dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster, with the cooperation of Hertfordshire County Council and Hammersmith & Fulham Council, and other local authorities. It will take place on Saturday 15th May 2021 from 10am to 11.30am and will feature a panel of eminent medical experts led by Prof Kevin Fenton, Regional Director of Public Health London. The panel will share the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions anonymously. To join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/99627319556 Passcode: 546617
6th Sunday of Easter (B)
In our gospel from St John we are presented with a new commandment from Jesus, which is sometimes referred to as ‘The New Commandment of Love’. Jesus said “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example because Jesus is our model in life.
This is a summary of the entire Law of the Gospel contained in this new commandment of Jesus, to love one another as he has loved us. (ccc1970)
It is through Christ that we are saved and to do this we must love just as Christ loved the Father and us, just as God the Father loved the world and his son.
The Holy Spirit helps us in this command to love because we are commissioned: Jesus asks of us to abide in his love. He tells us “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love.” (John:15:9-10) Soon we will come to the Solemnity of Pentecost, the moment when the Holy Spirit was given to the world, and as we heard in our first reading from Acts of the Apostles: “While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners. Jewish believers….were all astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on the pagans too,…and could hear them proclaiming the greatness of God.”(Acts 10:44-46) Jesus, gives us the “pledge” or “first fruits” of our inheritance: the very life of the Holy Trinity, which is to love as “God [has] loved us.”(ccc 735) at our Baptism and when we receive confirmation and Holy Communion when we become fully initiated into his love.
When we believe in Jesus Christ, and partake in his mysteries, and keep his commandments, He himself as the image of love comes to life in us and in his Father and in each one of us. Jesus, as the Person of the Trinity becomes, through the Holy Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Let us pray today for those youngsters in our parish who have started their first holy communion programme and those who are about to start their confirmation programme – that they are open to the words of Jesus, knowing that they are loved by him, and that God loves them very much.
Let us also pray for the rest of us, that we also come to a better understanding of God’s love for us – and that through Christ’s example we may be witnesses to his love through his love.
World Communications Day
Next Sunday, the 7th Sunday of Easter, is World Communications Day. There will be a second collection for the Catholic Communications Network.
Novena of the Holy Spirit
On Friday, we start the Novena of the Holy Spirit to prepare us for Pentecost on 23rd May.
Holy Spirit come into our lives.
Open our ears: To hear what you are saying to us
In the things that happen to us
In the people we meet
Open our eyes: To see the needs of the people round us.
Open our hands: To do our work well, to help when help is needed.
Open our lips: To tell others the Good News of Jesus
To bring comfort, happiness and laughter to other people.
Open our minds: To discover new truth about You and the world
Open our hearts: To love you and our fellow men and women
As you have loved us in Jesus.
To you with our Father and the Son, one God, all honour and praise shall be given now and forever. Amen.
Saints Day This Week
Friday—St Matthias According to Acts 1:15-26, during the days after the Ascension Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers—about 120 of Jesus’ followers. Now that Judas had betrayed his ministry, it was necessary, Peter said, to fulfil the scriptural recommendation that another should take his office. “Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).
They nominated two men: Joseph Barabbas and Matthias. They prayed and drew lots. The choice fell upon Matthias, who was added to the Eleven.
Matthias is not mentioned by name anywhere else in the New Testament.
Must we not remind ourselves that the fundamental holiness of Matthias was his receiving gladly the relationship with the Father offered him by Jesus and completed by the Holy Spirit? If the apostles are the foundations of our faith by their witness, they must also be reminders, if only implicitly, that holiness is entirely a matter of God’s giving, and it is offered to all, in the everyday circumstances of life. We receive, and even for this God supplies the power of freedom.