Newsletter: 28th April 2019
Mass times: Saturday: 6.30pm (first Mass of Sunday)
Sunday: 9.30 and 11am and 7.30pm
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 10am
Tuesday, and Thursday, 7.30am
Eucharistic Service: Tuesday 10am
Confessions: Saturday 12 to 1pm
Today is the Sunday within the Octave Easter, sometimes known as Low Sunday or also as Quasimodo Sunday from the first word of the Latin Introit Antiphon. The well- known bell-ringer of Notre Dame was said to have been born on this day.
The gospel today tells of the appearance of the Risen Lord for the benefit of the apostle Thomas.
A word of thanks for all who helped in so many ways with our Easter ceremonies.
Also a personal word of thanks for your generous Easter offerings.
A reminder of the Confirmation class on Thursday in the big hall at 6.30pm.
As usual, I think that all the eggs were found in the garden after the 9.30 Mass. Also for those in the know there were some chocolate Easter lambs to be found in the Angelus Room. The squirrels look around to see if they can find anything but there were only a few pieces of paper left.
We now settle into the Paschal season – the forty days from the Resurrection until Ascension Day. The gospels at Mass tell of the various appearances of the Risen Lord to the Disciples and the first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.
It was not possible to celebrate the feast of St. George on 23rd April and this year the Church keeps the feast on Tuesday 30th.
There is a second collection at Mass today to help meet the costs of the maintenance of the Cathedral Church, dedicated to St. George.
Several other feasts this week: Monday is the feast St. Catherine of Sienna: (there are a lot of Catherines about so happy feast day to you all). Wednesday is the feat of St Joseph the Worker and Friday the feast of the Apostles Philip and James. Saturday is an important day at our College in Spain as it is the feast of the martyrs of England and Wales. Six of our former students are canonised martyrs.
Next Sunday is the first Sunday in May. We will be asking the children to help crown the statue of Our Blessed Lady for her special month. At one time a single person was chosen but now it seems to be a joint effort.
A disturbing event recently: one of the local green parakeets had made its way down the chimney and was flying around the house. So what do as I did not want to be pecked. I managed to stun it temporarily with the end of my umbrella and was then add to grab it and throw it out of the window, from where it flew away to continue to disturb the neighbourhood.
We are allowed to have something elaborate after Easter so here is the recipe for St. George’s pudding. Beat Together 6oz butter, 6oz sugar, 6oz crushed sponge cakes, 2oz beef suet, 1oz rice flour, 4oz chopped preserved fruit, the grated rind of a lemon and the yolks of four eggs. Lastly fold in the white of the eggs. Steam in a greased mould for 2 and 1/2 hours and serve with some hot jam. Now this is a real pudding!
An Easter Prayer: O God of unchangeable power and light eternal, look kindly upon the wonderful mystery of your Church, and by the tranquil operation of your perpetual providence, carry forward the work of human salvation. Amen.
And to finish, a fun poem from Alice
‘O, Oysters’ said the Carpenter,
‘You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came their none-
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon
Low Sunday 2019
Today on the Sunday after Easter, the story of the doubts of Thomas – there is a moment of self congratulation when se hear the Lord say: Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.
But if we look at the gospels in detail, we recognise that was by no means alone in his uncertainty. Perhaps the best text to consider is the gospel of Mark – you will probably recall the tradition that this was written from the teachings of Peter during his last years in Rome – Mark was his companion and helped to record his miracles. It has been suggested that the original text of the gospel ended half way through what is now chapter 16 with the discovery of the empty tomb by the woman and the comment – they ran away from the tomb because they were frightened out of their wits, and they said nothing – for they were afraid – not a confident faith in the truth of the resurrection but fear and uncertainty . After this verse my version of the gospel in the Jerusalem Bible simply gives a row of doubts – it is as if Peter is saying, – well this is the story – I’ve told you everything, and it is now up to you to reach your own conclusions.
The gospel of Mark now continues with a further 12 verses – it is suggested that these were added later to balance with the other gospels and to describe the experiences of the early disciples in the days after the resurrection. But they are by no means positive. Rather than an enthusiastic faith in the truth of the resurrection, the first part is more an account of the doubts and hesitations of the early disciples.
The Lord appears to Mary of Magdala – but when she goes to speak to some of the other disciples – who were said to be in mourning and tears, the gospel simply says – they did not believe here.
Then there is an echo of the story of the appearance of the Lord on the road to Emmaus. We need to go to Luke’s gospel to find the full story – Mark simply says that the Lord appeared to two of the disciples as they went on their way into the country – in Luke’s gospel they return with haste – but they can hardly tell their story for the others respond – yes it is true – the Lord has appeared to Simon – but Mark’s version is much harsher – they went back and told the others who did not believe them either.
And Mark complete his story with an account of how the Lord appeared to the Eleven apostles while they were at table and reproached them for their obstinacy and incredulity because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen from the dead.
So not an immediate and constant faith shared by all on the first days of the resurrection – Thomas is by no means the outsider – his doubts and refusals were shared by at least some of the other disciples. Yet nevertheless, as we read the different gospel stories during the days after Easter we will see the growth of a confident faith – From John’s gospel there is the appearance of the Lord on the shore of Lake and John’s confident words to Peter – it is the Lord – so that Peter leaps into the water so as to be the first to reach him – And the gospels end in different ways with accounts of the Ascension – of the Lord returning to his Father in heaven – something that they seem to be able to accept and to understand – so the Lord was taken up into heaven – and they going out , preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.
Thomas, so full of doubts on this day, was one of the most widely travelled of the apostles with the tradition that he travelled to India, converted the Malabar peoples and was eventually martyred near Madras.
So this just part of the story – it is clear that we do not know all the details. But was we go over them, it gives a great sense of confidence which reflects our own experience. At times, possibly a doubt, an uncertainty, but a continuing growth in faith as we come to understand the presence of the risen Lord.