Acts 5:12-16 Psalm 117
Apocalypse 1:9-19 John 20:19-31
WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THE RESURRECTION MAKE?
Our first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, gives us a picture of the first Christian community. These are the ones who had believed the good news of the resurrection of Jesus. What were the things that were
Important to them? Firstly it tells us they remained faithful to the teaching of the Apostles, those who had proclaimed the Good News to them. They were also faithful to the community which had formed around the Apostles and formed the beginnings of the Church. Key parts of the life of this community were “the breaking of bread” and “the prayers”. In this we can recognise our own life as a Church, centred on the Eucharist, remembering Christ’s breaking the bread and sharing the cup at the Last Supper, and a community which prays. Through all the changes which have happened in the transition from that small community gathered around the Apostles to the world wide Church these basic elements remain. That is history is a checkered one. In our own time we are only too well aware of those who might most have been expected to exemplify the values of Christ have abused their position. If we think back to the sixteenth century when St Ignatius and his companions were first seeking to understand how God was calling them to serve the Church and the peoples of the world, it was a Church marked by worldly power and corruption. However, through all these vicissitudes the Church still hears the words of Christ in today’s Gospel, “As the Father sent so I am sending you”. It is still called to preach that “faith and hope in God” which comes from Christ’s resurrection.
One other characteristic of that early community did not last, at least for the Church as a whole, that is the owned everything in common. That can be found in various communities in the Church. The idea of sharing everything in common and using the gifts of God for the benefit of a common mission was one of the most important things in my own decision to join the Society of Jesus. The vow of religious poverty is one way which the way of life of the early Church is still present today. However, only a few of us are called of religious poverty. Looking at life from the perspective of the resurrection does, however, make a difference. All of us, like the early Christians, can see that the gifts we are given are just that, gifts of God. They are not to be used just for our own comfort and enjoyment but in the service of God.
Two thousand years on we may not have the perspective of the community Peter was writing to in our second reading, expecting the second coming of Christ was just round the corner. However, the point of view of the resurrection does mean that our own immediate concerns are no longer the fundamental things in our lives. What really matters is living our the values of Christ, who gave his life for us and calls us to share in the new life he offers us. As Peter says, we, unlike Thomas, do not see Christ but we love him and, because we celebrate the resurrection, we should be filled with a you so glorious it cannot be described. Let us ask to let that joy fill our lives so that we truly live as people of the resurrection.
Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.
MARCH FOR LIFE
The annual March for Life will take place in London on Saturday 11th May. The march begins at 2pm outside the entrance to Westminster Church House on 25 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BN and finishes outside Parliament. Talks and pro-life activities take place in the morning before the march. For more information, visit www.marchforlife.co.uk. This is the largest Pro-Life demonstration in the UK and is an important witness to our belief in the sanctity of life and the rights of the unborn.
The Hunted Priest: Fr John Gerard, the English Mission, and the Gunpowder Plot
A talk on Fr John Gerard SJ, will be held in the Farm Street Church hall on Wednesday 22nd May at 6.45pm. Landing at night on the Norfolk Coast in October 1588, Fr Gerard very successfully ministered to English Catholics for 17 years in extraordinary circumstances. After many daring escapes, he suffered imprisonment and torture, famously escaping from the Tower of London in 1597 to continue his work until 1605. The talk is by his ten greats nephew, Michael Maslinski, who last year persuaded the BBC to withdraw inaccurate allegations in a documentary that he had been a central figure in the Gunpowder Plot.
FARM STREET WALSINGHAM PILGRIMAGE 2019
Saturday May 25th: coach departs 114 Mount St 8:30am & returns there via drop-off at Victoria Station c 8pm
Please join us on our annual pilgrimage to England’s National Shrine of Our Lady in Norfolk. The day includes prayers and talks en route, visits to the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican shrines, walking the Holy Mile and free time. Cost: £35 inclusive of buffet lunch. To book please call at Farm Street Reception, e-mail email@example.com or ‘phone Leslie Giltz on (020)-7408-1234. All welcome.
EASTER PAINTING APPEAL
Please consider donating a potted flowering plant for our Easter painting at the St Joseph Altar. We hope that it will be as joyful and colourful as befits the celebration of Easter. If you would like to donate a potted flowering plant, please contact reception on 020 7493 7811 or hand in to a member of staff.
AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED
SRI LANKA APPEAL
Now is the time for us to stand in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters. For too long the world has widely ignored the persecution of Christians, with much of the media playing ignorant to this global issue.
The horror of the suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter morning has ricocheted across the globe, this is the only positive to come from such tragedy – the world is now waking up to Christian persecution.
We cannot fall silent or turn to face the other way. We hope you will join us in standing in solidarity for all those suffering because of their faith.
For many years ACN has funded projects in Sri Lanka, supporting the building of churches, children’s education and more. As we continue our vital support in the country, we ask you to give what you can to help Christians in Sri Lanka. For more information, please visit http://www.acnuk.org
JESUIT FUNDRAISING CONCERT
There will be an evening reception and concert by pianist Bobby Chen at the The Polish Club on Thursday 20th May at 6.45pm. Money will raised will go to The Langlands School and College in Pakistan and other Jesuit charities.
Tickets £75 (concessions £45 on application) – collect an invitation form at
Mount Street reception or book at https://www.eventbrite.com/bobbychen
Your donation could be worth 25% more to us and it won’t cost you an extra penny. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider using the Gift Aid donation envelopes available on the pews for your weekly offering.