Acts 5:27-41 Psalm 29
Apocalypse 5:11-14 John 21:1-19
OUR LADY OF FARM STREET
Have you taken time to gaze on our beautiful statue of Our Lady at the front of the sanctuary? We call it Our Lady of Farm St, a title of affection and love for the Blessed Virgin who watches over us in this beautiful place of worship. But what do we do when we meditate on a statue of Mary? Any statue, be it of a saint or of Our Lady, is there to inflame our senses, to awaken our affections, and so turn our hearts towards these holy ones and to the God they loved. Thus we open ourselves to what that holy person wants to reveal to us about our own calling and we are drawn into a closer love of Christ Himself. And what greater figure to teach us this than Our Lord’s mother. For Mary knew Him and loved Him more than anyone else ever could. Her own immaculate heart yearned for Him, gave up everything for Him, and followed Him in His mission without reservation. Her heart truly beat alongside his human heart. She knew him in his human nature as fully as one can. And yet she yearned too to be fulfilled in her loving, to realize her own divine destiny, to co-operate in his plan for salvation. And so she teaches us, through the language of human longing and loving, of what it is to be called to transcend ourselves, to love more authentically without the stain of our own selfish pride, to co-operate more fully with God’s plan for our lives.
In the Easter Season the scriptures remind us constantly of the unblemished sacrificial love which Christ Himself showed us in His death and resurrection. This is what the New Testament calls agape, the perfect model of Christian loving which we are called to follow. In his first Encyclical Deus Caritas Est Pope Benedict reflected on the perfect love of self-sacrifice Christ displayed, and on our flawed attempts to love as authentically as we can. Our imperfect human love, in Greek eros love rather than agape, engages our desire for fulfillment, for a purer more authentic loving, and reveals our longing for God. In His human nature Our Lord also longs for us yet His desire is completed and transformed into agape in the drama of His death and resurrection. In His giving himself fully He teaches us how in order to love fully we need to let go. And in Our Lady we see a profoundly human model of this love which always lets go.
Surely mustn’t Mary have felt the need to cling to her Son in the temple, and at the wedding feast in Cana, and in His passion and death? Mary knows the yearnings of the human heart. And yet she let Him be about His Father’s business. Through the perfection which was bestowed on her we see what we are called to be in the purity of sinless humanity. We see a real woman who loved deeply and gave her whole life to the plan Our Lord had for her. She shows us that, despite the deep sorrows and sacrifices that brings, she can rejoice and she can embrace the glory prepared for her.
So when we gaze at the beautiful lady in our sanctuary we can pray that she teach us how we are called there too. Mary’s example of discipleship reminds us that Our Lord has redeemed us and wants to purify us of what keeps us from letting go. She shows us how we, like her mere human beings who are not God, can become channels of God’s love, through her saying always and unreservedly, despite the love which pierces the heart, ‘fiat’, ‘let it be’.
Fr Dominic Robinson, S.J.
From the Archive. First printed on the Third Sunday of Easter, 2011.
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.
Spain: The Loyola Experience
A ten-day Retreat Pilgrimage into the Heart of St. Ignatius Loyola with Frs. Thomas A. Kane, CSP and Julio Giulietti, SJ. This pilgrimage will trace the life and of St Ignatius across Spain’s beautiful cities and landscapes. It will run from July 4-14, 2019 For more information, visit http://www.paulist.org/pilgrimages/loyola/.
JESUIT FUNDRAISING CONCERT
There will be an evening reception and concert by pianist Bobby Chen at The Polish Club on Thursday 30th 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 by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOLEMN NEW FRONT ALTAR
The versus populum front altar will be replaced in June this year. The new altar, whilst being beautiful in its own right, will be of a simpler design which will allow a clearer view of the magnificent original Pugin altar. The new altar will be installed in June and dedicated by His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, on Wednesday 19th June at the 6pm Mass
Would you be interested in learning more about AWN Pugin, the eminent Victorian architect who designed the High altar for this church and the interiors of the Houses of Parliament? The Pugin Society, founded in 1995, offers a lively range of events, study tours, talks and publications. Details: www.thepuginsociety.co.uk
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.
Farm Street Church is now able to process donations via contactless payment. Terminals for this can be found in the church