Acts 15:1-29 Psalm 66
Apocalypse 21:10-14 John 14:23-29
THE LORD GOES UP WITH SHOUTS OF JOY
On Thursday we celebrate the Ascension. This is one of the major feasts of the Church’s year and a Holy Day of Obligation.
In the readings for the day we get two similar accounts from St Luke of the event. One account ends Luke’s Gospel and the other begins the Acts of the Apostles, where he tells the story of the early Church after Jesus has been taken up into heaven. These two accounts have a rather different feel to them. In the Gospel it is simply a joyful event which leads the apostles to spend their time praising God in the temple. The Acts of the Apostles sets the scene for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which we will be celebrating in a couple of weeks’ time. Here the apostles seem at a loss, they are staring up into the sky as if wondering what has happened. They need to be told to move on, that Jesus will return. In the meantime the go back into the city and wait in prayer until the Spirit gives them the courage and power to go out and proclaim the Good News with which they have been entrusted.
What does this celebration mean for us? We can feel a bit like the apostles in Acts a bit unsure of what to make of it and feeling this is just a preparation for the celebration of Pentecost. Perhaps we need to focus on the Gospel account and on its parallel in Mark. This is the climax of the Gospel Jesus blesses his disciples and all is at last to them. They recognise who Jesus is and the worship him. Jesus did not simply disappear. Mark says, “And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, there at the right hand of God he took his place”. Jesus has taken his place with his Father. This is the moment of triumph, now creation has been transformed. This is the fulfilment of the “news of great joy” which Luke tells us was the message of the angels at the beginning of the Gospel as they tell the shepherds about Jesus’ birth. This is the reason the apostles go back to Jerusalem with great joy. This is why Mark says of the apostles’ response to the ascension, “while they, going out, preached the everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it”.
For us the Ascension is an occasion to rejoice in that Jesus has taken his place with the Father and rules over the whole world. This is the completion of the resurrection. This is a triumph in which we share. As the opening prayer of the Mass of the Ascension says,” …the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where he the Head has gone before in glory the Body is called to following hope”. We are that Body of Christ. The Ascension is a sign of hope for us. It is a hope which enables us to follow those apostles who went out preaching the Good News of the triumph of Christ throughout the world by what they did and the way the lived out the Gospel in their lives. So let us rejoice as we gather to celebrate the Ascension on Thursday
Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.
FEAST OF THE ASCENSION
The Feast of the Ascension will be celebrated on Thursday 30th May. This is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass will be celebrated at the usual times of 8am, 1.05pm and 6pm. Refreshments will follow in the Parish Hall after the 6pm Mass.
PETER BRIDGMAN ART EXHIBITION
A viewing evening of works by artist and Farm Street parishioner, Peter Bridgman, will take place at 7pm on Friday 31st May at 114 Mount Street. This is the opening night of an exhibition that will run through the month of June in the Ground Floor Art Gallery at 114 Mount Street. All are most welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.
ECUMENICAL PENTECOST SERVICE
The annual Churches Together in Westminster Pentecost service will take place at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Sunday 9th June at 6.30pm. This follows on from Thy Kingdom Come, an ecumenical Christian festival in Trafalgar Square on the same date from 12 noon to 4pm, and will involve live music, workshops, seminars, dance, spoken word and an opportunity to pray and worship together. All are most welcome.
CARITAS VOLUNTEER FAIR
The Caritas Volunteer Service will be holding its annual Volunteers’ Fair showcasing volunteering opportunities from across the Diocese. Those attending will have the chance to chat with different charities and find out more about their work and the roles available and hear talks and testimonials from different organisations. The event will be on Saturday 8th June, from 1:00-3:00pm, at St Aloysius’ Parish Hall, Phoenix Road, Euston, NW1 1TA. To get your free ticket, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 020 7931 6077, or search the event title on Eventbrite.
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 email@example.com.
CATHOLIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK COLLECTION
A second collection will be taken today to support the Catholic Communications Network Collection. The CCN is the media office of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and seeks to be of service both to the Church and the world in offering professional channels of communication to promote the Gospel. Please do give generously.
JONATHAN MOORE: IN CONVERSATION
On Sunday 16th June at 12:30pm in the Upper Room, Farm Street parishioner Jonathan Moore will be in conversation with broadcaster Mark Lawson. Jonathan will speak about his work in theatre and opera, and how it is an expression of his faith.
NEW FRONT ALTAR
The front altar will be replaced in June this year. The new altar will be of a simpler design which will allow a clearer view of the magnificent original Pugin altar. It will be installed in June, and a Solemn Mass of Dedication will be celebrated by Bishop Nicholas Hudson, auxiliary bishop of Westminster, on Wednesday 19th June at the 6pm Mass. A reception will follow in the parish hall.
Farm Street Church is now able to process donations via contactless payment. Terminals for this can be found in the church and at reception.
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.
MOUNT STREET JESUIT CENTRE
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
Why not come to our Regular Events? (No need to book!)
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed
3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Next: June 19th, 2019)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm (Next: June 13th, 2019)
Book: “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner” James Hogg
PRAYER WITHIN A BUSY LIFE
Facilitated by Chris Chapman
Saturday 1st June 11am-4pm
Many of us find it difficult to fit times of prayer into daily life – especially when demands of care for others, or of work are great, or when the pattern of each day is different, lacking a regular structure.
This day will explore ways of weaving prayer in and out of daily activities so that even within the most taxing of days there are points of prayerful meeting, conversation and rest.
BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP
Facilitated by Maria Shapero
Thursday 6th June 11.30-1pm
Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally and socially. There are many kinds of grieving…
You are welcome to just come along or contact Maria Shapero Mariashapero@hotmail.com or 0755 324 2322 for more details.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 8th June 11am-4pm
These are retreat days of prayer run in an Ignatian way, in which there is talk, time for personal prayer and the opportunity to listen to each other.
There is no need to book for these days, just come along.
Sadhana: A Way to God
Facilitated by Lynne Galloway
Wednesdays, 12th June – 17th July 2-3.30pm
An opportunity to be guided through a series of exercises taken from Anthony de Mello’s book, Sadhana – A Way to God.
Beginning with developing stillness and awareness, we then move on to the use of our imagination and into opening our lives more fully to the love of God. Most people, he believes, are asleep. They need to wake up, open up their eyes, see what is real, both inside and outside of themselves. The greatest human gift is to be aware, to be in touch with oneself, one’s body, mind, feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Sadhana helps you to do this.
Facilitated by Theodora Hawksley CJ
Wednesdays, 12th June – 10th July 6.30-8.30pm
Discover how you can be a reconciling presence in a divided and hurting world.
Reconciliation is in the DNA of the disciple. The heartbeat of the gospel is that God, in Christ, has reconciled and is reconciling all things to Himself. As the apostle Paul says, we have been entrusted with the message of reconciliation and living out this calling as ambassador of Christ.
This reconciliation course explores a biblically-based approach to reconciliation and offers practical tools to enable Christians to apply this in their everyday experiences.
JOURNALLING AS PRAYER
Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett
Saturday 15th June 11am-4pm (This is a repeat of the workshop offered on May 4th)
Journalling is one of the best ways of deepening our prayer life, recommended by St Ignatius himself. In this workshop, we will try out and explore a variety of different journalling techniques as ways of deepening our relationship with God and our spiritual life.
Please bring notebooks and pens or your laptop with the battery well charged.
HOW WELL DO I LISTEN?
Facilitated by Margaret Philpot
Saturday 15th June 11am-4pm
Active listening can transform both the listener and the speaker. When we are really listened to we feel different. When we really listen to others they feel different. Yet so many things get in the way: our own priorities, needs, anxieties, etc. And yet attentive listening, often to the unspoken message, is at the root of all good communication and it is a skill that can be learnt and practiced. It involves taking people seriously, affirming their value and dignity.
–July 10th at Mount Street Jesuit Centre. Booking and enquiries via the website: www.pathwaystogod.org.