Due to the generosity of a parishioner, the selection of religious books for children in the Lady Chapel and upstairs has been renewed and expanded. You are welcome to use these books with your children.
Eamonn Scully and his daughter are running for Breast Cancer Care and the Willow Foundation. Donations can be made at: virginuk.virginmoneygiving.com.
John Keat (Richard’s brother) is running for The Greathouse, Kington Langley (where his brother lives). Donations can be made at: justgiving.com/JohnKeat2017
Easter is above all, a festival of light. This light signiﬁes the clarity and understanding brought to us by the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. At the time of Jesus it was important to determine the arrival of daybreak when the ﬁrst offerings were to be made in the temple. A rabbi asked his students what criteria might be used to determine that the night had ended. One student said the night had ended when there was enough light to tell a goat from a sheep. Another said when you could distinguish an apple tree from a ﬁg tree. The rabbi gave this answer: `A new day has arrived when you can look at a human face, and see a brother or a sister. If you are unable to see a brother or a sister in every human face, you are still in the darkness of night.’ How do my present day attitudes look in this light? Has a new day arrived for me?
Today is Holy Thursday. Today is the start of the Last Supper, arrest, trial, sentencing, execution, burial and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth – God made Man. Today’s ceremony is a representation of His Last Supper. His Last Supper is a symbolic enactment of the events of Thursday evening through to Sunday morning. It is a re-enactment in signs and symbols of the latter events. It is the way he gave us to remember Him and these events. ‘Do this in memory of me’ he said. Today I want to highlight one aspect of receiving Holy Communion which is generally not emphasised. The consecration of the bread and wine separately symbolises the death of Jesus. Separation of body and blood inevitably brings death. Just before Communion the priest drops a small piece of the host into the chalice while saying ‘May this mingling of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.’ This symbolises the resurrection – the reunion of body and blood symbolises the return of life. So when I receive Communion I am united with the Risen Lord – with the Lord who is now seated at the right hand of the Father in Eternal Life. In more mundane terms it is being given the title deed to the house; to the property. It is now mine. I am already living in Eternal life. I am already a sharer in the Eternal Life of the Father just as Christ is a sharer in the Eternal Life of the Father. Receiving the Eucharist symbolises an already existing situation. Holy Communion symbolises my already possession of eternal life. The actual giving of eternal life now, and the guarantee of the future possession of eternal life. This sounds funny but when I receive Communion I sometimes (in my own mind) wander around in Eternal Life greeting my deceased relatives and friends and chatting with them. ‘Surﬁng the cloud’ as you might say. (Or maybe I am just a candidate for the psychiatric ward!!) So receiving The Eucharist, plants me spiritually and solidly in Eternal Life – in union with my God – I await my physical resurrection to experience this with my physical senses. Christianity is living out this spiritual reality in my daily life. Struggling to get across to the Apostles what Christianity means in practise, Jesus jumped up, grabbed a basin of water and a towel and washed their feet. ‘I have given you an example he said.’ It is a pipe dream or it is what gives meaning and purpose to life.