Ascension, 2014

Anyone who reads the Bible will have noticed the discrepancies between the various account of the Resurrection, Ascension and descent of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus of Nazareth was executed on a cross on Friday afternoon.
He was taken down on Friday late afternoon and buried in the tomb.
Very early Sunday morning his followers became aware of the empty tomb, that is they discovered that his body was missing.
From this on an accurate, tangible, chronological account of events does not exist or is not possible. Reading the various accounts of the Resurrection, Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit is no help at all as these accounts differ wildly.
Confusion is inevitable when one tries to hammer Divine mysteries into a humanly comprehensible mould.
Having realised this scripture scholars no longer seriously try to put chronological sense on these events nor to determine locations where they may have occurred.
Lets put it this way. If you were present with your I Phone or I Pad at that time and in the right place you would not have been able to take photos of these events. You would not be able to pin down a time for each events or even distinguish these events as separate events.
You could probably say that for some they were experienced as separate events while for others they were experienced as one event. To make it more confusing none of those who wrote accounts of these events were actual witnesses to these events. They were interpreting hearsay accounts emanating from the actual witnesses who themselves experienced these events in different ways.
If you are now more confused than ever, welcome to the club.
Aware of this, and probably because of this, some of the authors of the Biblical accounts of these events deliberately mentioned times and places with a symbolic meaning to give their readers something to hang their hat on, as you might say.
As a result of this we now celebrate each event separately and at a different time.
None of the above bothers me particularly. For me these three events i.e. the Resurrection, Ascension and descent of the Holy Spirit, mean that rather than having to travel to meet Jesus of Nazareth and fight my way through the crowds who seemed to always surround him while he walked among us, then trying to catch his attention and get a space to say what I wanted to him, now I can just sit down at home or in the church, on the train or at the office, and chat to him undisturbed.
Let’s listen to another approach:
Descent and ascent
God descends to re-ascend. He comes down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity, down further still – if embryologists are right – to recapitulate in the womb ancient and prehuman phases of life. Down into the very roots and sea-bed of the nature he created. But he goes down to come up again and then brings the whole ruined world up with him…
One may think of a diver, first reducing himself to nakedness, then glancing in mid-air, then gone with a splash, vanished, rushing down into green, warm water; into bleak and cold water, down into increasing pressure, into the depth of ooze and slime and old decay. Then up again, back into colour and light. His lungs almost bursting till suddenly he breaks surface, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing he went to recover. He and it are both coloured now, but they have come back into the light. Down below, where it lay colourless in the dark, he lost his colour, too.
C.S. Lewis, Miracles

Garden of Eden

Catherine would like to thank everyone who visited the “Garden of Eden”. £920 was raised for Mongu Cheshire Home and Young Dementia, Oxford.

6th Sunday of Easter, 2014

The M 7 motorway in Ireland goes from Dublin to Limerick.
It was built piecemeal over a period of about twenty years. One motored at 70 mph from Dublin, past Naas, and then about a mile from Kildare town you ground to a halt at the end of a long, long queue of almost stationary traffic. You could spend thirty to forty five minutes before you came to the M 7 again about a mile on the other side of the town.
Drivers – including myself – cursed, swore and blasphemed at this hold-up which went on for about twelve years. Most galling of all was that the whole thing was about snails.
The snail people had identified an area, through which the motorway was supposed to be built, as essential to the wellbeing of a rare species of snail. Court cases were rampant and the motorway had to be rerouted around this area.
It is only in recent years that I personally have begun to understand what all the fuss was about.
Firstly – The damage we human beings are wreaking on the planet earth which is our home and the only home we have is becoming more and more apparent, as time goes by. Environmentalists have being telling us for years that our indiscriminate exploitation of our planet, driven by greed, the profit motive and our own comfort, is equivalent to shooting ourselves in the foot. This is now very apparent. We are trashing our own home.
Secondly – and this is the one which has really got to me – for millions of years the only way God our Creator was known and understood by human beings was through the environment all around us – through nature.
It is only in the last two thousand years ( a mere blink in human history) that we have Jesus of Nazareth – God made man – to lead us to a deeper understanding of our God.
Therefore God’s creation all around us was and is the primary revelation of our God.
The great revelation of Jesus of Nazareth is that God is love and if we are to be like our God we must love and respect each other as our God loves and respects each one of us. Since Vatican 11 our official church teaching is edging more and more towards environmental issues. As Pope John Paul 11 said ‘respect for human life should extend to all living creatures.’ Not only that but almost all theologians today are telling us that this respect and care must extend to all of God’s creation be it animate or inanimate. This includes, I am now glad to say, the snails at Kildare.
God not only dwells in us human beings but also in every thing which He has created.
It is becoming apparent to me that persons who treats other creatures with respect also tend to treat their fellow human beings with respect.
All creation is a whole and should be treated as one living entity. Honouring and respecting my God and my neighbour must include honouring and respecting the whole of creation.
Comprehending the blasphemy of exploding a hydrogen bomb just to see if and how it works and how much damage it can do is mind boggling.

Easter Programme

Palm Sunday: 12-13th April- normal Mass times

Holy Thursday: 17th April, 7.30pm: Mass & Ceremonies

Good Friday: 18th April, 3.00pm: Ceremonies

Easter Vigil: 19th April, 6.00 pm: Mass & Ceremonies

Easter Sunday: 20th April, 9.30am: Mass 9.30 am

 

Collections – weekend 6/7 April

Traidcraft:

Takings last weekend amounted to £156.00. Many thanks to everyone–especially to those who bought for the Food Bank. Our next stall is on the weekend of 3/4th May.

Loose collection:

Weekend of 6/7 April amounted to £298.46.