A major objection to faith and belief is that the members of the early church invented the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus in order to persuade others to join their group or community. The very existence of their communities and the church depends on the truth of the resurrection. This weekend we will hear two magnificent accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. On Holy Saturday night, in the account of Luke, the men standing at the tomb of Jesus say ‘why look for the living among the dead, he is not here, he has risen’. This is the evidence of the disciples and the experience of Christians through the ages. Would you not love to hear those words spoken of your loved ones who have died? They are not here but they have risen! They are alive in God. I know this is your evidence that the resurrection of Jesus is real. Perhaps you are waiting for the words of resurrection in a difficult situation this year. Have hope. The words of Jesus are true. On Easter Sunday morning Peter and the beloved disciple of Jesus race to the empty tomb, in the gospel of John. The beloved disciple of Jesus waits for Peter and allows him to enter the tomb of Jesus first. They look around and study the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. The beloved disciple says nothing but he ‘sees and believes’. It is not a shot in the dark. He knows that everything that he has been told is true. I love his response. It is considered and silent. It not ‘over the top’. He is the ‘quiet man’ who is not be easily fooled. I trust his careful judgment. To see and believe is to be wise. Put your trust in the risen Jesus and you will not be disappointed in Easter 2017 and beyond. Happy Easter.
The Holy Week ceremonies have been very well attended and beautifully celebrated in our church this past week. We have followed the footsteps of Jesus from the Last Supper in the Upper Room to the Garden of Gethsemane, along the Via Dolorosa in the Stations of the Cross and finally to the hill of Calvary. We have participated in the silence of Good Friday and now celebrate the explosion of joy and new life in the resurrection of Jesus. Every Mass that is celebrated is an ‘overflowing’ of the Easter Vigil. It is the triumph of life over death, light over darkness and hope over despair. It is God drawing us out of the slavery of ‘our Egypt’ with a ‘strong hand and mighty arm’ and bringing us to the freedom and joy of ‘a promised land’ of new hope. Please God, you can taste this hope in your own life, with your family or in the solitude of our minds and hearts. May God bless all on this Easter Day 2017.
Many really look forward to Holy Week ceremonies in our church and parish. Unlike Christmas, when so many things must be done, Holy Week is much calmer and more prayerful. The ceremonies are powerful and beautiful. There is a beautiful rhythm and movement to the different liturgies. The Stations of the Cross on Good Friday can touch our hearts and lives. The joy of resurrection is dramatic on Holy Saturday night. We often say that we would like to have some time space for ourselves. Why not take that opportunity this year and enter into the special atmosphere in our church. Make Holy Week 2017 your special time and join in our ceremonies this week.
Well done to all those who were honoured at the Mayfield Community Volunteer Awards held in the Silversprings Clayton Hotel on Thurs. Apr. 6th. A deep sense of community and volunteerism was evident at the awards ceremony and is mirrored day after day in numerous community, sporting and parish groups in the wider Mayfield area. Our Lady Crowned parish is truly blessed with loyal volunteers who give of themselves, their faith, their time and talents in so many ways. All our volunteers make our parish and community a special place. They knit our parish and community together with the fabric of their faith and generosity. May God bless all our volunteers in their loyalty, goodness and generosity.
We have another great gospel reading this weekend i.e. the healing of the man born blind. As always, the gospel is more than just a simple story about a miracle and more about faith and belief at a different level. Equally, the gospel account on last weekend was more than just about providing water for Jesus to drink and more about bringing the Samaritan woman to faith and belief. In fact, at the end of John’s gospel, it says that these things are recorded so that ‘you may believe’. That is you and I this weekend and every other day as well. The spittle placed in the eyes of the man born blind is messy in much the same way that our own lives, worries and troubles are also messy. However, it is through this discomfort and mess that the man comes to faith and belief. At the very end, he says, ‘Lord, I believe’. This weekend, as we come to Mass, you might be in a big mess and yet it is that which can bring us to belief and faith. Faith and belief is not a theory but very real. Please God, you can take these gospel stories and passages into your hearts and lives and trust that Jesus will bring us to faith in Him.