Dear Friends in Christ
At Pentecost the disciples were behind closed doors as they met together. They were afraid of persecution and death for the full truth of Christ’s victory had not been fully understood by them and the power of the Holy Spirit had not been given to them. Through the out pouring of the Holy Spirit they came to understand the full power of Christ’s victory that in his resurrection he vanquished sin and death. When they were given the gift of the Holy Spirit they burst out from their hiding to go out and proclaim the power of the Living Lord and his saving work. They were renewed in confidence and were ever bold in the face of opposition. They were not afraid of threats, imprisonment and death instead with great power went out to tell of Jesus, bringing his saving and healing gifts.
We are not yet able to meet, the doors of the Churches remain closed, we are separated from each other and, as yet, are not able to receive the sacraments together.
However those gifts of the Holy Spirit are still given to us, to empower us to proclaim the Living Lord and his saving and healing work.
We need these gifts more than ever so that we can confidently tell of Jesus as Saviour and Lord. We need new ways of communicating the Gospel and sharing Christ’s risen life. However also need to be confident in those things that have always upheld the Church through equal and destructive times. The regular offering of the Mass has sustained the Church and has been the centre of its fellowship and its life of prayer. At the moment that privilege is sustained by the clergy who offer this gift for the whole people of God. I feel the weight of that offering as I stand at the altar for you and I bring you to that altar praying that our Lord will strengthen, feed and sustain you. At the moment you may feel very deprived by not having the food of our discipleship in the bread and wine of the Mass. I hope it will not continue for too much longer and that we can gather to receive communion.
This is the time when we need more than ever those gifts of the Holy Spirit to empower us, give us strength and patience and that our lives will be enriched by the awareness of God’s presence and love.
The power of prayer is ever more crucial to our daily life and discipleship. I hope you are able to maintain your daily prayers, your study of scripture and find some quietness before the Lord.
On the Eve of Pentecost I will say the Vigil Mass of Easter which will be recorded and found on the Parish website. This mass is similar to the Easter Vigil with a vigil of readings and prayers which prepare us for the Feast of Pentecost and the promise of the Holy Spirit. It is a beautiful series of readings which reminds that God is faithful and will always strengthen his people. He is with us in the good times and the hard times upholding us for to bring his love to the world.
On the evening of Pentecost Sunday please pray with me as I say Evening Prayer and pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Please pray that we stay strong as a community of faith, praying that we grow in discipleship and in our spiritual life, that more will join us in the journey of faith, that the bonds of love and fellowship will be strengthened with us and that all of us will be given the gifts of the Holy Spirit to empower us.
In our intercessions we will pray for all in need , for our Church, our nation, those who are on the front-line those trying to find a solution and a cure for this crisis, the sick, the bereaved and the departed.
Stay strong in the love of God, and let us hope that we can meet soon to share communion and our fellowship in Christ.