REFLECTION – ASCENSION SUNDAY 2020
We are getting through this time of waiting, wondering, questioning, searching, hoping, praying – and we are doing reasonably well. We have shown our resilience. Yes, we are stretched in many ways. The future is uncertain. We carry worries and concerns about our children and their future. We worry about our own personal health and well-being in every way. We found ourselves in a major storm, tossed about in huge waves of worry and anxiety but we are getting through. “We will survive” as a particular song reminds us. We will – but we are changed and the challenge of responding to the lifting of certain restrictions will be difficult. We must think of the common good at all times. As people of God, as Christians, we believe that we are not alone in our efforts. Many parishioners have come to our church for the past three Sundays, 12noon – 2.00pm to light a candle, to pray, to leave their prayer intentions and to collect Easter Water. This has been a most wonderful, prayer and hope-filled moment for all and a time to seek healing from God.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. We hear the words of Jesus to the disciples, “Know that I am with you always, yes to the end of time”. What a promise, what a blessing! The Feast of the Ascension assures us that Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God, that He is one with God, and thus, Jesus’s love, compassion and mercy are not bound by limits of time and space but that these gifts are available to us always and forever through the presence of the Holy Spirit. We build our hope on this promise of Jesus to be with us always. We can trust that Jesus walks alongside us in the myriad of experiences we go through, especially those of darkness, anxiety and struggle. We may be in a moment of extreme inner torment ourselves or we know those who are. We each have our own stories of suffering and challenge in these days. While we depend on the kindness of one another to get through each day, let us not forget the promise of Jesus to “.. Be with us always to the end of time..”. We hold on to these words. We embrace them in prayer this Ascension Sunday. I like these words of Mahatma Gandhi: “I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is changing every day, underlying all this change is a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates and recreates. That power or spirit is GOD and since nothing else that I see through the senses can or will persist, GOD ALONE IS.”. We should resource our inner spirits these days reflecting on the words of hope, light and encouragement from Jesus and from any well spring we find. Fr. Tony.
QUOTES TO INSPIRE: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou).
“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains”. (Anne Frank).
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have strength”. (Napoleon Bonaparte).
THIS SUNDAY – Our Church will be open from 12.00 – 2.00pm for anyone who wishes to spend a few moments in quiet prayer. This is carried out adhering to all requirements and guidelines.
PENTECOST SUNDAY – NEXT SUNDAY – 24th MAY: We will offer the 11.00am Mass for all our parishioners, all families, for our country and our world. We invite you to light a candle next Sunday for HOPE as you join us on our Webcam. The Feast of Pentecost is a Feast of Hope, Peace and Healing and we desperately need these in our lives at this time.
THE MORNING WILL COME
O God, as I look back at my life I see many little pieces of light. They have given me hope and comfort in my bleak and weary times.
I thank you for the radiance of a dark sky full of stars and for the faithful light of dawn that follows every turn of darkness.
I thank you for the loved ones and strangers whose inner beacons of light warmed and welcomed my pain.
I thank you for your presence in my depths, protecting, guiding, reassuring, loving.
I thank you for those life-surprises that sparked a bit of hope in my ashes.
And yes, I thank you for my darkness (the unwanted companion I shun and avoid) because this pushy intruder comes with truth and reveals my hidden treasures. (Sr. Joyce Rupp:OSM).
Loving lord, in this time of anxiety, give me serenity. In this time of fear, give me confidence in your love. In times of illness, help me to preserve my health and the health of those around me.
In this time of social isolation, let my phone calls be ones of kindness, wisdom and compassion. In this time of worry, give me the courage to reaffirm my belief that we are together in this time of trial. Lord Jesus, in this time of great challenge, we need your presence, we need your healing peace. Help us to live in hope that this pandemic will pass.
Under your protection, O Mary, we ask your help and protection. Give us confidence in your care for us in these days. O Mother of the Healing Jesus, we pray for the compassion of your Son upon us. Give us a deep faith, trust and an awareness that our God is with us. AMEN.
St Agnes Church has installed a new webcam which we hope will be of benefit to the housebound and those abroad.
Please check from time to time for further updates when the current restrictions are eased.