WELCOME TO THE PARISH OF SKETTY
The Last Word:
As I sit in meditation I light a candle and focus on the flame. I think of the tongues of fire that rested on each of the disciples and those with them in that upper room on the first Pentecost after Jesus Ascension.
I remember that flames of fire have so many uses. Included among them are the creation of warmth for us, or as a source of light in the dark. I remember that fire used to be used for protection to ward off wild animals for those on safari. Then I think of the cleansing power of fire when it can be used to sterilise surgical instruments in primitive surgery and can be used to clean the tweezers to be used to remove splinters in our hands.
We read of fire lighting beacons on hill tops to warn of danger. We remember from history the great fire of London which although destructive also cleansed London from that which caused the great plague so that London could be rebuilt.
Then I think of the Flame of the Holy Spirit. He warms us with the love of God, and reminds us that Jesus brings light in our darkness bringing comfort and easing fear and is the light that guides us through the darkness in our lives.
We can think of the Holy Spirit as a ring of fire around us protecting us from the unseen powers of evil.
We believe that He cleanses us from all our sins, breaking down all that tries to destroy our faith so that He can enable us to be rebuilt in the image of God our Father.
Lit by God’s flame of love, we become beacons in life calling others to come to Jesus and warning of the dangers that can affect those who refuse to live the way God intended.
This year let us once more open ourselves in prayer to the Holy Spirit and let Him again rest upon us fuelling us with all that we need to be Jesus’ disciples today.
Pentecost Blessings, Marian S.S.C.
Rogation Sunday -
Today, Rogation Sunday, when we consider what blessings we need to ask of God for the year ahead.
In Matthew 7. 7, Jesus tells us, ‘Ask and you will receive.’ But, most of us will have at some time asked Our Heavenly Father for something and we have not received it. Our prayers, it appears, often go unanswered. Is this true?
Jesus suggested that if our children asked us for something they wanted, but we knew it would be bad for them, good parents, would not give it to them. In the same way, God our Father knows what is best for us and although as I believe, He always answers prayers, He does so in a way that He knows is right for us.
Another reason our prayers seem to go unanswered may be because in John’s Gospel 14. 14 Jesus says, ‘If you ask Me for anything in My name, I will do it.’ The key words here are, ‘in My name’. If anyone puts his or her name to anything, he or she, has to agree with it first. Jesus has to approve our requests if they are to be answered.
I have found a prayer written by an ‘Unknown Confederate soldier’, which is helpful to use for meditation when wondering for what we should ask.
I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need for God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for, but everything that I hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
May God our Father bless us all in the way He knows best,
Marian, S. C. L.