WELCOME TO THE PARISH OF SKETTY
EASTER 2 SUNDAY 19th. MARCH 2020.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK EASTER 2, APRIL 19TH. 2020
THEME: RECOGNISING JESUS 1: MARY IN THE GARDEN
St. John, Ch. 20, V: 14:
My theme for Easter this month, is, ‘Recognising Jesus’. I will be asking us to think about why the disciples didn’t recognise the risen Jesus and if we recognise Him amongst us today?
We begin with Mary at the tomb that first Easter morning.
She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize Him.
Tears streaming down her face, heart-
Those among us who have lost loved ones as a result of crime or disaster or terrorism will no doubt be able to identify with these feelings. Accompanying them may be the longing to have them back with us. One thing we would not expect is for them to suddenly appear behind us.
Mary would not have expected Jesus to either! He may have talked about resurrection when He was with her, but to actually believe it and expect it to happen was a different matter. It was not likely to be at the forefront of her mind at that moment. Grief itself would have destroyed hope and memory.
It is no wonder that the blurry-
Was there another reason she didn’t recognise Him? Had He in some way changed? Did He look any different? I believe He had but for this reason: the body of the whole and healthy resurrected Jesus must have ‘seemed’ a lot different to the beaten, tortured and crucified, broken man He was when she had last seen Him! That alone would have altered His appearance.
How often have we said to friends we last saw suffering in a hospital bed when we meet them sometime later when they have fully recovered, “I’m sorry, I didn’t recognise you, you are looking so well!”
Father, I sometimes don’t recognise my Risen Lord. He comes to me in so many different faces! Sometimes He is my neighbour who needs a shoulder on which to cry, sometimes He’s the child playing in my garden or He comes in the salesman who knocks at my door and who’s glad to have a friendly face just to chat to for a few minutes. Most often He comes in the friend who calls to see how I am! May I see Him in everyone I meet and in so doing, help me to realise how precious each of us is to You and to look again and see them through, Your eyes.
Last words Sunday 3rd. May, 2020.
RECOGNISING JESUS: MARKS
John Ch. 21, V: 27:
Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands.
Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer but believe!”
We are Jesus’ Body now on Earth but what marks do we bear that will enable others to know Him in us?
The Risen Jesus when He appeared to His Disciples after His resurrection had changed in some ways, but He still bore the physical marks of His death.
When Thomas said he wouldn’t believe that Jesus had risen from death unless He saw the marls in His hands and touched the wounds in his side,
Jesus responded by appearing to him and giving him the opportunity to touch Him and challenged his doubts.
We sometimes today, are so stubborn that we refuse to recognise the truth however clear it is until we are given absolute proof of it.
Thomas’ encounter with the Risen Jesus changed Him and he went on to become a great Missionary.
Our own encounters with the Risen Lord should change us and give us courage to do all He asks of us too. But is our faith strong enough?
At our Baptism we are marked with a cross but that is invisible. Our words, deeds and actions lived in imitation of Jesus are the outward marks that should say to others, ‘Jesus lives within us and we are His Body.’
Will they need to ask for more proof?
Lord Jesus, You call us to be Your body now on Earth. Will others recognise us? When they see
what we do, will they see You? We confess that we let you down so much! When we are aggressive
or rude, when we seek rewards for ourselves and status and power, when we want to be thanked
and appreciated for any good deeds we perform, when we cause conflict or show hate or resentment, when we reject others because they are different or more successful than we are, when we do anything to draw attention to ourselves, then You are hidden.
Through Your Holy Spirit, let us show Your love in every thought, word and deed. Let us be humble and seek first the good of others before ourselves. Let us respond to everything the world throws at us with Your love, until it is You that is seen and alive in us in the world today.
THOUGHTS FOR EASTER 3: SUNDAY 26TH. APRIL 2020
THEME: RECOGNISING JESUS 2
BREAKING BREAD: Luke Ch. 24, V: 35:
Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus
had appeared to them as they were walking along the road
and how they recognized Him as He was breaking the bread.
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognise the Risen Jesus Who was walking with them until they invited Him to eat with them and He did something familiar that they would have associated with Him. This was when He took bread, blessed, and broke it and gave it to them to eat it as He had done on the Thursday evening before He died.
We can only guess at reasons why they didn’t recognise Him and there are many theories about it but we accept that Jesus was in some way different, Paul taught that we who are followers of Jesus will be changed too after death but the change starts now as soon as we accept The Risen Lord as our Saviour.
Christians recognise each other when we meet at the Eucharist, (Mass, Communion,), where the Leader on behalf of Jesus once again blesses and brakes bread and we receive into ourselves the ‘Body and Blood’ of Christ as He commanded us to do in memory of Him. The world can recognise us because the whole of our lives should be examples of what we have become because He has changed and continues to change us.
In these difficult times we are unable to come together to receive Him in the Sacrament of Bread and Wine. Yet we still need to receive Him into ourselves.
How can we do this? It means recognising Jesus and taking Him into ourselves in another way.
Many of us will have heard about making a ‘Spiritual Communion’. I have put together a service to help us to do this. We recognise Jesus in His Spirit and through the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. We discern His presence with us and open ourselves to receive Him in the same way as we open ourselves to receive Him in the Sacraments,
We need to learn a new way to recognise Him. As with the disciples we need to see Him in the unfamiliar.
I hope you will find this little service helpful.
May Our Lord’s protection encircle us all. Sister Marian.
Lord Jesus, we miss receiving You in the blessed Sacrament of Bread and Wine. But, forgive us for the times we think this is the
only way of receiving You into ourselves. Here, as we bow in prayer in humility and trust may we discern You with us through Your
Holy Spirit. Here we are, body mind and spirit, and we ask that You come to us and drive out all distracting thoughts until there is
no room for them and we are one with You. Let our wills be yours that daily we may grow in your likeness until at last it is You, Who lives in us. AMEN.
Last Word Easter 5
5: RECOGNISING JESUS: TEACHING/CHANGE
Luke Ch. 9, V: 11, But the crowds found out where He was going, and they followed Him.
And He taught them about the Kingdom of God and cured those who were ill.
Every one of us is a ‘teacher’ because every one of us is called to teach the world about Jesus.
Jesus commissioned His disciples to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’.
He commissioned them to take His place and to continue His teaching about the Kingdom and to heal. To enable them to do this, He sent them the Holy Spirit to be His presence with them. Still today He commissions us in the same way.
This involved a change in the whole way of life for the disciples then and so it should for us. Jesus taught by word and by example and if we want to know how to teach the faith to others, we have to imitate Jesus. But it is The Holy Spirit Who enables us to do so.
The best way to teach is by example and people of all ages and especially children and teenagers learn more by watching what we do than listening to what we say. This has implications for us all. Parents are the first teachers of their children.
We will all fail; we will all make mistakes, but the heart of our faith is the love and forgiveness of Christ and we should follow His example with His help. If we call ourselves Christians and we have not altered our behaviour and attitudes to reflect this, then as we approach the season of Pentecost, let us ask once more for the gift of The Holy Spirit to begin that change today.
Come Holy Spirit and help me to be a true teacher of the Christian faith.
May my actions be my teachings before my word? May I alter my own ways before attempting
to reform anyone else? May I show Your love to everyone I meet before expecting to receive it? May I forgive those who hurt me before seeking forgiveness for myself? May I seek to help and support others before seeking any assistance save from You?
With the psalmist I ask that what I say with my lips, I may believe I my heart and what I believe in my heart, may I show forth in my life through the guidance of The Holy Sprit.
Today is Rogation Sunday. 2020
The word ROGATION' means, 'ASKING'! This word 'rogation' makes up part of the word. 'interrogation'. We use interrogation to apply to the questioning given by a detained suspect by the police. This sort of questioning goes on and on until the subject can no longer resist!
We are told we should pray for others and that whatever we ask for in Jesus name, will be granted.
Do we want something from God? Do we believe He will answer our prayers?
While we are waiting for those answers, do our lives and the way we treat others reflect the teachings of Our Lord Jesus?
Are we obedient to these teachings? If we are to receive answers to our requests, do we need to make changes?
Rogation Sunday reminds us that we need to pray for a future harvest, spiritual as well as material. We all pray for the relief of poverty and that the poor will be fed. We pray for deliverance from the Pandemic!
But what are we doing about it ourselves while we wait for God to act. Should we ourselves be a part of the healing process? Should we be asking God how we can help?
Do we trust God, and do we really believe He alone knows what is best for us?
We recall that Jesus told us whatever we ask for in His name we will receive.
'IN HIS NAME' is the important phase here.
If we set our names to anything, if we sign anything, then it means we give it our approval. We have to trust God to know what is best for us and that He will not grant our requests if He does not approve of them or He will answer but not in the way we expect.!
To guide our thoughts today, I'll leave us with a quotation on prayer by an unknown writer,
He was a Christian and he prayed. He asked for strength to do greater things, but he was given infirmity that he might do better things.
He asked for power that he might have the praise of men: he was given weakness that he might feel the need of God.
This is the time we think of Jesus’ return to His Father after His Resurrection and having spent some time with
The Bible tells us that from the top of a mountain, He was taken up in a cloud and disappeared from sight.
(Acts Ch.1, V: 9 – 11.)
From ancient times mankind has though of Heaven being somewhere in the sky above us, and therefore
thinking of Jesus as going up to His Father is understandable. However, today it is easier to simply think that
this was the last time the disciples saw Jesus before He returned to be with God. Although we don’t know where
Heaven is, the idea of looking up, has great meaning for the Christian and in the secular world.
We look up to the light of the Sun. We think of Jesus as ‘The Light of the World’. (St. John, Ch. 8, V: 12.)
We say that we ‘look up’ to people we respect or are in positions of authority.
Jesus is the supreme authority from whom we seek guidance and help in our lives.
We look up to Jesus on the cross and ask Him to lift us up above our sins and wickedness to His Father and our Father.
We look up at those placed on a platform or stage so that we can see them better.
As Christians we are expected to stand out from the crowd and make our faith to be seen clearly by all.
We lift up the conquering hero and heroine to honour him or her. In our thoughts we raise up Jesus to the position of honour that is due to Him.
We look up and wonder at what is beyond the sky and we look up and we marvel at the wonders of creation of an all-
We need to continually look up to see ahead of us the path God has chosen for us to follow so that we too will one day enter into his presence.
The time of the Ascension sees God raising Jesus up before us to a place or position of honour as His Son and from where He will become judge of the living and the dead.