Newsletter- 5th Week of Eastertide
As we come together this weekend as the Catholic community here in Grantham, to celebrate together the Sunday Masses for the 5thSunday of Easter, we are I am sure mindful too that our country has a new King! He became King though when his mother died last year, but King Charles was publicly crowned and anointed as our monarch this Saturday, May 6th in Westminster Abbey. I am sure many of us have been watching this historic event on our televisions and many too will be celebrating with friends and families as we take time to pause and relax together during this extra Bank Holiday Weekend.
King Charles III become King at the age of 74. At an age when most people retire or at least are thinking about retiring! Yet he has taken on a new, public, and very demanding role. A role which he has been aware of and has been preparing for throughout all his life to date.
My personal view is that King Charles III is a sensitive and caring man whose beliefs have come into their own in recent years and are now shared by many of us in our modern society. When he started to talk about the environment and climate change for example, so many years ago now, many dismissed his views. Now we are all experiencing the effects of climate change and as our own Holy Father, Pope Francis reminds us in his Encyclical Letter: “Laudato Si” (2020) the effects of climate change are very real and ever more pressing. We need as a society to care more for people, our environment and our ‘common home.’ It will continue to be an important theme of our lives with ongoing concern and action needed for the future.
When as Prince of Wales, King Charles indicated that as future King he would not only be regarded as Head of the Church of England, but, because he recognised many people in the UK practice other Faiths and none, as our future monarch he would represent us all, many were very disapproving of this view. We live though in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society and many of us perhaps now recognise the wisdom of his thoughts to acknowledge and value this diversity of our modern society.
As Prince of Wales, King Charles founded the Princes’ Trust to support young people to start new businesses and projects who otherwise might have been excluded from doing so through lack of finance and support. Inclusion seems an important aim for all of us in our present society as we journey together into the future. King Charles has persisted with his views.
King Charles is now an older man and none of us can truly imagine the incredible burden His Majesty has assumed now that he has been crowned as our King. The world has changed immeasurably since his mother ascended the throne in 1953 and many more opportunities and challenges pose themselves in the lives of us all. As faithful citizens of our countries, let us continue to pray for our King now that he has just assumed the fullness of the high office entrusted to him. Let us commend him and his consort, Queen Camila, and the members of the Royal Family to our Heavenly Father, that God may sustain them in their duties and responsibilities all the days of their lives.
Prayer for the King and for the Royal Family
We pray to you with grateful hearts on this special weekend during which we have witnessed the coronation of King Charles III. We ask that you bless him with your wisdom, your grace, and your strength as he takes on the weighty responsibility of his new high office.
May he always seek your guidance and direction in all his decisions, and may he be a just and fair ruler, caring deeply for the well-being and common good of all his people.
We pray that you surround him with wise and faithful advisors who will help him to govern with wisdom and discernment.
We ask that you protect him and his family from all harm and danger, and that you would bless them with good health and strengthen them in times of trial and adversity.
We ask this through Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life and who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit. God, for ever and ever. Amen
In our Readings set for this Sunday 5th Sunday in Easter we are told that: ‘No one can come to the Father, except through me.’Our readings at Mass this week continue to follow the infant church, and with them we are asked to ponder the words Jesus gave us at the Last Supper. The First Reading shows how the disciples faced the growing tension between the Greek and Hebrew traditions. After discernment and prayer, they delegate tasks. The Responsorial Psalm is one of praise for God’s word and his work. It is also a prayer of trust. For St Peter, Christ is the foundation, the living cornerstone for all believers. We are to set ourselves close to him. (Second Reading). The Gospel is from Jesus’s discourse to his friends before He suffered and died. They are words of encouragement. In the light of the Resurrection, the disciples must have drawn strength from them. Jesus is with them: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
As we face the week ahead, let us keep our eyes firmly fixed upon Jesus, even when we are concerned by all that is happening around us or when we are unsure or feel at times a little lost or uncertain. May we strive to follow the Lord as the Way, in joy and hope and trust and in the knowledge of His merciful and unconditional love.
With my prayers and warmest best wishes,
Your parish priest and friend
2023 7th May– Newsletter – Download