Newsletter – 7th Week of Eastertide
On this the 7th Sunday of Easter we keep World Communications Day. At all the Sunday Masses this weekend we are asked to have a Second Collection. This goes towards promoting the Church’s and the Bishops’ message in the local regional, national, and international mass media. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, communications become ever more important as the Church seeks to re-establish more regular patterns of worship and continues to find new and creative ways of promoting the Gospel message of Christ to the world in which we live. Pope Francis has set a theme for this day: Listening with the ear of the heart. Which is a very appropriate theme given that on World Communications Day the Church encourages us all to reflect upon how, all over the world, the media can – or, more correctly should – bring human beings closer together, and how we can support the important Church organisations dedicated to working with the media.
In the Gospel set for this Sunday we have Jesus’ Last Supper prayer, sometimes called His priestly prayer. Here, we have the third portion of His prayer. The Lord had prayed to the Father firstly for Himself as He faces His passion. Then, He prayed for his disciples at the table with him. And now His prayer looks into the future, and He prays for those in the centuries to come who would be given the gift of Christian faith through them. “I do not pray for my disciples alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word.” At that moment, Jesus glimpses the millions of us who would believe in him until the end of time. The Lord prays that they and we would be one. Jesus’ last prayer before his passion was for the unity of the Church: “that they may all be one”: unity in the Church, unity with the Church unity through the Church.Next Sunday we shall celebrate Pentecost, when we remember the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, at the birth of the Church. As we prepare for Pentecost, let our reflection on this prayer of Jesus for unity become our own. Let it commit us to preserving unity within the Church, to strengthening our personal unity with the Church, and to working for unity through the Church. We will be helped to do this, day after day at Mass during this coming week, as throughout the world, the Church prays that the Holy Spirit may fill our lives,
so that we may serve God with all our hearts and that we may work together with unselfish love. The strength of God can be our strength, if only we are ready to make ourselves open to accepting it.
With my prayers for you and for your families,
Your friend and parish priest,
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