This time between the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost is a time of transition. A time of waiting and anticipation. It brings us to a threshold.
“Help I need somebody … help… not just anybody. You know I need somebody now… When I was younger... never needed anybody’s help in any way, Now those days are gone, I’m not so self-assured, …now I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors “. No doubt some of you will know those lines from a famous Beatles song . Who hasn’t sung or recalled those lyrics and sentiments . And learnt the lesson of the need to open the doors.
One of the ways we try to make sense of the present is by looking to the past . We can see this process at work in the Grenfell enquiry and the proposed UK government Covid review. In recent days we see this revisiting of the past to seek, truth, justice and healing with the publication of the Ballymurphy inquest . We seem to need to understand, own, acknowledge our past before we can move forward. So it is to with the Palestinian tragedy being played out in the occupied Palestinian territories, Gaza, East Jerusalem and beyond .
Its not just Prince Harry who feels the need to search the past for explanations to figure out why things have turned out the way they have. Its alleged that Mark Twain said that “History does not repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.” So it is in the Church. In today’s readings. Ancient voices are listened to with a new attentiveness, old texts are consulted with a new eye, past events are scrutinised anew. Can we learn from our past?
In our readings, (Acts1:15-17,20-26) we find a small community attentive to their past , waiting in prayer. Waiting upon the Holy Spirit. Waiting upon the Love of God. The Gospel shows us Jesus praying for the future community of his church ,his disciples and our mission: ( John 17:11-19).
It is instructive to pay attention to what Jesus prays. Here is an agenda for our parish. Keep them faithful, united and preserved in the truth. May they be victorious over evil. The Lord Jesus did not pray for them or us to be spared trails or suffering.
Faith is an enterprise which needs the understanding of the past, but also the willingness to take risks in the present and for the future . We all need to understand what has brought us to a particular moment. Its not always evident .It is a paradox that we are often closer to God, each other and ourselves when we are asking questions, rather than when we think we have the answers. We need to take risks to secure our future. Our future personal and as a parish are always an adventure in the making . Or as the poet Seamus Heaney wrote…
History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme”
Sunday Evening Mass returns at 6.00 pm from Sunday 18th of April.
Friday Rosary from the Rosary Shrine
The Daughters of St Paul who ran the Pauline Book Centre for over 40 years in Kensington High Street are returning to the High Street.
In order to maintain a presence in London, we have invited the sisters to establish a pastoral outreach hub in our repository. For the next 12 months the Sisters will continue their work of evangelisation in partnership with our parish.
We are delighted to cooperate with the Pauline Books and Media in this exciting venture. The sisters are currently preparing stock and will let us know in the coming weeks when it aims to open.