for the Current Week
A Message from Fr James:
Today, the 5th Sunday in Lent, used to be known as “Passion Sunday”, the day which marked the beginning of Passiontide, the two weeks running up to Easter, in which all the statues and crucifixes in the churches were veiled from view.
It was the time for focussing as fully as we can on Christ’s last weeks on earth before his death on the Cross; the liturgy in Passiontide changed somewhat, becoming more sombre and the tone of the prayers was, and still is, one of urgent pleading.
It seems, therefore, very appropriate for our situation today; with all the difficulties and fears we have at the moment, what could be better than to put ourselves close to Our Lord, who suffered far more than we could ever do, and offer our own very real sufferings to Him?
Yes, our sufferings are real. Now we are called to think of and pray hard for the multitudes around the world who would love to only have our sufferings to cope with!
We are, and remain, blessed in every way; each one of us can count a long list of ways in which God continues to shower us with blessings – O Lord, make us worthy of them! Again, with striking aptness, the readings at Mass today remind us of how suffering and indeed death itself lead to something far more wonderful. The first reading from the Prophet Ezekiel speaks of the Lord’s promise to “open your graves” and then to put His own Spirit in us….so that we may live.
Doesn’t the second reading from Romans point to the fulfilment of this promise, when St Paul writes: “People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you.
The Gospel reading harks back to the first one, with the account from St John (Our St John!!) about the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
Notice how “Jesus wept”! Now, just as at that time, He cannot fail to be moved today by the sufferings and heartache we have to endure in this life, despite all the blessings! He was not and can never be a passive bystander. He is intimately involved with us in all we have to endure. This is the time to really take this to heart and to be thankful for what He gives us.
Let us not forget, too, that He has given us Mary, His own blessed Mother, whose heart was pierced by a sword of sorrow.
Today we solemnly rededicate England to Mary, as her dowry (more … ...). As we say the prayers of rededication, wherever we are, let us be certain that what we do today will bear great, great fruit. Let us commend our country to her; let us indeed commend all those suffering throughout the world to her, and let us above all never forget the message of today’s liturgy – that after suffering comes Glory!
Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Fr James 29 Mar 2020
19 Mar 20 : With regret we have to follow the directives from the Bishops and there will be no Masses for this week, but you are welcome to follow Mass through one of the available live screenings, see below. For the Bishops’ letter and other information click here … … .
Ampleforth Abbey Offices: Mass on normal weekdays is currently celebrated at 08.45pm (Monday to Saturday), 10.00 am (Sunday), in the Abbey. For information on rubrics : click here…….
For all normal Abbey Office times, and an option “button” for audio live streaming of offices, please click here….. The live streaming is available for long periods, so other offices will also be streamed; check the relevant times with the link on the initial Abbey page.
The Diocesan Adult formation team have kindly provided details of other Masses streamed (video or audio) within the Diocese and beyond. Please click here … … for details (some direct and others via social media). Some masses at St Wilfrid’s will be in the extra-ordinary form.
Please pray for :
Those presently sick, infirm, housebound or in hospital : Sally Agar, Mattie Burke, Mary Capaldi, Kitty Carrington, Cath Cavanagh, Jenny Cook, David Craig, Paul Gallagher, Pat Grotrian, Catherine Harmer, Graham Harrand, Mary-Rose Harrison, Marta Hatfield, Vince Kelly, Darren Kennedy, Lt. Commander Matthew Kiernan, Kay Moss, Marion Myers, Marie Podgorski, Harrison Torr and Sophie Williams
Please also pray for all those for whom this is a particularly difficult time
Those who have died recently: Danny O’Donnell, Howard Snowden and Conal Kavanagh and those whose Anniversaries occur about this time: Mary Winifred Carr, Anne Elizabeth Maloney, James Jack, Sheila Arnett, Fr Gregory Swann, Hilda Tyreman, Hilda Harris
( upd 27 Mar 20 }