Joy and Hope
After long months of being apart our hearts are lifting with joy and hope as we prepare to gather again in our Churches to celebrate Mass. It has not been easy to live through the necessary restrictions that came with public health guidance, but we drew strength from the solidarity of prayer and hope that we experienced. So many families have experienced the loss of loved ones. They have experienced the added burden of facing their grief in these traumatic times. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you who are grieving and all of you who have suffered sickness or isolation.
Our Churches will reopen for public worship and celebration of the sacraments on Monday 10th May. We thank God for the hope that comes with this great step forward. Our new Archbishop Dermot Farrell appreciates how significant this is for all parish communities in the Diocese. He has asked us to ensure that we follow all public health regulations in relation to indoor gatherings. This will impact the number of people that can attend at any one time. The maximum number of 50 applies to the three Churches in our parish. The Archbishop has reminded all parishes in the Diocese that we are not yet in a position to arrange dates for the celebration of First Communion and Confirmation. We will keep in touch with parents, teachers and the children and update you over the coming months.
As the obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be lifted, it is good to remember that no one should feel obliged to come to Mass on Sunday and everyone has the option to choose a day in the week for morning Mass. It will be wonderful to gather again as a community of faith. We will continue to move forward in the solidarity of prayer and hope that has sustained us through these difficult times. With all the changes that are becoming part and parcel of daily life we remember that God’s deep love for us never changes.
The powerful image of the vine and the branches in this Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that the Lord call us into a close relationship with him. We are not alone. As we deepen our relationship with the Lord, we experience profound change in our lives. We learn to see ourselves and others as God sees us. Nourished and strengthened by the Lord we bring the life and love of Jesus to our families and communities.
Let’s take a few minutes to listen to Liam Lawton’s musical meditation on the Vine and the Branches. In the quiet of our hearts, we trust that we are not alone. Take good care and stay safe. Many thanks for your patience and understanding. We will keep in touch during the week with further updates.
If you remain in me
And my words remain in You
You may ask what you will
And you shall get it