Parish Letter April 2023

There are some in the Christian faith who regard the season of Easter to be one long 50 day extension of Easter day itself. Practically though this is hard to achieve. At some point the Alleluias lose something due to their repeated use and certainly the Easter lilies start to wilt after just a week or so. So how can we keep this season with all the passion and vigour we feel on each Easter morning?

It’s all Greek to me! Well quite literally it is, at least that is to say the answer lies in two Greek words, ‘neophyte’ and ‘mystagogy’. The former refers to those newly initiated through baptism. You may recall making a renewal of vows during Holy Week. So in a way we are all neophytes at this time as we have come to Christ afresh, washed and made clean by his perfect sacrifice. 

The latter describes a period in which the mysteries of a new life in Christ are laid out before us. It is a period traditionally explored between Easter day and Pentecost and it is a time to really get to grips with the Holy sacraments given to us by Jesus Christ. As such I would commend the two Holy Sacraments to you for greater reflection this Easter season, those of Baptism and Holy Communion.

With regard to Baptism, why not take the time to go online and look up the baptismal vows you took. Perhaps take each vow in turn and as you sit or kneel each evening to pray, meditate on one of those vows. Ask of yourself what did it mean to you when you took the vow for the first time? What does it mean to you now? How has your faith grown or matured? I truly believe the answer to those questions will lead you to God.

And as you meet God in the form of Holy Communion each week ask of yourself again, what did it mean to you to first receive Holy Communion? What does it mean now? How has your faith changed?

Knowing ourselves a little better is a key component of understanding our own true relationship with God a little better. Surely this is worthy of our time. So I pray these 50 days, as we journey together to Pentecost, for a deepening of our faith, a stretching of our minds, and above all an opportunity to Love God more than we have ever done before.

With every Blessing!

Father Stephen