Dear Friends in Christ
The Easter reason reminds us that every Sunday is in fact a mini-Easter Day. Back in May 1998 St Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful Letter to the Church entitled The Day of the Lord - Dies Domini - in which he teaches the importance of this Day. It is right, therefore, to claim, in the words of a fourth century homily, that "the Lord's Day" is "the lord of days". Those who have received the grace of faith in the Risen Lord cannot fail to grasp the significance of this day of the week with the same deep emotion which led Saint Jerome to say: "Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, it is the day of Christians, it is our day". For Christians, Sunday is "the fundamental feastday" established not only to mark the succession of time but to reveal time's deeper meaning. The early Fathers of the Church liked to speak of Sunday as the "Eighth Day" so as to express that it is, in a sense, time outside of the normal week. It is a Day that reminds us God rested at the end of Creation and therefore we are invited to enter into that rest too. This is expressed by our Sunday participation in the Holy Mass, the place, par excellence, that we encounter Christ in our weekly lives. It is also a time to refrain from unnecessary work, so that we can stand-back from time and reflect on the Mysteries of our Faith; it should also be a time for being with our families more than perhaps is possible during the week. It is clear therefore why the observance of the Lord's Day is so close to the Church's heart, and why in the Church's discipline it remains a real obligation. Yet more than as a precept, the observance should be seen as a need rising from the depths of Christian life.
We are welcoming to the Parish this weekend Jonathan Stephens from Aid to the Church in Need. This Pontifical Charity helps alleviate the suffering of Christians in places where the Church is persecuted. This is done both spiritually and materially. The last Appeal by ACN in our Parish, was five years ago; we are keen to hear once more about the work this Charity does, and offer our practical support. At a time when we have seen such atrocities committed against our brothers and sisters in the Faith, this appeal is all the more poignant.
May God bless you all, especially in your continued generosity to the suffering Body of Christ.
Msgr Kevin Hale