5th Sunday of Easter – 2nd May 2021
Fr David’s Message for the Week
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Opening Prayer gives us a rather rich mouthful this week and condenses the readings in the liturgy of the Word very nicely. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is easy to understand in its fulness. I suppose one way to help us understand what we are praying is to pay close attention to the Holy Scriptures and allow Jesus to ‘inspire’ us. Actually, that word inspire is a good one here because, at its root is a connection with breathing, with breathing in so that our lungs fill with the oxygen of life. But breathing in, breath, air are also synonyms for the Spirit – the very breath of God which blows where it wills and as it wills.
Anyway, back to the main course. In our prayer what does it mean to ask that “Almighty God constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us…” that we may bear fruit? What is this Paschal Mystery? And how can it be accomplished within us, and in what way will this bear fruit?
As I hope you know by now, the Paschal Mystery, the Easter Mystery, is that series of events surrounding Jesus in Jerusalem which we celebrate in Holy Week and Easter. It is his passion, death and resurrection to which, surely, we must also add, Pentecost – the giving of the Spirit which breathed new life into the young Church. It is Christ’s sacrifice for us and the example he gave so that we too may be his disciples, following in the footsteps of the Master. So, I think we are moving nearer now to understanding how this Mystery could be accomplished within us. It is accomplished in each of us, and within and through the Church, insofar as we practise our Easter faith. We obey those commandments to believe in God’s Christ – His Son Jesus – and His death and resurrection and also believe that we have, through our baptism, been grafted into the Vine, drawing our life from that Vine and blossoming as human beings and ultimately bearing fruit.
Now to that fruit! A vine produces grapes. That’s what it does. To the careful viticulturalist though, any branch that refuses to produce fruit is cut off and, what is more, we know that by some mysterious process, even those branches that do produce fruit need to be pruned and sometimes right back and hard. A painful process. All of which is a metaphor for the fact that any Christian who seeks to follow in the footsteps of Christ must also learn to accept their cross of suffering. Suffering born out of love is, as we know from Jesus himself, redemptive. This is what that prayer means. In order for us to bear fruit this dying and rising and giving and dying and rising and giving must be the constant theme of our lives both as individuals and as Church. No pressure the! Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord! Much love to you all. Fr David
Parish Hall and Office Cleaner
We are hoping to find someone willing to spend 1 to 2 hours per week cleaning the Parish Meeting Room and Office, the rate is £10 per hour. Please contact the Parish Office.
Cranleigh Church Flower Rota
The members of the flower rota are keen to add to their numbers and ask that if you would like to be involved in joining the flower rota please contact the parish office who can tell you more.
Calling all parents and those supporting families on the adventure of faith!
The Colour and Shape Online community is a new way to resource, inspire, and connect families looking for support as they accompany their children on their own faith journey. Together we are exploring how to live a joy-filled life of faith that creates sacred space in the home and celebrates the liturgical seasons of the church creatively and sustainably. But it’s not just for parents! The network is for all those supporting families and gathers together grandparents, godparents, teachers, youth workers, clergy, children’s liturgy leaders, and catechists so that we can all inspire and learn from each other.
Throughout the year we run courses online (such as the ‘Parenting for Faith’ course) and beginning May 4th we will be starting ‘The Prayer Course’ (from 24/7 Prayer) – an eight week journey through the Lord’s Prayer which discusses a wide variety of prayer practices and themes. There will be optional Zoom meetings on Thursday evenings, beginning May 6th, and all are welcome!
Visit www.colourandshapeonline.com to find out more about the community and to sign up. It’s free and we can’t wait to meet you!
ONLINE RETREATS: The Open Cloister @ Worth Abbey
Saturday 29th May: The Post-Covid World: Pope Francis’ vision ‘Let us Dream’
Led by Austen Ivereigh
The retreat will take two recent texts by Pope Francis that lay out a vision of a post-pandemic future in which fraternity, rather than individualism, can be the organising principle of our world. Let Us Dream, which came out in December 2020, is the first ever book by a pope in response to a crisis. In it, Francis offers us a three-step way of changing so that we emerge better from the pandemic: by learning to contemplate, discern and take action. Fratelli Tutti (‘Brothers and Sisters All’) is the title of Pope Francis’ October, 2020 encyclical letter on human fraternity and social friendship.
Saturday 5th June: The Wisdom of St Benedict – Fr Martin McGee: Three talks exploring the riches of St Benedict’s rule which seeks to help us live out the Christian life in all its fullness.
Further information and to book your place online: https://worth.co.uk/retreats/online-retreats
For enquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we move out of the national lockdown over the coming months, we are very aware of the potential emotional challenges that many people may face as they come out of such a long time shielding. Isolated from family, friends and Parish life many may have struggled with loss or loneliness.
Across the Diocese we now have a team of 68 trained Bereavement Supporters, who are able to offer either 1-2-1 support to those who are feeling the hurt, confusion or uncertainty of loss, whether caused by the loss of someone that was important to them or general feelings of loss caused through the lockdown/shielding and isolation. If you require any support or information, contact us. Deacon Simon South Marriage and Family Life Project Officer
10-16th May is Marriage week,
a time for us to celebrate the joy and blessings of marriage. Pope Francis reminds us that “Marriage is like a plant. It is not an armoire, which is placed there, in the room, and it’s enough to dust it every once in a while. A plant is alive, and it needs to be cared for every day: to see how it is doing, to give it water, and so it goes. Marriage is a living reality: the life of a couple should never be taken for granted, in any phase of a family’s journey.”
Pope Francis, 21st December 2015
Why not take some time this week to really find some time to talk to your spouse and nurture your marriage.