JESUS Christ rises into a world that is still full of turmoil.
On that first Easter Day the world that Jesus rose into was still full of military occupations, random acts of violence, social and political unease and at a personal level people facing critical issues at home over health, relationships and plans for the future.
So it is with us today.
I write this having just heard that a 29-year-old journalist, Lyra McKee, may she rest in peace, has been shot dead in Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland when, it is reported, a gunman rounded a corner of the street and unleased a volley of rifle shots towards where she was standing beside the police. This in the city where at the centre lies the most beautiful Peace Bridge I have ever seen.
Her death comes at the end of a week in which Notre Dame in Paris was engulfed in flames, when MPs in the UK have gone on holiday with the Brexit agony unresolved, in which Prince Charles appealed in his Easter message for an end to knife crime in the UK and in which, across the world diseases such as cholera and measles and TB are increasing and our capacity to fight them decreasing. Libya is threatened with civil war and the unresolved and simply terrible conflicts in Yemen and a myriad other critical areas leave us reeling with distress for the sins of the world. And the very world itself, as the protestors against government inertia over climate change have made clear this week, is itself threatened with mass extinctions and run-away global warming that menace us with a catastrophe which could see the advance of humanity itself curtailed.
What can a couple of Easter eggs do in the face of such darkness?
Can the smiling faces of the young, the spring flowers, the freedom of the Easter holidays, the end of our Lenten fasts, however well we kept them, really stand up against the tidal waves of sin and pain that threaten us on every side?
My answer, as you would expect me to say, is yes they can. Faith is based on hope and hope is based on love and love is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on Easter Day. Not one of the disciples, gathered in fear in that upper room on the Sunday following Jesus’s death on the cross on Good Friday, had an inkling of the goodness that was about to burst through the door and change their lives utterly. Jesus Christ came through that door into their lives to reset their whole perspective, to change it from ‘it can’t be done’ to ‘With faith and trust in God and in each other it can and will be done.’ I admire all those people, young, middle aged and old, who for the sake of the causes of righteousness are prepared to give up their ordinary lives and change them into lives made extraordinary through hope. As our Holy Week draws to a close and the brightness of Easter floods our souls let us renew ourselves with the promises that we or our parents made on our behalves, to be children of hope, rejecting evil and Satan and all those false attractions. Instead let us put love for each other and for the world Christ came to save first in our lives. That’s what those earliest Christians did, fed by the fire and warmth of the Holy Spirit that is the Risen Christ’s gift to us. So we are invited to kindle again that flame in our hearts which first brought us onto this pilgrimage of hope and to walk with Christ these Easter days, sure of one thing, that he will neither leave us nor forsake us. There is so much to be done. We are on a mission to save the world! With God’s help it will be done.
Notre Dame de Paris
The people of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, along with their priest,
offer prayers to Notre Dame de Paris that she would pray
to Her Son for her beloved Cathedral that we have seen so
damaged by fire on 15th April 2019.
We join our prayers with hers for the restoration of the
Notre Dame and offer our friendship and support to
its congregation and clergy and to the people of
Enjoying the first of our fortnightly community lunches cooked in our new kitchen in Our Lady’s Hall, Since October we have provided lunch once a month on a Tuesday and Sands End Adventure Playground in Pineapple Park has providing lunch two weeks later. We will start again in the New year.
The icon of Christ appears in glory lit by the late evening sun
Marie at the BBQ on Pentecost Sunday
Above: The Church Tower at evening time.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help here in Fulham, near the Thames is open for each and everyone of us all through this coming year. The church that carries her name is in Stephendale Road in Fulham, SW6. We have had many occasions to thank her for her intercessions to her Son in whose name we live and move and have our being. Here there is a welcome for everyone of goodwill, a place of prayer and beauty.
Our postal address is Parish House, 2 Tynemouth Street, Fulham, SW6 2QT. You will find Sand’s End east of Wandsworth Bridge Road, south of New King’s Road, north Imperial Wharf. You can contact us on 020 7736 4864. Fr Bill’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org and the parish email address is email@example.com