The Lord is alive! He is risen indeed!
Welcome to this Easter Mass which celebrates the central mystery of our faith: the Resurrection of the Lord.
The readings today are full of the confident and joyful faith of the early Christian community. The first Easter Sunday as narrated by St John is full of movement. First comes Mary Magdalen, still weeping and confused. She finds the tomb open and empty and is fearful that the body of Jesus has been taken away. She runs to Peter and John to ask if they had seen him. They race to the tomb, John at the head. He stops, panting and disconcerted before the empty vault. It is for Peter to enter first so that later he may bear witness to the mystery of the absent one. There lie the grave-cloths, neatly folded. Clearly the body had not been stolen.
But while Peter, not understanding, ponders to himself, the beloved disciple has already understood. With the perception of faith he realises that the body could not have been taken away. In these abandoned and folded grave-cloths he sees the testimony to a definitive resurrection. Life now rules where death once reigned. He sees with the insight of love and he believes.
These testimonies are important. They were at the heart of the faith of the early Church as they are of ours today. In his address to Cornelius and his household Peter puts strong emphasis on the fact that he and those with him are personal witnesses to the Risen Christ. Peter’s faith and his relationship with the Lord remind us that Christianity is ultimately not a code of conduct or a set of rules or even a philosophy of life but a relationship with the Risen Lord. Christians are those who know Jesus Christ and who, in the Eucharist, ‘have eaten and drunk with him’.
It has been a privilege for me to celebrate the great liturgies of Holy Week in this parish for the first time. To be able to share our faith and to celebrate the Death and Resurrection of the Lord is a wonderful experience. Now spring is truly with us and it is good to see the many signs of new life all around us not least the spring flowers around each of our three churches.
A word of thanks to all who helped to prepare for the Holy Week ceremonies and who made sure that they ran smoothly.
I am planning to take a short post-Easter break from 14th to 22nd April. Father Peter Brown will be celebrating the Masses over the weekend I am away (18/19th April).
A Mass to Celebrate the Cambodian New Year will be held on Friday 17th April at 7.00 pm at St John of the Cross, Aylsham. Father Philip Shryane (Yarmouth) will preside. Those who come are invited to bring a small, non-perishable food offering which, in Cambodian tradition, will be offered to support the poorest in our local community. Do join us as we celebrate our Cambodian twinning in prayer, in spirit and in friendship. Details from Katie on 01263 577784 or on the Cambodian boards in our three churches.
St Helen’s 4th Wednesday Club’s April meeting is on 22nd April: details of the meeting to follow shortly.
The new Gift Aid envelopes are now available.
We pray for Tony Dickerson, also for Mary Bell’s son Kevin, both who have died in the last few days and we hold their families and friends in prayer at this time. Tony’s Requiem Mass will take place in North Walsham on Monday 13th April at 10 am. We also pray for those all whose anniversaries occur during this week including: Paul Humphrys, Maurice Allain, Franciszek (Frank) Dominikowski and Monica Furlong. May they rest in peace.
A parent and child are looking for a place to rent in North Walsham. If you can help please contact Hilary Bolger on 07909 319646
More from the hospital reports in Glasgow: ‘The patient has two teenage sons but no other abnormalities’.
A Happy and Joyful Easter to you all from Deacon Ron and Father James!