We have lived and shared together the most important week in the Church’s calendar. One of my priestly colleagues said to me recently that a new parish priest only fully takes ownership of his parish when he has celebrated the Holy Week liturgies with his parish family. There is much truth in this. The Mass on Maundy Thursday with its deeply symbolic Washing of the Feet, the simple yet powerful Good Friday service, the luminous Easter Vigil and the joy-filled Masses of Easter Day: each of these is a facet of the great Paschal mystery and together they both express and deepen our faith in the Risen Lord. A big Thank You to all who made their contribution: to Deacon Ron for his diaconal ministry, to the servers, the choir, the readers, the flower group, the sacristan and all those who worked behind the scenes to ensure the smooth unfolding of each of the services.
The first reading of today’s Mass gives a rather idealised glimpse of the very early Christian community. ‘The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul’. The testimony of the apostles was given ’with great power’. St Luke is showing us an image of what a truly Spirit-filled community might look like. Gathered at the table of the Lord, in the presence of the Risen Christ, every parish community is asked to see how it matches up to Luke’s description.
Today’s Gospel is a powerful one. It is set in the evening of Easter day. Jesus appears to the apostles who were full of fear and trepidation. He offers them three things: firstly, peace and reassurance. Then he gives them the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins: God’s power which brings about reconciliation. Thirdly he offers evidence to them through the hesitation of Thomas. In a world of fear and uncertainty each Christian community is invited to reveal the Risen Lord so that all may believe ‘and believing this, you may have life through his name’.
The Requiem Masses for Marianne and Ron Gibbs were truly memorable occasions and worthy tributes to much loved parishioners.
Thank you for your generous Easter offerings. I shall be away for a short break from Tuesday until Thursday of the following week.
Carl Bahoshy is an organist of Iraqi Catholic parents. He will be giving an organ recital in the Anglican Cathedral in Norwich on Thursday, 16th April at 1.10 pm. All the money raised will go to helping refugee families.
You are warmly invited to join from across the Diocese in prayer, in spirit and in friendship as we celebrate our twinning link with Cambodia at a Mass for the Cambodian New Year next 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. 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.
Throughout this year every parish is asked to organise extra time for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Our week will begin on Sunday, 19th April. There will be Exposition after the 11 am Mass at North Walsham until 6 pm. Please add your name to the list to ensure a constant presence during the afternoon. On Saturday morning it will be the turn of Hoveton and on Friday at Aylsham.
The Bible Study Group will resume on Friday, 24th April at 2.30 pm in the parish hall.
We pray for those all whose anniversaries occur during this week including: Eileen Codd, Mary Jones, Betty Hardy Paul, Joseph Clark, Mary Turner, Timothy Coppinger, Eric Hall and Mario Vanzino.
May they rest in peace.
More from the hospital reports in Glasgow: ‘ The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch’.