We are the parish which Includes Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic, Stone; Sacred Heart, Eccleshall; Holy Michael Archangel, Aston-by-Stone. We hope to keep you well informed during these strange times and offer some thoughts and prayers.
As we come towards the end of Eastertide, we might reflect a little on the message of this holy time and try to take some helpful thoughts to assist us in our Christian lives. Overall, I personally feel a great sense of encouragement from Jesus. All our Gospels from St. John have confirmed anew for us the new life of the resurrected Lord. There are other messages too.
Jesus has stood among us in our ‘upper room’ where life can cause us to hide when the demands and issues press upon us. The risen Lord has shown us the evidence of His wounds demonstrating His love and solidarity in our pain and He bestowed upon us His Divine Mercy in the sacrament of penance. Jesus has waited for us at the lakeside; on the shore of our efforts to do our daily tasks and our ongoing struggle to be holy and loving. We may sometimes wonder: are we making any progress or indeed any difference? The Lord has added the ‘fish’ of our lives to the fish He is cooking. The Lord puts our little effort into His all-powerful love. He has eaten a meal with us sustaining us and blessing us with His companionship. When we are replete and resourced in Grace, He has asked us to follow Him wherever He wants us to be; we are so fortunate to have Holy Mass. We have been given the wonderful and comforting image of the Lord as the Good Shepherd watching over us, guiding, healing and providing all we need. In the Good Shepherd’s protection we feel confident all will be well.
Last Sunday we were reminded that God is love and to live in His love and to share it with others sums up our Christian lives. This week’s Gospel contains many reassurances to all of us no matter the nature/struggles of our individual story. If we trust God, obey even though we do not always understand (like Our Blessed Lady), then we can do justice to the love of God. We are told of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate. We know He has been given to the Church at Pentecost. For the Spirit to come, Jesus must go through His Passion and death, experience the resurrection and return to His Father. The Spirit renews us to be able to deal effectively with daily life and to pray for the needs of humanity. As I think of today’s world and especially the suffering people in Ukraine, the message of God’s gift of peace is particularly powerful and desperately needed. Our Lady of Kiev. Pray for us.