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Message From The Parish Priest

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Sunday 9th March 2008

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT IN CYCLE A . + 150 ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY'S APPEARANCE IN LOURDES. + 9TH MARCH 2008.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

My Dear People,

Next week is Palm Sunday and Palms will be blest at each Mass but the Principal Mass at 11am will be special for our First Communion children because they will gather outside the church with their palms and we will bless the Palms and they will process into the church singing Hosanna to the King of Kings. It might be a bit crowded - well I hope it will be.

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS is our Lord's greatest and final miracle and caused his enemies to begin the plot to end his life. Is it not amazing that our Lord's miraculous intervention to raise his dead friend Lazarus results in wicked and evil men deciding to kill him who is the Lord of Life? Things don't change do they? It is not that long since the same enemy of mankind tried to end the life of Pope John Paul II.

The raising of Lazarus is a new order of miracle for it finally puts the seal on our Lord's credentials as the Only Son of the Father - the Chosen One. He is not only Lord over nature such as the Storm at sea, the sick servant, the withered hand, the bleeding woman the water into wine. He is Lord over Death itself- man's ancient enemy which only came into reality after Original Sin.

Here is Christ in full view of the multitude and with a loud voice commanding Lazarus to "Come Out". He does so stumbling because he has still the bandages binding him from his burial rites. "Unbind Him- let him go free" is our Lord's second command and it is meant on a deeper level than simply the loosening of the bonds of bandages - more in reality the loosening of the bonds of Death itself begins here. The unbinding that comes with a good Confession for one in mortal sin also is symbolised here.

Lazarus died a natural death again later on after our Lord's resurrection, but he stands as a symbol of the weakness of death's bonds now that Christ is here with us.

He has overcome death with his own death and so we are faced with a rosy future - death has no power over us anymore. Death is a temporary thing - interrupted in no time by the intervention of Christ on the last Day when he will command the dead to leave their graves and they will.

The enemies of the Church do exactly the same today. They try to annihilate us by making falsehoods against us and then they close us down by law and regulation and persecution - all in the name of progress. Well - there is no going back. Our Lord has won the victory and death has no power anymore for it is vanquished forever. Yes we hurt when people we love, die, but we do not weep as though we will never see them again in the land of the living. The Holy Souls are living you know - they are living beings as are the sanctified in Heaven. We are all part of Christ's glorified and Risen Body and he is victorious over all those enemies of humanity. He is the Lord of life.

Passiontide begins and soon Holy Week will be upon us.

God bless,

Father Tom Connolly




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