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Sermon for 15 April 2012



My Dear People,

This is Divine Mercy Sunday proclaimed by Blessed John Paul. We are reminded of the wonderful devotion in the Gospel today when our Lord appeared showing the Sacred Wounds, symbols of his Divine Mercy. At St Kentigern's Church the picture of the Divine Mercy is placed in front of the Altar during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament each afternoon. The school of St Edward's and English Martyrs parishes is named after The Divine Mercy as well - the only one in Britain I am told.

The rays of light coming from the wounded heart of Jesus in this vision to Saint Faustina in Cracow, Poland, shows our Lord pointing us to his Heart. Our Lord said to her in the vision that mankind would not enjoy peace until it "turns with confidence to My Mercy."

So, this feast in the Octave of Easter turns out hearts and minds to the Feast of the Resurrection.

What a wonderful and holy and blessed feast we had at Easter - the weather was perfect for the Paschal Fire (well done - no one was burnt) - the Paschal Candle was carried without blowing out and the servers did everything perfectly. Thank you again for the beautiful flowers arranged - to our sacristan who spent hours on the linens and the silver and brass etc, to the Fraternas consecrated women and the Readers and the choir and Francis and Simonand Michael, the organists - the cleaners and polishers and printers and arrangers. All was done well and Lord Risen was powerful fully proclaimed.

You will notice that the statue of our Lord in front of the altar (at St Edwards, Our Lady's Altar) has our Lord greeting us with his hand uplifted in blessing. You will also notice that you can see the wounds on our Lord’s Risen Body. This is a great sign you know and one which the evangelists placed great stress on. Jesus showed the wounds made by the nails and the lance – not the ones made by the scourging and the crowning with thorns. This was to show that he was continuous with the person that apostles saw dying and dead. In fact St Peter will later say "By his wounds, we have been healed". The Sacred Wounds was the object of great and tender devotion in the pre Reformation Church. Folk would carry with them - printed on linen cloths, the five wounds and pray before them. Saints would talk of "hiding" in the wounds of Christ. They were marks of his tremendous love and the cost he bore to make up for our offences. The price paid for us was paid not in silver and gold but in the blood of that precious and spotless lamb – Jesus Christ. The Hymn "Soul of my Saviour" prays: "Wash me with water flowing from they side" and "deep in thy wounds, Lord, hide and shelter me." That hymn was written by Pope John 22nd (1249 – 1334).

The fact that Thomas was absent was a great good for us for Thomas's lack of faith comforts us and he gave us that great act of faith "My Lord and My God". The breathing on the apostles and the sacramental gift of the forgiveness of sins in His name is one of the first gifts given to the infant church. Confession of one's sins has been the remedy for serious sin ever since. (Do not attend General Absolutions - they are not valid).

When we see Christ in Heaven after we die, we will see him bearing those precious marks of the nails and the lance just as he showed them the apostles in the Gospel assigned to this Sunday when he showed them "his hands and his side". Imagine that? Mel Gibson did not get to show those details of our Lord's torn and broken body restored to beauty and glory. He was no longer subject to the physical laws of matter. He came and he went at will and spent hours and hours teaching them after the resurrection. It is this body of Teaching, coming from the Master’s lips that formed the original "Deposit of Faith" which the Catholic Church still holds in its vast spiritual treasury and which assures us in these rebellious times of what is true and from God and what is false and not from God.

May the Easter Joy be with you again and always.

Father Tom Connolly

Old Gregorians The 2012 Annual Sportsman’s Dinner will be held in the Citizen Suite at the Etihad Stadium on Friday 11th May. The main speaker will be Tommy Docherty, the Comedian will be Gary Skyner and the Host will be Vince Miller. Information from Terry O'Neil on 0161 442 6839 or

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