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Sermon for 22 April 2012
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THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTERTIDE B. _ 22nd APRIL 2012. +

Message from the Parish Priest

My Dear People,

These appearances of Our Blessed Lord after his Resurrection are full of the real detail that the various seers could retell. It is a first hand witness of those heady days after the Easter rising when everywhere the apostles and the disciples kept seeing Jesus and speaking with him. He spent forty days teaching them and telling them how all the events of the Passion were foretold in the Psalms and the prophets and were fulfilled in Him - the Lord of Life. Everything came alive for the apostolic college and the followers of our Lord as they listened to him and saw his wounds gaping in the hands, feet and side. They were so dumbstruck that our Lord had to ask them if they had anything for him to eat!! This was to show that his body was real. They found some grill fish and he ate it in front of them. This is the kind of detail we are given by the Evangelist, inspired as they were by the Holy |Spirit with not a word wasted.

As I mentioned last week re Henry VIII, before the Reformation in our country, folk used to have painted on a canvas the Five Wounds of Christ and would wind it round like a rolling blackboard and meditate and venerate one by one each wound. I saw such an example in the National Gallery in the Millennium Exhibition. It had been hidden by a persecuted Catholic family and it had been handed on from one generation to the next.

The Wounds of our Lord were and indeed are very important. He still bears them does he not? He did not remove them for effect. He showed them his hands, feet and side. It was of huge import that this was the same body which had been so terribly mauled and tortured and abused for us and for our salvation. They were important enough for the early Church to recount our Lord showing them his sacred wounds often.

These wounds have been reproduced on a few saints including St Francis of Assisi and St Pio (Padre Pio and St Paul in some way). So they have a deeper meaning than just the marks left by the nails. They connect the very real crucifixion with the greater reality of the glorified risen body of our Holy Redeemer.

Each believer has to carry the marks of suffering too. Each of us has our stories to tell or to hold within. The wounds of loss of one we have loved, the wounds of illness borne, the wounds of a failure of love in marriage or a family, the wounds of no job or being let down or hurt. We must rise above them and yet we donít deny them. They are part of what we are now. Pray to the Risen Lord for courage and faith to bear lifeís suffering.

These forty days were utterly foundational for the Catholic Churchís apostolic faith deposit. Our Lord took great care in appearing to them and Teaching them and they never forgot the lessons they learnt and the Catholic Church will never forget those lessons and will continue to faithfully teach them as our Lord taught. These develop with every era but it is the same material for salvation is it not? Human Persons on the pilgrimage of life looking for the purpose of their being and wanting to know why they are here and what life and suffering, and good and bad are about. As Pope Benedict has said so often - the Faith makes you happy!

May the joy of the Resurrection fill our hearts with Easter Joy.

Father Tom Connolly.


CORNERSTONES, DENMARK RD. The day centre for the poor and needy thanks you for the help you have given.

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