SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER 2020 – 19th April 2020
INTRODUCTION – Fr Ian McGinnity
It is now coming up to 5 weeks since we were able to celebrate Sunday Eucharist physically together. This has been a time for many of us of mixed feelings. Some of us are working from home whilst looking after our immediate families, some of us are separated physically from our loved ones, some feel very isolated, whilst others may feel they can’t wait for the lockdown to end to give them more space and relief from getting on one another’s nerves because of our proximity for such a long time. Others may feel that in the curse of this virus we have mixed blessings as well. We have spent more quality time with our immediate family than ever before. Others may feel that their life has been able to slow down a little and they’ve been able to smell the roses so to speak and appreciate the world around. Some have initiated projects in their life that they may never have done without this time on their hands (e.g. paint the house or the outdoor furniture; weed the garden; read a book from cover to cover; learn to appreciate being alone without being isolated; discovered a new form of prayer; getting fitter walking twice a day even if it means zigzagging around other people to keep our distance; etc). Some also may be anxious and grieving the loss of the normal things we do and the social interaction that we have been used to (e.g. missing a meal out with friends; going to the hairdresser; coming to daily Mass etc). Wherever we are at, it is important for us to be kind to ourselves and to recognise these feelings and to be patient with them.
The Gospel allocated for this weekend is fortuitous but reassuring. We may feel like those early disciples enclosed in the room with fear. Somehow Jesus came and stood amongst them and said to them “Peace be with you.” The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, that he was still in their midst despite all the things that had occurred to them in the previous weeks.
During this unprecedented time of pandemic (fortunately Australia, through the great work of many, seems to be faring better than other nations) the Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joe Tobin, gives some simple suggestions for staying close spiritually while maintaining a safe and respectful social distance. I include them here because I think they are very practical and may assist us.
- Begin each day with prayer. Ask Jesus to stay close to you and to all your family and friends. Pray for the health and well-being of everyone you associate with, and of all God’s people throughout the world.
- Express your love and concern for the people you live with—your spouse, children, other relatives or friends. Comfort and encourage them when they are frightened and feeling closed-in or helpless.
- Reach out to other family members, friends and colleagues by telephone, texting, email and other forms of social media. Let them know that you are close to them and that you share their experiences and anxiety.
- Attend Mass and other prayers and devotions virtually. Many opportunities are available each day on television, radio and online. Participation in the life of the Church can help us feel more closely connected with God and with each other. Make a spiritual communion.
- As you go about your daily business—working remotely, studying at home, doing spring cleaning, caring for children or family members, preparing dinner, doing the laundry, and more—look for opportunities to offer up your activities to God in gratitude for his closeness to you.
- To the extent that you can, share your financial resources with those in need. Online giving is available for most religious, educational and charitable organisations, but if that’s not an option for you, you can write a cheque and mail it, or set aside some cash to give to someone in need once the current stay at home order has been lifted.
- Be patient with yourself and those you love. This is a strange and difficult time for all of us. Frustration and anger are understandable reactions. We need to help each other remain calm and trust in the healing power of Jesus who is close to us—now and always. (https://www.catholicoutlook.org/spiritual-closeness-in-a-time-of-social-distancing-seven-suggestions/)
Jesus’ gift of peace to the early disciples is what we all require at the moment. Let’s all pray for one another for that gift so that we might be able to discover again, Jesus risen and living amongst us!
I’d like to thank particularly all those who have assisted in developing our digital liturgy for this Sunday and particularly our parish secretary for editing and producing it for us all.
Stay safe and strong.
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
Please click on link below:
READINGS FOR THE MASS: Provided by Universalis, can be found here: www.universalis.com
THOSE IN NEED: During this difficult time, if you hear of anyone in need of assistance from a priest or the Parish Office, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9871.8710 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or requiring assistance from Vinnies, please call 13 18 12.
CARITAS AUSTRALIA: would like to THANK YOU for supporting Project Compassion 2020. If you would like to make a donation, please go to www.caritas.org.au to make your donation online. Through your generosity you will be empowering the world’s most vulnerable communities to grow stronger and share their strengths with their communities to lift themselves out of poverty.
IN YOUR MERCY, PLEASE REMEMBER THOSE FOR WHOM PRAYERS HAVE BEEN REQUESTED:
THE SICK: Fr Michael O’Callaghan, Arthur John Meston, Ken Boys, Mary Magill, Joe Frare, Afifi Elchaar, Daniele Donu, Patrick Wheeler, Sylvette Marsh.
RECENTLY DECEASED: Judy Bridge, John Sidney Vaz, Irmgard Rangger, Fr Ray Farrell.
ANNIVERSARIES: Doris Euhus, Brian Coorey, Kazimiera Adamski.
DECEASED: Y.T. Hsu, Deannu Hsu, Joseph Van Minh, Tony Khalife, Soraya Khalife, Morrie Kahlife, Yvonne Boulous, Phillip Boulous, Charlie Karam, Leila Karam & All Souls.
Stay strong and healthy! 😊