News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th May 2021: The Sixth Sunday of Easter
There is no mistaking the theme of the readings for this Sunday, the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The Good News from St John's Gospel recounts one of Our Lord's most popular discourses to his disciples: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love.” Who cannot fail to be touched by these sentiments. Of course, what follows next foretells the sacrifice that Jesus was to make for us all on The Cross: “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you.” Two thousand years after these words were first spoken, they retain every single aspect of the intention with which they were delivered. Jesus speaks to each of us now, through these words: “What I command you is to love one another”. Where have we failed? In the news this week, more unnecessary deaths through knife crime; in all likelihood the result of hatred, jealousy and discrimination.
In ACAT's latest prayer case for May, a case from Myanmar where the news doesn't seen to get any better. There are some positive updates on a number of Christians who have been released from prison in Eritrea, however their release is not unconditional (but at least it's presumably better than being inside Eritrea's grim prisons). And once again, we have heard in the media the disquieting news of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's new prison sentence.
Where is that love? However, we must not lose heart. Jesus speaks to each one of us and we must respond. Each individual we can love – just as Jesus has loved us – may be all that we can do. We may not have the power to change the minds of these oppressors; to prevent the actions of those who are determined to cause pain, anguish and grief. But we do have the power to love. As Jesus says: “You did not chose me, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last.”
The first Mass of Sunday is at 6.00pm on Saturday 8th May. Parish Mass at 10.30am on Sunday 9th May. In just a few week's time, on Sunday 23rd May, we will be holding our Annual Parochial Meetings. Nominations for Churchwardens and Parochial Church Council Members should be e-mailed to me as Hon. PCC Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org so that these can be proposed and seconded prior to the meeting. Nominations should be received by Sunday 16th May. Only those whose name is entered on the Electoral Roll may nominate/second and vote.
“Let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.”