THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER – And they knew him in the Breaking of the Bread

On this Sunday we remember that our God is near to all of us who seek Him and who want to live in His presence, doing His will. The story of the meeting on the road to Emmaus is the story of a God who will not abandon us when we are hurt and disappointed, when we are feeling abandoned and alone. The story reminds us of Jesus, the Son of God, whom we meet in the breaking of the bread. When we need God most he is closest to us, even though we may not be able to recognise him in our worry or distress. As the English poet and Catholic mystic, Francis Thompson, put it:

He is The Hound of Heaven Who relentlessly follows us when we try to escape from His love.

The Hound of Heaven By Francis Thompson  (1859–1907).

 

The message of today’s scripture readings is that Jesus is never far from his followers and that we can remain in contact with Him through prayer, the Eucharist, and the scriptures. The readings also remind us that our belief in Jesus’ presence in the Blessed Sacrament should help us to better understand his presence in the scriptures and in ourselves as a believing and worshipping community. While we may not be able to gather together and receive the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament at present, we can still gather together spiritually and receive him in our hearts.

 

Meeting Jesus in Spirit however is not a substitute for the reality, just a promise of what we will return to, when we again can. As Pope Francis reminded us in one of his recent sermons (Pope Francis: 17th April 2020):

Be careful not to virtualise the Church, to virtualise the Sacraments, to virtualise the People of God. The Church, the Sacraments, the People of God are concrete. It’s true that at this moment we must have this familiarity with the Lord in this way, but we must come out of the tunnel, not stay there.

So, until we can all meet together again in the flesh, may we know the Lord’s closeness in the Spirit.

Mass today at St. Teilo’s is at 10.00am – https://stteilos-olol.co.uk/

This week’s Parish Newsletter can be found here

Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Pope John Paul II declared Divine Mercy Sunday as a Feast of the Universal Church in 2000, on the occasion of the Canonisation of Sister Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina was prompted by the Lord to promote the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the 3.00pm Prayer and the Feast of Divine Mercy.

The invitation to celebrate the Feast is recorded in Sr. Faustina’s diary (499):

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy.

Over many years in Cardiff, Divine Mercy Sunday has been celebrated at St. Alban’s, the Church which is now the home of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in formation, Cardiff. This year, the devotions will take place on a live stream from the Oratory.

The timetable is as follows:

2.00pm until 3.00pm; Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Petitions will be read before the Blessed Sacrament. Email your petitions to pgs.illsley@sky.com

3.00pm; Divine Mercy Prayers and Chaplet followed by Holy Mass.

 

Our regular Parish Mass from St. Teilo’s takes place at 10.00am – https://stteilos-olol.co.uk/

Happy Easter – Pasq Hapus

A Happy and Blessed Easter to all the Parishioners of St. Teilo’s with Our Lady of Lourdes and to all those who have and are joining us via the live-streaming of the Mass.

May the Risen Christ live in the heart of each of us as we gain the grace to overcome sin and death and to live lives of joy and peace following the Risen Lord.

Today the Church celebrates the greatest event in its calendar as the Gospel of today says:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. John 20:1-9

The beloved disciples saw and he believed in the Risen Lord Jesus, we too are called to see and believe that Jesus is alive and is with  us.

Easter Joy

From ancient times Christians have sung songs of praise on this day. One of the oldest of them is the Easter Sequence. We can do no better than joining in the ancient hymn oursleves:

Sequence
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his Father reconciled.

Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!

Life’s own Champion, slain,
yet lives to reign.

Tell us, Mary:
say what thou didst see
upon the way.

The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as he rose!

The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.

Christ, my hope, has risen:
he goes before you into Galilee.

That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious king, thy mercy show!

Another more recent hymn puts it like this:

Easter glory fill the sky! Alleluia!
Christ now lives, no more to die! Alleluia!
Darkness has been put to flight, Alleluia!
by the living Lord of light! Alleluia!

Mary, Mother, greet your Son, Alleluia!
Radiant from his triumph won! Alleluia!
By his cross you shared his pain, Alleluia!
So for ever share his reign! Alleluia!

Shepherd, seek the sheep that strayed! Alleluia!
Come to contrite Peter’s aid! Alleluia!
Strengthen him to be the rock; Alleluia!
Make him shepherd of your flock! Alleluia!

Seek not life within the tomb; Alleluia!
Christ stands in the upper room! Alleluia!
Risen glory he conceals Alleluia!
Risen body he reveals! Alleluia!

Though we see his face no more, Alleluia!
He is with us as before! Alleluia!
Glory veiled, he is our priest, Alleluia!
His true flesh and blood our feast! Alleluia!

May you sing Alleluia to the Lord throughout this day and for the Fifty days of Eastertide which we have just begun.

Apologies for lost connection

Sorry to all those who were taking part in the Easter Vigil tonight when we lost connection just after the Gospel. Some fast work by the KT Electronics team and the parish webmaster has restored the picture, but to late for the rest of Mass or the Polish Vigil – sorry.

When the webcam was put in, just after the announcement that Churches were to close, it had to be run over the Presbytery internet connection, the only one we have! This connection is fine for normal household use, it will be the same as the connection in your home, however when lots of people try to connect at the same time it can overload the system, and that seems to have happened tonight.

We will try and get an upgraded (business) internet connection sorted as soon as possible, but in the meantime I will continue to say Mass for you all each day, whether you can see me or not, hopefully it will be possible for you to take part.

Canon Isaac

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is a long empty day in the Christian calendar, when we wait outside the tomb, wondering what will happen.

 

On this Holy Saturday we stand, sit or kneel outside the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell, and awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting. At a time when we are in lockdown we can feel the longing for redemption which charecterised Jesus disciples as they waited on this day.

 

The Church remains solemn and silent until the celebration of the Easter Vigil in the evening of today.

 

The Easter Vigil will be live-streamed from St. Teilo’s at 7.00pm tonight.

 

The newsletter for Easter Sunday and Easter Week is now available.

Good Friday

At 3pm today, the Church throughout the world gathers, virtually if not physically, to remember that “Christ our Passover was sacrificed.”

Together we meditate on the Passion of the Lord, adore His Holy Cross and commemorate the origin of the Church, flowing from the side of Christ dead on the cross.

We intercede for the salvation of the whole world. In those special prayers made once a year. This year a new prayer has been added:

IX b. For the afflicted in time of pandemic

Let us pray also for all those who suffer the consequences of the current pandemic, that God the Father may grant health to the sick, strength to those who care for them, comfort to families and salvation to all the victims who have died.

Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:

Almighty ever-living God,
only support of our human weakness,
look with compassion upon the sorrowful condition of your children
who suffer because of this pandemic;
relieve the pain of the sick,
give strength to those who care for them,
welcome into your peace those who have died
and, throughout this time of tribulation,
grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Once Canon has kissed the Cross, he will elevate it so that all of us who are viewing the service in our home can venerate Jesus who died for us and for our salvation.

 

Please remember that Good Friday is a day of penance observed by the whole Church. It is a day of fasting and abstinence.

 

Maundy Thursday

Tonight, with the celebration of Mass on the evening of Holy Thursday, the Church begins the Easter Triduum, the holiest three days of the year.

This evening’s Mass recalls the Last Supper at which the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, showing His love for those who were His own in the world, gave His Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine offering them to His Father. He gave them to the Apostles so that they might partake of them. He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood to perpetuate this offering.

Even though we are not able to receive the Blessed Sacrament this Holy Week, we can take part in the offering by joining our prayers with the prayer of the priest as he joins himself with Jesus’ offering of Himself for the whole world.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be live-streamed from St. Teilo’s at 7.00pm this evening.

Spy Wednesday – Wednesday of Holy Week

There is a long tradition in the UK of calling this day, the Wednesday of Holy Week, Spy Wednesday.

Spy Wednesday gets its name because this is the day on which Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. Because Judas is thought to be sneaky, his actions conjured up the image of a spy reporting to the leaders of the people. The synoptic gospels all include an account of the betrayal — Matthew 26:12-14, Mark 14:10-12, Luke 22:3-6.

This is how the Gospel of Matthew (26: 14 – 25) recounts the events:

One of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty silver pieces, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray him.

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ ‘Go to so-and-so in the city’ he replied ‘and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.”’ The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.

When evening came he was at table with the twelve disciples. And while they were eating he said ‘I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me.’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not I, Lord, surely?’ He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him; asked in his turn, ‘Not I, Rabbi, surely?’ ‘They are your own words’ answered Jesus.

This is the gospel of today’s Mass, so we can reflect on our own response to Jesus. Are we ready to follow him to the end, or would we sell him for our own experience or pleasure; be it silver pieces or the sins which most tempt us.

 

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

On this day, the Church enters into the mystery of the Passion and Death of her Lord, bringing together the Triumphal Procession of Christ as King and the proclamation of His Passion. Both aspects of the Paschal Mystery are celebrated today as we recall the Lord’s Messianic entry into Jerusalem and His Passion and Death.

In line with the special Vatican decree for celebrating Holy Week this year we will not be able to process into the Church or bless palms but we will start Mass with the Entrance Antiphon which speaks of the triumphant entry of the Lord and as usual will listen attentively to the reading of the Passion according to Matthew.

Mass will be streamed live at 10.00am on the Homepage of the Parish Website.

Details of the services for the whole of Holy Week at St. Teilo’s can be found in this week’s newsletter.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Mass will be live streamed from St. Teilo’s live at 10am today. The Live Stream will be above this post on the Parish Home Page.

You are encouraged, not only to listen and watch the Mass, but to take part by making the responses in your own home.

At Communion time Canon Isaac will lead us in praying the Act of Spiritual Communion by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
AMEN.

Mass will be broadcast from St. Teilo’s live at 10am each day of the week. For full details and updates on parish life please read this week’s edition of the Parish Newsletter.