Father Philip Writes...
The time has come,” Jesus said, “and the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the Good News.” (Mark 1 v 15)
Jesus calls us all to repent, and we think especially of this during Lent. Real repentance means that a person has come not only to be sorry for the consequences of his or her sin, but to hate the sin itself. Jesus tells us to believe the Good News – that we take him at his word.
The Kingdom of God is not something that can be seen, for God rules over people’s hearts. An unknown poet wrote the words:
“How I wish there was some wonderful place called ‘The Land of Beginning Again’, where all our mistakes and all our headaches… could be dropped like a shaggy coat at the door and never be put on again."
There IS such a place – in God’s heart, as revealed in Jesus Christ. What convinces me most that God isn’t interested in what I was, but in what I can become; not in what I was, but in what I am becoming?
Alexander Pope wrote:
It is a real discipline to allow yourself to be forgiven. To believe that God wants to wipe out all your guilt and give you a new heart and a new spirit is a challenge. It means you give up being in control and respond by saying: “Yes, Lord, I need your help.”
To clarify this point, he said that if patients plagued by guilt feelings took the heart of the prodigal son (Luke 15 v 11-31) they would be healed overnight. God’s forgiveness is infinitely greater than any mistakes we can make. …. Remember the lovely quotation from St Isaac the Syrian:
This Lent, please ask yourself:
“What is the one thing I find hard to forgive myself?”
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is here to help you find that peace that our Heavenly Father wishes to give.
"We have eaten and drunk with Him after His Resurrection… He has ordered us to proclaim this to His people and to tell them….” (Acts 10 v 41&42)
'Goosey, Goosey Gander,
Many people have become like ‘Goosey Gander’ in their religious convictions. They believe Christianity is a ‘DO IT YOURSELF KIT’ e.g.
So what is different about the Christian religion?
The essence of Christianity lies in total commitment to Jesus, who will make us new creatures through his risen life.
Today we are called to proclaim Jesus is alive and promises that same power to his Church. We all want an effective church but all too often it is man-centred: dominated by money, ‘keeping the show on the road’ instead of outreach and mission. We can give the impression that it is important to look terribly busy, to be seen to be doing something which brings the approval of other people.
Of course it is a historical fact that Jesus rose from the dead, but even more important is what follows on logically from that: the fact that Jesus is alive today.He calls us to respond to Him and does not condemn us if we refuse his love.
When this happens Easter is more than just a historic occasion but becomes a feast for today. The Church is you and me. Together let us respond to the Risen Christ!