Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

My dear Friends

It is wonderful to be with you all again – even if it is just by this newsletter (video link also available on website!).

Indeed, these are challenging and changing times! It sometimes feels as if what we are experiencing is a movie, and all we need to do is flick channels on the remote to reconnect with reality. However, this is the reality! It is a reality, however, in which Jesus assures us that we are not alone. He is with us every step of the way. His embrace will enfold us with his love, strength, courage, patience, perseverance and healing.

In Sunday’s gospel, Lazarus’ death has rocked Martha and Mary’s worlds to their foundations. Like rays of light, piercing the darkness of their grief and loss, Jesus enters the turmoil of Martha and Mary’s hearts and minds. He awakens Lazarus from his deadly ‘sleep’ and orders him to leave the tomb.

This coronavirus scenario has certainly rocked many of our worlds to their foundations. Family, friends, Faith Communities, church, work, social activities, and a host of other situations we have often taken for granted, have suddenly become ‘distanced’. Into the midst of this, sometimes frightening, scenario, Jesus enters! Like rays of light piercing the darkness of our fears and concerns, he awakens us to the greatness of God dwelling within each and every one of us. He calls us out of fear and panic into the ocean of his love, compassion, forgiveness, strength and healing.

You know, this morning I walked around the Stations of the Cross. When I was a child, I used to think: If I had been there, I would not have been one of the jeering mob. I would have been the Simon of Cyrene or the courageous Veronica..! Perhaps this challenging time is indeed a time, when we not only open up ourselves to the oceans of God love, strength and healing, but call forth the Christian heroes and heroines in the core of our being to enable, and empower us, to respond in our words and actions, with God’s love, generosity, hope. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once said that when humankind had mastered the winds, waves, the tides and gravity, then, we shall harness for God the energies of love and then, for the second time in the history of the world man will have discovered fire. I think this is certainly that time.

I shall leave you with the words of Emmet Fox:

There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; no disease that enough love will not heal;
no door that enough love will not open;
no gulf that enough love will not bridge;
no wall that enough love will not throw down;
no sin that enough love will not redeem...
It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble;
how hopeless the outlook; how muddled the tangle; how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.
If only you could love enough you would be
the happiest and most powerful being in the world...

Love, Peace, and Blessings,

Fr. Antony

The parish is part of the Diocese of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust registered charity 246871.

© 2019• Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

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