On a liturgical note: May 2021

By Canon Philip Gillespie

I trust you are continuing to enjoy a blessed and happy Eastertime. Having been given the 40 days of Lent to prepare ourselves for the renewal of our baptismal promises, we are now given the 50 days of the Easter season in which to continue our rejoicing, get back into the habit of having the ‘Alleluia’ at weekday and Sunday Masses, and listen again to the story of the early unfolding of the Easter message through the words of the Acts of the Apostles.

One thing which strikes us constantly in the Acts of the Apostles is the dynamic nature of the Gospel. From the enthused preaching of Peter on Pentecost Day, to the miracles worked through the Apostles and continued growth of the community of early followers of ‘The Way’ (later to be called Christians), to the constant physical journeying of the followers of Jesus, there is a feeling of being always on the move: eager to recognise and experience new signs of the presence of the Lord, fresh workings of the Holy Spirit in the world. It is a constant reminder and challenge to us to have eyes, ears and hearts open to fresh opportunities to know, to love and to serve.

Pope Francis reflects in his exhortation ‘The joy of the Gospel’: ‘Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says, “We have always done it in this way”. I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelisation in their respective communities.’ 

Challenging words, but words which seem to chime well with the season of new life in which we find ourselves. Here at the Beda we recently celebrated a further step on the journey of some of our students and prayed for the gifts and guidance of the Holy Spirit upon their ministry as acolytes. Please pray for them and indeed for those who are now preparing for their ordination as deacons: ‘May God who has begun the good work in each one of us bring it to fulfilment’ (Philippians 1:6).