This blog is for the use of the whole parish; please let me know if you'd like to contribute.


Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

Pentecost

Permalink
Acts 2:1–11
 
Photo by Bahram Bayat on Unsplash
 
As we celebrate this feast day, we should remember that the event of Pentecost was as major an intervention by God as the creation of the Universe or the incarnation of God’s son, Jesus Christ.
 
This is what the Church has taught us since the beginning: through the grace of the liturgy it is as though what happened in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago is repeated on this holy feast day.  The same Holy Spirit who came down on the disciples huddled together in the upper room descends on us too.
 
When the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost, he instilled in the Church a dynamism and power which since then has been the principal agent behind all its fruitful work and mission in the world.
 
Let the Holy Spirit come into your lives: invite him, welcome him and pray to him.
 
”Whenever the Spirit intervenes he leaves people astonished; he brings about events of amazing newness; he radically changes persons and history.  Faith is not abstract talk, nor vague religious sentiment, but new life in Christ instilled by the Holy Spirit.  Christ says to each of us, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation’ (Mark 16:15).  He is counting on every one of you and so is the Church. ‘Lo,’ the Lord promises, ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Matt 28:20). I am with you, Amen.” (Pope St John Paul II)
 
Chris
 
 
Comments

Churches Together - Joint Service for Pentecost - 6pm, Sunday 31st May

Permalink
Every year Churches Together in Biggleswade have a joint service for Pentecost, often in the open air in the grounds of St. Andrew's Church in the town.

This year, St. Andrew's are still managing to host the joint service via "Zoom" at 6pm on Sunday 31st May.


You can join in by going to the website for St. Andrew's church at http://www.biggleswadeparishchurch.co.uk/ or following this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89750715130?pwd=QUpTcDA5bTZ2ZThpWUZ5Y0JJbDZXUT09.

You may also connect via audio only using a landline and the following details:
Dial: 0330 088 5830
Meeting ID: 897 5071 5130
Password: 436516

Neil Spencer
Comments

St Paul Preaches to the Sanhedrin

Permalink
Acts 22:30; 23:6–11
 
Paul stands before the Sanhedrin
 
Called to appear before the Jewish Council, Paul shrewdly set his opponents against one another.  He said that he was on trial for his belief in the resurrection of the dead, in which the Pharisees believed but the Sadducees did not.
 
Paul’s declaration was not just a clever ploy: it was true that the heart of his witness was the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus and our share in that resurrection.
 
If we have truly experienced Christ’s resurrection power for ourselves, like Paul we will want to proclaim it to others.  For Paul, his experience of the risen Christ was so powerful that he had an unsuppressable drive to preach the gospel.  This is how he was able to endure great suffering and persecution – imprisonment, beating, shipwreck, hunger – in order to testify to Christ.
 
We may not be called to suffer in the way that Paul was, but each of us is called to be witness to Christ’s resurrection for those we meet in our homes, workplaces and communities.
 
We tend to find sharing our faith difficult in today’s secular environment, but it is God who gives us the power to bear witness, and just as Paul’s preaching flowed from his encounter with the risen Christ, so can ours.
 
If we spend time in prayer and try to listen to the Holy Spirit, we shall gain greater enthusiasm to preach the gospel and find more opportunities so to do.
 
Lord Jesus, we proclaim that our hope is in your resurrection.  We pray that we may come to experience more fully the power of that resurrection, and bring it to those around us every day.
 
Chris
 
Comments

The Ascension of the Lord

Permalink
Mt 28:16–20
 
Jesus’s Ascension
 
Only Christ can open to us access to heaven and eternal life; we cannot enter God’s life on our own account.  Why? Because none of us is able to conquer death, sin and evil; so without Christ we remain mortal and corruptible.
 
Our hope is that we may go where Christ has preceded us.  This hope is grounded in Jesus’s own words: “and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12;32).
 
Jesus’s ascension into heaven marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’s humanity into God’s heavenly domain.  In the same way that Jesus ascended into heaven, so he will return. Meanwhile, he is hidden from our eyes but to him we pray today.
 
Come, Lord Jesus, come again to earth.  Return as our God and King and establish your kingdom for ever and ever.  Amen.
 
Chris
 
Comments

Conversion of Paul's jailer

Permalink
Acts 16:22–34
 
 
God will literally move heaven and earth to save us; God did so to lead the jailer and his family to conversion.  The fruits of that conversion were immediate: deep joy, service of others and a profound conviction in the gospel message.
 
The call to conversion is one that occurs throughout our lives.  We are called to lead others but also to be converted ourselves, and to this task we give ourselves.  But why does God seek our conversion?  What is it about the human condition that makes it so necessary?  The Church recognises that the human heart is heavy and hardened by sin and by selfishness.  It is because of this that we need a new heart.
 
Conversion is first and foremost a work of God, a movement of his grace within us.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “God give us the strength to begin anew.  It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him.  The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced.” (para. 1432).
 
It is through the continuing process of conversion that we come to know God’s love; and we come to know God’s love by gazing upon the One we have pierced.
 
This is the path that the Holy Spirit invites us to walk.  We are converted in the first instance by love, and it is by love that we will continue to be converted.
 
Father, teach me that thre is no other path but through the burning love of the crucified, a love which transformed Paul when he was carried up to the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2) that he could say: “with Christ I am nailed to the cross.  I live , not not I but Christ liveth in me.” (Gal. 2:20 Rheims New Testament).
 
Chris
 
Comments

The Vine

Permalink
John 15:1–8
 
Vine and words
 
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more.  You are pruned already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. 
 
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.  As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. 
 
I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing.  Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire, and they are burnt. 
 
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it.  It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples.’
 
Comments

Determined to Witness

Permalink
Acts 14:19-28
 
Paul was mercilessly stoned and then dragged and dumped outside the city walls.  We need to remember that every time we encounter Paul, whether through his story retold in Acts or through his writings, we are encountering a man who suffered profoundly for his faith – even to paying the ultimate price.
 
But no amount of suffering would deter him from his mission of preaching the Good news: “when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city” (v.20).  Sometimes we get knocked down, sometimes we trip and fall; either way the gospel is all about getting up again.
 
Lord, we are your people, the sheep of your flock.  Heal the sheep who are wounded.  Touch the sheep who are in pain.  Clean the sheep who are soiled.  Warm the lambs who are cold.  Help us all to know the Father’s love.  Renew us so that we may help renew the face of the earth.
 
Chris
 
Comments

St Paul in Antioch

Permalink
Acts 13:13–25
Preaching the gospel for the first time in Antioch
 
Paul was gifted in many ways, but one thing he excelled at was proclaiming the gospel.  He was a herald of the gospel message and here he is preaching his first recorded sermon on his first missionary journey.  It is a masterclass on how to witness and to proclaim the gospel.
 
At the heart of Paul’s work was the proclamation of God’s great work of salvation.  It was this message which compelled him to proclaim it from the rooftops, as it were.
 
When Paul was given the opportunity to preach by the synagogue leaders in Antioch, he seized it.  We too need to be alert to opportunities to preach and to proclaim the gospel, opportunities which arise more often that we might expect.
 
We need to be alert to such opportunities and the Holy Spirit will make us sensitive to them, chances to speak about our faith.  The Spirit will also guide us in what we say, keeping the tone light but sincere, but we should be ready for the chance to talk about Jesus, his life and his place in our lives.
 
Believe that the Spirit has prepared the hearts of those to whom you get the chance to speak and you will see minds opening to your message.  The Holy Spirit is the primary agent of all our efforts at evangelisation – this was true in the early Church and is still true today.
 
Lord Jesus, I pray for the grace and wisdom to share my faith with joy, enthusiasm and clarity, and to be an attractive and appealing witness of Christian faith.
 
Chris
 
Comments

Paul's Conversion

Permalink
Acts 9:1–20
 
Paul encounters the risen Christ on road to DamascusThe conversion of Saul is a profound event in Acts, but we probably need to return to the martyrdom of Stephen to understand what might have taken place.
 
Stephen’s witness to the risen Christ must have had some effect on Paul.  He had recounted the history of Israel but in a way that revealed the Israelites’ repeated rejection of God’s saving work.  Stephen wanted to show that their rejection of Jesus, who had been spoken of by the prophets, was typical of a pattern throughout their history.
 
At the heart of Saul’s conversion was a radical realisation and re-reading of the Scriptures.  For Saul the holiest day of the year would have been the feast of Yom Kippur, an occasion of atonement and repentance during which the people celebrated the covenant between God and themselves.
 
When Saul encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, he came to a completely new understanding of Jesus’s crucifixion.  Far from being a justified punishment for blasphemy, he came to understand that Jesus's death was itself the holiest of events.  It was the very reality of which Yom Kippur was only a symbol.  The blood of Jesus established a new covenant – not only with the Jews but with all of humanity.
 
Through his death and resurrection Jesus has entered the very presence of the Father and has taken all of humanity with him.  At the moment of his baptism Saul – thenceforward known as Paul – entered into union with Jesus, and we share this amazing privilege.
 
St Paul, pray for us that we may become lovers of the cross.  St Joseph, pray for us that we may be custodians of the life of Christ.
 
Chris
 
Comments

CAFOD asks us to act and unite against coronavirus

Permalink

CAFOD asks us to act and unite against COVID19 by signing the petition - now. See the link below.....



Unite against coronavirus

As we cope with coronavirus in the UK, we think of our sisters and brothers in developing countries
who are facing this pandemic with fragile health systems, some of which have almost no intensive
care beds or ventilators.

Food prices have already risen with borders closing, the poorest are losing their jobs and income with
wholesale shutdowns. Furthermore, inadequate healthcare, lack of access to washing facilities and
limited ability to social distance will result in loss of life on an intolerable scale. The likely impact will be devastating.

We are one global family. In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor
communities, your prayers, gifts and voices are needed now more than ever. Please visit
cafod.org.uk/coronavirus to find out ways you can give, act and pray in response to this crisis.

Comments
RSS Feed 
June 2020 (1)
May 2020 (8)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (17)
February 2020 (9)
January 2020 (7)
December 2019 (8)
November 2019 (7)
October 2019 (6)
September 2019 (6)
August 2019 (3)
July 2019 (5)
June 2019 (4)
May 2019 (3)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (5)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (5)
November 2018 (1)
October 2018 (3)
September 2018 (2)
August 2018 (2)
June 2018 (3)
May 2018 (3)
April 2018 (3)
March 2018 (5)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (5)
December 2017 (7)
November 2017 (4)
October 2017 (3)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (3)
June 2017 (6)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
March 2017 (6)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (5)
December 2016 (4)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (3)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (5)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (8)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (4)
March 2016 (6)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (3)
December 2015 (5)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (2)
September 2015 (2)
August 2015 (1)
July 2015 (3)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (6)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (5)
January 2015 (2)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (7)
September 2014 (5)
August 2014 (3)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (5)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (5)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (9)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (5)
November 2013 (6)
October 2013 (5)
September 2013 (7)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (5)
June 2013 (5)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (3)
February 2013 (1)
January 2013 (5)
December 2012 (10)
November 2012 (7)
October 2012 (6)
September 2012 (6)
August 2012 (4)
July 2012 (2)
June 2012 (6)
May 2012 (10)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (3)
February 2012 (2)
January 2012 (8)
November 2011 (1)
October 2011 (1)
September 2011 (1)
August 2011 (1)
May 2011 (1)
April 2011 (1)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (2)
January 2011 (2)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (1)
October 2010 (3)
September 2010 (1)
August 2010 (1)
May 2010 (1)
March 2010 (2)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (3)
November 2009 (2)
October 2009 (1)
July 2009 (1)
May 2009 (1)
April 2009 (2)
March 2009 (1)
February 2009 (3)
January 2009 (1)
November 2008 (1)
October 2008 (1)
September 2008 (4)
August 2008 (2)

This site uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the site to operate and have already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but parts of the site may not work. To find out more about cookies on this website, see our Privacy Policy.