Eucharist at 11 a.m.
GOOD NEWS – we continue to be allowed to go to church during third confinement which begins at midnight tonight (‘Dans les lieux de culte, les règles restent inchangées.’).
To do so, you need to tick box 11 on the present Attestation form. It’s worth checking whether this differs from the revised version to be published later on Friday, March 19. The one we used last weekend was the same as an earlier one but featured more ‘boxes’, denoting more exemptions.
To download Attestations in paper or electronic form you need to go to the government site. Click here.
This service will also be broadcast: click here to go to the website page where you can access it live or later. You can also download the service booklet and sermon, which areavailable in the afternoon the day before.
Friday, March 26, Study Group at 3 pm. This meets via Zoom. Please email Fr Peter to join.
Friday, March 26, Aprayeratif at 6 p.m. We will meet via Zoom – just email Fr Peter for the access link. For those who haven’t been before, it’s a social time of drinks and snacks with a pause for reflection and the sharing of thoughts and thanksgiving.
Electoral Roll Revision and Annual Chaplaincy Church Meeting
Have you ever been in a social situation where you saw someone you’d like to meet but were unsure how to make an approach?
The story in Sunday’s Gospel is like this. Some Greeks are curious to meet Jesus, but they are nervous about doing so, so they ask for an introduction.
They ask Philip to see if they can approach Jesus. They know he’s important and they are hesitant about whether Jesus will give them any of his time.
Philip speaks to his brother, Andrew, and they go to tell Jesus about the request.
Then the story changes tack and that’s the last we hear of the Greeks, which makes us wonder why they are mentioned. The most likely answer is that this is the way the Gospel writer – the evangelist – has of showing that Jesus’ impact was not only on his own people, the Jews, but on those beyond the Jewish world. The whole world, it seems, was interested in and touched by Jesus.
But the image of leadership that he offered was different from the one that the Jews expected and hoped for in a Messiah, i.e. an anointed king. They wanted someone like King David of the past who had defeated all the enemies of Israel. But Jesus presented himself as a very different messiah. He said: “I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (v. 32).
He is referring to his death on the Cross (John goes on to explain that Jesus “said this signifying by what kind of death he should die”). And this death would influence all people. Jesus said, “I will draw all people to myself.”
So, the significance of this passage is that it points us to a recognition that the salvation offered on the Cross is for all. This, however, wasn’t the first occasion that Jesus had pointed to his universal mission. In John 3.16, part of last Sunday’s gospel, we read: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus came not only for the Jews but for the whole world.
Sunday’s Gospel reminds us of the universal significance of the events that we will commemorate liturgically in the services of Holy Week.
What we do in Holy Week resembles what happens at a Jewish Passover meal but expanded to cover several days.
At a Passover meal the youngest person present asks the oldest what happened in the night that their ancestors were delivered from slavery in Egypt.
This isn’t intended to be a history lesson. It is meant to make the past events present again. Each person present is meant to be reminded that God acts to save his people.
On Passion Sunday, at the beginning of Passiontide, we embark on a large scale “making the past present” (anamnesis is the term for this).
Done well, this can have a profound effect on the believer. We can become witnesses to the fickle crowd’s change of mood from Palm Sunday to Good Friday.
We can keep watch with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and contemplate the pathos and horror of his sacrificial suffering on Good Friday.
And on the evening of Holy Saturday, we can enter into the mystery of his resurrection.
My hope is that we will be able to have services normally this year but the new confinement may make it difficult to have some, particularly the Easter Vigil.