Archives for Eastbourne Ordinariate Mission

Holy Week Retreat: Spy Wednesday

Fr Thomas presents today’s address for EWTN’s Holy Week Retreat from the Church of the Holy Family Southampton.

    Holy Week Retreat: Tuesday

    In half term, while away with our group in Bournemouth, Fr Neil and Fr Thomas went to Southampton to record talks for Holy Week with EWTN. Fr Neil gives the reflection for today here.

    If you want to catchup with yesterday’s talk, by Fr James Bradley, which was linked on our facebook page, it is here.

      “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her”

      Dear friends,

      In the epistle St Paul says that we cannot earn our way to salvation in Christ. He speaks about a righteousness that comes from faith – our trusting ourselves to Christ and his infinite mercy. This trust however, requires a letting go of everything for the sake of Christ and being happy to do so. Paul in rather strong language talks about treating all that is lost as refuse in comparison to being found in Christ.

      The woman caught in adultery, (I wonder where the man was?) in today’s gospel finds herself before Christ and certainly unable to claim any righteousness of her own against the accusation of sin. The scribes and Pharisees bring the woman to Jesus to test him. Will he uphold the law of Moses? The justice of the law requires her to be stoned to death – what will Jesus do?

      Jesus response is to reveal ‘Behold, I am doing a new thing,’. He confounds the crowd by saying “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

      Wisdom prevails. Jesus is left alone as the only one who could condemn her. Instead he reveals the heart of the Father by not wanting the death of a sinner, but that they transform their lives and live – “go, and do not sin again” are his final words.

      Blessings, Fr. Neil

        Deliver us! Readings for Lent 3.

        Dear Friends,
        This week we once again encounter God on the mountain. Moses in our Old Testament lesson meets God in the burning bush. In so doing God reveals something about himself. Moses has to take off his shoes because where God is, there is holiness and his name is mysterious ‘I am, who I am.’ God is also the God of Promise and Moses was to lead his people to the land promised to his ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey. God is also a loving, merciful God, ‘I have heard my peoples cry and have come to deliver them.”

        Jesus continues to fulfil those promises of deliverance, not from foreign powers but from sin and death. He also continues to unfold some of the mysteries of God in the gospel reading today. Do terrible things happen to people because they are cursed as terrible sinners? Are those suffering from the terrible floods in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe worse sinners than us and are being punished by God? Jesus in the gospel tells in emphatically ‘No’.

        Jesus however, does go onto to state that there is a sense of urgency to put ourselves right with God – that now is the time to turn around and come back to God as none of us know what tomorrow will bring. Jesus wants us to know that now is the sacred moment to experience to merciful love of the Father as we confess and repent of those things that stand in the way of our relationship with God.
        Blessing Fr Neil

          Co-operating with God: Reflection on the Transfiguration

          Dear Friends

          “He will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body.”

          This is the great promise which is held out to us. That the glory which Christ has, the perfection and beauty, is being offered to us. We are looking forward to Christ’s redemption – to spending eternity in heaven with God, utterly transformed from our present state to be like God. When we contemplate that present state this can seem, to say the least, highly improbable – but it is the promise of God.

          It is also his work – we cannot transfigure our bodies into glory, however hard we try. What we need to do is work with God – it is his work to be done in us. But he invites us to be co-operators in this work. This is why S. Paul also tells us to follow a rule of life, to take positive steps to work with God. This is the heart of our Lenten observance, focusing more on God and on how we can co-operate with his work of transforming our lives.

          It may seem like a struggle at times, but considering that glorious prize can give us the incentive to keep striving towards it.

          Blessings, Fr Thomas.

            CTS materials to take you through Lent

            With the ‘Penance and Pancake’ tomorrow, Lent is well and truly upon us. There will be two options for Lent groups this year with the parish of Christ the King: one following on from the Advent course, continuing to look at the Lord’s Prayer and another one, using group materials at St Joachim. However many people also like to have their own materials for devotions. The CTS site has many options. Here are four books which may pique your interest.

            This booklet focuses on the Passion of Christ by looking at parts of a Crucifix. Written by Julien Chilcot-Monk who restores crucifixes, there is an interesting blog post and podcast explaining how this Lent booklet is to be used.

            Calvary through the eyes of Mary also focuses on the Passion, but uses a format of the Stations of the Cross. The author, Helen Pepper draws on her experience of walking the Via Delarosa in Jerusalem and her reflections on becoming a mother to meditate on Mary’s experience of walking the way of the cross with her son.

            By Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, this book uses Lenten readings from the lectionary to meditate on the journey through Lent. Wansbrough draws on his extensive Biblical scholarship and there are actions linked to each meditation.

            Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week is the second in Joseph Ratzinger’s (Benedict XVI) three books, in which he seeks to investigate and encounter the real Christ. A result of his own personal devotion and his lifetime of brilliant theology, Ratzinger takes the reader through the whole of Holy Week drawing on his insights and synthesis of tradition and scholarship. This is a profound book to take you through Lent.

            Whatever you choose private study, prayer and devotions deepen our walk with Christ, through the desert and on to the Passion in Jerusalem.