Easter

A single flame in the darkness
The red vestments of Pentecost first remind us of the flames in which the Holy Spirit descended.  In the  Acts (2.3) we hear: Tongues as of fire appeared among them and a flame rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability. The red cloth the sanctuary on the Feast of Pentecost is a sign of the glowing fire of the Holy Spirit rendering all of us stronger in our faith and able to...
Welcome – this retreat offers a chance to reflect prayerfully on our relationship to the Risen Lord as we encounter Christ in ourselves, in other people and in the whole of creation.In this retreat we will ponder how the Risen Lord is present to us.   What it means for the Spirit of God to dwell within us in our everyday lives.  The retreat will give us an opportunity to consider how Christ comes to us anew each day just as he came to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, or...
Luke Taylor, Fr Brían MacCuarta and Simon Bishop carrying the cross
“Carrying a wooden cross through Holy Week was a symbolic but very tangible way of remembering Jesus in his passion: eight foot of oak is surprisingly heavy!” writes Luke Taylor, British Jesuit novice who took part in the 2018 Student Cross pilgrimage.The Christian initiative is organised by and for students, young adults, and pilgrims of all ages. Started in 1948, the pilgrimage allows participants to experience Holy Week and Easter Sunday as a living reality.Eleven Legs -  as the groups...
 A young woman gazes upwards. A cross is behind her.
“Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” [John 20.9]“So, what exactly is the point of the ‘bodily resurrection’?”I was once asked this question in a pub by a journalist. And, as always, when I find myself talking in a social environment with a journalist, I hear somewhere off in the background the words of the Police caution… “but anything you do say may be taken down and used in evidence…”But drink had been taken, so I did...
© Traumrune / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
After the discovery of the empty tomb, the disciples had only one instruction to follow in the midst of their fear and uncertainty: go to Galilee. That is still an instruction to us today, says Brian Purfield, because we are in the same place as the disciples: ‘This is where we live: after the resurrection but before the return, entrusted with a message that is wonderful, but the import of which we do not quite understand.’ Where is our Galilee, and how do we get there? As a general rule,...
Mary of Magdala in the garden
Easter is the Christian Pasch, or Passover, although the term itself has passed out of common use. The Holy Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Saturday night Easter Vigil form together a single celebration - the single historical event of what we understand as our human salvation or redemption from sin.The central and most significant event is Jesus’ willingness to give Himself up, in spite of the betrayal of His closest followers, to a rigged trial by His own people, to a...
Eucharist at Taize
Manchester Universities Catholic Chaplaincy took a group of 30 young pilgrims to Taize for Easter week.  Stopping in Birmingham and London to pick up more pilgrims, the group was made of young Christians of different denominations. Their destination was the ecumenical community in France founded in the 1940s by Brother Roger Schutz. Joining around 4000 pilgrims arriving over Holy Week, from all over the world, they took part in the common prayers of the community, Bible studies and sharing...
Empty tomb
‘The walls we build to protect ourselves and to keep others out all contribute to the establishment of a tomb, an abode of the dead, a hell that produces sentiments of anxiety, suspicion, fear and despair’. But the bursting forth of a new world on Easter morning breaks the walls of this tomb and opens our horizons, writes David Neuhaus SJ: ‘resurrection renews hope’. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word ‘horizon’ as ‘the line at the farthest place that you can see, where the sky seems...
Empty tomb Flickr photo sharing
The resurrection of Christ is the most fundamental belief of the Church and has been from the very beginning. St Paul’s comments on Christ’s resurrection are still valid: ‘If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. And those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, then we of all people are most to be pitied.’From the time of the confession of faith of Simon Peter and the disciples, the gathering of...
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Bibel in Bildern
For most of us it is not easy to believe in the resurrection of Jesus: most of us are not in the premier league of beloved disciples: most of the time utter joy and bliss and absolute faith in the God who loves us eternally and unconditionally aren’t obvious to us.  As Christians we see acts of faith around us, we receive compassion and support, we pray together for the people we love; but we also witness lack of faith, resentment or even hatred towards Christians, simply because of what...

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