Our latest message April 2019

Dear Friends,
This month will see us all through the remaining weeks of Lent and into the great  defining Christian event and celebration of Easter.  The two weeks before Easter Sunday are known as Passiontide and Palm Sunday’s full name is “Palm Sunday of Our Lord’s Passion.” Passion is a word often misused and cheapened by politicians and others in an effort to describe a deep commitment to something when trying to convince the public of their sincerity.  My Pocket Oxford Dictionary tells me that passion is a strong emotion, which could be anger, enthusiasm or love.  For Christians the word must always take us straight to Jesus because it is through him that we find meaning. Passion, as seen in Christ, is the Way of the Cross.  It is the carrying of burdens.  It is the loving of  others while burdened by them.  It is the gentle encounter and forgiving word while struggling with the weight of the Cross.  It is being spat upon because you are the very embodiment of Love.  It is the nails, the whipping, the lancing.  Passion is all of that: but it is all of that while living with hope, while living with the promise of something that is new and yet to come.  It is being able to call out in love to those who don’t understand you, as Jesus did on the Day of Resurrection to Mary Magdalene when she mistook him for the gardener.  It is forgiving those who doubt, as with the disciples on the Emmaus Road and again with Thomas.  It is trusting those who    denied you with responsibility and authority, as the Risen Lord did with Peter.

Christ’s Passion is more than a strong emotion. Christ’s Passion is an identity. Christ’s Passion is a lived experience for the sake of others. Christ’s Passion is the Church’s identity and lived experience.  The question we ask ourselves is this:  Is it my identity, is it my lived experience?  Without Christ’s passion, there is no resurrection. If his Passion is not also ours today, there will be no Resurrection today either and people will not hear the gentle voice of Love calling them, forgiving them or trusting them.  If we really are the Body of Christ and if we yearn for the Resurrection to be real today, rather than an historical event that will dwindle with the mists of time, we too must live the Passion of Christ.

Fr Stephen

Some Dates for your diaries

  • 9 April, Annual Meetings to elect Churchwardens, PCC Members and to receive the Reports of the Parish, 7pm, St Paul’s.
  • 12 April, Ilesha Choir concert in St Paul’s.
  • 18 April, Maundy Thursday.  Mass of the last Supper and Watch, 7pm, St Paul’s.
  • 19 April, Good Friday.11am Children’s Liturgy and 2pm Liturgy of the Cross, St Mary’s.
  • 21 April, Easter Sunday, 9:15 Mass at St Paul’s,11am in St Mary’s.
  • 28 April, 3pm, Scouts’ St George’s Day Parade.
  • 3 May, Tour de Yorkshire: Hot food and drink for sale at St Mary’s from 1pm.
  • 7 May, 7pm, Benefice Joint PCC at St Thomas’s Gawber.
  • 11 May, 10am to 1.00pm Table Top Sale, Parish hall.
  • 2 June, an afternoon event for Barnsley Pals project: details to follow. NEW
  • 9 June, 3:30pm, Pentecost celebration with +Tony in Wakefield Cathedral. NEW 
  • 21 June, evening concert in St Mary’s.  Details to follow.
  • 22 June, Parish Summer Fair

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