Prayer for Vocations
God our Father,
look in love upon our homes, our families and our communities.
Raise up among us worthy priests, to teach the Gospel to all people,
to minister at your altar and to care for your flock.
Fill us with your Holy Spirit and make us faithful and inspiring witnesses to your kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Some Definite Service
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work.
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me.
Still, He knows what He is about.
Blessed John Henry Newman
Today we celebrate the feast of St Alphege as this Sunday is the nearest to his feast day of 19th April. He was born in Weston, Bath around the year 953 and became a monk first at Deerhurst near Tewksbury, then at Glastonbury and following that at Bath Abbey. He became Bishop of Winchester and then Archbishop of Canterbury.
The big threat in those days came from the Danes who were mostly located in the east of the country and when Alphege moved to Canterbury he was firmly in Danish territory. In 1011 they laid siege to Canterbury and captured Alphege intending to ransom him. Alphege instructed the Christians not to pay any ransom and he was killed during a drunken bacchanal. He was the first Archbishop of Canterbury to be martyred.
We admire him because of his scholarship, his organisational skills, his leadership of the Church and for his courage in defending the faith.
Easter Sunday is the most important feast in the Liturgical Year because it celebrates the central Christian mystery of the resurrection. The Jews keep the Sabbath holy as they were instructed to in the Ten Commandments but we Christians keep Sundays holy because the first day of the week was the day of the resurrection.
It is especially important that we mark this day by going to Church but also by celebrating together as a family. Right across Europe families will be sitting down to an Easter lunch often involving lamb, reminding us that Jesus was the Lamb of God. The Jewish people ate lamb at the Passover as they were intructed to do by God and since the Last Supper was essentially a Passover meal we Christians continue to do this at Easter. Father Alex