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    Mother Teresa
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    • Morning Prayer
      on Sun 9th August 2020 10:00am
      at St Mary's Church, Doneraile
    • The Eucharist
      on Sun 9th August 2020 10:00am
      at St Mary's Church, Castletownroche
    • Morning Prayer
      on Sun 9th August 2020 11:45am
      at St James' Church, Mallow
    • Morning Prayer
      on Sun 16th August 2020 10:00am
      at St Mary's Church, Castletownroche
    • The Eucharist
      on Sun 16th August 2020 10:00am
      at St Mary's Church, Doneraile
    • The Eucharist
      on Sun 16th August 2020 11:45am
      at St James' Church, Mallow
    • Morning Prayer
      on Sun 23rd August 2020 10:00am
      at St Mary's Church, Doneraile
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5th Sunday of Easter 9th May 2020

Deuteronomy 6: 20-25
When your children ask you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the decrees and the statutes and the ordinances that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your children, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. The LORD displayed before our eyes great and awesome signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household. He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land that he promised on oath to our ancestors. Then the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now the case. If we diligently observe this entire commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, we will be in the right.’

Psalm 31
In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; ♦︎
deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me; ♦︎
make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a fortress to save me,
for you are my rock and my stronghold; ♦︎
guide me, and lead me for your name’s sake.
Take me out of the net
that they have laid secretly for me, ♦︎
for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit, ♦︎
for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
‘My times are in your hand; ♦︎
deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
‘Make your face to shine upon your servant, ♦︎
and save me for your mercy’s sake.’

1 Peter 2: 2-10
Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:
‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’
To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner’,
and ‘A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.’
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

John 14: 1-14
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’
Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Easter 5

“I am the Way the Truth and the Life …”

The Pilgrim

Many years ago, I was the Chaplain of a prison in England. At Christmas each year we were joined by the local area Bishop, a wise and very approachable person. He said that he had nowhere else to go – at Christmas no-one really wanted nor needed him! – so he asked if he could come and celebrate Holy Communion with the prisoners. He was a very good man and had a light and easy manner, which went down well in the prison, and they were delighted to see him.

I remember one year he told us of a visit he had made, that summer, to Jerusalem …… it was his first time there and he was awe struck by the experience of literally walking in the footsteps of Christ. Some of you may have also visited the Holy City and had the same feeling. The problem for him was that in taking in the sights he became detached from the main party; he suddenly realized everyone had moved on and he could no longer see them. As he looked around the heaving mass of people in the market, he also realized he had no map – and no money to buy a map. He was in the middle of confusion with no sense of direction or idea of the right route. All he could remember was that his group were due to visit the Wailing Wall and if he could get there, he would at some stage be reunited with the main group

As he was looking around a couple of people came up and tried to sell him various souvenirs, carpets, and baskets etc. – and then a young boy came up and asked him if he were English. “Yes” replied the Bishop, how did you know? “Oh” said the lad “I thought you were English because English people always wear socks with their sandals and it looks so stupid”. Indeed, the Bishop was shod in this style, but rather than argue the fashion virtues of the situation he seized the opportunity to ask if the young man knew the way to the Wailing Wall ……….. “Oh yes” replied the boy and began to give very detailed but complex directions. The Bishop said it obviously became clear to the boy that he wasn’t taking it all in; eventually the boy said ….. “come with me I will take you there – I will be your way”

The Bishop followed the boy and 10 minutes later arrived at the Wailing Wall. Despite having questioned his sartorial elegance, the Bishop set out to reward the young man, but all efforts to pay the young boy were refused, and his young guide slipped away.

The Way

Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life”. He didn’t say to those first disciples “I know a way” .. nor did he point and say, “head off in that direction take a left, then a right etc”. He didn’t say “look at this map” or ‘X’ marks the spot”. Jesus said he was The Way …it was a statement about who he was … not some kind of philosophical discussion. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, looking at the account of two disciples on the road to Emmaus, for the first 60 years or so the disciples of Christ were known not as “Christians” … but “Followers of the Way”. It was the recognition of a journey through life, and the following of a person, Jesus – not a keeping a set of religious principles or laws.

The truth

Christ speaks to us not about a faraway destination … physical or spiritual … but the journey to be with the Father. Throughout his time on earth Jesus speaks of the intimate and loving relationship that God has with him and also wishes to have with us. In Christ, and through his Holy Spirit, we are accompanied on this pilgrimage of life; and like the little boy my Bishop met – he walks with us to be “our way” Since Christ is with us, we can also trust in his statement of being The Truth – he won’t lead us astray. He does not claim to know some of the truth … rather that he is The Truth

Albert Einstein, in commenting on the wonders of the universe said “God is deep … but he is not devious” What Einstein was saying was that the Universe is very complex and very mysterious; because of this we can become confused – sometimes it is very difficult to understand the ways of the creator – to figure out how or why things happen or what it is that he wants us to do. Still though, Einstein goes on to say God does not toy with us, he does not deliberately mislead us, “he is deep but not devious”

In Christ we know that we have the ultimate truth, God’s revelation of himself in a human being. However, we also need to accept, with humility, that the full concept of God is too vast and mysterious for our limited minds to understand. God is beyond our ability to fully comprehend him. Yet whilst we cannot take in the entire ocean, we can fill our buckets with its true water – and whilst we need humility to recognize we cannot claim our little buckets contain the whole vastness or mysterious depths of all of God’s ways – we know that we can trust in the water – the truth of God’s ways – we will not be led awry by God.

The Life

Because we can trust in God’s truth we can walk in his ways, and because we walk in his ways, we can walk in his life …. and through the events of Easter we come to understand that this life is eternal

We can of course go our own way …… choose to ignore Christ and not follow in his steps …… or we can choose to only go so far along on the journey. Christ compels no-one to follow him, rather he calls in the hope that people will walk with him. That is why the way of the Christian is a vocation (Latin: vocatio– a calling), the response to one who is called by Jesus. Jesus says to each one of us, as he said the first disciples – “follow me” As we follow Christ on his journey and follow in his footsteps, like my former Bishop, we find a route through the confusion, we are led to the right destination and reunited with those on the same journey

Each day then is a step on that adventure which reveals to us the truth about God, ourselves and our world … the truth that God loves us and wants us to be with him for all eternity – is quite a journey …… it is quite a “way” to live ….. no wonder in the first years of faith people were known as the “Followers of the Way” …… may we too have the courage to follow in this “WAY” , discover God’s “TRUTH” and live in his “LIFE”