Father Andy Nyga

From the Parish of St Dominics

Peace be with you

Peace be with you

The season of Easter is coming to an end as next Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord and the following Sunday, Pentecost. Although the theme of the readings are still following that of the previous Sundays of Easter, we hear today about the coming of the Holy Spirit and Jesus outlines for His disciples and for us, the role and relationship of the Spirit in the Church when He goes back to the Father. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that the early church has held its first Council, the Council of Jerusalem. How and why did this come about? As the disciples started to preach and spread the good news, they gained many converts and now had as their followers both Jewish Christians and non-Jewish Christians/Gentiles. There was great dissent and confusion between these two sets of followers as the Jewish Christians believed that the Gentile Christians should also obey the law of Moses as they did, especially with regard to the rite of circumcision. The apostles and other elders of the church met in Jerusalem and sent back word to the Gentile Christians, that guided by the Holy Spirit, they have decided not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials.....it was in a situation of compromise that the Gentile Christians were asked to accept some of the customs of the Jews: abstaining from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. So it still is today with our church in the 21st century. We often hear the pleading and requests from our Holy Father and others for religious tolerance and respect for cultural traditions and customs which can be incorporated in our own liturgy as long as they are not in conflict with ‘the essentials” e.g. the celebration of mass in the native language of a country. In the second reading, John treats us to another radiant view of the New Jerusalem, the Holy city. Last Sunday he described it as” a beautiful bride all dressed for her husband and today he describes it as “some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond.” We believe this to be a description of the Church, open and all-embracing with gates on all sides and built on twelve foundation stones, representing the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus to carry on with his mission. There is no temple as physical structures are not important since Jesus and His Father are the temple and provide the light which shines for us. In our earthly life as a pilgrim, we each can be a radiant city, providing light to others by holding steadfast in our faith and by example in deed and word. The gospel contains the final and parting words of Jesus to his disciples at the Last Supper. He knows they are afraid and uncertain as He is about to leave them but he leaves them with words of ENCOURAGEMENT AND HOPE: the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send will teach you everything.

CONSOLATION: do not let your hearts be troubled

PEACE: peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you

How relevant these words still are, so many years after Jesus walked on earth. We often wish that our lives are always full of joys and triumphs and happiness but very often they are clouded by frustration, despair and hopelessness. At times like these, we should take comfort in these words spoken by Jesus to His disciples and found in today’s gospel.

THE POPE’S INTENTIONS FOR MAY 2016. UNIVERSAL: RESPECT FOR WOMEN

That in every country in the world, women may be honoured and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed

EVANGELICAL: HOLY ROSARY

That families, communities and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for

evangelisation and peace.

Time capsule!!!
Solemnity of the Ascension