Last Friday I had the privilege of singing in Bach’s Saint John’s passion, it’s a deeply moving piece. At the end of John’s passion narrative just before Jesus dies he cries; ‘It is finished’, some translations have, ‘It is accomplished’. I find these simple worlds of profound significance. Jesus surrenders himself, his life, his work, his witness and his faithfulness to God. There is no triumphant glory, there is just the offering of everything to God. Jesus is obedient unto death. Jesus can do no more, he has given everything, it is now up to God. It is in Jesus’ humanity, in his vulnerability, that I find the most convincing evidence of his divinity and of God’s transforming power. It is in the complete subversion of our understanding of power, that we glimpse the Kingdom of God.
I do hope you will be able to attend our services during these last few days of Holy Week and also be with us as we celebrate God’s power to transform on Sunday morning at 10.30am.
Tonight we have mass at 8pm in the Lady Chapel.
Tomorrow (Maundy Thursday) we dine together and share in the Eucharist in the parish hall at 8pm.
Good Friday there will be a service of Stations of the Cross at 12noon
at 2pm there will be a liturgy where we hear John’s Passion Story, pray for the Church and the world, adore the cross and receive communion consecrated on Thursday evening.
On Saturday evening at 10.30 pm we gather to light the new fire, light the paschal candle and carry the light of Christ into our darkened church, hear the story of our salvation and celebrate the Eucharist together. It is the most important service of the Church’s year.
With my prayers and blessing for Holy Week and Easter Day.
As we journey through Holy Week, reflecting on the horrors of Jesus’ journey to the Cross, I commend to you this lovely poem by the poet priest Malcolm Guite,
The Anointing at Bethany. It is from his collection of poems entitled Sounding the Seasons. He writes of this poem: I love the way Jesus responds to Mary’s beautiful, useless gesture and recognises it as something that is always worth while, something that will live forever, for all the carping and criticism of Judas, then and now.
Come close with Mary, Martha, Lazarus
So close the candles stir with their soft breath
And kindle heart and soul to flame within us
Lit by these mysteries of life and death.
For beauty now begins the final movement
In quietness and intimate encounter
The alabaster jar of precious ointment
Is broken open for the world’s true lover,
The whole room richly fills to feast the senses
With all the yearning such a fragrance brings,
The heart is mourning but the spirit dances,
Here at the very centre of all things,
Here at the meeting place of love and loss
We all foresee, and see beyond the cross.
With every blessing