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Letter from Father Richard

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Ascension Day concludes the Apostles’ period of mourning. Beginning with Easter Day they have been trying to get to grips with life without Him present to them in the ordinary way of human beings.

Now on Ascension Day they are being asked to let go of Him in a very definite way. They let Him go, that He may go to the Father. We pray now with the Apostles that in this period before Pentecost we may be prepared for the next step in our journey of faith.

This period is the NOVENA before Pentecost – the original nine days of prayer. Come, Spirit come.

May you be abundantly blessed.

Fr. Richard
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Letter from Father Richard

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The gospel of St. John is sometimes called the contemplative gospel. It can seem to be saying nothing more than “love one another as I have loved you.”

That ‘seem’ happens to be true. When John was asked for a ‘word’ at the end of his life – a final word – He said “love one another as Jesus has loved us.”

And there’s the rub. To do that we must know Jesus; we must familiarise ourselves with Him. In prayer, in the liturgy and in our way of life. As we familiarise ourselves with Him it is surprising where we can see His face.

Keep friendly,
Fr. Richard
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Letter from Father Richard

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The gospel today is the one I use most at funerals. “I am going to prepare a place for you….” So that where I am you may be too.”

In the first instance this has nothing to do with our physical death. Jesus is going to open the gates of heaven for us; He is going to reconcile us to the Father. There will no longer be enmity between God and man.

And after He has prepared that place He will return to take us with Him. Very much in the same way as He accompanied the disciples on their way to Emmaus. If we invite Him into our lives He will break bread with us and strengthen us for the journey, the pilgrimage from here to the sacred place of heaven.

Yes, Jesus is alive, He is risen from the dead. Let Him be your fellow traveller, your friend and companion on your way.

Yours,
Fr. Richard
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Letter from Father Richard

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Good Shepherd must be ever vigilant for his sheep.

That we are described as sheep isn’t the best compliment we could have paid us. Sheep are prone to wandering off, getting into dangerous and precarious situations, putting their own lives in danger. T

hey are prey to dogs, and wolves. The good shepherd looks out for them, leads them to green pastures, rescues them from whatever dangerous situations they get into.

The 22nd or 23rd Psalm (depending on your numbering) begins “The Lord is my shepherd”. The “valley of darkness” is often that time between loss and a more fruitful future – between death and resurrection, exile and freedom… but if the Lord is your shepherd – there is nothing you shall want.

Good grazing.

Fr. Richard
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