Vicar's Letter

As we enter the second month of shutdown and I have just seen the news that the figures for new infections and hospital deaths are coming down, there is hope and an end to the current lockdown in sight. Of course, until we have a vaccine we will not be without restrictions, but I hope and pray that we can do this. We have undoubtedly seen something of the best of people, but also some of the worst. The heroes of the NHS are applauded quite rightly but those taking no precautions to protect themselves and others are signs of the selfishness of many. The panic buying and jostling to get flour or toilet rolls - for "me and mine‟ are a worry. The phrase, “but it's my right!” is too often heard. 

Over the last week we have read or heard the story of the Lord's resurrection. The women are the first to arrive at the tomb, although John mentions only Mary Magdalene. The other disciples do not believe them, that is, the men do not believe women. The proclamation of the resurrection life began with the very people who were marked by death, marginalisation and mistreatment. The men then rush to verify what they have been told and Peter goes in to the tomb and comes out. John enters, and it is said, “he saw and believed.” In the empty tomb they find a new presence, the presence of the Lord who has overcome death and who gives life. 

This is the crux of Easter's news. This is the hope we long for. This is what the world needs at this present time. We are mindful of St Paul‟s words, “Seek the things that are above.” The things that are above are the things of God. Our own lives are a thing from God, a gift to us, for which we give thanks and praise. Believing in the Easter story and the resurrection means bearing witness to Jesus with paschal joy in our hearts. 

In all the difficulties, problems and trials of this pandemic we bear witness to Jesus in our prayers, our care and by standing in solidarity with the neediest, the marginalised and the mistreated, just like those women who were the first to discover the risen Jesus. The resurrection is at the centre of our faith and it is therefore the great model of our behaviour.

With blessings,

Fr Michael