Do you, like me, doubt?
“God raised this man to life and all of us are witnesses to that.” (Acts 2:14)
I sat in the Cathedral during Mass and looked at the beautiful display of flowers. This statement from today’s first reading struck me more than the momentous events described in the Gospel.
Are we witnesses too, but only in our own heart? Peter was transformed from a cowardly wreck in a matter of weeks into the confident who could stand up in front of hundreds and say this, but he had seen. Can’t the will be as strong as the eye?
I love these days after Easter and always make a particular point of going to Mass. Today, Mary stands outside the tomb weeping. I love the way that she too does not recognise Jesus. I sympathise with her, as I have spent a lifetime doing the same.
Easter Wednesday is the day that we hear the Gospel of Emmaus. The whole mass is in this reading which must be my favourite. Here the scriptures are read to us and here we recognise The Lord in the breaking of the bread.
I took my little boat out in Portsmouth Harbour. Here everything was rain and wind, so we gave up and went round the Mary Rose exhibition. What a strange and moving evocation of a previous world. One moment five hundred men full of vigour and fight, the next plunged into that same grey patch of Spithead sea that I have so often sailed over.
I am reminded of the small cross on the road rising to the fell above Stonyhurst and its inscription: “Glad in the evening, sad in the morning. Watch out! You neither know the day or the hour.”
Let’s not be morbid but still think upon the surgeon of the Rose. A man of substance. We have his possessions now, but who was he? Is he, I wonder, chuckling at us now?
And now when they return to the room where the apostles are, Thomas is not with them. Just as we often are not there.
I went to Oakham Parish Church for the memorial service of my predecessor Lord Kimball. The centre of the town is a perfect mix of school and church. After, we sat by the quiet waters of Rutland Water, dappling sunlight, the lightest of airs, and small beached boats, the remembrance of summers past and reflected came back to us.
And now we are by the side of the Sea of Galilee. The scene is homely and still convincing.
I was due at the launch of a Euro campaign but I took some time off to go the Eucharist in Lincoln Cathedral. How inspiring to be there listening to see words under the enormous East Window towering above us and way above me the tiny Lincoln Imp having a laugh. Somebody gave me some time ago some pretty hideous Imp cufflinks. I am wearing them now.
Now Mark summarises the whole extraordinary week.
We travelled to Rome on a wing and a prayer for the canonisation of the two popes, John XXIII and John Paul II. We had no ticket but Ryanair had a place. In the evening we watched the Polish groups led by their parish priests winding their way through the Piazza della Rotondo in front of the Pantheon. Their red and white flags waving to show them the way.
Divine Mercy Sunday
My daughter managed somehow to grab a mass book. Lucky, because there was a mile and a million Poles between us and the altar. But no matter, at the other end of the bridge over the Tiber leading to Castel Sant’Angelo there was a screen at an angle so we could watch the Mass, sort of. What an experience to be packed on that bridge in the crowd. We saw the dignitaries being whisked to their seats in their limos. Very nice, but they miss something.