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A WORD FROM YOUR PARISH PRIEST 21st August 2016

One of the great blessings of our parish here at Holy Redeemer is that, over 6
Masses during every Sunday, we gather in great numbers to give praise and worship
to God, and to recognise our need of His grace in our personal and family lives. For
me personally, it is both a humbling experience and privilege to see that so many
people attend our Church every Sunday, to participate in the sacred liturgy, and to
acknowledge that we are all brothers and sisters in our shared love of God. Yet, one
of the paradoxes of the huge number of people who attend our Holy Mass each Sunday
is that it can become difficult for most people to know one another at a real
and deep level. Even after being here for 18 months as your parish priest I am still
struggling to know the names of all our parishioners and their family connections!
So, while we can and should rejoice that so many people, young and old, attend our
celebrations of the Holy Mass each weekend, it does also present all of us with a
real challenge; which is to make our parish at Holy Redeemer a living community of
faith hope and love, where each of us is truly concerned about the well-being of one
another.
We are assisted in this task by the fact that we have so many active ministries
within our parish community, ranging from care for our children and young people
through catechetics to service of the poor and the needy and the elderly in our
midst. For this we should be truly thankful.
But, it seems to me, that the single greatest service that we can each offer one
another, in terms of building up our spirit of communion with one another, is to make
a conscious effort in our daily prayer to bring before God, not only our own needs
and cares, but also the needs of all who worship here at our beloved parish. Here we
can take an example from the writings of St. Paul who, in his Letter to the Ephesians
(3:14-21), offers us a model of prayer for all who are united in the desire to
love and serve God:
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in
heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with
the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his
Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts
through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have
strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and
length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses
knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of
God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or
imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
We are all blessed each time that we attend Holy Mass to receive the Body and
Blood of Christ in Holy Communion. And from the earliest years of the Church there
has been a clear understanding that out task as Christians it to become what we
receive. In other words, just as we receive Holy Communion, we are called to be witnesses
of holy communion with one another through a life of service and compassion
and prayer for one another. In this Year of Mercy, we can do nothing better than to
commit ourselves to praying for all the members of our parish, that we might indeed
become the parish of the Holy Redeemer.

Fr Gerard, CSsR

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