Spring is a wonderful and busy time for anyone who loves gardening. It is much the same in the life of the Church. No sooner have we completed the journey to Easter and celebrated the Resurrection and our access to the new life it brings, which the natural world is helpfully demonstrating all around us, than the story races forward. The followers of Jesus and his disciples had their worlds turned upside down. Easter not only brought good news, initially confusing and unexpected, but the bitter lessons of what had happened in the time leading up to it, stories of denial and fear, and of betrayal alongside stories of faithful and brave waiting; we recall Judas, and Peter, but perhaps forget those who faithfully waited under the Cross. And as events unfolded Jesus was preparing them to accept the reality of His Resurrection, but also of His imminent departure to His father at the Ascension. Once more they would lose His earthly presence, and have to wait faithfully for the promised Holy Spirit which we will celebrate on June 5th. Life for those early believers was a roller-coaster, joy and sorrow, regret and hope. As we look around this beautiful Spring world, we listen to the radio or watch our TVs and know that for so many their lives are in a confused, dangerous or difficult place.
We have once more rehearsed the truth that we as Christians are people who turn our lives to try to face the light, and reject what is dark. We know that life can never be all good, but neither will it be all bad forever either. The dreadful war in Ukraine has shown us what is at stake when peace is lost, when lies take hold and people cease to value the lives and liberty of others. At the same time we have heard much of the generosity, self-sacrifice and determination of countless people to try to bring hope and comfort to millions, and know that there is always hope. For those who are afraid of the pressures of rising costs of diminishing income this is a particularly hard time, and many must despair. We must learn to pressure those who make the decisions to realize that it is with the poorest and the most vulnerable that we must start to help, it is the message of the Gospel that God is biased toward the poor, and the weak, and if so we must be too. Fr. Richard Howells