If you love me you will keep my commandments

As we move through Eastertide, we begin to look forward towards Jesus’ return to his Father, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus tells his disciples that the Spirit will come as an Advocate, or champion, to strengthen and guide the Christian community. The Spirit will be the driving force of the early Church, in the face of difficulty and persecution. Jesus draws believers to share in the love that he himself shares with God the Father; “I am in my Father, and you in me and I in you.” This is the love that sustains us as Christians. But even in difficult times, the Church cannot only look inwards. Today’s first reading describes Philip going to preach among the Samaritans – the age-old enemies of the Jews – and receiving a joyful welcome, while, in the second reading, Peter urges the first Christians to be witnesses to their neighbours. The Church is a community of believers who are strengthened by the love of God to look both inwards and outwards: to love and support one another, and to bring the Good News to the whole world.

Forward together in hope prayer

Glory be to the Father –
in whom we live and move and have our being.
Glory be to the Son –
whose name we bear and who calls each of us to be his disciples; to build his Kingdom and to go out into the world and bear its fruit.
Glory be to the Holy Spirit –
pouring out grace and guidance, forming us and renewing us.
Inspire us all in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to live the Gospel, to be open to change and to move forward together in hope.
Amen.

Celebration of Marriage

Wedding RingsBishop Séamus will celebrate Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday 10 June at 11:00am to give thanks for the Sacrament of Marriage. He has invited each parish community to be represented by at least two couples, young or old, newly married or celebrating a significant anniversary. In addition, everyone is welcome to attend. This promises to be a wonderful celebration and will provide affirmation and support for Marriage across the diocese and to the wider North-East community.

EVENTS AT MINSTERACRES

Icon painting retreat: Monday 29 May to Friday 2 June. This workshop is open to beginners as well as to those with some experience, who wish to paint an icon as an expression of personal prayer. During this week we will explore the spirituality and symbolism contained within icons. The retreat will be led by Maureen Rimmer, who has many years experience of icon painting in egg-tempera. She has completed commissions to write icons for churches in the north east of England.

general election

The Bishops of England and Wales have issued a letter to Catholics on the forthcoming general election. The letter encourages all Catholics to play an active part in the election. While voting for any particular political party is a matter of conscience, the bishops encourage people to use their vote at this pivotal time for our nations, as we prepare to leave the European Union. The letter lays out broad principles to guide our thinking in the run-up to the election, taken from Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium. You can find a copy of the Bishops’ letter on the noticeboard, or online at www.catholicnews.org.uk

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