By happy coincidence we are celebrating this week all three sacraments of initiation. Both on Sunday 14 and 21 June we will celebrate the sacrament of baptism, by which a new member enters into the Church.
On Friday 19 June at St Joseph’s Church, Mill Lane, Gilesgate, Bishop Séamus will celebrate a Mass for Confirmation of teenagers from the Durham Parishes, including two members of our own congregations. The candidates will receive the Holy Spirit anew and be strengthened for their role and mission as adult Christians.
And at the 10:00am Mass here at St Cuthbert’s on Sunday 14 June we celebrate the first participation in Holy Communion of two of our children.
This Sunday we finally return to the green of Ordinary Time after the long cycle of Lent and Easter, followed by the great feasts of the Most Holy Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ. We use green as a sign of the vitality and fruitfulness that there is in the Church throughout the year, and these infants, children and teenagers are signs to us of the growth of God’s kingdom.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a man who throws seed on the land. “Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know” (Mark 4:27). The seed of faith is sown in baptism, strengthened in confirmation and nourished in the eucharist. We give thanks for the gifts of these sacraments and pray especially this week for those who receive them: that their faith may continue to grow and that they may be an example to us all, all year round.