Sundays in April/May/June 2022

The next three months reveal the Church as focused totally on the Paschal Mystery and its consequences as celebrated in her Liturgy. This period comprises the final weeks of the season of Lent which invites the faithful to prepare themselves and their communities to celebrate Holy Week, Holy Week itself, and the whole season of Eastertide and the associated great feasts of the Lord. Essential to an understanding of, and a full participation in, this central celebration of the Church is an appreciation of the Scriptures put before the faithful in the Liturgy. In them, they encounter the Christ who proclaims and brings about the kingdom through his life, death and resurrection and through the sending of the Holy Spirit. By contemplating the Word of God present in Scripture in the liturgical celebrations the faithful are invited to enter ever more fully into the Paschal Mystery that is celebrated, and which is the source of all Christian life and hope.

Robert Draper is a parish priest in Dorset.
Sunday 3 April
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Psalm 125
Philippians 3.8–14
John 8.1–11

The recollection of the Exodus and particularly the passage through the Red Sea is referred to frequently in the Hebrew scriptures as the great act of God – as in this passage from Isaiah – but here it is cited only to be dismissed as a mere shadow of what God is about to do. Two great themes from Isaiah are referred to here – the end of the Exile and bringing back of the scattered people to their land – by the road in the wilderness – and the flourishing of all creation: rivers in the wilderness. God promises to transform his people’s situation radically and all of creation with it. This is to be the great act that makes all previous actions of God redundant: ‘no need to recall the past’. As the Church prepares to celebrate the Passion of the Lord next week, this reading invites us to recognise in that celebration the definitive act of God which transforms all people and all creation.

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Breaking the Word - Sundays

In the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Fathers of Vatican II decreed that: ‘The treasures of the Bible are to be opened up more lavishly so that a richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word’. (SC.52) The lavish feast of Sacred Scripture at the celebration of the Eucharist is designed to nourish and inspire the faithful. The following reflections on the Sunday readings for the next two months are an attempt to help readers and listeners to both savour and  ponder the selected passages so as to be drawn ever closer to the source of that nourishment. The author is a parish priest in Dorset and Vicar General of the Diocese of Plymouth.