Services at St Michael and All Angels (refer to smlcc.com.au for times)
Sunday 5 May, Third Sunday of Easter
Sunday 12 May, Fourth Sunday of Easter
Sunday 19 May, Fifth Sunday of Easter
Sunday 26 May, Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sunday 2 June, Sunday within the Octave of Ascension
The Easter Festival and Beyond
Very often the success of any activity is dependant on how well we prepare ahead for that activity. The period of preparation prior to the Easter Festival, Lent, is some way behind us now, and we are moving through the Easter period leading up to the Ascension followed by Pentecost (Whitsunday).
Thinking about our Lenten preparation we might ask ourselves what we hoped for from the Easter Festival and whether our Lenten preparation could actually deliver the hoped-for experience. For example, suppose that we wanted to experience, in our hearts and minds, a clearer picture of the Easter narrative and drama. Liberal Catholics look to symbolism to help to expand their deeper understanding. Our limited waking consciousness needs a bit of jogging along or gentle prodding to see behind a symbol for a richer picture and a better understanding of the meaning of the symbol.
For better clarity of the Easter story and its symbolism, our Lenten preparation might include:
- meditation and silent reflection to lower the “noise” in our heads
- reading about equivalent Easter-like narratives in other religions
- striving to increase our connection with the words of the Eucharist, emotionally and intellectually
- exchanging views with others in our Parish or community to see what concepts and ideas that others have that resonate with us and enlarge our own concepts.
As we travel the Path together, our own inner journey can always benefit from the inputs of other “seekers”. Our own personal “human” logic can often put our thinking into strange and difficult places.
Recently I noticed a somewhat funny reference to the complexity of matching human logic to the reality of the world. This anecdote comes from a review I read of Ian McEwan’s latest book, “Machines Like Me”, which explores artificial intelligence (AI) in human-like robots. In the novel the robot lives with a family and learns from interacting with the family members. The robot’s brain operates with a digital, binary (only yes or no) logic. It can successfully process the concept “humans love nature” but can’t integrate “humans cut down ancient redwoods” with the first statement.
Somewhat in the same vein of people getting trapped in a limited world view we can look at the opposite sides in the Brexit saga. In the event of a new referendum author Ian McEwan in the “Remain” camp wants a big advertising campaign with the tag line “Now You Know” while the “Leave” camp want “Tell Them Again”.
Returning to our own journeys inwards, the Ascension of our Lord is celebrated 40 days after Easter and on that day the Paschal candle is extinguished. This concludes the cycle of enhanced blessings arising from the living Christ Presence in our communities. Pentecost occurs on the Sunday after Ascension Sunday.
With the celebration of Trinity Sunday in the middle of June we begin the period of consolidation, where the profound lessons from the Festivals of the first half of the year can week by week be further incorporated into our human fabric with all its complexity. The same resources we have developed during our Lenten preparation can be enhanced as we take on and integrate the Trinity Intents.
Love and blessings to all, and don’t forget that we need to smile at ourselves from time to time as we endeavour to make a meaningful way in this ever-changing world.
With God's blessing