First Holy Communion

I can’t describe how wonderful it was to celebrate the First Holy Communion Masses with the Children and their families last Saturday. We have all been waiting a year extra for it to happen and It has been a little frustrating watching other parishes have their celebrations during the intervals between the various lockdowns.  We were about three weeks behind other parishes last March and that three weeks has made all the difference. We had planned to hold the remaining classes in November and the Masses in January but the November lockdown and then the third lockdown came along. So to be able to have the celebrations on Saturday felt so much more wonderful. Things weren’t quite the same as usual but the joy on the children’s faces was wonderful as were the photos after.

It wasn’t just the joy of the occasion that was meaningful, it also felt like we were doing something normal, almost like fighting back against the pandemic and its restrictions or somehow reclaiming our lives. It was delightful to see the families gathered together, the occasion provided them with the opportunity to meet up and have a celebration, maybe for the first time in a year. Although the Masses weren’t normal it felt like we were doing something normal.

Likewise it seems like the News is back to normal with sensational political mud slinging taking centre stage. Although it is a big contrast with the joy of the First Holy Communions it does feel like something normal happening too! The normality of it is lessened somewhat, in my opinion, by the fact that the mud slinging seems to revolve around the COVID crisis, but maybe now that is the new normal. People are suggesting that this will all be with us for years to come. If that is the case maybe we will come to live with it rather than reacting to it.

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity. For me the beauty of this feast is that all creation was made through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Everything has come from God and is going to God and while we find ourselves still in a strange situation, it can help us if we recognise that our lives are held in God’s hands. All of the uncertainty we still face, the hang-ups we have from the past year, the difficulties we experience are all held gently in God’s Hands. Offering our uncertainties to him is a beautiful thing to do. God loves us so much that all of our lives matter to him, our joys and doubts and questions. We have been created by Him and for Him. In this not so normal new normal, He is there to hold us lovingly in his embrace.

Fr Tom

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