I hope you’re all doing okay. This will be a Holy Week and Easter for all of us the likes of which we’ve never experienced previously. Normally there would be a lot of running around by many in the parish attending to all the various preparations for this week. Not this year. Very different. Thank God, though, for the wizardry of mod tech. I know that many of you are greatly appreciative and are enjoying having Mass regularly live streamed from various places, not least our Cathedral. I would encourage you to tune in online Sunday at 12noon on St Andrew’s Cathedral website when Archbishop Tartaglia will celebrate Mass and bless palms.
Palm Sunday Mass presents Jesus giving us an example of patient endurance and faithfulness in suffering. Something we all encounter in life is suffering. We wouldn’t choose to suffer. It’s not something anyone likes. Sometimes we cope with it better than others.
There are a number of things that can help us to cope better with suffering. Know that no one escapes suffering. Mother Teresa suffered from depression. Pope John Paul II suffered a great deal of loss and illness in his life. Not even Jesus could avoid suffering.
Don’t doubt God in moments of suffering. Trust and pray that He will give you strength. ‘I am with you always’ He’s promised. Hold on to St Peter’s encouraging words in times of trouble, ‘Cast all your anxieties on Him, for he cares about you.’
And here’s a challenge - see that good comes from suffering. Not always easy to see or appreciate.
And another thing that can help us cope with suffering is talking to someone you can trust about how you feel. The whole ‘a worry shared is a worry halved’ truth.
Just to remind you, our palms will be blessed here at 10am Mass in St Andrew’s. Very grateful to those who have prepared a Palm Sunday focal point / feature in the church, photos of which are above this message and on our social media.
We long for the day when we’ll all be back together again for Mass. When that day comes, blessed palms will be distributed, little crosses can be made, and, together, we’ll wave our palms high, singing at the top of our voices, “Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory”
Thoughts and prayers of Monsignor, Deacon Tommy and I are with you and all those around you during this very trying time. Take care. Will drop you a few words on Monday, as that would have been the day when all nine churches in Bearsden would have been coming together to pray Stations of the Cross in St Andrew’s.
PS Remember, if you get a chance, email your Palm Sunday branch photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s lovely weather this weekend for getting out and getting a branch from your garden to place at your front window or front door. See here and on our social media for more details.
Images will also be uploaded here.