Sunday April 20th. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

St. Margaret's,                        St. Joseph's,                        St. Finnan's
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"Have you seen with what food he nurtures us all? Just as a woman nurtures her offspring with her own blood and milk, so also Christ continuously nurtures with his own blood those whom he has begotten."

    The birth of Jesus sees him as already marked for death. In Luke's Gospel, Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes, as now he is wrapped for burial. She lays him in a manger, a feeding trough, just as at the end he will become food for us. But his death and burial are described as pregnant with new life.

    But the death of Jesus leads to an astonishing new birth. The tomb is empty, the womb of the Risen Lord. It is the women, as always, who are there for the birth. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene as the new gardener of a fresh Paradise. She is told not to cling to Jesus:  "Do not hold me." She must learn, like all mothers and lovers, to let go, to let something new happen. And so she becomes the first preacher of the Resurrection, "the apostle of the Apostles".

    So in Holy Week these women incarnate various aspects of the divine love. They remain when the men mostly run away. They abide at the foot of the Cross when there is little to do except be there. They embody God's enduring presence, even when God seems absent. As in most societies, the women care for his body, accompanying birth and death.

But in Holy Week these traditional feminine roles are taken up into a more profound drama, that of redemption. We are told not just of the burial of a man's body, but of the end of an era. These women accompany a birth, not of a baby but of a new community, the body of Christ. They are the midwives of grace.

    So the special "feminine" gifts of these women, though not exclusively theirs, are taken up into a new sphere, the triumph of God's grace. Roles that perhaps were originally associated with submission to men are liberated to become a service equal to that of anyone. The challenge for the Church today is to imagine how these feminine gifts can find their full realisation in the Church's government and mission. This is not to say that women should in any way be confined to these feminine roles, but let them not be denied! And what are the special gifts of masculinity?

    Humanity is made in the image of God in the mutuality and equality of men and women. We are just at the beginning of understanding what this means. If we can edge our way towards doing so more clearly, the Church will be good news for a society which is adrift, without any clear sense of what it means to be male or female.

Fr Timothy Radcliffe O.P. is a former Master of the Dominican Order

My sincere thanks to all who contributed to the success of the three sacreddays of Holy Week, and also Easter Sunday, which were all well attended.

The floral decorations in our churches were so beautiful, and this year there was an abundance of daffodils which helped to fill the churches with the joys of Easter and new life coming into world

The music, singing, readers and servers for Holy Week and Easter Sunday made our liturgy very special and meaningful, and my thanks to Peter Rose, our organist, and the choir. Also my thanks to the readers who took part in the two readings of the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, and also the other lovely readings throughout the three days. to those who assisted at the altar, our stalwarts, Helena and Francesca Rose, who were present for all the services, and my nephew, Thomas Wynne, who will soon be ordained to the permanent deaconate,

May God bless you all

Easter Anniversaries

We remember in our prayers those whose anniversaries are at this time:  Donald MacDonald. Joe Campbell, Kate MacDonald. Tessa Millen, Morag Steele (Fr Tom's housekeeper for 30 years) and  Patrick Toal (mass next Sunday)

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. May they now share in the joy of Christ's resurrection.

Angus Cameron  R.I.P

Parishioners were very sad to hear of the sudden death of Angus Cameron, formerly of Upper Inverroy,  who had been living in Corpach for the past two years. It was quite unexpected, and we offer our sincere sympathy to his brother and sisters. It is less than a year since Maurice died, so this is another sad blow to the family. Angus’s funeral will take place from St. Margaret's on Thursday at 12 noon. Fr. Roddy MacAulay, who is the parish priest of Caol, will join me at the Requiem Mass and take the committal service at Cille Choirill.

                                     Eternal rest grant unto Angus, O Lord.

Bertha Jones’s funeral will take place from St. Margaret's on Tuesday at 11 a.m., and afterwards to the crematorium at Inverness.