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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, June 29, 2012
Thirteenth Sunday of the Year 1st July 2012
The Last Word

I assure you, this is the last time I’ll mention the Forty Hours not least because I won’t be here for the next two weekends. But I would draw your attention to the fact that there are, as I write this on Friday morning, nine hours when no-one has signed up to watch and pray.
Part of the incentive for having this traditional devotion has been the 50th Eucharistic Congress which took place in Dublin and finished last weekend. The Holy Father gave an extraordinary address at the close of the meeting which said much about adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He commented that, “Active participation [in the Mass] has been confused with external activity. In a changed world, increasingly fixated on external things, we must learn to recognise anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to our lives.”
Part of his address reminded me of the Father Ted episode when Fr Dougal is on board a booby-trapped milk float and the only solution Fr Ted and his colleagues can come up with is to keep saying Mass. I don’t know if the Pontiff has ever seen the programme, but he remarked, “Concentrating the whole relationship with the Eucharistic Jesus only at the moment of Holy Mass risks removing His presence from the rest of time. And thus perceived less is the sense of the constant presence of Jesus in our midst and with us, a concrete close presence.”
This week, at the request of Bishop Mark Davies, the heart of St John Vianney is visiting the dioceses of Salford, Liverpool, Shrewsbury and Birmingham. Observing a farmer who visited the church around noon everyday, the Cure of Ars asked him what he did during that time of prayer. The man replied simply, “I look at Him, and He looks back at me.”
In our preparations to celebrate our patronal feast in the Mass let us imitate that poor farmer’s love for Christ and that of St Mary Magdalen and spend some time with Him just looking at Him and knowing that He looks back at us with great love. As Pope Benedict concluded, “To be all together in prolonged silence before the Lord present in his sacrament is one of the most genuine examples of being the Church.” Surely that is what we all desire – to be a strong and potent symbol of Christ’s love in the world – and this is a good way to help achieve that goal. Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:54 am