Each year on the seventh Sunday of Easter we hear a portion of what is commonly called the "High Priestly Prayer" of Jesus, from the 17th chapter of John. This is his prayer of Maundy Thursday, "the day before he suffered," in which he prays for himself, his apostles, and for all of us who would come to believe through the Apostles' witness. As to why this prayer is called "High Priestly" I plan to wax pedantic in Sunday's homily, but notice in the excerpt above that the Lord's prayer for his Apostolic Church is that "they may be one."
This unity the Lord wills for his Church is in a very special sense our mission in the Ordinariate. Our very existence is the gracious response of the Church to Anglican Christians whose holy desire was to return to the full communion of the Catholic Church. We are a living sign of the Catholic Church's ecumenical heart. And just so, we are here to invite and welcome "separated brethren" (of whose number most of us once were) into the joy and freedom of full communion.
As Bishop Lopes has said, “It’s an ecumenical sensitivity on the part of the Popes that has allowed this movement, recognising that the Holy Spirit has been truly working in this community outside of full communion, drawing them into the fullness of communion of the Church... I think it gives a very fine example to people who are paying attention outside of the Church (that) there’s a way to become Catholic where we can still maintain very key elements of our identity - 'I’m not simply swept away but celebrated and welcomed by the Church.'”
So let us join our prayer to that of Christ our High Priest, "that they all may be one." And having prayed, let us act. Invite a friend to Mass or Evensong!
Finally, and in service to this mission given us by Christ, I have called a parish meeting for Saturday, June the 2nd, from 9.30AM till 12.30PM. The following Sunday will be the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, our feast of title and the fifth anniversary of the establishment of our community. And so the time is right for us to think and speak together about a vision for our parish community's future. Who are we now? And who, what, where is God calling us to be, and how do we get there from here? These are urgent questions for us, and we need (I require!) your input - members, friends, fellow travelers. There will be an email early next week which will give you more details and allow you to register for the meeting and reserve lunch.
See you Sunday, and God bless you,