Night Prayer for Holy Week


May the Lord grant you a quiet night and a perfect end.

Each evening during Holy Week
@ 8pm (9:30 on Thurs & Sat)
Palm Sunday Night to Easter Sunday Night

Join us for a short recitation of the the 
Night Prayer of the Church on Zoom, link here

“Pilate asked the crowd ‘Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?  He realised that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over… He addressed the crowd again; but they shouted back ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’… they kept on shouting, demanding that Jesus should be crucified…So Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.” 
15, 8-12.


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still being crucified in our time


Some people have power to incite a crowd.  A crowd can be transformed into a mob. Today social and other media have immense power, for good or for evil. Populism was a word current in the 1930s.  It appears to be with us again.

  I was weekend chaplain in a women’s prison in London for seven years.  I noticed there that populism worked in insidious ways among the prisoners.  One of the labels that sometimes attached itself to an unfortunate woman was that of “paedophile”, “pedo” for short.  In the long or short version, this word could make prison life miserable.  One lady who used attend my Mass came to speak with me.  A prisoner had taken a dislike to her and saddled her with that poisoned word.  This made her life a misery – the butt of crude jokes, even of physical abuse. She was afraid to leave her cell and occasionally thought of taking her own life. 

 A populist word can make a group become a mob.

Recently I was asked for advice from a friend.  His son had considered becoming a professional sportsman.  One of the trainers in his college took an interest in him, helped him in his sport.  Also, his good advice encouraged him to change course and study to become a lawyer.  Now he is a lawyer and is making his way towards a successful career.

It was brought to his attention that his former trainer may now be facing a prison sentence for sexual abuse of young men.  That word, “paedophile”, will, if he is convicted, attach itself to this man for the rest of his life.  His life will be ruined and, if, as is likely, he is given a prison sentence prison will be his hell on earth.

The question for me was this: is it right for me to speak up in favour of someone who may be convicted of a dreadful crime?  I suggested that the man had a weakness and had done wrong.  However, in the hue-and-cry of public opinion against a sinner who has exploited some it is a merciful and honourable to say “I have known this man; he did not exploit me, he helped me.  He may have done wrong for which he is responsible.  It want to say that there was good in this man”.

About a woman who was caught committing adultery Jesus said to the mob:
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.  John ch.8.

Pontius Pilate had Roman authority.  But he caved in to the cries of the mob. 

Christ is still being crucified in our time.    

 

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