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50 Avenue Hoche, 75008 Paris

Masses: limited access-Daily on You tube below

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Sunday Mass from 2 June 2020

Access limited: SUNDAY Masses 10 &12noon, NO Saturday VIGIL Mass
Cancelled: All CCD classes until September (online only)
(government & diocese instructions)

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re-opening soon: Infant Baptisms
online: RCIA
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7th Sunday of Easter

7th Sunday of Easter, 24 May 2020     * Month of Mary, Our Mother *

A Reflection {only view of Aidan Troy}

During the present pandemic, there has been a lot of pain felt over the absence of others. Grandparents feel the absence of the hugs of their grandchildren. School children can be heard to say that they miss their school friends and their teachers. At St Joseph’s, normally so full of people, Mass has been celebrated behind closed doors via YouTube.

It seems that absence has created a new awareness of other forms of presence. The seats in the church may be empty, but in my mind’s eye I can see faces that I know, and I love. I can almost hear the faint cry of a baby, catch the smile of a child at something funny. To be physically present is our normal, but not only way, of being present to each other.

Jesus spent three years walking dusty roads with his disciples. He dropped in on a wedding at Cana. He went to the tombs to call Lazarus back. He raised children and restored them to their parents who could not believe their eyes. He went to the bedside of Peter’s mother-in-law and restored her to health from a fever – a virus?

He never forgot that He was the Son of the Father and so went absent at times to climb into the hills long before dawn to pray. He would simply be with his Father and listen to the way that lay ahead. He always came ‘back to earth’ ready to continue the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

On Ascension Thursday, his leaving all that had made up His life on earth, including the Calvary death and the Jerusalem resurrection, is recalled. This was the beginning of His absence in favour of a different Presence.

Like many places, I come from a town built on a river, The Dargle. It divides the town to such an extent that the upper bank of the river is Big Bray and the lower bank is called Little Bray. Think of the disciples crossing a bridge spanning a river. The disciples had to leave the familiar bank of the natural presence of Jesus and cross over to unknown territory on the other side. There the Spirit of the Risen Lord takes hold of them.

My temptation is to stay with the familiar and not risk the often-perilous crossing into the land of the Spirit. While Jesus was before their eyes, they felt secure. Now this is new territory where Jesus is present in the Spirit but not visible to sight. Has that not been the experience of us all during ‘lockdown’? We know that each other are there, but we do not see   each other. The disciples felt like this while waiting for Pentecost.

Since you are not present at St Joseph’s for the past almost two months, I believe that your invisible presence has more intensity in depth and extent than if we had never been separated. We did not choose this, and therefore there is no praise or blame on any side. This is more than ‘absence making the heart grow fonder’, true though this may be.

Thanks to the Holy Spirit, this new Presence of Jesus on the other bank of the river, is established forever and not just for three years. Now He is found in Word, Sacrament, in us and in the poor and the forgotten. It is for us not a question of ‘looking into the sky’ to see Him but looking across the bridge to the other side to see Him beckon us to risk crossing over.


Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56

Designed by Bruno Valades