Yesterday was the first Friday of the month and for the pious catholic is called the ‘first Friday’.. logical right?!

In our church we have a 10 O’Clock mass on first Friday night followed by all night eucharistic adoration with a morning mass at 5 a.m.

Hats off to Fr Paul who celebrates the 2 masses without any complaint after going through cancer treatment last year and working tirelessly in his own ministry helping many with addiction problems and more…..

As for me, I can’t take much or even any credit as I usually don’t attend the first Friday devotionals but last night I felt a special call from Our Lady and said to her..”I’d love to go to the morning mass but you’ll have to wake me up”!!

She did!!

Torn between Jesus and a coffee I sat at the back in admiration for the ladies who’d been there all night and Paul who seemed bright as a button.

My mind wandered back to my childhood when my grandad would always go to mass for the first Friday.

In the summer time this would mean Michael would probably have to serve mass but with the likelihood of granda buying me chocolate and sweets after and my grand auntie giving me all the club orange and jaffa cakes that I could eat, serving was tolerable!!

I even once remember going to confession with all the old ladies.”I used bad words and was a bold boy at home”….I know that you all find that very hard to believe!!! 🤣🤣🤣

And yet I suppose I had no idea what the first Friday was or of its origins and so it was impossible for me to participate.

Of course the first Friday comes from the apparitions of Jesus to saint Margaret Mary in central France and a response to console the wounded heart of Jesus for all the sins and blasphemies in the world.

If someone had told the 10 year old me that one day I’d speak fluent French and work in that retreat centre I may have died of shock.

If they told me that I’d get kicked out of the same place for being gay I would probably have laughed and yet both are true!

Fortunately I never took either too seriously as it was always obvious to me that the sacred heart of Jesus does not belong to any place or any country and that whether people like it or not, Jesus has a place for everyone is His heart.

And yet, one thing is clear. Whether or not we know about the sacred heart of Jesus or these devotionals, Jesus loves us, Jesus is thristing for us and Jesus is hurting by all the sins and evil in the world.

And so once again we are called to getting to know Jesus more and to allowing Him to teach us about who we are and the world we live in and how He needs our love and our help to improve things for future generations.

There are so many ways that we can do this from sitting in prayer to reading a spiritual book to going to mass or confession…the important thing isn’t how we pray, it’s that we pray!!

And as tomorrow is the feast of “Corpus Christi” (the body of Christ), today is the perfect day to prepare our souls a little bit and to make that little bit of extra effort to thank Jesus and to reflect on the astounding mystical gift of His eucharistic presence at every mass and His desire for us to know His love for us more and more.

So happy first Friday, have a Holy First Saturday (today) and may you and your families be abundantly blessed tomorrow on the feast of Corpus Christi!

Jesus, we trust in you, help us to trust you more, love you more and love others more.

Bless you for reading,

Michael