2nd August 2020 18th Sunday Year (A)
This weekend we will be resuming Sunday Masses for the first time since March, During the past week, we have started weekday Masses and Masses will continue at the times we are used to. However, there will be no morning prayer before weekday Masses or the Tuesday Novena for the time being. If this is your first time back in the church since lockdown, welcome back. You will notice that the church looks somewhat different. We are limited in the number of people in the church so you will find markers on the seats as to where you can sit. However, families and other bubbles can sit together. When you come into the church, please sanitise your hands and find an available seat as directed by the stewards. You might not be able to have your favourite seat as in the past.
Priests have been directed to keep the Mass short so there will be no Singing, no Bidding Prayers, no Offertory Procession and no sign of peace. The Sunday homily is printed in this newsletter. Please take this Takehomenews with you and also the Sunday Mass Sheets. The idea is that nobody should touch what anybody else has touched.
Readers should sanitise their hands before and after reading or use single-use gloves. You should avoid touching the microphone or the Lectionary, apart from page turning. The alleluia should be said and not sung.
After the prayer and its response ‘Behold the Lamb of God… Lord I am not worthy’, the priest will hold up the Host to the Congregation and say ‘The Body of Christ’ to which the people will respond ‘Amen’. Then he elevates the chalice and says ‘The Blood of Christ’ and again the people respond ‘Amen’. There will be no individual saying of ‘The Body of Christ’ and ‘Amen’ when you come to receive Holy Communion. Please come up to receive Holy Communion in single file as directed by the stewards, leaving a 2—metre distance between the person in front of you. As before, come up the centre aisle and return by either side. To receive Holy Communion, please stretch our your hands, keeping a distance between you and the priest. Communion will be distributed in one kind only—there will be no communion from the chalice.
At the end of Mass, the priest will return to the sacristy and you are asked to leave immediately observing the 2- metre distancing rule. This is particularly important after the 9.00AM and 10.30AM Masses on Sunday when the church has to be thoroughly cleaned for the next congregation. This means that we will need to close the church between Masses. If you are early please wait outside observing the 2-metre distance rule.
We hope that we will be able to accommodate everybody at Mass but there will be a limit to the number of people we can have inside the church at any one time, so there is a chance you may be turned away. You may prefer to attend a weekday Mass instead of a Sunday Mass if possible. Remember the Sunday Obligation is suspended for the time being. Thank you very much for your co-operation in all these things. It may sound rather unwelcoming but indeed I do welcome everybody even though I cannot visit your homes or speak to you individually at close distance. Many thanks to the stewards. At the time of writing, we do need more stewards, particularly for the weekday Masses. If you are in good health and under 70, please speak tome if you are able to help as a steward. God Bless,
18th Sunday of Year A
Isaiah 55:1-3; Romans 8: 35, 37-39; Matthew 14: 13-21
Of the three readings presented to us in the Liturgy today, the one that caught my eye and my thoughts was not the Gospel account of the feeding of the 5,000 but the 2nd reading from the letter to the Romans (8:35-39). Here come the words ‘Nothing can come between us and the love of Christ’. There are lots of things that have happened or have not happened that might have put our love of Christ at risk over the last few months. In the reading it mentions troubles, worries, persecution, shortage of food and so on. There have certainly been things like this. But we can actually triumph through our trials, thanks to the power of Jesus Christ. In fact the love of Christ may have been more evident—the love and protection that we have received from Jesus and the love and care that we have received and given to one another. These trials can be positive moments on our journey towards the kingdom of God.
The first reading from the prophet Isaiah is an invitation to come, to come to the Lord, to come for water, to come for food. This extract is the beginning of a longer reading, often read at the Easter Vigil when adults are baptised. It seems so appropriate to have this reading today, when many of you are coming to Mass for the first time in several months. It is an invitation to share in the waters of baptism. Unfortunately, we can no longer dip our fingers in the Holy Water as we enter the church to remind us of our baptism. But we can come to receive the food, the bread of life which so many have missed over the last months. When you come to Mass, you receive a welcome at the door but today you receive a special welcome from the Lord—come to me, listen and your soul will live.
Then we come to today’s Gospel, again an appropriate reading on our first day back to receive the Eucharist. If we look closely at the reading, we can spot some unmistakeable Eucharistic overtones—taking, blessing, breaking and giving in a gesture of the Last Supper. Each of these actions is described as Jesus performs the miracle. But it is just as much a miracle when these actions take place through the hands of the priest at Mass. What we receive is the Body and Blood of Christ. What is presented at the altar is bread and wine. Not only do we appreciate the Eucharist as making Christ present within us, we appreciate how each time we gather to eat and drink with each other in our ordinary lives we express and open ourselves to that same presence. There is a flow from the earthly symbols, the bread and wine, the oils and water, into their sacred expression of Christ’s presence, but then they flow back into their earthly realities, the bread and wine we share together on a daily basis and make them two moments of Christ’s presence. Yes, Christ is really present in the Eucharist and Christ is present amongst us at all times, sustaining us in good time and bad.
Please Pray for NORA BYRNE, formerly of this parish, whose cremation takes place on Wednesday 12th August.
It is recommended that you war a face mask when you come to Mass unless you are exempt.
A 70—year old gentleman with a dog is seeking accommodation in the area, If you can help please let Fr Colin know.
Saints of the Week
Tuesday: August 4 – St John Marie Vianney (1786-18590
John Vianney preferred to show the attractive side of virtue rather than the ugliness of vice.
Summary: St John Vianney, Priest, Born near Lyons (France) in 1786; died at Ars on this day in 1859. Overcame various obstacles, including little education and lack of means, to be ordained a priest. Served in a remote parish as the Curé of Ars, where his sanctity attracted thousands of visitors. Noted for his preaching and confessional counsel and is honoured as a model for parish clergy.
St John Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars, is the patron saint of parish priests because he was such a good one himself.
Thursday: August 6 The TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD The Feast of the Transfiguration is celebrated by various Christian communities in honour of the transfiguration of Jesus. The origins of the feast are less than certain and may have derived from the dedication of three basilicas on Mount Tabor. The feast was present in various forms by the 9th century, and in the Western Church was made a universal feast on 6 August by Pope Callixtus III to commemorate the raising of the Siege of Belgrade (1456).
In the Revised Common Lectionary, followed by Lutherans, United Methodists, Episcopalians, and others, the last Sunday in the Epiphany season (that immediately preceding Ash Wednesday) is also devoted to this event. In the Church of Sweden and the Church of Finland, however, the Feast is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Trinity, the eighth Sunday after Pentecost.
Saturday: August 8 – St Dominic (1170-1221): Priest, Religious Founder
Dominic was a man who pursued his dream and who remained faithful to his calling even when he found himself in the midst of failure. He established the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) to revitalise the Church through study, teaching, preaching, and prayer. Honoured as a preacher, organiser, and patron of learning. Dominic’s life was shaped by his experience, at home, as a student in Palencia and by his journeys north of the Pyrenees.