St. Mary-the-Virgin, News for Sunday 2nd August 2020, XVIII Sunday in Ordinary Time.
You may have heard the latest update from the Prime Minister earlier today regarding keeping safe during this Coronavirus pandemic, and that is FROM NEXT WEEKEND (Saturday 8th August) it will be MANDATORY to wear face coverings in places of worship. Of course, there will be exceptions for those who have certain medical conditions; but if the slight inconvenience of wearing a mask for 45 minutes is going to help to prevent a resurgence of the restrictions at the height of the pandemic, then we must do everything we can to avoid it. In many ways, it helps us to appreciate the immense discomfort and annoyance which those in the medical and caring professions are having to put up with every day – and not just for three quarters of an hour, but for a whole shift lasting 8 – 10 hours! Whilst obligatory from next weekend, you are welcome to wear a mask this weekend and throughout the week, if you feel that it will be keeping you and others safer in an indoor environment such as the church.
This week, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Matthew's Gospel re-tells the Miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand (also known as The Miracle of the Five Loaves and Two Fishes). It is the only miracle that appears in all four Gospels and perhaps it is one of the best known accounts in the life of Jesus that would be familiar even to those who nominally profess to be Christian. There are many signs, symbols and significance that can be drawn from this miracle alone. Not least, that Jesus is himself the Bread of Life. Anyone who eats this bread will never be hungry again. The Alleluia verse from this Sunday also gives us a further elaboration upon the “Miracle of the Five Loaves…”
“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
The first Mass of Sunday will be celebrated at 6.00pm on Saturday 1st August. Please come if you can. Parish Mass will be at 10.30am on Sunday 2nd August. Mass times during the week are given on the Pew Sheet. Our readings this week are in a slightly different format, as we await the next month of Sunday Message from Redemptorist Publications. Hopefully things will be “back to normal” (whatever “normal” is these days) next week.