Dear Parishioners and all those who logged into our Parish,
may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
A What’s App has recommended lighting a candle at 7.30pm and saying a prayer – something we can all do, and at the same time.
The Parish Bulletin is available via the Parish website. Please print it off for family and neighbours who do not have access to a printer or world wide web.
The celebration of Mass took place at 7pm on Saturday 15th August – Parishioners and others joined via the webcam and radios at home.
Once again, I would like to share some thoughts with you. Intercom, a Catholic Pastoral and Liturgical Resource magazine that I receive monthly, gives a thought on the readings:
First reading: from the prophet Isaiah 56:1, 6-7.
This short reading sums up a great deal of the concern of the biblical prophets: We are to ‘have a care for justice,’ and in so doing, we can be confident that our sacrifices will be accepted on God’s altar.
Responsorial Psalm 66.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Second reading: from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 11:13-15, 29-32.
St Paul is perhaps history’s most striking case-study in the workings of God’s providence: originally a zealous Pharisee who despised pagans and persecuted Christians, he is now proud to be a Christian missionary to pagans.
Gospel: according to Matthew 15:21-28.
We cannot know the tone with which Jesus spoke his apparently harsh words to the pagan woman, but the outcome is clear: Jesus is impressed by her great faith and grants the healing she asked for.
My few words:
At the beginning of Mass:
We gather again – at a distance – to celebrate the Eucharist. Welcome to all who join us via radio or webcam.
As members of the universal Church we celebrate the Eucharist, the real presence of God among us.
We come before God with all that makes us who we are.
Remembering God’s enduring mercy, let us call to mind our sins …
After the Gospel:
I share some thoughts from Tríona Doherty in Intercom.
The Gospel recounts an unusual exchange between Jesus and the unnamed Canaanite woman who challenges him. She has seen what Jesus can do, she has faith, and she is advocating for her daughter. She is persistent, shouting out to Jesus and apparently also badgering the disciples, to the point where they plead with Jesus to ‘give her what she wants.’ Jesus’ rebuke seems shockingly unkind: ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs’. But the woman doesn’t give up. It is a matter of justice for her, as is evident in her witty response about the dogs getting the scraps from the master’s table. ‘Good for her!’ – we feel like cheering. It’s a strange story, with Jesus at first appearing cold in his response to the woman. But as we know, he has a tendency to test his followers. His disciples, who know him well and have seen lots of miracles, often fall short – remember Peter last week who lost faith when the wind hit him. But this woman passes with flying colours. Jesus can see that she is a person of strong faith, clever and determined. She is not easily dismissed. In allowing her to state her case, Jesus also presents a challenge to the religious and social status quo. This pagan woman exhibits more faith than his own disciples. Jesus does not want us to be silent, compliant or complacent. He rejoices in those who are brave and persistent, and eager to challenge the injustices they see around them – those who have the gift of changing minds and hearts. We might call it the gift of prophecy. Such comments were stated recently following the death of John Hume – someone who sought justice on many levels and argued his point very well. But I am sure closer to home, in our own families we have people who have also argued for justice and changed family life.
At the end of Mass:
No mass this coming week.
Next Saturday we will have the first of our First Communion celebrations – at St Malachy’s Church. It is a Parish celebration but alas this year number attending are restricted to the children receiving their First Communion, their parents and immediate family and grandparents.
Sacrament of Confirmation: congratulations to the young people from our Parish who were Confirmed recently in Beragh. Use those Gifts for your own good and the good of your family and wider community.
Our Lady of Lourdes: the Grotto at St Mary’s Church, Dunmoyle has been completed. Worth a visit and prayer! In the near future I will arrange a gathering for dedication. There are photos on the Parish website to view.
I want to thank the readers for coming this evening and fulfilling their ministry.
A preacher tells his congregation, ‘Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read the Gospel of St Mark chapter 17.’ The following Sunday the preacher asks who read it, with every hand going up. The preacher smiles and says, ‘Mark has only 16 chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.’
Continue to do what we are doing for the good of us all – we have come far, don’t let us throw away what we have gained – as we all know some relaxation of restrictions is taking place – the wearing of masks is compulsory in confined spaces and I encourage you to wear one if you are attending Mass. It is something we have to get used to. Relaxation of restrictions does not mean the virus has gone away. Keep safe and well and keep your distance! Respect!
I wish you all a pleasant evening and a good Sunday.