Fr Peter’s Message

Sunday 25th July 2021 – A Gift of love

We meet Jesus today in a situation of need.

The crowds have followed him and they are hungry.

Jesus challenges his disciples to provide a meal for them.

When they object that they don’t have enough money, and only a tiny amount of food, Jesus uses what they have to pull off a remarkable feat (and feast).

“Five barley loaves and two fish”          “But what is that between so many?”

For us, this Gospel might bring to mind the situation of migrants and asylum-seekers who experience hunger and hardship today.

We heard about the great numbers who have taken the risk of crossing the English Channel in the last few days….

As a people of the Gospel…..

We are left in no doubt about our obligation to protect and care for those in need, just as Jesus provided for the hungry crowds.

This feeding account also has the elements of a Eucharistic meal, with Jesus taking the food, giving thanks, and distributing it to everyone.

Jesus doesn’t produce this meal from nothing but transforms what the disciples provide into a blessing for many.

Sharing in Eucharist means sharing our resources.

It means ensuring people are not left to fend for themselves in crisis situations.

When we receive the body of Jesus, it is a gift of love.

But if we do not give and love in return, we are wasting the gift.

 Where people are in need, it is our responsibility, as followers of Jesus, to share and to provide.

God will provide beyond our imagining, no matter how little we think we have to give, but we are invited to take the first step.

 

‘If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is somehow incomplete everywhere in the world… We cannot properly receive the Bread of Life unless at the same time we give the bread of life to those in need wherever and whoever they may be.’

(Pedro Arrupe SJ)

Sunday 18th July 2021: Take a break!

We all need a break sometimes.

In today’s Gospel, the disciples need a break.

They have returned from their mission, eager to catch up with Jesus, but there is so much happening that they barely have time to eat.

Jesus sees their need and invites them to take a boat with him to a quiet place and rest for a while.

But there is no time for rest……… as the crowds have followed them on foot.

Jesus is moved by them because they are ‘like sheep without a shepherd’.

He is the Good Shepherd who always cares for his flock, and he responds with compassion and love.

No doubt the disciples are drafted in to help: it turns out it is not break time!

We can imagine their exhaustion.

 

We all feel tired or overwhelmed from time to time, from work or family pressures, from the Covid restrictions…. or simply trying to balance everything.

Postponing our own needs to care for others is familiar to every parent or caregiver.

We don’t know if the disciples got a rest at that point, but we know that Jesus valued time apart as he later sends the disciples off in the boat again while he goes away by himself to pray.

In the chaos of life, even when there are demands on our time and energy, it is important to take some time to reflect and to pray. We all need to take a break!

 

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Our Live Streaming Service!

We have recently (January 2021) installed a number of cameras and some new sound equipment in our church, so that our live streaming of all our services can be of the best quality for our parishioners and the many others beyond, who join us in worship online. This has been a huge investment for the future of our parish and it will allow us, in these very uncertain times of Covid-19, to continue to provide strong and good quality communication. This future-proofing has cost over £15,000 and already we have had generous donations towards the cost of the project. If you are in a position to do so, may I ask you to please consider making a donation to cover the costs incurred? Your continued generosity to the upkeep of our parish in these difficult days is very much appreciated, and please continue to help us provide you with the best pastoral care and service.

We continue to hold each other in prayer during these pandemic days.

 

 

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