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Prayers for peace in Myanmar.
The Catholic Bishops of Myanmar have written to the people of the country as violence escalates with reports of attacks on at least three churches. “We plead with all to kindly allow the humanitarian corridor to reach out to the starving masses wherever they are,” say the bishops. “These are our citizens and they have basic right to food and safety.”
They also call for places of worship, schools and hospitals to be respected as places of sanctuary.

Our own Bishop Declan Lang, who is the Chair of the International Affairs department of the Bishops’ Conference here in England and Wales, has echoed this call:
“We are united with Myanmar’s Bishops in their prayer for peace and defence of human dignity, confronted with this worsening violence. The Church’s appeal for humanitarian corridors, respect for the right to sanctuary, and protection for places of worship must be supported by the whole international community. All of Myanmar’s people remain in our prayers.”

Thank you Martin for sharing your musical talents with us all, for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost.

Thank you Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.
1st Reading from the Prophet Ezekiel 17: 22-24.
Ezekial is relaying God’s message about King David’s royal descendants. He is telling the people that the tall tree is about to be brought low, but that God will keep his promise to David, by planting a new tree on the heights (A more pure and Holy Descendant), this cutting represents Jesus, who will be of the line of David, but he really will be shelter for his people and attract new birds (Gentiles) under his branches. It is God’s message of hope to the people who are perplexed and anxious about the future. Ezekiel is sent to re-build the people’s adherence to God and relay to them that God has not abandoned them. He is still with them, and they will eventually be restored to Jerusalem. We should reflect just how God is in control of events and works things to his advantage, and at the same time ours as well, so we must always be a people of Hope.
Psalm 91: 2-3, 13-16.
A song of thankfulness for God’s faithfulness, and we see the use of a tree to illustrate how God cares for his people (the tree). “The just will flourish like the palm-tree and grow tall and strong as a Lebanon cedar.” A song full of hope for all of us, who greatly hope and trust in God, at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
2nd Reading from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 5: 6-10.
For Paul, resurrection is central to the Gospel. We need to look beyond the present and physical life; seeking a good examination in front of the Tribunal of Jesus, by doing good and leading an exemplary life, always mindful that God is constantly working for our resurrection to right judgement. God is not at work to condemn, otherwise he would not have sent Jesus. He is constantly teaching us how to live the Gospel life, as shown to us by Jesus, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 4: 26-34.
Mark continues to give us a flavour of Jesus’ teaching, using everyday experiences for an agrarian people to illustrate a spiritual message. He is trying to get people to think their way to enlightenment. For his disciples he will help and guide them, but for the people outside his inner circle they will have to tease out what he is driving at. The kingdom of God is his assembly, the church. It will plant seeds of messages in the hearts of people but nobody knows who will germinate and bear fruit and who will wither by the wayside. The mustard seed is the smallest of seeds, and so the early church will look minuscule and meaningless, but eventually, birds (gentiles) will shelter in its branches, this is a direct link to Ezekiel’s little parable, that we read in the first reading. We need to remember that in our baptism we are admitted to Jesus’ inner circle; and have at our disposal all the tools needed to be a loyal and fruitful member of the kingdom of God.
Today the church is again looking small and meaningless in this world, but it is being pruned to sprout new life and new energy into the main trunk. Always remember God has charge of everything, we need to stay loyal and trust him.
God Bless you all, and stay safe.
Deacon Vincent

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