Our Church has now reopened for private prayer.
Please feel free to visit the church again for your own private prayer - this will be during the weekdays at approx 8am - 3pm on a Monday and 8am - 6pm Tuesday to Friday. It will also be open for Mass times.
Please check-in using the QR code on your NHS app, use hand sanitiser on entry, keep your distance from anyone else who may be in the church at the same time and we encourage the use of masks whilst inside.
It is wonderful to be able to open up again for our community.
Thank you Deacon Vincent for your reflections for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
1st Reading from the Book of Exodus 16: 2-4,12-15.
This selection is from, what I term the “Great Escape”, which God engineered through Moses to set the people of Israel free and lead them to their final settlement. However, as we read this magnificent adventure that the people set out on, we discover that every time they came upon a problem, instead of trusting God, they complained continuously to Moses about God. When they were hungry, they longed for the meat of Egypt, and on occasions, they became very rebellious even to threatening Moses’ life. This is one such incidence, the significance of which will become fulfilled in the gift of the Messiah many centuries hence. “Bread from Heaven.” As the generations passed, they forgot that it was God who provided the manna and guided the quails to provide the meat and they substituted Moses, as the provider.
This fundamental error will be corrected by the promised Messiah later. We are no different from our ancestors in the faith, for we are constantly mistaking all the good things we receive to human intervention, forgetting that it is God who inspires us by the Holy Spirit to try and provide good things for each other. When we forget God’s hand in these matters, we tend to become overindulgent and greedy. The important phrase in this reading is, “I have heard the complaints of the Sons of Israel.” God always hears us, but he has his own time schedule, we must learn to trust and ask when we are concerned, but never forget to Trust in God’s providence.
Psalm 77: 3-4, 23-25, 54.
This psalm sings of the wonders to be gleaned from retelling their history of how God has dealt lovingly with his people.
2nd Reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24.
A call to unity of the Church, in the Spirit. This is a section of a very long passage which transcends this chapter into the next. It is not too clear whether this was written by Paul himself, as the style is very different, but it is certainly a disciple of Paul’s teachings. This disciple certainly shares with Paul what does and does not fit if you are Christians. It is a call to holiness of life, not just words, but actions also in our behaviour. It is a magnificent work and well worth giving time in the coming week, to study it at some length.
We continue this week with the exploration of the true “Bread from Heaven” it is converted by Christ into the exploration of the “Bread of Life”. Jesus takes the Exodus reading we have just studied and explains it in the light of what it prefigured, namely Jesus himself. Jesus makes sure the people remember that it was God who gave them the manna, not Moses. The true bread is that which comes down from heaven and gives light to the world. “Give us that bread”, they shout. Jesus responds, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.” Jesus tests their faith with proclaiming “I AM.” This phrase is exclusive to God. It is the name God gave to Moses in Exodus. Jesus’ challenge to his listeners and to us; is to understand that he is the Son of God, and that he will feed us with himself through the working of the Holy Spirit, and through our sharing this gift we are entitled to eternal life, if we can but follow in his footsteps and really keep his commands. This is the journey we are all on, trying to be like Christ to each other and so meet him as his brothers and sisters when it is time to encounter him face to face, when he calls us home at the end of our lives. Always remember that he is the Divine Mercy, which is never exhausted.
God Bless you all this week and always on your journeys.