COVID-19 – LATEST UPDATE:
Following the easing of restrictions here are the main points from this week’s update from the Diocese.
*The MAIN defense we have is to be fully vaccinated–The Bishops of England & Wales support & encourage us ALL to be vaccinated to protect ourselves & each other. Info & how to book can be found by clicking here
*PLEASE do not attend church if you have symptoms of covid or have tested positive.
*Transmission is mainly through the air so we will continue to ventilate the church & we still encourage mask wearing when inside.
*Touch transmission is now seen as a much smaller risk but we still encourage you to sanitise your hands on arrival & Ministers will continue to sanitise their hands before Holy Communion.
*We are now able to reduce our sanitising regime between Masses.
*Communion under one form will continue for the time being & we will not reintroduce the holy water stoops until the risks are much lower.
*Lighting of votive candles will now be brought back.
All these decisions are in order to add that extra layer of safety for the good of our whole community.
Let us pray for the world to recover from this pandemic and pray for those whose lives have been lost. Fr Frank.
*Photo of the church in late 2020...
A big Thank You goes to Deacon Vincent for sharing his Reflections for 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C with us all.
1st Reading from the prophet Jeremiah 1: 4-5, 17-19.
This is an extract of Jeremiah’s call by God to be his Prophet to the Kings of Judah, its princes and his own people. It is a preparation for a hard time ahead with lots of opposition to the message that God wants him to take to his people. God assures him that he will support him through the troubled times and provide him with the perseverance to endure under duress. This is also a promise for us, and that is why this book is presented to us. These are tough times for most people with a Gospel message, the people see us as kill joys and a nuisance. We begin to question our own values, just like Jeremiah, and wonder if it is all worth it. But we need to remember that God will give us all the strength and consolation we need to carry out his mission.
Psalm 70: 1-6, 15, 17.
A song of hope and trust in the Lord, one we might consider from time to time when we are feeling hard-pressed and low, just to remind ourselves that God is always near, especially when we are under pressure.
2nd Reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 12: 31-13: 13.
This is, perhaps, one of the most well-known pieces of scripture. It is one of the readings that lots of people have at their weddings. For those who think of Paul as a cold fish, they have to re-think their examination of him. He has discovered just how important love is in all our actions, motivating us and making us love the other person and understanding just how much God loves his creation. We might like to contemplate that all this comes from Christ; knowing Christ; and understanding Christ’s message. With Paul, everything begins and ends with Christ. This description of love might even be a description of Jesus Christ himself. It is worth reading it out loud to ourselves; that way we might be brought up with a jolt, seeing where our own shortcomings are. This awareness of ourselves and how deep and sincere our own love has developed is very important, as we journey closer and closer to Jesus Christ. This description of love also helps us realise just how much Christ embodies love; He is love itself, and ready to receive us and love us into His Kingdom.
Luke is setting out his stall right from the start of his Gospel. There is the oral ripple effect as Jesus journeys through the various districts “ a report went throughout the whole district”. Luke always creates an atmosphere in his writings describing what it was like to be there. Also, Luke’s Gospel is the gospel of the poor and the oppressed, which is emphasised by the text that Jesus was given to read. Finally, there is the other theme of this Gospel and which is the going out of the Gospel to the Gentiles, hence Jesus mentions the widow of Sarepta and by Naaman the Syrian. In this first episode of Jesus’ Ministry, Luke has managed to summarise the whole thrust of this Gospel. It is interesting to realise that this Gospel is really presented to each one of us, if you like it is our own personal Gospel, as we are the Gentiles that Luke is reaching out for. We see how his own friends are unable to realise that God was now moving in Jesus, and so Luke enlightens us to realise that Jesus will have to cope with opposition and insult, even threats to his own life, just like Jeremiah. There is an interesting point just to ponder; the people were seeking to cast Jesus down to kill him, but he has to be lifted up, as Moses lifted the serpent in the desert, to save the people. Hence, God enabled him to slip through the crowd. Luke’s Gospel is full of hidden gems to discover. We really are Blessed to be able to study this Gospel in depth.
God Bless you All and stay safe.