TWENTIETH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR B
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Today we hear in the Holy Gospel according to Saint John the immortal words of our Divine Lord: "Anyone who eats this bread will live forever." Humanity has often longed to "live forever". The ancient Egyptians used to be buried with all their gear from life - including their pets and chariots for the journey in to the "After life". They spent millions making their graves secure against thieves so that all the stuff they had would still be there when they needed it. Many false religions had extraordinary myths regard the human soul after death and its destiny. Think of the re cycling of the Hindus and their doctrine of re-incarnation - you come back again as another person or even an animal!! It all depended on your Karma.
Now listen to our Lord's words. He came to open the Gates of Heaven to humanity. Through his sacrificial death he has paid the price of our entry into that place of blessedness and wonderful happiness.
He anticipates that union we will have in heaven by imitating it one earth when he gives us himself - his whole self-risen, and living forever. Every time we receive him who lives forever we receive the antidote to death. Death is only a tempory measure. We will rise again because we belong to Him who is the principal of life itself. To belong to him, to be part of his Mystical Body and to receive him in Holy Communion, is all part of the outpouring of his life upon us. "Whoever eats me will draw life from me" says our Lord. So in receiving him at Holy Communion and uniting ourselves with the Sacrificial offering of our High Priest at the Holy Mass offering we are drawn into that way of living. We live by that "Bread which has come down from Heaven". The more we are drawn into his Presence the more we will long for that Beatific Vision for when we die. We live forever because God has made it that way and in baptism constituted us in such a way that we are going towards our Resurrection in the Body as soon as we are baptised.
What a sublime Sacrament. Where would we be without the Divine Presence in our midst and without Communion whereby we are drawn deeply in Him who is the Bread of Life? Ordinary Bread feeds the Body. The Bread at Mass is our Lord Himself and nourishes the human soul at its deepest level of reality. What a dignity God has bestowed on humanity. The seed of eternal life sown into our human nature by the Creator was not destined to be a vain hope after all but the most supreme reality.
A note about receiving Holy Communion:
We are expected to make an Act of Reverence before we receive our Lord. So whilst the one in front of you is receiving - you make the sign of the Cross (or genuflect as some do). Then receive on the tongue or hand having fixed your eyes on the Sacred Host saying "AMEN". Make that "Amen" a real act of faith and welcome.
Receiving on the hand mens this - you put one hand over the other hand and make a throne as it were. The Priest says "The Body of Christ" - you "Amen" - then you accept our Lord's Body in the Sacrament present and take one step to the side and then place the host on your tongue. Do not move to go back to your place still placing the Host in your mouth. You should stand and be still. This is how the Bishops say we should receive. I am not laying down any new rules at all.
I hope those on holidays have had a refreshing time. It is still holiday time as you see from the drop in the Sunday Collection !!
God Bless you all,
Father Tom Connolly
Bidding Prayers for the 20th of the Year B
Priest: O Lord and heavenly Father - we come in the name of your only Son, the Bread of Life that we may find help in all our needs and the needs of the whole world.
Reader: For a lasting peace in the Middle East and especially between Israel and Lebanon, Syria and all the parties in conflict and hatred of each other. May the Land of our Lord's birth find peace at last. Lord hear us.
For all who are deprived through persecution of the Bread of Eternal Life and especially the Bishop and priests arrested recently in China - that our Lord may comfort and strengthen his disciples. Lord hear us.
For all travellers that they may have a safe journey and return safe and sound and refreshed. Lord hear us.
We commend to God's mercy all those who are suffering illnesses: Agnes Hallighan, Maria Caruana, Tom and Brenda Lynch, Kathleen Burke, Ann Bowens, Margaret Martin, Jo Kirby, Father McGarry, Anthony McLoughlin, Sylvia Cummings.
For all who have died recently that they may find peace in God their creator and Redeemer: Margaret Freeman, Ann Martin, Margaret WARD AND For all those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Kathleen McHugh, Tom Brady (9am), John Lydon, Tom Hallinan, John Scannell, Bill Raftery, Matt Clinton, John Woodworth.
MAY THEIR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED THROUGH THE MERCY OF GOD REST IN PEACE AMEN.
Mary is the star of evangelisation and the mother of all the living - may her prayers help us all now: O Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary, Full of Grace...
Priest: Listen Lord to the prayers of your faithful people and in your mercy hear and answer them through Christ our Lord. Amen.