I wish all our readers the happiest of feasts on this weekend when we celebrate the Assumption into heaven of Our Blessed Lady. The feast always occurs on the most popular week of the year for summer holidays, and this year there will be even fewer people here at Mass than usual.
Even abroad in those many countries that usually have a public holiday, this weekend churches will be emptier than normal. I hope everyone will be able to enjoy Our Lady’s feast, with good weather and a sense of temporary release from the ongoing state of suspended animation brought about by the corona virus. Even, or rather especially, on her feast days, our heavenly Mother is listening.
It was great, if a little strange, to be able to welcome so many of you back to Mass in church last weekend. Things went very smoothly and I was so thankful for all those who helped to facilitate things, as well as all of you who co-operated by phoning and booking a place. The same scheme was in operation this week, though many of those who were able to come said they will be away for Our Lady’s feast. Lucky them! One person had to cancel a trip to her family in France this week after the government’s quarantine rule.
I continue to be astonished by the generosity of our parishioners. Last week with a collection and with all the donations people have been sending in, a total of £1150 pounds was banked. Many thanks again.
Also I received a number of requests for Mass to be offered for people’s intentions, and that should take a couple of weeks. This week I have offered Mass for a special intention (CP), for GF Barnes, and for Catherine Byrne.
The readings for the Holyday contain that rather unpleasant image of the beast threatening to devour a baby. It is in ‘apocalyptic’ style and is a way of telling the early Christians that those who are newly born in baptism are being looked after and protected from their persecutors since Christ’s victory on Calvary.
The woman with stars round her isn’t meaning Mary, but the new People of God, particularly those early Christian communities in Asia Minor (Turkey). Jesus’ victory over death is spelled out by St Paul, and we recall the creed, telling us about the resurrection of the body at the end of time, when we all become like the risen Christ. The gospel gives Mary’s Magnificat, and her words explain why the church honours her so much.
Please book in for Mass again on Wednesday between 2pm and 10pm, and tell your friends. Keep safe.
Fr Tony Elder