Sunday 26th July 2020
Today is the 17 Sunday in Ordinary Time: One of the things about believing in God is trying to talk about it. Someone asks you why you believe, or how your life is different because you do, and there are no words that are true enough, or big enough to explain. You rummage around for something to say, but everything sounds either too vague or too pious. How can the language of earth capture the reality of God? If anyone in the world were qualified to speak directly about God, surely it was Jesus. Many Christians do not know that the most important task Jesus had in this world was to promote the humanising plan of God, which He called the kingdom of heaven. This plan is not in itself a religion. It goes beyond the beliefs, precepts and rites of any religion. According to Jesus, the ultimate mystery of life is a God who is Father of all. The only objective of the Father here on earth is to continue to build up a family where justice, equality and solidarity reign. Yet Jesus spoke about God indirectly making surprising comparisons between holy things and ordinary things. He said; sinners are like lost sheep, the word of God is like seed sown on different kinds of ground, the kingdom of heaven is like a wedding feast etc. Today in the Gospel he speaks of the kingdom of heaven like buried treasure, like yeast, like a fine pearl, like a net cast into the sea. These are metaphors which are a method of talking about one thing by referring to another thing. Mustards seeds and yeast are not very impressive things at the beginning but give them something to work on - sow the seed, mix yeast with the flour - and the results can be astounding. There is more to these realities than meets the eye. Today we are told in the Gospel that the kingdom of heaven is like a man who finds buried treasure in a field, covers it back up and sells all he owns to buy the field. He is a poor man who becomes rich through luck. The second example is a merchant who searches for and finds a pearl of great price, selling all he owns to buy it. He is a rich man who becomes richer through his skill. But rich or poor, skilful or just plain lucky, each man finds something of great value and sells all that he has to make it his own. Everything they own pales into insignificance in the light of their discovery. If the kingdom is like that, then it is rare but attainable, for those who are not only willing but eager to pay the price. The other image or metaphor he uses is about a dragnet thrown into the sea that catches fish of every kind. This speaks of a kingdom of heaven that is not, in the end, something we find but something that finds us and hauls us into the light. The striking thing about these images is their essential hiddenness - the mustard seed hidden in the ground, the yeast hidden in the dough, the other pearls, the net hidden in the depths of the sea. If the kingdom of heaven is like these, then it is not something readily apparent to the eye but something that must be searched for, something just below the surface of things waiting there to be discovered and claimed. God hides in the ordinary circumstances of our everyday lives. Yet God is not a thing among other things. God is sheer, utter mystery, the source of creation, the destiny of all that is. If we could fully understand God, God would not be God. God transcends us, yet in Jesus is revealed the fullness of God. Jesus said: “Strive first for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given unto you as well”. (Matthew 6:33)
Thank God we have our web-cam up and running. You will see our web-cam on this website. You can access our web-cam by going into our website at www.thegraan.com and clicking on the appropriate link. The webcam can also be accessed at MCN Media who administer the site. Again I would like to thank you all for your kindness, during these difficult days, especially for the many donations - some anonymously - that you have sent to us. Thanks also to our ushers who gave of their valuable time to show people to their seats and help to clean the seats after each service. We would not be able to serve you without your help. Thanks to the Ministers of the Eucharist for their great help in serving God’s people who attend the Graan.
- Sanitising - Please use the sanitising facilities which are at each of the porch doors on entering the church.
- Social Distancing & Seating - The seats in the main body of the church are reserved for families or those of the same household. The seats in the wings/side-aisles of the Church and at the back of the altar and the gallery are kept for individuals. All the seats are marked so please ONLY SIT IN THE SEAT THAT HAS A GREEN MARKER.
- Holy Communion - Will be distributed to those in the side aisles, the gallery and at the back of the altar. The family groups who are seated in front of the altar will process up to the celebrant to receive communion, seat by seat, making sure to keep adequate distance from each other. Communion will only be given in the hand.
- Bulletin – Please take this bulletin home with you and do not leave in the church. (It is important that possible infections are curtailed.)
- Exiting the church – Please exit the Church the same door that you came in. Leave the Church one seat at a time beginning from the back. If you are incapacitated please wait until it is safe to do so.
DUTY FOR THE WEEK: Sun & Mon No Duty. (Monday to Friday) Mass @ 7pm – Charles. Tues – Charles. Wed – Arthur. Thurs – Charles. Fri – Anthony. Sat – Anthony.
Friday Exposition resumes on Friday next the 31st July. From 10am until 2pm each Friday.
Shop Opening Hours: Mon to Sat: 9.30am – 7.30pm. Sunday – 9.30am – 5pm.
Guild Mass Cards: We have a wide selection of cards for Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Birthday, Special Occasion, Wedding, Thinking of you and Exam Mass Bouquets which cost £2 / €2.50 each. We value your support.
Gilbert Tunney, Enniskillen formerly Trillick
Susan Keown, Belleek
James O’Rourke, Lisnaskea
Michael Doherty, Letterbreen
Monsignor Sean Cahill, PE, Enniskillen & Monaghan
Eugene Henderson, Kinarla Pk, Enniskillen
Tom Brazil, Erne Drive, Enniskillen
Hilary Kinahan, Lisgoole Pk, Enniskillen
Ben Keown, Roscor, Belleek
Annie & Noble Britton, Coolarkin, Boho
Charlie Mc Manus & the Mc Manus family, Farnaconnell, Boho
Patrick & Philip Maguire, Killyteggart, Boho
John, Mary & Eugene Maguire & the Maguire Family, Belcoo
Ignatius O’Neill & the O’Neill family Lisnaskea
Louie Mc Gullion, Sandhill, Derrygonnelly
A man came up to Jesus and complained about the hiddenness of God. “Rabbi” he said, “I am an old man. During my whole life, I have always kept the commandments. Every year of my adult life I went up to Jerusalem and offered the prescribed sacrifices. Every night of my life, I have not retired to my bed without saying my prayers, but…I look at the stars and sometimes at the mountains – and wait, wait for God to come so that I might see him. I have waited for years and years, but in vain. Why? Why? Mine is a great grievance, Rabbi! Why doesn’t God show himself?
Jesus smiled and responded gently: Once upon a time there was a marble throne at the eastern gate of a great city. On this throne sat 3,000 kings. All of them called on God to appear so that they might see him, but all went to their graves with their wishes unfulfilled.
Then when the kings had died, a pauper, barefooted and hungry, came and sat upon that throne. “God”, he whispered, “the eyes of human being cannot look directly at the sun, for they would be blinded. How then, Omnipotent, can they look directly at you? Have pity, Lord, temper your strength, and turn down your splendour so that I, who am poor and afflicted, may see you!”
“Then – listen, old man – God became a piece of bread, a cup of cool water, a warm tunic, a hut and, in front of the hut, a woman nursing an infant”
Thank you, Lord, “he whispered, “You humbled yourself for my sake. You became bread, water, a warm sun and a wife and child in order that I might see you. I bowed down and worship your beloved and many-faced face (Nikos Kazantzakis) (Quoted in Seeking Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser ( pp73-74 Hodder & Stoughton 1998)