Sunday 23rd August 2020
Today of the 21 Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jesus asks a simple question of his disciples in today’s Gospel “Who do you say I am?”(Matthew 16:16) They told him all the gossip that was going around about him. When he asked the question directly to them you can just imagine the silence that ensued. I am sure some of them looked away, some of them studied the back of their hands, some moved little piles of dirt around with the toes of their sandals. Who knows how long the silence lasts before Peter breaks it with his answer? “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” Peter was always the first one out the gate, the first one out of the boat to walk on the water, the first to volunteer his opinion on any given subject. Yet Jesus says to him that his answer is not his own. It was given to him by His Father. While the other disciples hang back for fear of giving the wrong answer, Peter risks his own answer, which, lo and behold, turns out to be God’s answer, and sweet music to Jesus ear. Jesus changes his name from Simon to Peter. Petra is the word for rock in Aramaic, which was Jesus own language. “You are Petros”, Jesus says to him making a pun in his native tongue. “and on this petra I will build my church”. It is the same word he uses twice, the masculine and then the feminine form of the word for “rock”. But there is a subtle distance between the two. Petros - the name Jesus gives Peter - means a stone or a pebble, a small piece of a larger rock. Petra means a boulder, a great big rock. So that makes Peter a chip off the old block, a piece of rock, against which the powers of death shall not prevail. Peter is chosen not because the right answer has occurred to him but the right answer has occurred to him because he is chosen. Jesus now confers on Peter three roles: (1)“rock foundation” of the Church, (2) holder of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; (3) one who binds and loses. The papacy is the only body that has historically laid claim to the office of Peter. It is a known fact that many Christians outside the Roman communion feel the need, especially in an increasingly globalised world, for a visible, personal focus of Christian unity and guarantor of the tradition. We pray for our present Pope Francis that God will bless him in his ministry and strengthen him in times of trial and stress. “O God, shepherd and ruler of all the faithful, look favourably on your servant Francis, whom you have set at the head of your Church as her shepherd; Grant, we pray, that by word and example he may be of service to those over whom he presides so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may come to everlasting life.”
Thanks for obeying the new socially distancing rules in our Church. I understand because of current circumstances regarding this pandemic many are apprehensive about coming to large gatherings. We have tried to create more space so that people can come out safely to celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist. The old sacristy room to the right of the sanctuary and the prayer room upstairs above our shop can now be used for overflow rooms. These rooms can come into use if the main body of the Church is crowded and unsafe. The old sacristy can hold about eighteen people and the prayer room upstairs can hold about twenty-five all socially distanced! We have a TV monitor in both rooms that will enable you both to see and hear the Mass being celebrated in the sanctuary and thus participate in the Eucharist more fully. Thanks for all your support both financially and spiritually during these unprecedented times! Be assured of our prayers for you and your loved ones. Fr. Charles C.P.
Feasts Days of the Week: Monday: St. Bartholomew: One of the Apostle who traditionally is identified with Nathanael in John 1:43-51. Bartholomew is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the 1st century. Wednesday: Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849). Italian Passionist who brought the Passionists to these islands and was instrumental in bringing St. John Henry Newman into the Catholic Church Thursday: St. Monica (332-387) converted her pagan husband Patricius to the faith and by her prayers and tears brought her son St. Augustine to Christianity. She is the patron saint of mothers Friday: St. Augustine 354-430 Bishop of Hippo. His theological influence has been most significant in the Church especially in the understanding of God’s grace. He is patron saint of theologians Saturday: The Passion of St. John the Baptist. The Church, having celebrated the earthly birthday of St. John the Baptist on June 24, today honours the anniversary of his martyrdom. Besides our Lord and our Lady, St. John the Baptist is the only one whose birth and death are thus celebrated.
Prayer to Blessed Dominic Barberi, Apostle of England: Heavenly Father, through Mary, Mother of God we thank you for the life and witness of Blessed Dominic Barberi, Passionist and Apostle of Christian unity and of England. You gave him a great love for this land, the Dowry of Mary; as the Christian churches pray and work towards greater unity we ask blessed Dominic to show us the way through mutual prayer reparation and love. Through his intercession grant also the grace for which we now pray. (There are free booklets on Blessed Dominic’s life available in the display units at our porch entrances to the church.)
Friday Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 10am until 2pm. Confessions Tues to Fr 2- 5pm. Saturday 5pm – 6.15pm.
DUTY FOR THE WEEK: Sun 23RD & Mon 24TH No Duty. (Monday to Friday) Mass @ 7pm – Arthur. Tues – Arthur.
Wed – Arthur. Thurs – Arthur. Fri – Anthony. Sat – Anthony.
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.
Barney Kelly, Omagh
John Mullan & children Tomas. & Amelia of Moville (as result of accident)
James Collins, Tarmon Brae, Enniskillen
William Mc Gurn, Ashwoods, Enniskillen
Enda Love, Braeside Park, Enniskillen
Paddy & Clare Cadden, Willoughby Place, Enniskillen
Michael McDonald, Chicago and formerly Mossfield.