Reflection for 12th Sunday of the Year (A)
This Sunday's Gospel contains the beautiful words of Jesus urging us to trust in a loving God: “Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing… So do not be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows!”
Jesus is sending out his disciples to begin witnessing to him. He knows they are apprehensive at what might happen to them: will they be accepted or rejected? Will they be treated well or maybe even stoned to death? It takes real courage to stand up for what we believe in if others are opposed to it. It’s so much easier just to keep the head down, say nothing and toe the line, even if we know in our hearts it is not correct. For those disciples two thousand years ago and for us today, knowing that God is with us, watching over us, that He knows and sees everything, gives us the encouragement and strength we need to face whatever this world throws at us for believing in Him. The words of Jesus are there to guide and help, to allay fears and inspire trust.
As I have said to you often, our faith is not there to shield us from life, helping us live in a comfortable wee bubble but rather it’s there to help us face the trials and issues this world throws up every day. I never cease to be amazed at how the Holy Spirit is at work! Just this week, someone sent me a link to an Irish singer, Eimear Quinn, singing a beautiful song called “The Watchman” – maybe try to google it or look it up on YouTube. The words are very comforting about how the Watchman, God, watches over us and the person who sent it to me was saying how she finds such comfort in the lyrics. That conviction that we are loved and being watched over gives us strength in times of difficulty and danger and we have certainly been living through such times over the past few months with this Coronavirus!
So this week, as we look forward to the re-opening of our parish church next Sunday for private prayer, let’s thank God for his watchful love and ask Him to help us deepen our faith and trust in Him. God bless you.
Note from Bishop John
Re-opening of Churches in Paisley Diocese
Following the guidelines issued by the Bishops Conference Covid-19 Infection Control Group, we are delighted to announce the opening of our churches from Sunday 28th June.
While other parts of the country may re-open sooner, we are particularly aware that the virus has impacted our local community more heavily and tragically. The people of Paisley diocese were disproportionately harmed by it and, sadly we now know, Inverclyde had the highest level of infection and deaths in Scotland. In light of this it is good for us to be sensitive, steady and careful in our approach, ensuring our people’s trust that all our parishes are fully prepared for re-opening, with volunteers and PPE in place.
From Sunday 28th onward, churches may also open on weekdays for limited periods of time if all the sanitation and social distancing guidelines laid down by the Covid-19 Group can be followed. Parish priests who are not comfortable that such guidelines are in place will be supported in their decisions to hold off for up to another week after Sunday 28th June.
All of us who have been looking forward to the day of our churches re-opening, clergy and faithful, are glad at this news. I know that those who hoped our doors would be open immediately for private prayers from Monday will understand our short delay and the particular considerations in play in our diocese that make it more appropriate for us.
I thank Canon Tom Boyle, Father Paul Brady and Monsignor Gerry Gallagher who are our diocesan representatives on the Covid-19 Infection Group both nationally and in the diocese for all their good work and continuing to advise us well as things develop around the country.
I assure you all of my prayers and blessings.
Note from Fr Joe
As Bishop John says, nothing would please myself and father Laurent more than to be able to throw open the doors on Monday, the day the First Minister says we can re-open. We have waited for the day since March 19th but a few more days to ensure as far as possible the safety of everyone visiting churches throughout the diocese, given all we have already been through, is not too big a cross to bear. Difficult as it is, it is just one more small sacrifice we unite to the Lord’s great sacrifice for us on the cross!
Next Sunday, 28th June, we will be open for private prayer and reflection from 11am until 3pm! Let’s count down the days together!
Meeting of Volunteers for re-opening the church
Would all those who volunteered to help in the re-opening of our parish church, please come along to a meeting in the church on Wednesday evening at 6pm. We will discuss then the roles which must be in place for the re-opening next Sunday. We have a great group of volunteers so far but would like even more—the more, the better!!
PLEASE NOTE: There is a change in the guidance of who can be a volunteer! Anyone, including those aged 70+, who is in good health (no underlying conditions) is now able to volunteer.
If interested, please contact Fr Joe and give him your contact details before Wednesday.
Live streaming of daily Mass
Until we are able to join together for Holy Mass in the church (please God, sometime next month), remember we now have a camera installed in the church which streams daily Mass live at 10am every day, including Sunday. Even if you miss the Mass, you can rewind over the course of the day to when it started.
Online Day for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Saturday 27th June, 1:00pm-2:30pm
Talks by Fr Matthew Carlin, Fr Jonathan Whitworth, Monsignor Denis Carlin on the Spirituality of Adoration, Scripture and the Eucharist and a history of Eucharistic Adoration. There will be Adoration and Benediction at the end of the meeting.
To access Zoom, either download the Zoom App onto your tablet or computer or click on the link and type in the meeting ID below.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 981 0940 8120