Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
29 August 2021
What’s on the inside
‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts.’ How often do we hear this? Yet we get contradictory messages and we are also bombarded with messages about how we should dress or act, or what is appropriate behaviour. Rules about outward behaviour govern many aspects of life, from our school and work environments to our churches.
Today, Jesus has something to say about the tension between outward appearances and what’s on the inside. To the religious authorities who challenge Jesus, outer appearances and traditions are important, and they rebuke Jesus for allowing his disciples to eat with ‘unclean hands’. However, Jesus explains that it is not external actions that make a person unclean. It is what’s on the inside that indicates the true nature of our hearts. ‘Lip-service’ is not worth much if our hearts are not in tune with God. As Jesus puts it, ‘You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’
It is an invitation to examine how we put our faith into practice, individually and as a church community. Which human traditions do we ‘cling’ to? Do we become so focused on outward rituals that we risk losing sight of the teaching of Jesus and its radical implications? Do we treat our religious life as checklist of observances, or as a real encounter with Jesus?
‘The words of the Sacred Scripture were not written to remain imprisoned on papyrus, parchment or paper, but to be received by a person who prays, making them blossom in his or her heart.’ (Pope Francis)
Restrictions and Guidelines for attending Mass in Agnes’
• Face Coverings are mandatory when entering and exiting the church and should be worn throughout services.
• The seating capacity of the Church is 120-150
• Observe social distancing and use the sanitizer at the Church Entrance;
• When leaving the Church follow the instructions and leave according to the indicated “One-way” system;
• Anyone with cold-like symptoms must not enter the Church;
• Those with under lying health issues are advised to remain at home.
Message from Pope Francis
In a brotherly spirit, I join in this message of hope for a brighter future. Thanks to God and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19. They grant us the hope of ending the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we work together.
Being vaccinated with vaccines authorised by the competent authorities is an act of love. And contributing to ensure the majority of people are vaccinated is an act of love. Love for oneself, love for one’s family and friends, love for all people. Love is also social and political, there is social love and political love; it is universal, always overflowing with small gestures of personal charity capable of transforming and improving societies (cf. Laudato si’, no. 231, cf. Fratelli tutti, 184).
Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love; no matter how small, love is always great. Contribute with these small gestures for a better future.
God bless you, and thank you
COLLECTION The collection for 22nd August amounted to £1510.00 Thank you for your contribution. You can also make your envelope contribution via the donate button on the Parish website home page
FUNERALS & WEDDINGS can increase to the current capacity of the Church (120-150 persons) BAPTISMS Continue to be limited to 10 people every second and fourth Sunday of the month
PARISH WEBCAM Live streaming of all Masses takes place in a St. Agnes’ Church. Please click on the webcam tile on the Home Page of the Parish website www.stagnesbelfast.com.
RECORDINGS Please note, all funerals will be recorded. Please tell us if you do not want your loved one’s funeral recorded.
PRAYER INTENTIONS: We extend our sympathies to the families of those who died recently and those whose month’s mind and anniversary occur at this time.
Recently Deceased: Colm Kelly, Jim Mc Closkey
Sat 28th Aug: 1pm: Funeral Mass of Colm Kelly RIP
Sat 28th Aug : 6.30pm: Tommy & Doris Robinson & Mary King.
Billy Wright & Andy Mc Callin
Sun 29th Aug: 9.30am: Johnny Thompson
12.30pm: John Gillespie, Rose Macklin
Mon 30th Aug: 10am: Priest’s intention
Tue 31st Aug: 10am: No Mass
Wed 1st Sept: 10am: Priest’s intention
Thurs 2nd Sept:10am: Priest’s intention
Fri 3rd Sept: 10am: Priest’s intention
Sat 4th Sept : 1pm: Priest’s intention
In the event of a funeral, the assigned intention will be offered privately by the priest at his first available mass.
Those whose anniversaries occur at this time: Gerard Ryan, Jack Watters, Richard Mc Stravick, Charles & Margaret Mallon, Tony Zemrowsky, Thomas Sterrett, Jim O’ Connor, Eamon Ward
Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord!
REV. FR. BENEDICT, CONGR. ORAT.
OF THE OXFORD ORATORY
Fr Benedict will celebrate a first Mass in his native parish and give his first Blessing, on Friday evening, 27th August at 7.00pm at the open-air Grotto of Our Lady at Ballyphilip, Portaferry.
(Not on Webcam) All are welcome.
SEASON OF CREATION: RESTORING OUR COMMON HOME The Season of Creation begins on Wednesday 1st September. Pope Francis has invited the faithful to participate in this annual season “to renew their faith in the God of creation and join in prayer and work for the care of our common home.” As a Diocese we will mark the opening of the Season of Creation with a service On Wednesday 1st September in St Peter’s Cathedral at 7pm. The event is being coordinated by a newly established Laudato Si group in the Diocese and the homilist will be Fr Timothy Bartlett. Join us online www.churchservices.tv/stpeterscathedral We are all encouraged in this season to read Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ On Care of our Common Home. In this week we pray for greater attention to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor and that we may commit ourselves to living according to the vision and values of Laudato Si’.
First Saturday Devotions St Matthias’s Saturday 4th September 3pm – Adoration, Confessions, Act of Consecration 4pm – Holy Sacrifice of the Mass