Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws and the works of your commandments; that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Readings for Mass
1st Reading. Isaiah 55:1-5. The Israelites are in exile and captivity in Babylon: they hunger for freedom and release from captivity. The banquet God will prepare for his people is a symbol of the liberation and salvation he will bring to them.
2nd Reading. Romans 9:1-5. God ultimately liberates his people through Jesus, the Messiah and Saviour.
Gospel. St Matthew 14:13-21. In the feeding of the multitude, the identity of Jesus as the Messiah and liberator of God’s people is revealed. The feeding of the multitude is a sign of the Messianic banquet and a sign of the Kingdom of God, where the poor are fed and the spiritual hunger of the people is satisfied.
One of the most beautiful locations in which to celebrate Mass in the Holy Land is on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. There are several sites at which you can do this and one of the loveliest is at Tabgha, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, which commemorates the miracle in today’s Gospel. In the church itself, directly in front of the altar, is an ancient mosaic depicting two fish but only four loaves. Why? The fifth loaf is Christ himself, the Bread of Life, who is present at the altar in the Mass, still feeding his people, still sharing his life with them in the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Today’s Gospel reminds us that the Lord is still in the midst of his people, feeding them with the Bread of Life, satisfying their hunger and setting them free to be his people in the world today, sharing the bread of life with the hungry and needy, seeking to meet both the spiritual and material needs of humanity: may we who share Christ’s body, live his risen life, we who drink his cup, bring life to others (post-communion prayer).
Spend a little time contemplating the mosaic at Tabgha depicting the two fish and the four loaves and reflect on how God has always fed his people; reflect on how God satisfies our deepest hunger. Now contemplate the fifth loaf, Jesus, the Bread of Life, and of how He shares his life with us in the Bread of the Eucharist. Lastly, contemplate how we are called to share this ‘bread’ with a world in need. How best can we do this and in what ways?
Strengthen for service Lord, the hands that have taken holy things; may the ears which have heard your word be deaf to clamour and dispute; may the tongues which have sung your praise be free from deceit; may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love shine with the light of hope; and may the bodies which have been fed with your Body be refreshed with the fullness of your life; glory to you for ever.
Let’s continue to join together each day in a fellowship of prayer in union with Christ our Lord who unites us to Him and to one another wherever we are.
Every day at St Gabriel’s: 8am Morning Prayer; 6pm Evening Prayer. Every Wednesday 8am Mass ( Morning Prayer 7.30am) Every Sunday 9.30am Mass. Every Saturday church open for prayer and meditation 10am-12noon. Join with us at these times –or any other time that’s convenient.
You might like to begin your morning prayer with:
The night has passed and the day lies open before us; as we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of Christ set our hearts on fire with love for you, O God, now and for ever.
And your evening prayer with:
As our evening prayer rises before you, O God, so may your Christ banish all darkness from our hearts and minds and set us free to sing your praise, now and fort ever.
Pray for the Church: for John our Archbishop and for all the leaders of the churches that they may be true pastors of Christ’s people, faithfully feeding them by word and by sacrament.
Pray for the world : for all affected by famine and hunger and for a just and equal sharing of the world’s rich resources that no-one may hunger for bread for life; for the oppressed and persecuted and all who are unjustly imprisoned and long for freedom.
Pray for the sick and all who suffer : for all suffering from covid 19 and for all who care for them; for the poor and vulnerable; for those who are anxious and afraid; for those who have been recently bereaved; for those who have died, commending them to Christ’s care and keeping.
Give thanks for : continued advances in medical and scientific research into vaccines and anti -viral drugs; for all caring agencies and all relief agencies and charities working with the sick, the poor and the hungry and for all organisations working for peace, justice and reconciliation throughout the world; for the ‘food’ God gives us through prayer and silence…through scripture and sacrament … through Jesus the Bread of Life…
Just as Jesus needed the hands of the apostles to distribute the bread to the people, so God now needs human hands to make bread available to the hungry. In some countries today over-eating is the problem. In other countries the problem is getting anything to eat at all. Today we don’t need anyone to multiply the loaves for us-the food is there. What is not always there is the will to share it. God, grant us generous hearts and generous spirits; help us to be truly generous. Amen.
Keep in touch…by phone or email or whatever social media you use. Remember those who live alone and get in touch with them. Fr Mark can be contacted at any time by phone 464011 or email email@example.com. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Congratulations…to Fr George & Rhona who celebrated their Sapphire Wedding (45 years!) on 26th July.
News… any news or items you want included in our bulletin please send to Paul Reynolds, Fr Mark, Keith Rogers or Chris Jones. Many thanks.