We are back into Ordinary Time of the Liturgical year. This seems to coincide with the current gradual emerging from our isolation into the ordinary pattern of living. We have approval to open our churches, as long as we follow the correct social distancing measures within our parish. That means we have protocols in place in each church, a register to record your contact details, sanitiser at entrances, and antibacterial wipes disinfect your pew as you leave church. Under the current restrictions we will be allowed to have 100 people attend but this number is reduced by the fact that we have to ensure there is 4 square metres per person. (In St. Mary MacKillop, Birkdale that means a maximum of 100 persons can attend. Gumdale Mass is still on hold at present.) I know this process has already been confusing for many. To help you to follow the protocols there will be two people designated to monitor the signing sheet at the entrance and to help you to find your seat. When you attend, please arrive early so the marshal can sign you in and ensure the hygiene requirements are met.
Thank you for your patience and understanding with these Government Protocols as we try to create safe and prayerful liturgies. Due to COVID we are not currently able to have collections during Mass. A collection box will be available at the entrance before and after Mass for envelopes and loose change.
The words of Jesus from today’s Gospel according to St. Matthew are so strong! “Fear no one.” We can only be free from fears if we truly believe in the Lord and desire everlasting life. The deepest truth about God that Jesus taught is that He is a caring God, compassionate and forgiving, a God who is on our side. “Don’t be afraid. I am with you always.” The only thing to fear is distancing ourselves from God, loss of trust our Creator. We follow Jesus, trusting that He is with us, not just for a moment, but for every moment of our lives. The mystery of God’s call to us and of our response to Him is that He is always there for us. Nothing happens in our life without God’s knowledge and it follows that God’s care is unfailing. Today Jesus invites us to a life that is truly open and to a life follows His way to the Cross! Let us walk forward with faith and strive to live with joy and delight in the love of Jesus!
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.