18 July 2021
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 23 (22)
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.
Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.
But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.
So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.
Collect prayer: Show favour, O Lord, to your servants and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace, that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity, they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands.
Readings Next Sunday (16th of OT)
- Jeremiah 23:1-6
- Psalm 23 (22)
- Ephesians 2:13-18
- Mark 6:30-34
Saints of the Week
- 20 Tue St Elijah, prophet (in our patr.).
- 21 Wed St Jeremiah, prophet and martyr (in our patr.)
- 22 Thu St Mary Magdalene.
- 23 Fri St Bridget of Sweden.
- 24 Sat St Sharbel Makluf.
Without the truth it is not possible to find the right direction in life
Today’s Gospel passage (Mk 6:30-34) tells us that after their first mission, the Apostles returned to Jesus and told him “all that they had done and taught” (v. 30). After the experience of the mission, which was undoubtedly thrilling but also arduous, they needed to rest. And understanding this well, Jesus wished to give them some relief and said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest for a while” (v. 31). But Jesus’ intention could not be fulfilled this time because the crowd, guessing the location of the lonely place where he would take the disciples by boat, ran there and got there ahead of them.
The same can happen today. At times we are not able to complete our projects because something urgent and unexpected occurs, disrupting our plans and [this] requires flexibility and being available to the needs of others.
In these situations, we are called to imitate what Jesus did: “As he landed he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things” (v. 34). With this brief sentence, the Evangelist offers us a flash of singular intensity, taking a snapshot of the eyes of the divine Master and his teaching. Let us observe the three verbs in this frame: to see, to have compassion, to teach. We can call them the Shepherd’s verbs. The gaze of Jesus is not a neutral one — or worse, a cold and detached one because Jesus always looks with the eyes of the heart. And his heart is so tender and filled with compassion, that he is able to understand even the most hidden needs of people. Moreover, his compassion does not simply suggest an emotional response toward people in situations of distress. It is much more. It is God’s attitude and predisposition toward mankind and its history. Jesus appears as the fulfilment of God’s concern and care for his people.
Because Jesus was moved when he saw all those people in need of guidance and help, we would now expect him to perform some miracles. Instead, he began teaching them many things. This is the first bread that the Messiah offers to the starving and lost crowd; the bread of the Word. We all need the Word of truth to guide and illuminate our way. Without the truth which is Christ himself, it is not possible to find the right direction in life. When we distance ourselves from Jesus and his love, we become lost and life is transformed into disappointment and dissatisfaction. With Jesus by our side, we can proceed with confidence and overcome all trials, advancing in love toward God and neighbour. Jesus gave himself for others, thus becoming an example of love and service for each of us.
May Mary Most Holy help us to bear the problems, suffering and difficulties of our neighbours with an attitude of sharing and service.
(Cf. Pope Francis, 22/07/2018)
Saint Charbel Makluf, priest (1828-1898)
Joseph Zaroun Makhluf was born in a small mountain village of Lebanon. Raised by an uncle who opposed the boy’s youthful piety, he snuck away at age 23 to join the Baladite monastery of Saint Maron at Annaya where he took the name Charbel in memory of a 2nd century martyr. He was ordained in 1858.
Devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he spent the last twenty-three years of his life as a hermit. Despite temptations to wealth and comfort, Charbel lived as a model monk on the bare minimums of everything. He gained a reputation for holiness, and was much sought for counsel and blessing. He had a great personal devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and was known to levitate during his prayers. He was briefly paralyzed just before his death.
Many post-mortem miracles were attributed to him, including periods in 1927 and 1950 when a bloody “sweat” flowed from his corpse. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for Lebanese and non-Lebanese, Christian and non-Christian alike.
Charbel taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer by the way he lived. He was beatified in 1965 and canonized in 9 October 1977 by Pope Paul VI.
July 24th is the feast-day for St. Charbel Makhlouf on the Universal Church. The Maronite Church celebrates him on the 3rd Sunday of July and on December 24th, the day he went to heaven. (Source: dailygospel.org).
Last Week’s Collections
€ 155.50 (Cemetery)
Thank you for your generosity!
Archangel Michael Hospice
We’re delighted to share with you, that once again we have passed the ‘Yearly Inspection’, which allows us to continue providing palliative care to the people in need of it in Cyprus. We’ve been very busy with a full occupancy and thankfully despite these difficult times we’ve managed to avoid any health issues or COVID-cases at the Hospice. We still need your help during what continues to be a major fundraising crisis for us. Any donation large or small is gratefully received. Your generosity and continued support is greatly appreciated. Keep up to date with our latest news and events by following us on our face book page https://www.facebook.com/amhospice/ and on our website https://www.archangel-michael-hospice.com/
Please, consider helping those in need by bringing non-perishable food, kitchenware (doesn’t have to be new), baby diapers and personal hygiene items, clothing, beddings, etc. We’ve been having a few requests for used bicycles, if you have an old bike that you are not using, it would be greatly appreciated by some of the migrants who need to move around.
You may bring your donation to the church or the Presbytery.
Please consider helping us with this growing apostolate, for information, please, contact Fr. Fernando or Richard (99282385). Thank you for your prayers and support!
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- The corona safe pass means having either: 1) A negative PCR/rapid test no older than 72 hrs; or 2) Received at least one dose of a vaccine three weeks earlier; or 3) Contracted the virus in the past six months.
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- Dress code: Please remember to dress modestly also during the summer