Walking along the rooms of Kensington Palace this week, it struck me the efforts put to make the Royal Palace look austere and sober. Indeed, an attempt to bring the pompous life of royals in touch with the reality outside. The same would have been desired for the Kings and leaders of Israel, but as the first reading this Sunday reminds us, that never happened. So, God had to roll up his sleeves – that is figuratively – and do the job himself.
And behold, the God who has always been described as impassible, immovable and unchanging, turned out to be more willing than most humans to be touched and moved by our hardships and pain. In the gospel this Sunday we hear that Jesus “took pity”. The Greek verb: σπλαγχνίζομαι makes a reference to the guts. Jesus was moved internally. The deepest part of his being was touched by what he could see: suffering, illnesses, sadness, loneliness, injustice, ignorance… In Jesus we discover a God who makes himself vulnerable and is not afraid of being hurt by the misery of others. He allows the reality of human life to reach him and touch him deeply.
How often do we witness pain, suffering and injustice, but we do not allow them to move us internally? We remain detached and distant. We are willing to give someone a friendly pat on the back, donate some money, offer a solution, make some time to listen… but the sufferings and the needs of the other remain as mere data. It does not trespass the barrier of reason. Maybe we are too busy with our own problems or maybe we are not willing to open ourselves to feel a little of the pain that the other person is trying to communicate.
And I am not saying this to make anyone feel guilty, but rather to encourage everyone to be available and open to experiencing the pain of others. And not only that but also to open ourselves to God. That in the same way he has made himself vulnerable for us, we make ourselves vulnerable and allow God to touch us. The experience of God at Mass should not remain at the surface but permeate all the aspects of the human person to the deepest parts. Let us allow the liturgy to enliven our tired bodies with the fresh breath of God’s Spirit, to please our minds with the truth, satisfy our senses with the beauty, lift our emotions with the atmosphere, entertain our spirit of wonder with the mysteries that unfold before us, strengthen our faith with the memories of God’s wonders, reassure our hope with the promises we foretaste, inflame our hearts with the love shown to us in Christ, direct our conscience with the wisdom of God and fill our souls with His grace.
Daniel Herrero Peña
Parish News: Fr Daniel Herrero Pena.
After 3 years as assistant priest with us Fr Daniel will take up a new appointment in September. He has been appointed as the assistant priest to Our Lady of Grace, Chiswick and also serving the parishes of Grove Park and Gunnersbury.
The Cardinal has appointed the Rev Marco Salvagnini to succeed Fr Daniel as the assistant priest for our parish. Marco was ordained to the priesthood last Saturday, June 26th. You can see some of the photos using the button below.
From Monday 19th July the law and rules concerning Covid protocols change. The advice from public health authorities, the Diocese and the Government is to proceed with caution.
The delta variant is active and levels of infection are rising. Our concern for those who are and feel most vulnerable must inform all our decisions. We plan then to keep much of our social distancing in church and we would ask that you wear a face covering during Mass. Sanitizing our hands on entry and cleansing of the church will continue.
The Government is still operating Test, Track and Trace. Because that is the case please continue to sign in for Mass. You can use our on-line system, sign in when you arrive in person or use the QR code. You will notice other small changes when you attend church and Mass. We will monitor the situation and adjust our precautions in accordance with the public health guidance. Thank you for the patience, kindness and courtesy you have shown to each other. I hope we can keep each other’s welfare in mind in all we do.
August summer schedule
From Sunday 1st August we will operate a summer Sunday Mass schedule. Masses will be at:
Monday to Friday - 10.00 am
Saturday - 6.00 pm
Sunday - 9.30 am , 11.00 am and 6.00pm.
ALL OUR MASSES WILL BE LIVE STREAMED FROM OUR WEBSITE.
From September 4/5th our normal timetable will resume.
This will be our last e-mail newsletter until September. Please do keep an eye on the web site: www.ourladyofvictories.net which will be updated on a weekly basis.
To all who are travelling at this time, stay safe and travel well.