We are already in the middle of summer months (almost) and this weekend we celebrate the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
“After three weeks of hearing Jesus preach and teach in parables, we now move into the next chapter of Matthew’s gospel, one in which Jesus performs the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Unlike some of the parables from last week and the week before, which are found only in Matthew, the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is in each gospel, and in both Matthew and Mark the miracle happens twice! (Mark 6:32-44; 8:1-10; Matt 14:13-21; 15:32-39). Many scholars will posit that precisely because of the multiple attestation of this miracle, the event is rooted in historical event in the life of Jesus.”
This event was retold a number of times, with various pieces of the story being accented, as well as connections made with the Old Testament prophet Elisha and the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. For those who have a familiarity with the Old Testament, the connection to Elisha (2 Kgs 4:42- 44) seems clear. In that story, the prophet tells his servant to give bread to the people so they can eat. The servant objects that the bread is not enough for the number of people who need to eat. Elisha merely repeats his command and says, “for thus says the LORD: you will eat and have some left over” (2 Kgs 4:43). The connection between that story and what we have in Matthew seems crystal clear. The evangelist made the connection between Jesus’ acts and those of Elisha. And yet there is a connection to the Last Supper too. Four verbs serve as the link between the multiplication story and Jesus’ actions the night before he died. In both settings, Jesus takes bread, says a blessing, breaks the bread, and gives it. Both the eucharistic tones and the allusions to Elisha are clear. Jesus’ actions are those of a prophet and so much more.” (Living Liturgy 2020)
I would like to offer a little refresher on how seating during Masses is being organized by our staff and ushers at the present time. In accordance with the 30% seating capacity and the goal of maintaining 2m of distance between those coming from different households that is required by the provincial government, half of the pews have been closed off. The remaining open pews have been marked with blue arrows near each end.
Based on the length of our pews, the possible seating arrangements in a given pew that uphold the government requirements are as follows:
- two individuals from separate households, one seated on each arrow
- two individuals from one household and one individual from another household, seated on each arrow
- 6 individuals from the same household, seated between the arrows
Therefore while some pews may appear to have room for additional people, they actually do not as it all depends on the seating combinations.
The first to arrive are seated at the front of the church, with the very front pew on each side being held until just before Mass for those with mobility issues.
Pews are then filled from front to back as parishioners arrive according to the possible seating combinations described above. Once the main church is filled, those arriving will be directed to the seats provided in the Chapel Hall.
In order to be fair to everyone coming for Mass and to keep the seating process running as quickly, efficiently, and pleasantly as possible, I ask for your cooperation in following the directions of the ushers and your understanding in the fact that it is highly unlikely that you will get your preferred pew, if you have one.
These are all temporary measures that have been put in place by our government and our Diocese in order for us to be able to keep the church open and to be doing our best to ensure the health and safety of all who come for Mass.
As we gather for Sunday Masses (Saturday 5:30pm, Sunday 9am and 11am) please remember that we must wear a face mask from the moment we arrive at the church entrance until we leave the church building.
And for those who cannot be with us in person at this time, we will livestream the 9am Sunday Mass beginning with the rosary at 8:30am. To access the live-stream of this Sunday Mass please click on the picture below.
Finally, if you know of anyone who would like to receive weekly emails from me, please provide me with their email address so that I may add them to our emailing list.
Thank you and have a wonderful long weekend.