describes the feeding of the five thousand, one of the best-known miracles of Jesus. The narrative starts off by describing how Jesus is grieved to hear of the death of John the Baptist, and so he withdraws by boat to a lonely place in the country to have a quiet time with his disciples. Jesus shows his true humanity which he shares with us – like us he also needs space to grieve when someone close to him dies. But the people of the whole area hear about where he is heading, and arrive on foot before him. He immediately lays to one side his own needs, and he takes pity on the crowds and heals the sick people they have brought with them.
As evening draws on, the disciples suggest that Jesus should send the people away to buy food in the local villages. Jesus suggests the disciples give them something to eat, and they explain they only have five loaves and two fish – hardly enough to feed a crowd of thousands! However, Jesus, having got the crowds to sit down, takes the bread and fish, raises his eyes to heaven, says the blessing, and gets the disciples to distribute the bread among the people. Miraculously the whole five thousand and more people are fed. Not only that, but twelve baskets of scraps are collected up afterwards.
Jewish readers of St Matthew's Gospel were intended to be see this miracle as an even greater miracle than that by which God fed the children of Israel with manna in the wilderness at the time of the Exodus. This occasion is also the fulfilment of the invitation in the prophets which will come true in the messianic age, like today's words from Isaiah in the first reading, in which God says, 'Listen to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy...and your soul will live.' This promised age has arrived with Jesus Christ.
Christian readers of St Matthew are also meant to see today's miracle as an anticipation of the even greater miracle by which Jesus feeds us with the Bread of Life in the Mass, which Jesus will institute at the Last Supper, to be described later in the Gospel. The taking and blessing, and distribution of the bread and fish all hint at similar actions with the bread of the Eucharist. In the Mass, as at the Feeding of the Five Thousand, in the words of St Thomas Aquinas in the Corpus Christi sequence, the Lauda Sion:
Thousand are as one receivers,
One as Thousands of believers,
Take the food that cannot waste.
Both the feeding of the five thousand and the Eucharist are a promise of that coming feast in the kingdom of God. As St Luke will tell us in his Gospel, (12:37), 'Happy are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table, and wait on them.' Again in the words of the Lauda Sion:
Thou...who on earth such food bestowest,
Grant us with thy saints, though lowest,
Where the heavenly Feast thou showest,
Fellow-heirs and guests to be.
There is an unexpected link between the feeding of the five thousand and the second reading, in which St Paul assures us that nothing can ever come between us and the love of Christ, even if terrible things happen to us, one of which is 'if we are lacking food....' The miraculous feeding is surely an assurance of the truth of Paul's words, 'nothing can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
COMING TO MASS AT HOLY TRINITY IN TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
Face Coverings will be mandatory in Places of Worship from Saturday 8th August 20. All those who are attending churches must wear a face covering unless they are exempt from doing so.
Should I come to Mass or not? While we would all love for everyone to be able to come to Mass, we should think about our own wellbeing and the good of other people. You should not come to Mass if you have symptoms or feel unwell in any way. You should not come to Mass if you are very elderly or have health conditions that may mean you are particularly vulnerable. Think carefully about how you will travel to church and whether you can get there and back safely. The obligation to attend Sunday Mass is still lifted. You could come to a weekday Mass instead or as well as a Sunday Mass. The number of seats available in the church is limited: 46 places for individuals/couples/household units. Couples and family units who live in the same house can sit together without observing safe social distancing from each other, but of course must all be 2 metres away from anyone else in the church.
What will I have to do? Everyone will be asked to wear a mask and use the hand gel on the way in and out, and on arrival wait to be seated by the stewards. A collection is not taken: please place your envelope or offertory gift in the donation boxes in the entry and exit porches, as we need and welcome your kind gift! The stewards will usher you up to the altar for Holy Communion or a blessing. Holy Communion will be given in silence, and only on the hand. Please do not drop any litter or tissues.
What things will not be available? The toilets have to remain closed. There will be no access to the sacristy, parish centre or the parish office. Bookstand and repository are closed. Please bear all these factors in mind before deciding whether you should come to church. There is no holy water.
What will the Mass be like? We are following the instructions for Mass issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. These instructions are there to help keep the whole operation as safe as possible. Because we want to reduce the amount of time spent indoors, Mass will be shorter. There will be no singing or other ministries (e.g. no altar servers or choirs). But we do need a parish Reader for each Mass.
What times will Mass be celebrated this month of August? Church open
Saturdays: 6.00 pm (First Mass of Sunday) 5.45 – 6.45 pm
Sundays: 8.30 am 8.15 – 9.15 am
11.30 am 11.15 – 12.15 pm
Wednesdays: 10.15 am (but not on 5th August) 10.00 – 11.00 am
Thursday 10.15 am (only on 6th August) 10.00 – 11.00 am
Why is there no public Mass on most weekdays of August? For each Mass we need four adult stewards who are welcomers, and who ensure that the government guidelines are being followed, and who after Mass do the hygienic cleaning. We are tremendously grateful to those who have in this holiday month of August volunteered for this ministry for the Masses of Saturday evening and Sunday, and one weekday each week. But in this holiday month volunteer stewards are not available on a daily basis. Without the stewards we are not allowed to open the Church or to have Mass.
The Priests will still say Mass daily in private for the needs of the parish, and for the requested Intentions. It is still possible to request Mass intentions – please leave a phone message.
Keeping everyone safe at Mass
For everyone's protection, we must observe the required hygienic and cleaning rules in the church, and always maintaining a safe social distance. We are most grateful to our volunteer stewards/cleaners who are enabling us to do this.
The Diocese of Westminster wishes to bring two particular points to our attention:
(1) Before and after Mass we must limit our interactions with anyone outside of our household/family group, wherever possible, and in all circumstances maintain a safe social distancing with others.
(2) The wearing of face coverings in church, in line with shops, is strongly encouraged.
What about going to confession? Confessions can be heard Saturdays at 6.30 pm, Sundays at 12 noon – both these times are immediately. Please wait for the priest to sanitise the confessional after the previous confession, before entering it. As always, we confess all the sins we remember since our last confession, but at this time try to do so as briefly as possible.
Now that Mass is available in church once again, the live streamed Masses from Holy Trinity are being discontinued. However, for those who wish to continue to participate in Mass this way while the Sunday obligation remains lifted, or who are unable to come to Mass in church, there is a large number of churches all over the diocese which are still able to provide live streamed Masses: please use this link to the Westminster Diocese website to discover them:
The Parish Office is closed in August.
For urgent matters only, contact one of the priests.
Please leave routine enquiries until September, when the Parish Administrator can again respond to enquiries. The date of full reopening of the Parish Office will depend on what coronavirus restrictions are still in place in the autumn.
Sr Jenefer is now away on holidays.
She can be contacted again in September by the parish phone, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For First Holy Communion and Confirmation information please download the complete newsletter.
Thank you to all who have been able to continue giving in these difficult times.
If you wish to make a one-off donation, or continue giving, please use the red DONATION button on the right which will allow you to easily use your credit or debit card Please make sure to label your donation as Planned Giving (when you normally use envelopes) or simply donation (if not gift aiding).
Alternatively, you may make any offering via bank transfer to:
Acc Name: Westminster Roman Catholic Diocese Trustee, Brook Green Holy Trinity
Acc no: 01308173
Sort Code: 40-05-20
Thank you for remembering that without your donations the parish cannot run. A lot of expenses remain whilst our income has been drastically reduced. We are very grateful for your continued support.
News and updates
Regular Mass, Liturgy and sacramental times will resume, after restrictions have been lifted, as follows:
Saturday (Vigil) - 6pm
Sunday - 8.30am / 10am / 11.30am / 6pm
Syriac Rite Mass - Sunday 1pm
Daily Mass - 9.30am & 6pm
Holy Days - 9.30am / 12.30pm / 6pm
Monday to Friday 6.30pm
Saturday 10am - 10.30am / 5.15pm - 5.40pm
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Saturday 5pm - 5.45pm
First Friday 6.30pm-7.30pm
NEEDING AND OFFERING HELP IN THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
Some older people confined to home during the coronavirus emergency may not have anyone to get food shopping or prescriptions for them. If this is you, or someone close to you, please contact the Parish Office by phone or email and we will try and match you up with a parish volunteer who may be able to help.
If you are one of our adult parishioners willing to volunteer in this way, please also let us know. (A number of you already kindly have done so – thank you!) We will then contact you to acknowledge your offer, attempt to match you with someone who would like help, and give you a few guidelines.
Requests for Mass intentions can be made by e mail, or by phone to one of the priests. It is customary to make an offering when requesting a Mass intention. This has always been a contribution to the support of the priests of the particular parish where the Mass is being said. The Diocese of Westminster suggests the figure of £10 as a guideline, but it is of course entirely the free choice of the donor to decide this. In the present period when the parish office is closed, please make your requests for Mass intentions which can be celebrated now and make your donation online when possible (details above and on our website.) Otherwise you may drop your donation into our letterbox, in an envelope marked Mass Intention.
Each Thursday Mass is being offered for all working in the NHS and all Hospital Chaplains
Christian Marriage: a journey of healing
On Friday 29th September the Church celebrated the Great Feast of the Three Archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Can you identify them in the picture above?
Michael carries a sword in his hand to defend your marriage from the Devil who accuses us when we sin, lies to us about what makes us happy, and puts in our minds doubts about the love of God.
Gabriel carries a pregnant womb, the visible sign that every Word of God carries new life and can become flesh in your marriage, because ‘nothing is impossible to God’.
The third angel, in the middle, is Raphael, meaning ‘God’s healing’. This Angel carries the hand of a young man - called Tobias - and is walking with him towards the marriage with Sarah. Raphael is the Guardian Angel of Tobias and Sarah,and of EVERY married couple.
Planning to get married?
Marriage Preparation Course 2020
Our marriage preparation course concluded in March and no further courses will be held this year.
Our course is open to all couples intending to marry in a Catholic Church, regardless of which parish you live in. If you are interested in attending a course in the future please speak to Father Mark or e-mail him: email@example.com