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25 Spring Road
HIGHETT VIC 3190
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Jesus loves you
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Welcome, and thank you for visiting St Agnes' Catholic Church, Highett online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship and service opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come in for a visit. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.
We believe that the door to salvation is always open and so are the doors to our church. Our mission is to be fully devoted to Jesus by opening our arms to those in search of the truth. We show God’s love and concern for our fellow man at every opportunity. Through works of charity and opening our doors to listen and love, we feel that we are walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are then nourished by the Eucharist."
Are during the 6 pm Mass on Saturdays by appointment .
Enquires are to be directed to the Cheltenham Parish Office.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: SUSPENDED
Weekend: By Booking: Call 9583 6161 or through the link : https://www.trybooking.com/BNADH
Saturday Vigil 6pm
Sunday 9am &11am (at OLA Church)
Tuesday, Friday: 9am
Wednesday, Thursday: 915 am (at OLA Church)
9 am Communion Service
Special Devotions: SUSPENDED
Friday after 9am Mass
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Novena, Benediction
Reconciliation: (in line with Covid-safe Protocols) By appointment. Please contact Fr Alan, or the Parish Office.
Any additional services will be announced on our notice board and on our website.
Homily – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B – 25th July, 2021 – Fr Alan Fox
This weekend, and over the next four weekends, the Lectionary diverts our focus from Mark’s Gospel to take us on a journey through the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. And as we familiarise ourselves once again with the particular style of John’s gospel, we realise that this account of the miraculous feeding of the multitude with loaves and fishes – the introductory section to this long meditation – has strong Eucharistic overtones, in that it announces the approaching ‘feast of Passover’. We hear Jesus ‘giving thanks’ just as he will at the Last Supper, taking responsibility for the distribution of the loaves to all present.
This event reminds us how Jesus, in whose Paschal Mystery we share whenever we celebrate the Eucharist, is concerned for the welfare of God’s people at every level. He is at work in us, helping us to realise a genuine concern for our brothers and sisters in need, a concern that moves well beyond mere words and thoughts, to reveal the true fruits of the Paschal Mystery. As is often pointed out, in this miraculous feeding of the multitude, Jesus calls upon the generosity of collaborators. Perhaps we can see this represented best in the ‘small boy’ who generously gives up what little he had, just five barley loaves and two fish, when asked. It’s his generosity that allows us to see the extravagant generosity of God at work, something still considered remarkable whenever we tell the story of Jesus. Such simple generosity makes way for so great a generosity. Surely, there is a lesson here, for disciples of Jesus across every generation.
Just as Jesus looked upon the crowd, who followed him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, with genuine compassion, we too, despite our limited resources are called to look compassionately upon all who are in need. This Gospel reminds us too of our own hunger for Christ, who is the bread of life. Many in our world long for the bread that he alone gives, and we have our part to play in bringing this living bread to our world.
In fact, given all our God has created and nurtured, including our world with all its wonderful resources, our developing structures within society including family and community life, not to mention human ingenuity and the technical advantages of our time, we really have no excuse but to reach out to those in our world who are in need of both physical and spiritual nourishment.
We think too, about the current global health crisis and of our own country’s multiple state lockdowns we’re currently asked to endure, of our inability on the local level to safely gather in numbers around the Lord’s table, so that we may be regularly nourished with the “Bread of Life’. This indeed has us contemplate an obvious hunger within us, the longing within us to once again be nourished in Word and Sacrament, to gather together in Jesus’ name, as His Holy People.
This week’s second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians highlights our Christian communion – bringing to focus how we share in the Paschal Mystery that unites Christians everywhere. St Paul speaks of the unselfish charity and the unity that need be the hallmark of communities who have been brought together by the ‘vocation’, or God-given calling, they have received.
The charity that binds our community of faith, and indeed Christians across the world, will always be that practical expression of our unity established by the life, death and resurrection of Christ. St Paul reminds us that the foundations of that unity brought about by the Holy Spirit, as we become ‘one Body’, are indeed very deep, for we have that ‘one and the same hope’ of eternal life with God in a new creation; we have only ‘one Lord’, Jesus Christ our Saviour, our brother, ‘one Faith’ in what God has done for us in His Son, ‘one Baptism’ in which we have died and risen to new life in him, and ‘one God who is Father of all’ in whom we are invited, time and time again, to earnestly place our trust.
With so many in our world still facing significant challenges, including physical hunger, and many more across the world experiencing the uncertainty of this health crisis, in addition to an ever present spiritual hunger, as such, Jesus’ question, ‘Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?’ remains. It is an economic question and a political one, and the Gospels suggests it is also a spiritual one, asking questions of where faith is to be found – one Jesus puts to us, just as he put it to his disciples on a mountain in Galilee so long ago.
In the teachings of Jesus, our true bread, we have more than we ourselves can possibly take in. There is not only enough for us, but with there being even more than we can consume, there is more than enough for others as well. With the teachings of Jesus we can, therefore, be extravagant, gracious, full of hospitality. We need not be mean spirited, cautious, protective, and possessive. The way of living given to us by Jesus is expanding, outward looking. It represents abundance of life for all, a fullness of life for many. It is inherently gracious, hospitable and inclusive. Eating this bread means that we can act with freedom, with generosity and with charity. We need not ration things out, weighing up every morsel of our energy, fearful that there may not be enough to go around, as would have been the ordinary experience of dealing with bread in first century Palestine. With this ‘Bread’, the nourishment given to us in the ‘Bread of Life’ that is Jesus himself, there is enough to go around, and even more!
Having the opportunity to gather for the Eucharist, to be nourished with the ‘Bread of Life’ is indeed a privilege, especially when we take into account a situation such as the one in which we currently find ourselves, where restrictions mean to physically gather as a community of faith at the Lord’s table, is not possible. The good news, is that of the Lord’s graciousness, that no one will go without. We are all invited to the table. There is life for us at the Table of the Lord, and always will be. It is not measured out, cautiously budgeted and allocated, but shared in abundance.
So when we can once again share the privilege of gathering at the altar, and please God this will be very soon, let’s eat, let’s be nourished knowing and trusting that there is more than enough grace for us all, and there always will be.
– Fr Alan Fox
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