Sunday, October 11, 2020

Homily, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Highway to heaven

 Fr Richard's homily for today

Highway to heaven

Yesterday in Assisi, there was a quite extraordinary event: the beatification of a young British-born 15-year-old boy who died just 14 years ago of leukaemia. Blessed Carlo Acutis, known especially for his devotion to the Eucharist and care for the poor, was raised to the altar of heaven with his mum and dad and siblings he never knew sitting in the front row. Blessed Carlo has been described as the first “millennial” saint. As one priest in Assisi put it, it’s the first time in history we see a blessed in his tomb dressed in sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt!

Carlo was born and baptised in London in 1991 before he and his parents returned to their native Italy shortly after, settling in Milan. He was a normal lad – who liked football, video games, and eating Nutella. He was popular among his peers for his humour and friendliness. But, most importantly, he was devoted to Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Church. His passion was for the Eucharist, going to Mass each day and receiving daily Communion. The Divine Charity which he received at Mass moved him to be charitable to others. He used his first savings to buy a sleeping bag for a homeless man he often saw on the way to Mass. He’s known as the “cyberapostle” of the Eucharist because he used his skills in computers to create a website that documents all the Eucharistic miracles in history.

Reflecting on Blessed Carlo’s devotion to the Mass and looking at our readings for today, we remember that the Eucharist is the wedding feast of the Lamb, a foretaste of the eternal banquet we are destined to enjoy in heaven; that feast which the Prophet Isaiah describes in our First Reading: a banquet of rich food and of fine wines.

“Eucharist is my highway to heaven,” was Blessed Carlo’s most famous quote. The same is for us. We are invited each week to the wedding feast between Christ and His Church where heaven unites with earth in praise of God; where Jesus Himself penetrates deep into our heart. Our participation in the Mass is our “yes” to the invitation to the eternal wedding feast. The Lord warns us in the Gospel that there are consequences for rejecting this invitation, or for being insufficiently prepared for it like the man without the wedding garment.

Today’s parable gives us the opportunity to reflect – are we sufficiently prepared for heaven? When this remarkable young man was told that his leukaemia was terminal, he said: “I am happy to die because I have lived my life without wasting a minute on those things which do not please God.” The question is: can we say the same about ourselves?

Newsletter - 28th Week of Ordinary Time

 Here is this week's newsletter

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Newsletter - 24th Week of Ordinary Time

Click here for this week's newsletter

Sunday Mass in Leyburn is back to 10am on Sunday September 20th

Saturday morning Mass returns at Richmond on September 19th

Saturday evening confessions (5.30-6pm) in Richmond return on September 19th

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Newsletter - 23rd Week of Ordinary Time

 Here is this week's newsletter

Please note:

- The Sunday Mass for Leyburn this evening as well as next week is at 5pm on Saturday evening (12th September) - not at the usual time of 10am on Sunday morning.

- There is no Saturday morning Mass in Richmond on 12th September like today. Confessions will still be available from 10am-10.30am on 12th September.

- The Sunday morning Mass in Richmond has changed permanently to 10am.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

This week's newsletter

Here is this the newsletter for this week:

Please note that Canon Michael has decided to keep on with the Richmond Sunday morning Mass at 10am (not 9.30am) until further notice.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Supernatural Food

Fr Richard's homily for today

Supernatural food

I’m sure as Catholics we’re reflecting about many things during this pandemic. The most important, however is the primacy of the supernatural order over the natural order; the fact that as fragile, mortal human beings we cannot live by our own powers or efforts but are totally dependant on God.

From today’s Gospel we see clearly that supernatural food which comes from God is infinitely more essential to us than natural food. In the Gospel, Jesus the Son of God sees that the crowd of 5,000 in front of Him are not just hungry physically, but that they hunger also for something beyond this world – eternal life. And by His boundless generosity he feeds them abundantly in the multiplication of loaves and fish. 

This great miracle anticipates the Last Supper, the Holy Eucharist. Just as Jesus feeds His people through the ministry of the disciples who distribute the loaves and fish, so He feeds His people now, not with bread and fish, but with His very self. He feeds His people through His Holy Church by the ministry of His priests. The Eucharist, the greatest of all Sacraments, is the food we need for the journey to heaven. Saint John Paul II once said: “In order to live man needs food and drink. In order to gain eternal life man needs the Eucharist.”

During three months of this year, you could go Lidl or Tesco for the food we need to keep us physically alive, but you couldn’t come here to receive the Food that leads to eternal life. 

Of course, when it comes to the gathering of people, Governments and bishops are called to make prudential judgments in the time of pandemic – tough decisions which lead even to the House of God being closed. But not being able to come to Mass in that time mustn’t make us forget that Holy Communion is the most important Food on earth. If we truly believe that what we receive at the altar is the Body and Blood of Jesus Himself then all natural food, although needed for us to stay alive, is secondary to this Supernatural Food. For it is the very living Bread of Life – Jesus Himself – which brings us to union with God and is the food that leads us to heaven.

As St Francis of Assisi once said: "What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation.”


Here is this week's newsletter (week beginning Sunday 2nd August):

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Opening of St Mary's, Wycliffe

We are pleased that the Bishop has approved our plans for opening St Mary's, Wycliffe. Sunday Mass will therefore start up this Sunday (26th July) at the usual time of 11.30am. Please keep up to date with the blog for any further details/updates.