We come now to a crucial moment in Mark’s narrative as we hear the first of three predictions of Jesus’ passion and death. From the beginning of the gospel there have been many expressions of wonder and amazement at what Jesus has done and these have often been accompanied by the question: ‘Who can this be?’ Jesus, however, has attempted to keep a lid on the question of his identity, as though he wanted it kept a secret. Now in these important verses we learn why. Jesus is interested above all in the response of faith and that is why he asks the disciples: ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Peter answers, acknowledging that Jesus is the Messiah. This is a Hebrew word and simply means the anointed one, but in the minds of the Jews of first-century Palestine it means much more. Peter is saying that Jesus is the long awaited fulfilment of the scriptures, the one to set his people free from foreign domination and who would usher in a great period of restoration and renewal. Jesus accepts the title but immediately begins the task of trying to bring his disciples to understand that he is not the type of Messiah they expect. Quite the opposite in fact, for the kingdom he proclaims will meet with fierce opposition and he will suffer the ultimate penalty for his faithfulness to it. What’s more is that he expects his disciples to walk the same path.
As Christians we pray daily using the words Jesus taught us: ‘Thy Kingdom come.’ When we do this we are saying that we want the world to be the way God wants it. In other words a place of peace and justice where no-one suffers through poverty, war or oppression. If this is what we want then we must live in a way which helps to bring this about, we must be committed to change. Such a choice might leave us like the Servant in the first reading facing abuse and insults from those who would prefer to leave things as they are. This is what Jesus is talking about in today’s gospel: taking up our cross to follow him does not mean we are to go looking for suffering; rather it means accepting that choosing the way of God’s kingdom will cost us. In short, faith without works is dead!
St. Luke the Evangelist Church, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15
Covid-19 Response Statement
St. Luke the Evangelist Church is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our employees, volunteers and visitors. The Parish Priest and Parish Secretary are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:
- continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan as necessary.
- provide up to date information on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie.
- display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques.
- inform all employees, volunteers and visitors of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements.
- adapt the church to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the public health guidance.
- provide stewards to assist visitors when entering the church for mass.
- ensure employees, volunteers and visitors are familiar with the layout of the church and the location of hand sanitizers.
- implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19.
- provide instructions for employees, volunteers and visitors to follow if they display symptoms of Covid-19 while in the church.
- implement cleaning in line with HSE and Government guidelines.
This Covid-19 Policy includes the measures we are actively taking to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. You are kindly requested to follow all these rules diligently, to sustain a healthy and safe workplace and place of worship in this unique environment. It’s important that we all respond responsibly and transparently to these health precautions. We assure you that we will always treat your private health and personal data with high confidentiality and sensitivity.
This coronavirus COVID-19 Policy is susceptible to changes with the introduction of additional HSE and Government guidelines and will be updated accordingly.
This coronavirus policy applies to all employees, volunteers and visitors to St. Luke the Evangelist Church to ensure we collectively and uniformly respond to this challenge.
Here, we outline the required actions employees, volunteers and visitors should take to protect themselves and others from a potential coronavirus infection.
- If you have cold symptoms, such as cough/sneezing/fever, or feel poorly, stay at home.
- If you have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, you must stay home and isolate for 14 days until you have fully recovered.
- If you have recently returned from a country with a high number of COVID-19 cases we ask that you do not visit the church until 14 days after you return home.
- If you’ve been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19, with high chances of being infected yourself, please stay at home.
General hygiene rules:
- Please use the sanitizers provided on entry to the church.
- Please wear a mask or face covering in the church.
- Cough/sneeze into your sleeve, preferably into your elbow. If you use a tissue, discard it properly and clean/sanitize your hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent from getting infected.
- Please adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Windows and doors will be open regularly to ensure good ventilation.
Disclaimer: This policy is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It is not a legal document. The author will not assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.
In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we all need comfort and support in times of illness and bereavement. In hospitals, nursing homes and even in their own homes, it is not always possible to sit at the bedside of the sick.
Mindful of the feelings and needs of the sick and the dying, all who care for them and those who mourn their loved ones, the following prayers might help.
In joy and in sorrow,
in life and in death,
in this world and in the next,
our hope and our peace
is in the love and mercy of Jesus Christ,
who has promised to be with us always.
Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.
‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls.’Mt 11:29
I am tired of being unwell Lord,
and weary with the weight of illness.
Be my hope and strength and lighten my burden.
Circle me O Lord,
keep peace within and fear without.
Keep trust within and doubt without.
Keep light within and darkness without.
Keep forgiveness within and hate without.
Prayer for strength
May your people be strengthened, O God, by your blessing.
May you be our consolation in times of grief,
our power to endure in times of suffering,
and our protection when in danger. Amen.
For carers in this world, young and old,
whose love, time and freedom
are given sacrificially for one who is in need.
May they know your blessing, through good days and bad,
and receive as they have given love in good measure,
flowing as a gentle river into their hearts and lives. Amen.
Lord, bless my loved ones
and those I have met today.
Bless me also this night. Amen.
(Above Pieces taken from the “Prayers and Reflections” Booklet of World Missions Ireland.)
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes
towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic.
Comfort those who are distraught
and mourn their loved ones who have died,
and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply.
Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick
and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them.
Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future
and the consequences for the economy and employment.
(A section of a prayer Pope Francis asks us to pray with him throughout May).