Our Lady Queen of Martyrs

Roman Catholic Church Hereford



SUNDAY MASSES  - 9.30AM/11.30AM/6.30PM.





- 17th FEBRUARY 2018.


RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY. Today is the annual day of prayer for Racial Justice. This year we are asked to recognise the problems faced by people due to racism and ethnic discrimination in the workplace. In a world steeped in so much violence and discrimination the Gospel demands that we acknowledge the dignity of every human person, and the need to build true peace and justice for all. A prayer card is attached to this Bulletin.

FR. MATTHEW DEPARTUREAs announced last weekend Fr. Matthew will be leaving the parish to become Parish Priest of the Catholic Parish in Abergavenny, this move will take place in May. His replacement as P.P. here at Our Lady’s will be announced shortly.

DEANERY PILGRIMAGE TO ROME AUGUST 2019. Is going ahead, places still available, 26th-31st August, staying in the English College Villa, Palazzola just outside Rome. Contact Fr. Matthew for more info, all info can be e-mailed, also copies in Church. Fr. Matthew will still be leading the pilgrimage.


The blessings and woes we hear in today’s Gospel mark the perfection of all the wisdom of the Old Testament. That wisdom is summed up with marvelous symmetry in today’s First Reading and Psalm: Each declares that the righteous—those who hope in the Lord and delight in His Law—will prosper like a tree planted near living waters. The wicked, who put their “trust in human beings,” are cursed to wither and die. Jesus is saying the same thing in the Gospel. The rich and poor are, for Him, more than members of literal economic classes. Their material state symbolizes their spiritual state. The rich are “the insolent” of today’s Psalm, boasting of their self-sufficiency, the strength of their flesh, as Jeremiah says in the First Reading. The poor are the humble, who put all their hope and trust in the Lord. We’ve already seen today’s dramatic imagery of reversal in Mary’s “Magnificat.” There, too, the rich are cast down while the hungry are filled and the lowly exalted (see Luke 1:45–55 also 16:19–31). That’s the upside-down world of the Gospel: in poverty we gain spiritual treasure unimaginable; in suffering and even dying “on account of the Son of Man,” we find everlasting life. The promises of the Old Testament were promises of power and prosperity—in the here and now. The promise of the New Covenant is joy and true freedom even amid the misery and toil of this life. But not only that. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, we’re to be pitied if our hope is “for this life only.” The blessings of God mean that we’ll laugh with the thanksgiving of captives released from exile, feast at the heavenly table of the Lord “leap for joy” as John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb (see Luke 6:23; 1:41, 44), and rise with Christ, “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

In this, the second-to-the-last week of the Church year, Jesus has finally made it to Jerusalem. Near to His passion and death, He gives us a teaching of hope—telling us how it will be when He returns again in glory. Today’s Gospel is taken from the end of a long discourse in which He describes tribulations the likes of which haven’t been seen “since the beginning of God’s creation” He describes what amounts to a dissolution of God’s creation, a “devolution” of the world to its original state of formlessness and void. First, human community—nations and kingdoms—will break down. Then the earth will stop yielding food and begin to shake apart (13:8). Next, the family will be torn apart from within and the last faithful individuals will be persecuted (13:9–13). Finally, the Temple will be desecrated, the earth emptied of God’s presence (13:14). In today’s reading, God is described putting out the lights that He established in the sky in the very beginning—the sun, the moon and the stars. Into this “uncreated” darkness, the Son of Man, in whom all things were made, will come. Jesus has already told us that the Son of Man must be humiliated and killed. Here He describes His ultimate victory, using royal-divine images drawn from the Old Testament—clouds, glory, and angels. He shows Himself to be the fulfillment of all God’s promises to save “the elect,” the faithful remnant IN today’s First Reading tells us, this salvation will include the bodily resurrection of those who sleep in the dust. We are to watch for this day, when His enemies are finally made His footstool, as today’s Epistle envisions. We can wait in confidence knowing, as we pray in today’s Psalm, that we will one day delight at His right hand forever.