The parish diversity flag.
Today marked our return to weekly mass for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. We could have resumed attendance a little earlier, but my bride’s compromised immune system, as a consequence of her cancer treatment delayed things somewhat.
It was a very different experience. No longer are parishioners sitting in rows. Each person’s chair is positioned in a pre-determined location, a metre and a half separated from his/her fellow parishioner.
You have to provide sign on details on arrival, and are issued a basic ID card. There is no longer a procession of readers and celebrant at the beginning of mass, and the sign of peace is now gestural rather than physical.
Today’s gospel was relevant to the times. Matthew’s parable of the labourers in the vineyard was used by our priest as a metaphor for Jobkeeper. If you don’t get the connection, read the gospel.
I hadn’t realised how much this weekly observance has become part of our lives until it was inaccessible for a few months. The last time I had gone for months without mass was in Vietnam. That was over half a century ago.
Whilst I’m blogging about the church, it’s timely to link to the bishops’ letter about the upcoming state election.
The Bishops’ statement highlights a number of key issues that Catholics may wish to consider as they prepare to participate in the State Election.
- combatting homelessness
- support for survivors of child sexual abuse
- dignity of employment, a just living wage and combating poverty
- healthcare, especially in regional and remote areas
- funding for Catholic schooling
- Closing the Gap between Indigenous Queenslanders and the rest of the population
- euthanasia, assisted suicide and the need for increased access to palliative care
- providing for sustainable, quality aged care services which provide older people and their families with choice and control
- an increase in the incidence of mental health issues, especially amongst young people
- support for women and families, including the great challenge many women face when confronted an unexpected or difficult pregnancy
- responses to rising levels of family and domestic violence
- the need for a ‘new universal solidarity’ to combat climate change.
The eighth point on the statement, referencing quality aged care services, has been thrown into stark relief by the pandemic.