Welcome to Saint Mary’s Church, Harborne, Birmingham, UK.

Order of St. Augustine.

Archdiocese of Birmingham

“Before all else, live together in harmony, being of one mind and one heart on the way to God.”  St. Augustine.

Our Weekly Newsletterhttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/letter1.html
Times of Serviceshttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/services.html
Contact St. Mary’shttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/contact.html
Location Maphttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/locationmap.html
Fr. Bernard’s Sunday Homilyhttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/homily.html
St. Mary’s Schoolhttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/school.html
Organisations, Groups and Activitieshttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/groups.html
Churches Together in Harbornehttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/together.html
History of St. Mary’shttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/history1.html
Your Priests at St. Mary’shttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/priests.html
“Mini Mary’s” Sunday Gospel for Childrenhttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/minimarys.html
Today’s Mass Readingshttp://www.universalis.com/mass.htm
Guided Online Tour of  St. Mary’shttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/tour.html


Sunday Children’s Liturgyhttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/Organisations/childliturgy.html

                                       Fr. Bernard O’Connor’s Homily

                                                  for Sunday 22nd July

RETURN TO FRONT PAGEhttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/index.html
St. Mary’s Parish Centrehttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/centre.html
A few more pages and links...http://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/morelinks.html

Rest a while

Mark 6: 30-34


After his twelve apostles returned from their first missionary journey, all excited as they told Jesus what had happened on the way, Jesus then said to them ‘You must come away to some lonely place and there rest for a while.’

This is one of several occasions when Jesus withdrew in order to pray by himself or simply to rest – we remember how he was asleep in the back of the boat as it crossed the storm-tossed lake.

Luke’s Gospel tells how on the Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue, and he adds significantly, ‘as he usually did.’


In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, the story of the creation concludes with how on the seventh day, ‘God rested from his labours.’  This does not mean that on the seventh day God did nothing, but rather on the seventh day, God created rest.

Rest is not a negative time of idleness but a positive element in our lives that meets a human need.


The third commandment of God, one of the ten recognised even by non-religious people as the most basic principles for humans living together, says:  ;Keep holy the Sabbath day.’


From the beginning the Sabbath has been sacred to the Jewish people – a day of rest from activity, a day giving space for the family – the devout Jews celebrated and still celebrate a family meal on the eve of the Sabbath.

The holiness of the Sabbath is one of the many things we have inherited from the Jews, but we transferred its observance from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, which is at the very foundation of our Christian faith.


First of all, there is the element of rest.  Like everything else in our faith, the need for rest corresponds to a basic human need.

The human machine needs a break in the week from the noise, the bustle, the stress of the everyday activity of work.

We need space for our family too, to be there together, not necessarily doing nothing, not necessarily engaged in feverish activity, but simply being there.


This is holiday time when those who are fortunate enough to be able to take a break from work and enjoy a holiday, a time to, as Jesus said, to go aside and rest awhile.’  It is a time to enjoy family, a time that give us the opportunity to reflect  quietly on life and its priorities.


There is growing pressure to extend the hours of shops being open to cover the whole day, as on any other day of the week.  Its proponents complain that church-going people are exerting their pressure on those who have no religious beliefs and are restraining the nation’s economy.


We should resist this pressure, because of what we have said about the need for rest.  There are reports of the growing numbers of people, even children, tens of thousands and more, who are on anti-depressants.  It is no wonder given the feverish pace of life from day to day, the urge to perform and to be a great success


The second element of the day of rest is that it enables us give space to God.  We try to be aware of God throughout the week, but the quiet of Sunday, enables us make it truly the Lord’s Day.

The Church advises us that the minimum we should give to God is to celebrate Mass, as we are doing now, to praise and worship the Lord, the Creator, through His Son Jesus Christ, who became human being like us, was crucified and then rose from the dead.  His love is ever alive and with us at all times.


When the world turns its back on God, the world has a way of inflicting its own values on us, to our detriment.


We need that regular interaction with God, to celebrate in Word and Sacrament, to be reminded of the Word he preached and to to listen to it being expounded for us, and then to celebrate the intimacy of the Eucharist, that Holy Communion with the Lord.  ‘You come in Word and Sacrament to strengthen us and make us holy.’


We should be unapologetic about defending the need for the day of rest, the day of the Lord.

Daily Prayershttp://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/prayers.html
(For Fr. John Reid’s Homilies please click this link HERE.)http://www.saintmarysharborne.org.uk/homily2.html