I like summer in Paris. The weather is lovely - some complain about the heat. When I was growing up we used to pray for fine weather and so I always thank God for sunshine. Last week I was in Belfast for meetings and left Aldergrove Airport with the temperature about 22°. In Paris the RER B trains were not going from the airport and so I took the Air France coach which displays the temperature. It was 4O° except when going through tunnels when it was 39°.
Last weekend the summer alteration of Mass times came into operation. Instead of the usual five weekend Masses, for July and August there is one Mass less. It is lovely to meet many visitors to Paris who come to Mass at St Joseph's.
The Paris traffic is less now that schools are closed and some people have left the city for holidays. Using the bicycle to get around the city - which I do almost daily - is far more enjoyable and safer!
Paris is gearing up for next Tuesday, 14th July, Fête National, when the city will be thronged with crowds celebrating Bastille Day. It is a day of great pageantry and colour. The aircraft and helicopters are roaring overhead now as they rehearse for their flight over the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. At the same time the city and country remain on high security alert.
By the time France celebrates the 14th July, my hope and prayer is that the 12th July will have passed without trouble.
A reflection on last Sunday's and this Sunday's Mass readings is posted on the website - www.stjoeparis.org