Posted 10th December 2016
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Pastor’s Desk 11th December 2016 - Third Sunday of Advent / A
While he is in prison, John hears about the work that Jesus is doing. Typical of his outspokenness he sends one of the disciples to ask Jesus directly if he is the one they have been waiting for or will it be someone else in the future. Jesus reply is equally forthcoming. He tells the disciples to go back and tell John what they have seen and heard themselves. People who were blind can now see, some have had their hearing restored, lepers are healed and the dead are raised to life once more. He basically tells John ‘Judge for yourself’ adding the line ‘Happy is the one who does not lose faith in me’. John rightly concludes from that answer that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited messiah.
The season on Advent is a time for each one of us to assess the impact this has on our lives as followers. It’s that time of good will towards others, especially those who may be less fortunate than we are. Jesus always had great care for those living on the ‘margins’ of society. He embraces wounded hearts and bruised souls. His work continues throughout time and today on this third Sunday we can be ministers of kindness towards our fellow humanity.
Today, we have the annual indoor Christmas collection for the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul. It replaces the usual Share collection. Its our opportunity to support the local Conference of the Society as they reach out to the most vulnerable in our community on our behalf.
Thank you for your generosity.
Posted 4th December 2016
On Thursday 8th December we will celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.
The Vigil Mass on Wednesday 7th December will be held in our shared parish of St. Paul’s, Ayrfield at 7.30pm.
Mass on the Feast Day will be held in Holy Trinity at 10am on Thursday 8th December.
Posted 3rd December 2016
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Pastor’s Desk 4th December 2016 - Second Sunday of Advent / A
Today, the call of both Isaiah and of John the Baptist is “Prepare a way for the Lord”. We are challenged to sweep away the mountains of Sin, fill in the valleys of evil that cover our world.
As we continue our journey through this season of Advent we are encouraged to take stock of our lives and to ask ourselves how best we can prepare spiritually for the forthcoming season of Christmas. We can be so busy preparing for Christmas on many levels but the most important thing for all followers is to make space for the Lord to come into our hearts, to heal those parts of our lives that need it.
Families are also under extra pressure on many levels right now. Financially, homelessness to name just two. In those situations, it’s so easy to lose hope that things will improve in the foreseeable future and that Christmas will be happy and a peaceful time for all.
Today’s Gospel challenges us to prepare a way for the Lord by keeping hope alive in our hearts.
Posted 26th November 2016
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Pastor’s Desk 27th November 2016 - First Sunday of Advent / A
“The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The Season of Advent invites us to touch into our deeper longings for life, light, truth and joy. It’s a short, compact season of just four weeks allowing us time for much needed reflection and prayer before Christmas begins.
The light and hope of Advent is symbolised by the precious flames from our Advent wreath which can shine Christ’s love into the darker parts of our lives over the past year whether this is bereavement, illness, depression or disappointment. We can be sure that Jesus will always accompany us through our doubts, difficulties and challenges.
The Augustinian writer, Father Kieran O’Mahony says that: “The Season of Advent encourages us and takes us back to our original longing and quest which brought us to God in the first place.”
It is really important that you take some time out during Advent to reflect on the reality of Christmas and what God’s mercy and forgiveness means for us. Our Advent Reconciliation Service which will take place closer to Christmas will provide one such opportunity to do this. I believe that we need to reclaim Advent as a much needed space to reflect on our faith. Today’s Gospel tells us that “The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” This reminds us that we are passing though this World and need to make the most of the gifts that God has given to each of us.
Perhaps you could attend Church more regularly this Advent, wherever you happen to be, and make it a time of prayer and reflective anticipation. If you’re sending Christmas Cards why not chose cards with a distinctly religious theme and message. Also, it is a time for giving and sharing with those in need. The St Vincent de Paul collection, which will take place in our churches in the coming weeks, will provide an opportunity to help the most needy.
On behalf of Father Gerry and the parish team, I wish you all a peaceful and Holy Advent.
Posted 19th November 2016
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Pastor’s Desk 20th November 2016 - Feast of Christ the King / C
You may be familiar with the Taize chant which contains the words:
“Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom”
These are the words of what is known as the penitent thief from this Sunday’s Gospel. And the reply that Jesus gives to this man, who must have had his challenges and struggles in life, is one that we would all like to hear as well when our time comes:
“Indeed, I promise you today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Feast of Christ the King is the last Sunday in the Liturgical year. Next week is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new church year. This feast was instituted on its current date as a Solemnity by Blessed Paul VI in 1969.
In all four Gospels Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus is indeed a King is this story but, from a human point of view, is a very unusual King. He rules from the cross and his gifts to us are forgiveness, mercy and eternal life. The crown that Christ wears is a crown of thorns.
Jesus says in Chapter 18 of St John’s Gospel:
‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”
But the kind of Kingship that he is talking about is very different to what we might regard as a brash regal figure with great powers ruling over a large territory.
In Luke 17:21 ” Jesus tells us that “The kingdom of God is among you”. So, as we come to the end this Church year let us reflect on the presence of Jesus in our lives, what direction they are taking and how we can become more in tune with what Jesus may be asking of us as we approach the Season of Advent next Sunday.