Pastor's Desk: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 18th August 2018 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End: On the Breadline

In recent months the Society of St Vincent de Paul released some shocking figures regarding hunger in Ireland. One in three people who contact the charity are calling because they can’t afford to buy food. It is estimated that one in eleven people in Ireland experience food poverty, which refers to the inability to afford food to make up a healthy diet.

‘Food is an area of expenditure that families have discretion over on a day-to-day basis,’ said SVP head of social justice, Dr Tricia Keilthy. ‘It is much easier to control the cost of food than the cost of rent, utilities or education. So food is typically what families cut back on when times are tough.’

Hunger is a sad fact of life for many in our country. More than ever we appreciate the value of having enough to eat. Over the past few Sundays we have heard Jesus speak a lot about bread and food. His followers experience physical hunger too; the feeding of the five thousand (the story precedes today’s extract from John’s Gospel) shows that Jesus takes care of the physical needs of his followers too. Their experience of hunger and being fed prepares them for his teaching on the bread of life.

When Jesus talks about himself as the ‘bread come down from heaven’, it is clear that it is himself he is offering – his very flesh. If we are followers of Jesus, we are also called to give ourselves in service of others. We have Jesus as our model and teacher, present with us and in us. What can we do to help those who hunger in our country and our world?

Tríona Doherty

Feast of the Assumption

Posted 12th August 2018 in Ceremonies

On Wednesday 15th August we will celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation. Masses in Holy Trinity Parish will be as follows:

  • Tuesday 14th August at 6.30pm (Vigil Mass)
  • Wednesday 15th August at 10.00am

Pastors' Desk: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 11th August 2018 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End: Under the Bush

When a prophet sits under a bush, it’s usually a sign that things are not going well! At a particularly low moment in his relationship with God, the prophet Jonah sits, in an angry sulk, under a bush. While there he encounters God and learns a valuable lesson about mercy.

In today’s first reading, it is the prophet Elijah who sits under a bush. He is on his last legs, having escaped into the desert to avoid capture and death. At this low point, a day’s journey into the wilderness, he has had enough. He finds himself begging God to take his life.

It is a moment that will speak to many of us, particularly those of us facing struggles. Things can get on top of us. We sometimes feel alone, that our road is all uphill, that we are in the wilderness and there is nothing to do but give up. Yet when Elijah is at his lowest point, even getting ready to die, he finds he is not alone. The comforting presence of God is with him, offering sustenance to help him on his journey.

Elijah’s response to God is at first reluctant; he lies straight back down again. But with a second round of encouragement (and some more food) he is on his feet and able to continue his journey, replenished and renewed. At the moment he felt the most abandoned and alone, God was closer than ever.

Tríona Doherty

Pastor's Desk: Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 4th August 2018 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End: Old Wives’ Tales

Growing up, did the adults in your life tell you any stories about food?

• Eating carrots helps you see in the dark.

• Crusts will make your hair curly.

• Spinach makes you strong.

• An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

These wise old sayings, passed down through the generations, were employed to encourage us to eat certain foods, mainly healthy fruit and veg. Some even had an element of truth. Nowadays we can establish the accuracy of such claims at the touch of a button, but many parents still find themselves trotting out these nuggets of wisdom. Behind it all is a desire to see children grow up as strong, healthy and happy as possible.

There is a huge focus these days on healthy eating and having a physically healthy lifestyle. Mental health is also being spoken about more and more. Nourishing one’s mind and keeping it healthy is just as important as fuelling the body. Both of these are essential long-term projects, the work of a lifetime.

When it comes to the life beyond this one, Jesus talks about a different type of food – food that endures to eternal life. It is this bread, Jesus himself, that gives meaning to our work and our struggles here on earth. As Jesus tells us today: ‘Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life.’ Let us not forget to nourish our spirit.

Tríona Doherty

Pastor's Desk: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 28th July 2018 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End: Jesus comes to Serve

In John’s version of the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus performs this great miracle and it is the sign the crowds were waiting for. There is a lot of rich symbolism in this passage referring to Jesus as the Bread of Life, the one who will satisfy people’s hunger, the great teacher. But perhaps the final lines tell us a lot about the type of ‘king’ Jesus really is. The crowds are so enthused by Jesus’ miracles and teaching that they want to ‘take him by force and make him king’. Jesus tries to discourage them from their own ideas of kingship. His kingship involves a different path to the one the crowd are expecting. Jesus is cautious and to escape the attention, perhaps to be alone and pray, he takes himself out of this situation and retreats to the mountain. It could be tempting to give in to the crowd and have them declare you as their king. Jesus’ example of leadership is service in today’s gospel, feeding the people, nourishing the people, meeting their needs. It also shows us how God can work with what we have to offer, no matter how little that sometimes is, he can turn this into much fruit.

A final lesson may be for those in authority of any sort that they know when it is time to leave the people they serve, to reflect on their mission, to recharge and nourish themselves. Only in this way can they listen to the Spirit and experience the inner freedom necessary to lead as servant.

Jane Mellett