Pastor's Desk: Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 24th September 2016 in Pastor's Desk

Today we read about the rich man who dressed in fine clothes, and dined well each day. In contrast we hear how poor Lazarus was in a pitiful state at the man’s gate, covered in sores and starving with hunger. The rich man does nothing to ease Lazarus’s plight. When he dies we are told that Lazarus was carried away immediately to his eternal reward where all of the hardship that he endured in life is now gone. The rich man also died but unlike Lazarus he ends up in Hades where he suffers great torment. The man realises that he has been a fool for not taking care of others and in a vision he asks Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house to warn his brothers that they need to change their ways before it is too late. Abraham is quick to point out that they should listen to the teaching of Moses and the prophets if they want to be saved. But he hints that they would probably not be convinced ‘even if someone should rise from the dead’.

What had happened the rich man was that his comfortable lifestyle prevented him from seeing his need for God in his life and now he realises that he has been foolish.

In our world today there is a huge disparity between the rich and the poor. So much of the wealth is owned by a few. There are those who have done well in business and life who share their good fortune with those less well-off but they tend to be a minority. Today’s gospel is a reminder of how we should store up things in this world for the next, instead of just storing up things so we have a comfortable lifestyle in the present.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time / C

Posted 17th September 2016 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 18th September 2016 - Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time / C blessings

The rich man we hear of in today’s Gospel had gone off to enjoy life and left his property in the capable hands of one of his stewards. Everything was well for some time but then the steward got lazy and wasted a lot of his time enjoying life too. To facilitate this, he took advantage of his position and began to appropriate some of the master’s money coming in from the tenants for his own personal use.

Eventually the Rich man returns home, asks him to give an account of his stewardship and discovers what’s been going on. He immediately sets about dismissing the Steward. Realising what was about to happen to him and declaring that he was no good for digging or begging he decides to ingratiate himself with the master’s debtors by writing down the value of the debt they owed to the Master. They were all vulnerable and so they took the opportunity to pay back considerably less than they owed even though they knew the steward had no authority and was being dishonest with the master’s money.

It seems strange that Jesus would use an example of dishonesty to illustrate his message yet he says we could learn something from the dishonest steward. The Steward in today’s story used all his resources to secure his future. As children of light we are challenged to have that same dedication and use all our blessings, our time, talents and health - wisely and justly so that we can all give a good account of our stewardship when we are asked by God.

Fr. Gerry.

Pastor’s Desk 11th September 2016 - Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time / C

Posted 10th September 2016 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 11th September 2016 - Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time / C

forgiveness1When a family member or friend hurts us by something they may say or do we can find it difficult to forgive them. When someone hurts us constantly we can eventually give up and reject any further requests for forgiveness. Thankfully that is not how God works in our lives. His mercy and compassion are unending. No matter how often we seek his forgiveness he is ready to forgive and welcomes us with open arms. However, we should never take it for granted. If we have experienced Gods mercy and forgiveness in our lives, then we are duty bound to pass on or share that mercy and compassion we those who have hurt us. Each time we pray the Our Father we ask the Lord to ‘forgive us our trespasses’, our wrongs and we promise to also forgive those who have ‘trespassed’ or done wrong against us. So we publicly declare our need to be forgiven and to forgive.

In today’s gospel Jesus gives three examples of things that are lost, the sheep, the coin, the son and he tells of the joy of all those who find what they are looking for. Their joy he tells those listening is tiny by comparison to the Joy that God has when we repent and turn back towards him.

We pray that we may never be afraid to turn to the Lord and seek his forgiveness at all times.

Fr. Gerry.

Pastors Desk - Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time / C

Posted 3rd September 2016 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 4th September 2016 - Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time / C

discipleWe can all be attracted by the idea of a bargain or something that on face value may seem to be a good offer. Our Television screens are filled with advertisements trying to lure us to buy a product or sign up to a contract with some service provider. A particular supermarket may be offering extra points on their loyalty cards if we purchase a particular item this week. The mobile phone companies may appear to be offering free upgrades and good deals with extra minutes and data. Then there are the gambling sites trying to get people to sign up with the promise of €10 credit with your first play or bet. On face value all these offers may seem good and irresistible but in reality when we look at the small print they all come with terms and conditions attached.

In today’s Gospel Jesus is quick to point out that there are no hidden terms and conditions in being a disciple or follower. He is upfront in setting out the challenge and the cost to us. He lays down the four conditions for true Christian discipleship. Renouncing any attachment to family by putting God first before any other relationships and self-interest. By cutting off any attachment we may have to personal possessions and always share our blessings with others. Accepting the hard consequences of discipleship daily. And finally, we should always calculate the cost involved in all our actions. Jesus says: we need to think long and hard about Christian discipleship before we make any decision.

In a nutshell if we are to follow Christ through time into eternity, it costs nothing less than everything. The challenge for all of us is to answer that call daily through prayer and positive action in our lives.

Fr. Gerry.

Pastor's Desk: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 27th August 2016 in Pastor's Desk

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

The Deep End - Topsy-turvy land

The people walk upon their heads,
The sea is made of sand,
The children go to school by night,
In Topsy-Turvy Land.

The front-door step is at the back,
You’re walking when you stand,
You wear your hat upon your feet,
In Topsy-Turvy Land.

from ‘Topsy-Turvy’ Land
by H.E. Wilkinson

Everything is upside down and back to front these past few weeks. Have you been following the train of thought in the Gospel readings? First we had Jesus talking about how he has come to bring division, rather than peace. Next we heard him tell people that the first will be last, and the last first.

Today, he turns our expectations on their head once again, this time offering a lesson in humility. We should not ‘exalt’ ourselves or take the place of honour among our friends and acquaintances; rather, we should ‘humble’ ourselves and take the lowest place. When we throw a party, we ought to invite those in need rather than our friends, family, or rich, influential people - because we should expect nothing in return for kindness or generosity.

Jesus seems to enjoy a ‘topsy-turvy’ approach to life. Following him means thinking differently from the rest of the world - wearing our hat on our feet, so to speak!

Tríona Doherty