Pastors Desk: Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

Posted 22nd September 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 23rd September 2018 - Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

great-is-the-lordToday, Jesus is using the opportunity to have some time alone with the disciples so that he could instruct them in private. He told them how the Son of Man would be betrayed and be put to death; and then rise again after three days. Of course, they didn’t understand what he was trying to tell them and were too afraid to ask him in case they looked foolish.

Then, as they continued their journey and reached Capernaum Jesus asks them what they had been arguing about while they were walking the road. It’s obvious he knew what the conversation was about but wanted them to share their deliberations. They had been quarrelling and squabbling over who was the greatest among them. Of course, they were embarrassed and said nothing to Jesus.

Now, Jesus asks them to sit down and he uses the occasion to instruct and to point out to them what constitutes true greatness in God’s eyes. True greatness, he says, does not come from having power and influence over people but consists in humble service. If they are to be his friends service is more important than any power-filled prestige.

Using a little child as an example of complete trust and innocence he declares ‘anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me’. He turns our worldly value system upside down.
For Jesus, everyone is important. There are no exceptions. We owe all we have to God our Father.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

Posted 15th September 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 16th September 2018 - Twenty Forth Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

24th-sundayUntil now the disciples had been amazed by the miracles Jesus had performed. In the gospel today, they finally come to recognise who Jesus really is.

After they leave the villages around Caesarea Philippi he eventually puts the question to the disciples ‘who do people say that in am’ - put even more simply ‘what is the public opinion about me’. They give the many different interpretations of what people are saying and then Jesus finally asks, but what about you all. What do you think? What’s your opinion?

It is Peter who speaks up on their behalf. He gives a definitive answer ‘You are the Christ’. It’s worth noting that Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what they had ultimately determined about him.

Then Jesus begins to tell the disciples what was going to happen to him. He predicts the suffering of the cross. Peter is uncomfortable with the prospect of suffering in his own life and challenges Jesus. Jesus’ immediate reaction is to refer to Peter as Satan, telling him that his thinking or understanding of things are ‘not God’s way but man’s.’

Throughout history suffering has been part of life. The age-old problem of why people suffer has challenged many minds down the centuries but has never been satisfactorily resolved for most. Even though many books have been written on the subject, each one offering different perspectives, none have been able to offer an overall understanding on why suffering exists in the first place.

What Jesus did was to give suffering meaning and value by filling it with his presence. He showed us how to put the crosses that come our way to good use.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

Posted 8th September 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 9th September 2018 - Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

jesus-and-deaf-manToday we have the account of the deaf man who was brought to Jesus.

Some of the crowd gathered had seen Jesus performing miracles elsewhere. They asked Jesus to simply lay his hands on the man. Jesus takes him away from the crowd and in an elaborate way touches his ears and tongue, while looking up to heaven he prays the ‘Ephphatha’ prayer. Immediately the man’s gift of speech and hearing is restored.

With the introduction of the new GDPR legislation there has been a big rush from companies, banks, supermarkets, service providers, any organisation or institution that stores our personal data or information on us to assure us that it is held in a secure and safe manner. We now can see what that information is, and have it removed if we wish. The right to privacy has become a hot topic of discussion in recent weeks. Ironically, although some post information about their lives on social media daily they can also have an exaggerated privacy on another level. This exaggerated privacy can also be used as an excuse for inaction on different levels of society.

We take the gift of hearing and speech so much for granted. We are challenged to give voice to the voiceless, the needy and the marginalised in society. Sometimes, in families, we fail to use our gift of speech to utter words of encouragement, of hope and thanks or maybe we have kept silent when we should have spoken the truth.

May the words of Jesus, ‘Ephphatha - be opened’ resonate in our world so that we may give our hearts to him and he can touch the lives of people in our day through us.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

Posted 1st September 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 2nd September 2018 - Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time/B

faith-familyAfter all the big build up and following years of preparation the World Meeting of Families has taken place. We have all eagerly listened to what Pope Francis had to say on many issues of family, faith and the issues around abuse and the hurt that it has caused to so many over the generations. Some have commented that Pope Francis didn’t go far enough in apologising for these awful crimes against innocent victims. I am sure much will continue to be written and debated on these matters in the weeks and months ahead. There is a danger that the real reason for the gathering will be overshadowed by the need to address these serious issues once and for all.

Ultimately, the gathering was a celebration of families, family life and our Catholic, Christian faith. The family we were born into and the family of faith that we have been baptised into. In each of these families we should be nurtured and cherished and allowed to reach our full potential in life. In our families we learn the power of forgiveness, to offer it and receive it. We should also receive it in a compassionate and forgiving church.

We continue to pray for all families, especially where there is difficulty, homelessness, sickness or addiction.

Fr. Gerry

P.S. This week’s Irish Catholic has a special souvenir edition celebrating the visit of Pope Francis, it has many good articles and lots of photographs - well worth purchasing a copy.

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

Posted 25th 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: Why is it, Lord?

I once heard the following reflection read out at a First Communion:

‘Why is it, Lord, that parents see puddles and think wellies, and our children see magic mirrors waiting for a pebble-plop to ripple into smiles?
‘Why is it, Lord, that parents see snow and think gloves, and our children see sleds and slides and the tingle of snowflake’s farewell kiss upon the palm?
‘Why is it, Lord, that parents see toys and think tidy, and our children see the endless possibilities for fantasy and play?’

Sometimes it can be difficult to look beyond the practicalities and see the possibilities. It depends on all sorts of things, from our circumstances to how willing we are to be open to the beauty and deeper meanings in life. We all need a reminder that there is more to life than our physical, tangible world with its daily routines and to-do lists.

Some of Jesus’ followers in today’s gospel are finding it difficult to see beyond the physical. Jesus has been teaching them that he is the living bread. But it is hard for them to accept. They dismiss it as ‘intolerable language’, and some of them even walk away. But Jesus is offering something more than the practicalities, more than physical food or drink: he offers the bread of life, living bread, his very self. It is a difficult message, but Simon Peter gets to the heart of it: ‘You have the message of eternal life.’ Some of the disciples are able to see beyond the obvious.

Tríona Doherty