Pastors Desk: Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

Posted 2nd November 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 3rd November 2019 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

zacchaeusThe story of Zacchaeus is familiar to many who received their First Communion in the 1980s and 1990s. However, about 15 years ago the story was replaced by the story of the Lost Sheep. Thankfully the story of Zacchaeus has once again been returned to the schools religion programme as the best illustration of forgiveness in preparation for the children’s First Penance.

Something had stirred Zacchaeus to come and get a glimpse of Jesus. We are told that because he was ‘short’ he couldn’t see him so he climbed the sycamore tree to get a better look. It’s while he is up there that Jesus sees him and calls him down, declaring that ‘I must stay at your house today’. The others in the crowd were not impressed that Jesus had chosen to go and stay at the home of a ‘sinner’. Through this simple encounter Zacchaeus is moved to change his lifestyle and he immediately admits that he has not always been honest in his dealings with others but he vows to make restitution to those he has cheated out of their money. He didn’t do this to gain Jesus’ approval, but rather to show gratitude for the new direction in life that he had gained.

Jesus loved Zacchaeus - a sinner, and by that love Zacchaeus’s life was transformed. May each one of us be transformed by opening our hearts and minds to his salvation in our lives.

As the last line of today’s gospel proclaims ‘For the son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost’.

Fr. Gerry

Feasts of All Saints and All Souls

Posted 28th October 2019 in Ceremonies

On Friday 1st November we will celebrate the Feast of All Saints, a Holy Day of Obligation when we honour all Christian saints, known and unknown. The Feast is celebrated by all Christian churches.

The Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 6.30pm on Thursday 31st October (All Hallows’ Eve). Mass on the Feast Day itself will be celebrated at 10.00am on Friday 1st November and we will celebrate our Annual Remembrance Mass at 7.30pm on Friday.

Saturday 2nd November is the Feast of All Souls. Morning Mass will be celebrated in Holy Trinity at 10.00am.

Pastors Desk: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

Posted 26th October 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 27th October 2019 - Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

30th-sundayJesus uses today’s Gospel story to challenge those who may think they were better than others and who despise anyone else who may fall short of their high moral standards.

We hear of the two men who were at prayer in the temple. One of them is a tax collector and the other a Pharisee. While they are there the Pharisee, who is a good living man, is very quick to speak out to distance himself from the ‘sinful’ tax collector and his way of life. He thanks God and speaks about all the good things that he does - fasting, paying taxes - and points out the faults and failings of the other man. He has a false sense of security about himself.

In complete contrast, the tax collector is aware of his own faults and failings. He does not need reminding. We are told he stands some way off and does not even look to heaven. He asks for God’s forgiveness with the powerful words ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner’. Thus, Jesus tells us that the man ‘went home at rights with God’ while the Pharisee did not.

It’s so easy for all of us to become spiritually smug and think we are better than the next person and more deserving of God’s mercy. We are all sinners in varying degrees. So, the next time we feel the urge to point the finger at someone else maybe we should think again and point it inwardly towards ourselves and use those amazing words in today’s Gospel ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner’.

Whenever we see our need for God we shall have mercy shown to us.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

Posted 19th October 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 20th October 2019 - Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

29th-sundayToday we read about the Judge who we are told ‘had no fear of God or man’. He was in such a position of authority that people were at the mercy of his decisions with no recourse to any appeals it seems. It appears that perhaps he may not have always granted the correct justice due to individuals in all matters that came before him.

The widow wants justice for some wrong that has been done against her although we don’t hear what it was. It’s obvious that she had come to court seeking justice before but those attempts have not had the deserved outcome. Not giving up, she becomes a one-woman pressure group and keeps up her quest in the belief that she will get justice in the end as a result of her persistence. Eventually, not out of any moral duty or fear of God or man, the Judge grants the woman her request simply because he knows that the woman with persist with ‘pestering’ him. He wants an easy life without having to answer to anyone else for his decisions - good or bad.

Jesus promises that justice will be done in due course to all who call on him night and day in prayer. Like the woman in today’s parable who didn’t abandon her quest he urges us to never be discouraged and encourages us to do likewise in daily prayer. In the last line of today’s Gospel Jesus asks the all-important question ‘When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on Earth?’

Daily prayer is essential to living faith filled lives.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

Posted 12th October 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 13th October 2019 - Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time/C

give-thanksToday we have the classic parable that most of us have been familiar with since our Primary school days. We hear how the ten lepers come to Jesus and ask him to cure them. He takes pity on their plight but rather oddly requests that they are to go and show themselves to the priests. As they are going away, we hear how they were cleansed.

Very quickly, their miraculous cure becomes evident to each of them. One man, who was a Samaritan - turns back and he thanks Jesus, who declares immediately that the man’s faith has saved him.

We are all so good at ‘Prayer of Petition’. The sort of prayer we turn to God with when we are faced with bad news, bereavement, illness etc. But just like the other nine who were cured in today’s story we are not so good at going back to God to give thanks. Often we get discouraged when we feel that our prayer is not being answered the way we wanted or in the time frame we hoped for. Sometimes it’s months or years later that we realise God did answer my prayer but in a way that was better for all involved in the end.

Are we part of the grateful minority? Perhaps in the week ahead we may turn to the Lord in prayer and give due thanks for all he has done for us.

We need to be able to surrender and trust in his plan.

Fr. Gerry