Pastors Desk: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time / A

Posted 24th June 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 25th June 2017 - Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time / A
“Do not be Afraid”

do-not-be-afraidThe poet Patrick Kavanagh had a phrase that God is present in the “bits and pieces of life.” And, for most of us, the opportunities to live the Christian life can often be found in the simplest and smallest of circumstances.

St Therese of Lisieux would say to “do the small things with great love” and Saint Teresa of Calcutta said “to be faithful in little things is a great thing.”

In today’s Gospel from St Matthew we are told that God is also concerned with the smaller things in life: “Are two sparrows not sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing.” In other to emphasise his point further, Matthew adds “even the hairs of your head are counted.”

The Jesuit writer, Father Donal Neary, says that “Jesus is addressing the need for grace in our lives. Jesus encourages us to place our trust in those who care for us and to trust in God who does not want destruction but development.”

Jesus tells us not be afraid three times in this Gospel reading. He is also telling us that his Father cares deeply for those who are prepared to take on the task of witnessing for him in the world. He says to tell people about the Gospel “in the light” and to proclaim it “from the rooftops”. Jesus also makes us a spectacular promise: “Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

Like St Therese, our opportunities to acknowledge Jesus amongst our friends, families and in our communities may seem on less significant end of the scale, they are most certainly no less important for that. The greatest Saints were often those who lived the simplest lives but their contribution to the spreading of the faith has been very important. This is an example for each and every one of us to follow.

Deacon Gerard Reilly

Pastors Desk: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ / A

Posted 17th June 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 18th June 2017 - The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ / A

body-and-blood-of-christ1Today we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, which literally means the body of Christ. This is an important feast day and gives us an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the Eucharist.

One of the ceremonies that I most enjoy celebrating as a Deacon is Benediction. It is usually preceded by a time of prayer with the Blessed Sacrament. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with Jesus who is present to us in a very special way and to thank him for all the blessings that he has given us in our lives, in those of our families and our community.

The Eucharist brings us together as a community of faith, it nourishes us and helps us to support one another so that, in parish life, we can bring the Risen Jesus, the bread of life, to our parish community.

When speaking about the Eucharist, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said:
“Those of us who share in the Eucharist are called to live our lives as witness to the self-giving love of Jesus with a similar love for those who are excluded: the homeless, the unemployed, the despised and the ostracised and those who are condemned to the margins of society.”

St Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians “as often as you eat this bread and this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” This is part of Christ’s tremendous parting promise to us: “I will be with you always to the close of the age.” (Matt 28:20).

We can become very familiar with the Eucharist as we celebrate it on a weekly basis or, for some of us, more frequently than that. In his encyclical on the Eucharist Saint John Paul II invites us to be amazed by this altogether special and unique element of God’s love for us. He tells us that the gift of the Eucharist evokes profound amazement and gratitude.

As we reflect on these insights, let us give thanks to God, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, for his great gift of the Eucharist to us all.

Deacon Gerard Reilly

Corpus Christi Procession

Posted 11th June 2017 in Ceremonies

Sunday 18th June is the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. We will have our Parish Corpus Christi Procession around the grounds of the church after the 12.30pm Family Mass. The procession will conclude with Benediction.

It would be wonderful to have as many as possible of our First Communicants leading the procession!

Pastors Desk: The Most Holy Trinity / A

Posted 10th June 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 11th June 2017 - The Most Holy Trinity / A

holy-trinity3The mystery of the Holy Trinity is a basic doctrine of faith in Christianity. It teaches us that there are three distinct persons in one God, sharing the same Divine Nature. God alone reveals himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We know that Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to some friends when he was asked to explain the mystery of the Trinity. He asked them if ‘it was one leaf or three?’. They couldn’t really answer because although it had three leaves it also looked like one to them. He tells them that the mystery of the Trinity is similar but far more complex and not easily explained or understood.

Jesus tells Nicodemus in today’s gospel that God loved the world so much he gave his only Son so that all who believe in him would not be lost and have the promise of eternal life. It was also through him the world might be saved. As children of God that demands a great deal of change and conversion on our part.

There is so much about our faith that we find difficult to understand and comprehend but we journey as people of faith constantly reassured by the words and actions of Jesus. If we allow the risen Christ to have a place in our hearts he in turn offers us a share in his own life. May he help us to grow daily in wisdom, truth and love.

Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Fr Gerry

Pastors Desk: Pentecost Sunday / A

Posted 3rd June 2017 in Pastor's Desk

pentecost-sunday3Pastor’s Desk 4th June 2017 - Pentecost Sunday / A

All of today’s Scripture readings focus on the sending of the Holy Spirit and the commissioning of the Apostles to go out and share that life in the spirit with all others they meet.

In the Acts of the Apostles we hear what happens on that first Pentecost when the disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit and immediately given the gift of speech in foreign languages. Then St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, tells them that while they have a variety of gifts to offer, they are led by the one Spirit.

You can picture the disciples as they sat in the room with the doors closed for fear that the Jews would come and try to disrupt their gathering or even arrest them. As soon as Jesus arrives the mood must have changed immediately. His first greeting was one of peace and he immediately shows them the wounds in his hands and side. So, the reaction of the disciples when they see the Lord was one of great Joy.

Jesus tells them that he is sending them out just as the Father had sent him. To help them in their task they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Through that Spirit they will have the power to forgive sins.

At Confirmation, each of us received the gift of the Holy Spirit through the prayers and the anointing with Chrism by the Bishop. Strengthened by this enabling power of the Spirit we are challenged to move out of our comfort zones and be wounded healers to all those whose broken lives touch ours.

Fr Gerry