Pastors Desk: The Most Holy Trinity / C

Posted 15th June 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 16th June 2019 - The Most Holy Trinity / C

holy-trinity5When we pause to pray, or often as we simply pass by a church, we bless ourselves and say the words that accompany this holy action: ‘In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. These words remind us that there are three persons in God.

The Trinity is one of the most difficult areas of Christian belief for us to understand, if in fact ‘understand’ is the correct word to use. It’s believed that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain what in our minds is impossible to explain. Even a very young child can tell you that to have three of anything is better than one.

What exactly is meant by the Three-in-One of the Trinity? Well if you think of a spring that comes out of the ground way up in the mountains. It flows down the valley, gaining momentum, to become a river, and then flows into the sea at its estuary. Well, if you can imagine the spring as the beginning, and the river as the descendant of that spring, with the Spirit covering the world like the seas. So, all aspects of the river and sea are the same water, but with different facets, and with different functions.

In the same way, the Father is the root of all creation providing all the goodness. Jesus Christ is the core of our Christianity, strong and firm with his work for the Father. The fruit of the life of Jesus here on earth is the Holy Spirit, from whom we receive all that is needed for a better moral and spiritual life.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Pentecost Sunday / C

Posted 8th June 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 9th June 2019 - Pentecost Sunday / C

pentecost-sunday1Many of us remember the old catechism books we used in school. We spent ages in class and at home learning the answers to the different questions. On the day of our Confirmation we hoped that we would remember the answer to the question that the Bishop may ask us. The books also contained some interesting pen and ink illustrations of the different parables or events in Jesus’ ministry. One of them comes to mind on today, Pentecost Sunday. The drawing shows the apostles in the room, all looking upward, while the Holy Spirit descends on them with ‘tongues of fire’. As a child I was fascinated by the picture and I innocently wondered if this would happen to me during my own Confirmation.

That first Pentecost must have been a very exciting time for the apostles and the infant church. Today we hear Jesus trying to prepare them for the time that he would no longer be with them. He tells the disciples that they will be known by the love they show to others. To help them in their task his Father will send an Advocate, the Holy Spirit which will make a home with them.

That gift of the Holy Spirit is not just something that happened in those early days of the church. It’s alive and active in the church today. When we live a spirit filled life it will be evident to all those we encounter in the ordinary bits and pieces of our daily routine that we are his modern-day disciples.

‘Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and rekindle in them the fire of your love.’

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: The Ascension of the Lord / C

Posted 1st June 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 2nd June 2019 - The Ascension of the Lord / C

ascension1I remember once picking up a magazine to read when I was in a waiting room. It had an article or feature about the sea and all of the creatures that can be found in it. I discovered that the favourite food of the starfish is the oyster. It’s well protected by a strong shell that is hard to open. However, the way the starfish works to get at the oyster provides us with a lesson that’s worth learning.

Apparently, when it finds a suitable oyster, the starfish attaches one of its feet to the top of the shell and another to the bottom or the underside. Slowly it begins to try and open the shell. The oyster however is very aware of the pressure and it uses its own hinge muscle to stay closed. The starfish is undeterred and keeps applying gentle pressure for as long as it takes. The oyster eventually gets tired and the starfish gets its dinner.

Today, just before he ascends to heaven, Jesus tells the Apostles to ‘Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high’. Part of the power that the Apostles received from the Holy Spirit was perseverance. Their task was never going to be simple, and needed lots of patience, courage and faith. But the power of the spirit is immeasurable and God’s love pouring out into our world cannot be stopped. That is why the victory of good over evil is being achieved and was achieved by Jesus through his death and resurrection - and continues to be won through the power at work in the world today.

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Sixth Sunday of Easter / C

Posted 25th May 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 26th May 2019 - Sixth Sunday of Easter / C

holy-spiritjpgJesus told his disciples that the Father would send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who would teach them everything they needed as his followers. The Spirit would help them to learn the Divine truths and grant them His peace at all times. We should always try to be aware of God’s abiding presence within us. It enables us to face the future with courage and unwavering hope.

To do so, it helps if we find time each day for personal prayer when we can talk to God and also listen to him. When we listen to him we gradually become aware of His plan for our lives and His solution to any problems we are encountering become clearer. In turn, our hearts and minds are converted and we able to love our fellow human beings as he intends us to. That love should be evident to all we meet daily.

There is a story of Benjamin, a young Jew who fell in love with a Catholic girl. When Benjamin proposed to Catherine she immediately went to her parents to ask for advice. Her father said ‘Convert him to Catholicism’ while her mother simply advised ‘Love him tenderly and Gods Spirit will work wonders’. Her Dad wouldn’t give in and eventually Benjamin was duly converted. But, weeks later Benjamin called off the wedding. The young girl was distraught and in tears. ‘What’s wrong?’ her father asked. She replied: ‘Benjamin wants to be a priest’!

Fr. Gerry

Pastors Desk: Fifth Sunday of Easter / C

Posted 18th May 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 19th May 2019 - Fifth Sunday of Easter / C

love-othersOn the night before he died and just after Judas has left the upper room Jesus gives the rest of the disciples a command and a promise. He tells them to love one another and the guarantee is that people will know that they are his disciples. There is both a challenge and a reassurance. On a later occasion Jesus went as far as to say that we would be judged on the love we show to others.

Living out that commandment to love one another isn’t easy, even within our own families. Because we are all imperfect creatures. It’s easy to love those who are kind and loving towards us but Christian love calls us to do more than this. No one must be excluded from our loving. Even our enemies and those who have hurt us. We all know just how difficult that is though. We are called to recognise God, present in everyone we meet and treat them accordingly. So becoming real Christians is probably the work of a lifetime and not something that happens overnight. It requires a lot of patience on our part.

If we have truly experienced God’s love in our lives and we allow him to enter our hearts, we are asked to share that unconditional love with others and become channels of his grace. The challenge for all of us in today’s Gospel is to look at our own lives and into our own hearts to see how we are answering this call to love each other as he loves us.

Fr. Gerry