Pastors Desk: Fourth Sunday of Easter / B

Posted 21st April 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 22nd April 2018 - Fourth Sunday of Easter /B

4th-sunday-of-easterToday the Fourth Sunday of Easter we continue to reflect on the meaning of the Resurrection. It is Vocations or Good Shepherd Sunday. The worldwide church is asked to foster and pray for vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and religious life.

The Gospel today uses the image of the shepherd. But, everyone who is entrusted with the care of others is a shepherd. So not just priests or religious but also parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, community leaders, politicians etc. are all shepherds trying to lead or direct others in a context or setting.

It’s an increasing fact that the fall off in vocations to priesthood and religious life has begun to show an impact not just on parish life here in Dublin but throughout the country. Many parishes in rural towns and cities have had to consolidate mass times and priests have begun to travel from one church to another some distance away for the next mass. It would be easy to become disheartened or disillusioned for the future life of the church. We should never underestimate the power of prayer and how we all have a responsibility to foster vocations in our own families and communities. Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979 resulted in a marked increase in vocations. We can only pray that Pope Francis’ visit in August for the World Meeting of Families will have a similar effect.

So, we continue to pray for vocations. That women and men will be inspired to respond to the Lord’s call to priesthood or religious life and choose to devote their lives in his service.

Fr Gerry

Pastors Desk: Third Sunday of Easter / B

Posted 14th April 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 15th April 2018 - Third Sunday of Easter /B

3rd-sunday-easterAs the disciples are telling their story about what had happened to them on the road Jesus appears among them and greets them with the words ‘Peace be with you’. Although this greeting is one of peace they are still alarmed and frightened.

Their confusion was understandable as it was only Easter night. Jesus realises what they are thinking and asks them why they are doubting that it is he standing there. He invites them to feel his wounds by offering his hands and feet. Still they are not sure. He asks for some food to eat so that he can offer further proof.

Then, Jesus tries to open their minds to what the scriptures had foretold and which he had often referred to while he was with them. They had failed to understand fully the significance of what they saw and what he was trying to tell them. He explains why he had to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. Now he tells them that they are to be his witnesses and preach repentance and forgiveness of sins to all they meet.

The disciples immediately wanted to share their experiences with others. Likewise, today we are all called to be his witnesses to him and testifying to his passion and death and show forth the significance of the resurrection in our own lives.

Today we pray that our lives will be characterised by a peace and joy that is real and active so that others will recognise Jesus within us.

Fr Gerry

Pastors Desk: Second Sunday of Easter / B

Posted 7th April 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 8th April 2018 - Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) /B

2-sun-of-easter1Today the disciples are locked in the room for fear that the Jews would find them, and they might suffer a fate like Jesus. After Jesus’ death they were disheartened and unsure of the future. They had thought he would always be with them and now he was gone. Their vision for the future had been shattered.

Then, something amazing happens. Jesus comes and stands among them. His reassuring greeting is ‘Peace be with you’ and they are immediately filled with joy. You can imagine how their hearts must have felt at that moment. A combination of amazement and perhaps fear surely.

At that point he commissions or challenges them to leave this place of safety and go out to bring his message of forgiveness of sins to all they meet. To help them in their ministry he gives them the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Thomas, we hear, is not there when Jesus initially appears to them and he does not believe the others when they tell him they have seen him. He lays down the conditions under which he will accept that Jesus is risen. Some days later Jesus reappears and finally Thomas believes.

Thomas surely felt that way because of his life experiences. Sometimes life can do the same to us. We may lose faith that God exists or that he is listening to our prayer when we experience health problems or have lost a loved one.

Today we pray that the Spirit of the Risen Christ may strengthen our hearts and minds to follow him in faith each day.

Fr Gerry

World Meeting of Families Information Evening

Posted 3rd April 2018 in Announcements

wmof2018a1Holy Trinity Church, Thursday April 12th at 7.30pm

World Meeting of Families will include a Papal Visit to Dublin - It’s Time to Get Ready!

We are delighted that Pope Francis will be coming to Dublin in August to participate in the World Meeting of Families. Many of us will recall the excitement of attending the Papal Mass with Saint John Paul II in the Phoenix Park back in 1979 and it’s wonderful to hear that a similar mass is planned with Pope Francis. The preparations have been somewhat low key so far but, with with only five months to go, we can expect to hear a lot more about this event in the coming weeks.

In order to help parishioners learn more about what will be happening, we have invited Hannah Evans, Outreach Officer for the World Meeting of Families, to address a joint meeting of Donaghmede and Ayrfield parishes on Thursday April 12th at 7.30pm in Holy Trinity Church. The format will include a workshop and discussion with plenty of opportunity for questions. Hannah is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker, so it will be a great opportunity to hear more from her about how we can participate in the World Meeting of Families as a faith community and to benefit from Hannah’s experience with what is happening in other parishes in the Archdiocese.

We look forward to welcoming you to Holy Trinity Church on Thursday April 12th at 7.30pm for this important occasion.

Deacon Gerard Reilly

Pastors Desk: Easter Sunday / B

Posted 29th March 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 1st April 2018 - Easter Sunday / B

easter-sunday2During Holy Week we can focus a lot of our attention on Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday so that by the time we reach Easter Sunday our celebration of the resurrection is not as joyful or its meaning as clear as it should be to us. Ultimately, the resurrection of Christ is the basis of our Christian faith.

Our gospel begins today with Mary Magdalene’s empty tomb-resurrection experience. She finds the enormous stone rolled back and quickly goes to tell Simon Peter about her discovery. They immediately go and find that Jesus’ body has disappeared. We are told ‘they saw, and they believed’. They finally understood what the teachings of scripture had meant.

Sometimes life can create or send experiences our way that might be like living within a tomb-like space. That may be the tomb of despair, discouragement, doubt or perhaps bereavement. Moving out of this dark and inhospitable place may not be as easy as it seems to others, our family and friends for example. It may be some time before we are free and able to move outside into the light once more. But we should never despair and give up hope that at some point we will be able and free to move on.

As Christians we are called to live a joyful life to the full, so we experience the risen Lord in all the events of our lives. The joyful and the sad ones alike. We pray that the joy of the Easter Day may penetrate our minds and hearts to make us a resurrection people visible to others each day.

Fr Gerry